Laser sheet light flow visualization for evaluating room air flowsfrom Registers

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Forced air heating and cooling systems and whole house ventilation systems deliver air to individual rooms in a house via supply registers located on walls ceilings or floors; and occasionally less straightforward locations like toe-kicks below cabinets. Ideally, the air velocity out of the registers combined with the turbulence of the flow, vectoring of air by register vanes and geometry of register placement combine to mix the supply air within the room. A particular issue that has been raised recently is the performance of multiple capacity and air flow HVAC systems. These systems vary the air flow rate through the ... continued below

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Walker, Iain S.; Claret, Valerie & Smith, Brian April 1, 2006.

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Forced air heating and cooling systems and whole house ventilation systems deliver air to individual rooms in a house via supply registers located on walls ceilings or floors; and occasionally less straightforward locations like toe-kicks below cabinets. Ideally, the air velocity out of the registers combined with the turbulence of the flow, vectoring of air by register vanes and geometry of register placement combine to mix the supply air within the room. A particular issue that has been raised recently is the performance of multiple capacity and air flow HVAC systems. These systems vary the air flow rate through the distribution system depending on the system load, or if operating in a ventilation rather than a space conditioning mode. These systems have been developed to maximize equipment efficiency, however, the high efficiency ratings do not include any room mixing effects. At lower air flow rates, there is the possibility that room air will be poorly mixed, leading to thermal stratification and reduced comfort for occupants. This can lead to increased energy use as the occupants adjust the thermostat settings to compensate and parts of the conditioned space have higher envelope temperature differences than for the well mixed case. In addition, lack of comfort can be a barrier to market acceptance of these higher efficiency systems To investigate the effect on room mixing of reduced air flow rates requires the measurement of mixing of supply air with room air throughout the space to be conditioned. This is a particularly difficult exercise if we want to determine the transient performance of the space conditioning system. Full scale experiments can be done in special test chambers, but the spatial resolution required to fully examine the mixing problem is usually limited by the sheer number of thermal sensors required. Current full-scale laboratory testing is therefore severely limited in its resolution. As an alternative, we used a water-filled scale model of a room in which whole-field supply air mixing maps of two vertical planes were measured using a Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) measurement technique. Water marked with fluorescent dye was used to simulate the supply airflow; and the resulting concentrations within the water filled model show how the supply air mixes with the room air and are an analog for temperature (for thermal loads) or fresh air (for ventilation). In addition to performing experiments over a range of flow rates, we also changed register locations and examined the effects for both heating and cooling operation by changing the water density (simulating air density changes due to temperature changes) using dissolved salt.

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  • Report No.: LBNL--56483
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/924836 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 924836
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc901455

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • April 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2016, 3:03 p.m.

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Walker, Iain S.; Claret, Valerie & Smith, Brian. Laser sheet light flow visualization for evaluating room air flowsfrom Registers, report, April 1, 2006; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc901455/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.