Measurements and modelling of airflows in houses using passive sampling and HAM software
Essah, E. (2011) Measurements and modelling of airflows in houses using passive sampling and HAM software. In: 9th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics, 29 May – 2 June 2011, Tampere, Finland.
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Official URL: http://webhotel2.tut.fi/nsb2011/
Passive samplers have been predominantly used to monitor environmental conditions in single volumes. However, measurements using a calibrated passive sampler- Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) fibre, in three houses with cold pitched roof, successfully demonstrated the potential of the SPME fibre as a device for monitoring air movement in two volumes. The roofs monitored were pitched at 15° - 30° with insulation thickness varying between 200-300 mm on the ceiling. For effective analysis, two constant sources of volatile organic compounds were diffused steadily in the house. Emission rates and air movement from the house to the roof was predicted using developed algorithms. The airflow rates which were calibrated against conventional tracer gas techniques were introduced into a HAM software package to predict the effects of air movement on other varying parameters. On average it was shown from the in situ measurements that about 20-30% of air entering the three houses left through gaps and cracks in the ceiling into the roof. Although these field measurements focus on the airflows, it is associated with energy benefits such that; if these flows are reduced then significantly energy losses would also be reduced (as modelled) consequently improving the energy efficiency of the house. Other results illustrated that condensation formation risks were dependent on the airtightness of the building envelopes including configurations of their roof constructions.