New FloVENT Diffuser Models Improve Airflow Simulation in Buildings
Flomerics has announced the availability of six new web macros for its FloVENT software that save time and improve accuracy in simulating the performance of diffusers. In the past, modeling diffusers has required detailed information from manufacturers about physical tests, building a room model to simulate the tests, and adjusting the model to match the test results. The models produced by the new web macros on the other hand, can simply be dropped into a FloVENT model and require only commonly available data for the diffuser such as outside dimensions, flow rate and temperature data.
"Diffuser data is hard to obtain and even when you get it it's very time-consuming to build a model that properly utilizes that data," said Dr. Andy Manning, Director of Engineering at Flomerics. "The new FloVENT web macro dramatically reduce the time required to accurately model diffusers. We have carefully tested these web macros and determined that provide a similar level of accuracy equal to building a room model and matching the flow. The built-in intelligence of the new web macros eliminates what used to be a difficult and time-consuming task. Another advantage of the new web macros is that they automatically generate the correct grid geometry and constraints, which helps avoid errors."
The new web macros were developed based on research done by Drs. Qingyan Chen and Jelena Srebric of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who are now professors at Purdue University and Pennsylvania State University, respectively. The researchers defined a method by which readily-available diffuser parameters can be translated into computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. "The correct description of the flow and thermal information from an air supply diffuser is extremely important for a reliable prediction of room air distribution with CFD," Chen said. "I am very pleased that Flomerics is making use of the methods that we developed for ASHRAE to ensure accurate representation of diffusers in CFD models."
The FloVENT web macros for displacement, square ceiling, round ceiling, vortex ceiling, and grille diffusers are based on the momentum method developed by Chen and Srebric. The momentum method de-couples momentum and mass flow in the CFD simulations from the room airflow. This method uses the initial momentum and mass flow rate from a diffuser as boundary conditions for the diffusers. Flomerics has also introduced a web macro for representing drum louvre diffusers which is based on research performed by Paul Rose with Gilberts, a UK-based manufacturer of diffusers.
FloVENT software from Flomerics reduces the time and skill required to simulate complex ventilation problems, because it is specially designed for applications in the built environment. FloVENT provides tools that allow users to assemble models from libraries, avoiding the need to create them from scratch. FloVENT provides an environment that enables fast, automated design studies. Automated gridding and distributed processing across networks streamlines the process of evaluating multiple iterations to optimize the design. With this new version, FloVENT continues to set the standard for airflow simulation in the construction industry. Thermal dimensioning, contamination/moisture control and airflow inside large buildings can now easily be undertaken in FloVENT.
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