Research Article / Indoor/Outdoor Airflow and Air Quality

Building Simulation

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 33-40

First online:

An hp-finite element method for simulating indoor contaminant dispersion

  • Darrell W. PepperAffiliated withNCACM, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada Las Vegas Email author 
  • , Xiuling WangAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University Calumet

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An hp-adaptive finite element method (FEM) is coupled with a Lagrangian particle transport technique to simulate contaminant dispersion within building interiors, including aircraft cabins. The hp-adaptation follows a three-step adaptation strategy, in which the mesh size and shape function order are dynamically controlled. An a posterior error estimator based on the L 2 norm calculation is used in the adaptation procedure. Interior flow fields are constructed from the hp-adaptive FEM. Contaminant dispersion is simulated using a random walk/stochastic approach based on a general probability distribution for depicting diffusion. Simulation results for 2- and 3-D interiors are presented.


hp-adaptive FEM contaminant transport indoor dispersion simulation