Efficient Sensor Location for HVAC Systems Using Lagrangian Coherent Structures

Dildar Ahmed, Ali Javed, M. Sami Uz Zaman, Minhas Mahsud, Mumuni-Napari Hanifatu

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Study of thermo-fluid flow has its significance in energy analysis of a building. Various thermo-fluid analyses are performed in heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for energy efficient buildings by scientists and engineers to save energy consumption during the life of a building. In order to achieve energy conservation for different HVAC systems, determination of air flow pattern and flow physics are vital parameters. In case of fluid flow postprocessing techniques such as streamlines, vector plots and contours are often employed. These techniques help in understanding the nature of flow and its properties. Each of these postprocessing techniques mentioned are based on Eulerian methods and have certain inherent deficiencies pertaining to the amount of information they can convey about certain aspects of fluid flow. Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) on the other hand use Lagrangian data for analysis purposes. LCS are generated using finite time Lyapunov exponent fields which in turn depict the rate of expansion or contraction of the trajectories around a certain point. LCS act as the transport barriers across which there is approximately zero mass flux. This property means that LCS can be applied to problems related to separation and reattachment in fluid flow and find virtual boundaries inside flows. In the current study, we focused on the application of LCS for efficient placement of sensors for HVAC systems. We computed LCS using velocity data extracted from the CFD simulations of a 2D room model. Thus, LCS can be used to identify the virtual boundaries in fluid flow. This helps in indication of regions where mixing of particles occurs and also where particles are stagnated. Inlet angles of 0, 15, 22, and 30 degrees are used and analysis shows that manifolds with 30 degree angles provide better ventilation. The outcome of this study can be used to improve the energy efficiency as well as predict the accurate location of HVAC sensor and control units.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6059900
Number of pages13
JournalMathematical Problems in Engineering
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Jun 2023


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