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CHAPTER 20

SPACE AIR DIFFUSION


Indoor Air Quality and Sustainability........................................................................................... 20.1
Applicable Standards and Codes .................................................................................................. 20.1
Terminology .................................................................................................................................. 20.2
Principles of Jet Behavior............................................................................................................. 20.3
Symbols ......................................................................................................................................... 20.7

R OOM air distribution systems are intended to provide thermal


comfort and ventilation for space occupants and processes.
Although air ter minals (inlets and outlets), terminal units, local
Diffuser type
Diffuser throw height (or outlet velocity); this is associated with
the amount of mixing provided by a floor diffuser (or room con-
ducts, and rooms themselves may affect room air diffusion, this ditions near a low-sidewall TDV diffuser)
chapter addresses only air terminals and their direct effect on occu-
pant comfort. This chapter is intended to present HVAC designers For room heat loads, the major factors are
the fundamental characteristics of air distribution devices. For infor- Magnitude and number of loads in space
mation on naturally ventilated spaces, see Chapter 16. For a discus-
sion of various air distribution strategies, tools, and guidelines for Load type (point or distributed source)
design and application, see Chapter 57 in the 2011 ASHRAE Hand- Elevation of load (e.g., overhead lighting, person standing on
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bookHVAC Applications. Chapter 20 in the 2012 ASHRAE Hand- floor, floor-to-ceiling glazing)
bookHVAC Systems and Equipment provides descriptions of the Radiative/convective split
characteristics of various air terminals (inlets and outlets) and termi- For pollutant concentration profiles, whether pollutants are asso-
nal units, as well as selection tools and guidelines. ciated with heat sources
Room air diffusion methods can be classified as one of the fol-
lowing as shown in Figure 1: INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Mixed systems produce little or no thermal stratification of air Air diffusion methods affect not only indoor air quality (IAQ) and
within the space. Overhead air distribution is an example of this thermal comfort, b ut also ener gy consumption o ver the buildings
type of system. life. Choices made early in the design process are important. The U.S.
Fully (thermally) stratified systems produce little or no mixing Green Building Councils (USGBC 2009) Leadership in Energy and
of air within the occupied space. Thermal displacement ventila- Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, which was originally
tion is an example of this type of system. created in response to indoor air quality concerns, now includes pre-
Partially mixed systems provide some mixing within the occupied requisites and c redits for increasing ventilation effectiveness and
and/or process space while creating stratified conditions in the vol- improving thermal comfort. These requirements and optional points
ume above. Most underfloor air distribution and task/ambient con- are relatively easy to achieve if good room air diffusion design prin-
ditioning designs are examples of this type of system. ciples, methods, and standards are followed (see Chapter 57 of th e
Task/ambient conditioning systems focus on conditioning only 2011 ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications).
a certain portion of the space for thermal comfort and/or process Air change effectiveness is affected directly by the room air dis-
control. Examples of task /ambient systems are personally con- tribution systems design, construction, and operation, b ut is very
trolled desk outlets (sometimes referred to as personal ventilation difficult to predict. Many attempts have been made to quantify air
systems) and spot-conditioning systems. change effectiveness, including ASHRAE Standard 129. However,
As shown in Figure 1, local temperature and carbon dioxide this standard is only for experimental tests in well-controlled labo-
(CO2) concentration have similar profiles, although their rates usu- ratories, and should not be applied directly to real buildings.
ally differ. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 provides a table of typical
Air distribution systems, such as thermal displacement ventila- values to help predict zone air distribution effectiveness. For exam-
tion (TDV) and underfloor air distribution (UFAD), that deliver air ple, well-designed ceiling-b ased air distribution systems prod uce
in cooling mode at or near floor level and return air at or near ceiling near-perfect air mixing in cooling mode, and yiel d an air change
level produce varying amounts of room air stratification. For floor- effectiveness of 1.0.
level supply, thermal plumes that develop over heat sources in the Displacement and underfloor air distribution (UFAD) systems
room play a major role in driving overall floor-to-ceiling air motion. have the potential for values greater than 1.0. More information on
The amount of stratification in the room is primarily determined by ceiling- and wall-mounted air inlets and outlets can be found in Rock
the balance between total room airflow and heat load. In practice, the and Zhu (2002). Displacement system performance is described in
actual temperature and concentration profile depends on the com- Chen and Glicksman (2003 ). Bauman and Daly (2003) d iscuss
bined effects of various factors, but is largely driven by the charac- UFAD in detail. (These three ASHRAE books were produced by re-
teristics of the room supply airflow and heat load configuration. search projects sponsored by Technical Committee 5.3.) More infor-
For room supply airflow, the major factors are mation on ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 is available in its
Total room supply airflow quantity users manual (ASHRAE 2010).
Room supply air temperature
APPLICABLE STANDARDS AND CODES
The preparation of this chapter is assigned to TC 5.3, Room Air Distribu- The following standards and c odes should be reviewed when
tion. applying various room air diffusion methods:

