Experimental and Modelling Investigations of Air Exchange and Infection Transfer due to Hinged-Door Motion in Office and Hospital Settings

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Hathway, E.A. ; Papkonstantis, I. ; Bruce-Konuah, A. ; Brevis, W. (2015)
  • Publisher: Taylor and Francis

Occupants spend a significant amount of time indoors where temperature and air quality has an important impact on their comfort, health and work performance. Understanding the role of airflow exchange between spaces is crucial to describe the processes of mixing and transport of substances driven by air motion and therefore essential for evaluating indoor air quality. This work presents the results of field measurements and laboratory experiments designed to characterise door operation and to quantify its influence on air volumes exchanged between rooms due to door motion. The field study was conducted to identify typical total door cycle times in single person offices. The laboratory experiments were conducted in a scale model to investigate the exchange flow between two generic rooms. The model consisted of a water filled tank divided into two equal rooms, which were connected by a computer-controlled hinged door. Flow visualisations were used to describe flow patterns and concentration measurements of Rhodamine WT were performed to quantify exchange volumes. With hold open times of between 0s and 26.67s the total fluid volume exchanged was found to be between 67% and 98% of the total volume swept. Based on the exchange volume found in these experiments combined with the Wells-Riley equation the effect of ventilation rate on the probability of occupants in an adjacent room becoming infected was investigated. With ventilation rates for a medium air quality the risk of infection is low (<0.05). However, the probability of infection quickly rises with lower ventilation rates.
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