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Aerodynamic Containment Can Reduce Indoor Spread of Infectious Aerosols



Kishor Khankari


Good ventilation design should ensure that clean filtered air is properly distributed while contaminated air is removed. CFD analyses can help engineers achieve both goals. This article demonstrates how aerodynamic containment layout of the HVAC diffusers and returns can help reduce the spread of airborne pathogens.

The aerodynamic containment layout with the distributed supply diffusers helps with better distribution of clean air. Distributed return grilles provide a path of least resistance for the contaminated air to leave the space, and the symmetric layout of supply and return grilles forms airflow envelopes that promote local containment of the airborne contaminants. The average value of the probability of infection in the breathing plane reduced from 11.3% to 9.1% with aerodynamic containment. The Spread Index – a metric of spread of pathogens in a space reduced from 49.4% to 39.3%.
This article provides guidance on how to create an aerodynamic containment HVAC layout.

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    About the author

    Dr. Kishor Khankari

    ASHRAE Fellow, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer

    Dr Kishor Khankari is the founder of AnSight LLC. As a specialist in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), his passion for solving engineering problems and providing sound scientific solutions has led to innovations and optimized designs in the industry.

    A noted expert in his field, he has a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and has published in several technical journals and trade magazines. As a well sought-after speaker Dr. Khankari makes regular presentations in various technical conferences and professional meetings worldwide.

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