20.1
Copyright 2013, ASHRAE
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20.2 2013 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals

Fig. 1 Classification of Air Diffusion Methods


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ASHRAE Standard 55 specifies the combination of indoor ther- Draft. Undesired local cooling of a person caused by air move-
mal environmental factors and personal factors that produce ther- ment.
mal acceptability to a majority of space occupants. Drop. Vertical distance that the lower edge of a horizontally pro-
ASHRAE Standard 62.1 establishes ventilation requirements for jected airstream descends betwee n the outlet and the en d of its
acceptable indoor environmental quality. This standard is adopted throw.
as part of many building codes. Effective area. Net area of an outlet or inlet de vice through
ASHRAE Standard 70 is a method of test for performance of air which air can pass; equal to the free area times the coefficient of dis-
outlets and inlets. charge.
ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 provides energy efficiency require- Entrainment. Movement of space air into the jet caused by the
ments that affect supply air characteristics. airstream discharged from the outlet.
ASHRAE Standard 113 defines a repeatable method of testing Entrainment ratio. Volume flow rate of total air (primary plus
steady-state air diffusion performance of an air distribution sys- entrained air) divided by the volume flow rate of primary air at a
tem in occupied zones of buildings. This method is based on air given distance from the outlet.
velocity and air temperature distributions at specified heating or
Free area. Total minimum area of openings in an air outlet or
cooling loads and operating conditions.
inlet through which air can pass.
ASHRAE Standard 129 specif ies a meth od for measuring air -
change effectiveness in mechanically ventilated spaces. This Free jet. An air jet not obstructed or affected by walls, ceiling, or
standard is only for experimental tests in well-controlled labora- other surfaces.
tories, and should not be applied directly to real buildings. Induction. Movement of space air into air outlet device.
ASHRAE Standard 170 def ines ventilation system design Induction ratio. Volume flow rate of induced air divided by vol-
requirements that pro vide environmental control for comfort, ume flow rate of primary air.
asepsis, and odor in health care facilities. Inlet. A device that allows air to exit the space (e.g., grilles, reg-
isters, diffusers)
Local codes should also be checked to see how they apply to each
of these subjects. Isothermal jet. A jet in which supply air temperature equals sur-
rounding room air temperature.
TERMINOLOGY Linear jet. A supply air jet with a relatively high aspect ratio.
Neck area. Nominal area of duct connection to air outlet or inlet.
Aspect ratio. Ratio of length to width of opening or core of a Nonisothermal jet. A jet in which supply air temperature does
grille. not equal surrounding room air temperature.
Attached jet. A supply air jet affected by surfaces because of the
Occupied zone. The volume of space intended to be com fort
Coanda effect.
conditioned for occupants (see ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55).
Axial jet. A supply air jet with a conical discharge profile.
Coanda effect. Effect of a moving jet attaching to a parallel sur- Outlet. A device discharging air into the space (e.g., grilles, reg-
face because of ne gative pressure developed between jet and sur - isters, diffusers). Classified according to location and type of dis-
face. charge.
Coefficient of discharge. Ratio of area at vena contracta to area Outlet velocity. Average velocity of air emerging from outlet,
of opening. measured in plane of opening.
Core area. Area of a register, grille, or linear slot pertaining to Primary air. Air delivered to an outlet by a supply duct.
the frame or border, whichever is less. Radial jet. A supply airjet that discharges 360 and expands uni-
Diffusion. Dispersion of air within a space. formly.
Distribution. Moving air to or in a space by an outlet discharg- Spread. Divergence of airstream in horizontal and /or vertical
ing supply air. plane after it leaves an outlet.
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Space Air Diffusion 20.3

