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Indoor Air. 2004;14 Suppl 7:134-43.

Computational fluid dynamics and room air movement.

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Aalborg University and International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy, Denmark.


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and new developments of CFD in the indoor environment as well as quality considerations are important elements in the study of energy consumption, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in buildings. The paper discusses the quality level of Computational Fluid Dynamics and the involved schemes (first, second and third order schemes) by the use of the Smith and Hutton problem on the mass fraction transport equation. The importance of "false" or numerical diffusion is also addressed in connection with the simple description of a supply opening. The different aspects of boundary conditions in the indoor environment as, e.g., the simulation of Air Terminal Devices and the simulation of furnishings and occupants are discussed. The prediction of the flow in a room with a three-dimensional wall jet by the use of different turbulence models such as the k-epsilon model, the V2-f model and the Reynolds Stress model is addressed in the last chapter of the paper.


The use of computational Fluid Dynamics as a practical design method for room air distribution is widespread. It is important to consider the quality of the predictions in order to obtain a sufficient level of accuracy. It is also important to work with a practical description of supply openings as well as with the right level of details in the occupied zone and the right turbulence model. All these aspects are addressed in the article.

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