An Experimental Study on the Efficacy of Local Exhaust Systems for the Mitigation of Exhaled Contaminants in a Meeting Room

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Abstract

In industrial applications, local exhaust systems have been used extensively for capturing and confining contaminants at their source. The present study investigates the efficacy of these systems in mitigating the spread of exhaled pollutants by combining them with mixing and displacement ventilation. Experiments were conducted in a simulated meeting room with six closely situated workstations, featuring five exposed persons (simulated with heated dummies) and one infected person (simulated with a breathing manikin). Six overhead local exhaust units, merged with panels, corresponding to workstations, were installed using a lowered false ceiling. Additionally, a table plenum setting for air inlets was introduced to enhance displacement ventilation effectiveness along with local exhaust systems. Results from 16 experimental cases are presented, using the local air quality index and ventilation effectiveness in the breathing zone. The local exhaust system improved the local air quality at the measuring locations closest to the infector in almost all test scenarios. The improvement, particularly significant with displacement ventilation, marked a maximum 35% increase in the local air quality index adjacent to the infector and 25% in the entire breathing zone of the tested meeting room. Moreover, the table plenum settings, coupled with displacement ventilation, further enhanced conditions in the breathing zone. Under the specific conditions of this investigation, the number of operational local exhausts had a marginal impact on mixing ventilation but a significant one on displacement ventilation tests. The efficacy of local exhaust systems was also influenced by the levels of heat gains present in the room. Overall, the study aims to contribute to ongoing efforts to identify sustainable solutions to mitigate indoor airborne diseases with a combination of supply and local exhaust units.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1272
Number of pages17
JournalBuildings
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • airborne transmission
  • contaminant removal
  • local exhaust
  • meeting room
  • respiratory pollutants

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