Air movement and energy flows in an air-conditioned and partitioned industrial environment
This study concerns an investigation into air movement and associated energy flows within the environment of a synthetic fibre producing factory. A multiplicity of airconditioning and ventilation systems were operated within the factory to provide a suitable atmosphere for the yarn, and also to allow some degree of comfort in hot production areas. Potential for improved operation of these systems was anticipated. Initial experiments showed certain anomalies and problems relating to air conditions and air movement; and an important facet of the production areas was identified as the regular partitioning created by the machine layout. A review of previous studies of building air flows indicated a lack of information relating to industrial and partitioned areas. Mathematical relationships for air flows were studied and the interactions of similar, closely spaced partitions were considered. A series of model scale tests using simple layouts supported a theory of interaction. The effect was substantial for wall type partitions and a considerable overestimation could result from the simple additive approach to determination of total resistance. At the factory a computer based monitoring scheme was designed and installed in order to establish environmental conditions and energy flows. The concept of "total thermal efficiency" was developed as a means of evaluating the performance of some of the air-conditioning systems. Considerable variations were evident between seasons and between systems; improvements being possible and recommended. Air flows were also investigated using Nitrous Oxide as a tracer gas. The effect of the internal partitioning combined with the high degree of ventilation and air-conditioning was to "compartmentalize" the spaces between the machines in the production areas, semi-isolating each from its neighbours. Thus, the results of the simplified model scale work could not be applied directly. However the isolation of the spaces offers potential for better systems operation by reducing air-conditioning requirements.