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Simulation of a laboratory

by Christoph Lodes on Dezember 6, 2017

Simulation of a laboratory

With increasing demands for safety and efficiency the secure operation of a laboratory is a challenging task. Especially the air routing to achieve the necessary safety with a simultaneous minimization of exhaust air and energy consumption can be very complex. For this, the prediction of the airflow in a laboratory provides a suitable solution. With the possibility to visualize the flow pattern, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) enables a detailed view of the flow pattern in a laboratory.

Support for measurements

The numerical simulation unfolds its potential during the planning phase and while providing explanations for problems in existing laboratories. In the planning phase CFD detects possible difficulties in advance and creates an understanding of the flow pattern in the laboratory. In contrast in existing laboratories the simulation provides solutions for appearing problems and delivers potential optimization proposals.

In both cases the simulation develops its true potential in combination with measurements. This collected fluid dynamic expertise leads to the optimum results.

Fume cupboards with harmful gas

A special requirement in laboratories is the safety of fume cupboards. Under no condition, harmful gas may exit the fume cupboards. With the simulation the distribution of gas in fume cupboards in laboratories can be investigated according to the European standard EN 14175.

The advantages of CFD are in this case the visualization of the gas flow, with all reasons for a possible outbreak, and the possibility of detailed looks in parts of importance.

Visualization of the temperature influence

One crucial parameter in all laboratories is the temperature of the supply air. Even small variations can cause rather unexpected problems and unwanted effects. The simulation can show the effect between isotherm temperature conditions in front of a fume cupboard (left figure below) and a cold air supply (right figure below). The realisation that only few degrees difference could cause an outbreak of harmful gas can be clarified by use of numerical methods, just like the finding of ideal settings to provide safe working.

fume cupboard

Flow pattern in front of a fume cupboard

If you like to learn more about this topic you’ll find more information in our free whitepaper “Fume Cupboards: Avoiding Mistakes in Assuming Safety”.

Avoiding Mistakes

Topics: Fume cupboards, numerical calculation of a laboratory, room airflow, Safety, EN 14175

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