Mechanical Engineering

Duct Flow Lab

Location: East Stadium Rooms 210 - 214

Coordinator: Steve Idem

The Duct Flow Laboratory has extensive capabilities to measure air flow and pressure loss in HVAC air duct systems. The laboratory has also been used to perform scale model experiments to optimize flow in power plant stacks, windboxes, and primary and secondary air flows supplied to burners. Air temperatures can be adjusted using a 0-30 kW duct heater that utilizes silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) control. The flowrate from the fans can be controlled precisely using variable frequency drives, which can accommodate up to 30 hp, 3-Φ motors. The flowrates are measured using American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) flow nozzles mounted in chambers that comply with American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 120-2017. Calibration of the nozzles has been performed using a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) calibrated orifice-type flow metering apparatus, yielding flowrate measurement accuracies of 2%. Facilities are available to measure pressure drop as a function of volume flow rate for corrugated stainless steel flexible gas tubing and fittings. The laboratory has instrumentation available, including precision dial deflection gauges, to measure air duct deformation caused by application of positive and negative internal pressure. The laboratory also possesses considerable ancillary equipment, including liquid-filled micromanometers and pressure transducers, psychrometers and relative humidity meters, Pitot-static tubes and five-hole velocity probes, air flow capture hoods, as well as liquid-in-glass thermometers and thermocouples.

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