Curtis Linton

University of New Hampshire

Mechanical Engineering


2020

Mentor: Dr. Todd Gross   Department of Mechanical Engineeering

Utilization of Computational Fluid Dynamics to Evaluate Strategies to Minimize the Lateral Mixing of Potentially Virus-Containing Aerosols from Stationary Individuals in Enclosed Spaces

The goal of this project is to utilize computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to minimize lateral mixing of potentially virus-containing aerosols generated by stationary individuals in academic settings in the University of New Hampshire.Spherical droplets are released from the mouth and nose when humans cough, sneeze, breathe, talk, etc. These droplets have the ability to contain viral loads. While sneezes and coughs release larger droplets that have the potential to contain more viral load, breathing and talking droplets are smaller and do not weigh as much, giving them the ability to stay aloft in the air for a longer period of time. The aerosols created by smaller particles have the ability to be more harmful because without falling to the ground they can be inhaled by more people and travel farther distances. Computational Fluid Dynamics ANSYS-FLUENT software will be used to model the air flowing several classrooms and lecture halls.Then, the models will be modified to determine the effectiveness of the modifications on minimizing mixing of exhaled air from stationary individuals. We will consider passive strategies e.g. physical barriers between individuals and active strategies e.g. air curtains and snorkels connected to the exhaust vents.We hypothesize to adjust airflow in the room to reduce lateral mixing between individuals.

 

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