Impact of ventilation scenario on air exchange rates and on indoor particle number concentrations in an air-conditioned classroom

Guo, Hai, Morawska, Lidia, He, Congrong, & Gilbert, Dale (2008) Impact of ventilation scenario on air exchange rates and on indoor particle number concentrations in an air-conditioned classroom. Atmospheric Environment, 42(4), pp. 757-768.

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A two-week intensive measurement campaign of indoor and outdoor air pollution was carried out in September 2006, in a primary school to investigate indoor-outdoor correlations of particle number concentrations (PN), and the impact of air exchange rate (ACH) on the indoor PN concentration. The ACHs in the classroom for different conditions associated with window opening and the operational status of air conditioners (A/C) and fans were tested. As expected, the lowest ACH (0.12 h-1) was found when the windows were closed and A/C and fans were off. In contrast, the highest ACH (7.92 h-1) was observed when the windows were opened and A/C and fans were all on. The analysis of the PN I/O ratios at different ACHs in the absence of indoor sources indicates that the mean I/O ratio was 0.621 ± 0.007 (mean ± 95% confidence interval) when the windows were closed, and A/C and fans were off; 0.524 ± 0.023 when windows were closed, fans were off and A/C was on; and 0.502 ± 0.029 when windows were closed, A/C was off and fans were on. To further understand the relationship between indoor and outdoor PN concentrations, the impact of outdoor PN concentration on I/O ratios at different ACHs was investigated. It was found that the relationship between outdoor PN concentration and the I/O ratio at different ACHs followed a power trendline with an equation of I/O ratio = A*PNout-b (A and b are coefficients, PNout is outdoor PN concentration), suggesting that the penetration efficiency decreased with increasing outdoor PN concentration. It is the first time we found that when the outdoor PN concentration increased there was an associated increase in the concentration of nano-particles, which have been demonstrated to have higher deposition rates and lower penetration efficiencies. Based on the above equation, the study also showed a significant effect of ACH on indoor PN concentrations under stable outdoor PN concentrations. In general, the higher the ACH was, the lower the indoor PN concentration was.

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ID Code: 15401
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: indoor to outdoor ratios, Particle number concentration, Air exchange rate, Air conditioned classroom, nano, particles
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.09.070
ISSN: 1352-2310
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Atmospheric Sciences not elsewhere classified (040199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 31 Oct 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2015 04:21

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