Stratification height. Vertical distance from floor to horizontal 1943). The angle of divergence is easily affected by external
plane that defines lower boundary of upper mixed zone (in a fully influences, such as local eddies, vortices, and surges. Internal
stratified or partially mixed system). forces governing this air motion are extremely delicate (Nottage
Stratified zone. Zone in which air movement is entirely driven et al. 1952a).
by buoyancy caused by convective heat sources. Typically found in Zone 4 is a zone of jet degradation, where maximum air velocity
fully stratified or partially mixed systems. and temperature decrease rapidly. Distance to this zone a nd its
Terminal velocity. Maximum airstream velocity at end of throw. length depend on the v elocities and turbulence characteristics of
Throw. Horizontal or vertical axial distance an airstream travels ambient air. In a few diameters or widths, air velocity becomes less
after leaving an air outlet before maximum stream velocity is than 50 fpm.
reduced to a specif ied terminal velocity (e.g., 50, 100, 15 0, or Centerline Velocities in Zones 1 and 2. In zone 1, the ratio Vx /Vo
200 fpm), defined by ASHRAE Standard 70.
is constant and ranges between 1.0 and 1.2, equal to the ratio of the
Total air. Mixture of discharged and entrained air. center velocity of the jet at th e start of expansion to the average
Vena contracta. Smallest cross-sectional area of a fluid stream velocity. The ratio Vx /Vo varies from approximately 1.0 for rounded
leaving an orifice. entrance nozzles to about 1.2 for straight pipe dischar ges; it has
much higher values for diverging discharge outlets.
PRINCIPLES OF JET BEHAVIOR Experimental evidence indicates that, in zone 2,
Air Jet Fundamentals Vx K c Ho
Air supplied to rooms through various types of outlets can be dis- ------ = ------------- (2)
Vo X
tributed by turbulent air jets (mixed and partially mixed systems) or
in a low-velocity, unidirectional manner (stratified systems). The air where
jet discharged from an outlet is the primary factor affecting room air Vx = centerline velocity at distance X from outlet, fpm
motion. The jet boundary contours are not well defined, are billowy Vo = Vc /Cd Rf a = average initial velocity at discharge from open-
and easily affected by external influences. Baturin (1972), Chris- ended duct or across contracted stream at vena contracta of
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tianson (1989), and Murakami (1992) have further information on orifice or multiple-opening outlet, fpm
the relationship between the air jet and occupied zone. Vc = nominal velocity of discharge based on core area, fpm
If an air jet is not obstructed or affected by walls, ceiling, or other Cd = discharge coefficient (usually between 0.65 and 0.90)
Rfa = ratio of free area to gross (core) area
surfaces, it is considered a free jet. When outlet area is small com-
Ho = width of jet at outlet or at vena contracta, ft
pared to the dimensions of the space normal to the jet, the jet may be Kc = centerline velocity constant, depending on outlet type and
considered free as long as discharge pattern (see Table 1)
X (1/KcHo )1/2 = distance from outlet to measurement of centerline
X 1.5 A R (1) velocity Vx, ft
The aspect ratio (T uve 1953) and turbulence (Nottage et al.
where 1952a) primarily affect centerline velocities in zones 1 and 2. Aspect
X = distance from face of outlet, ft ratio has little effect on the terminal zone of the jet when Ho is greater
AR = cross-sectional area of confined space normal to jet, ft2 than 4 in. This is particularly true of nonisothermal jets. When Ho is
Characteristics of the air jet in a room might be influenced by very small, induced air can penetrate the core of the jet, thus reducing
reverse flows created by the same jet entraining ambient air. If the centerline velocities. The difference in performance between a radial
supply air temperature is equal to the ambient room air temperature, outlet with sm all Ho and an a xial outlet with lar ge Ho shows the
the air jet is called an isothermal jet. A jet with an initial tempera- importance of jet thickness.
ture different from the ambient air temperature is called a non- When air is discharged from relatively large perforated panels,
isothermal jet. The air temperature differential between supplied the constant-velocity core formed by coalescence of individual jets
and ambient room air generates thermal forces (buoyancy) in jets, extends a considerable distance from the panel face. In zone 1, when
affecting the jets (1) trajectory, (2) location at which it attaches to the ratio is less than 5, use the following equation for estimating
and separates from the ceiling/floor, and (3) throw. The significance centerline velocities (Koestel et al. 1949):
of these effects depends on the ratio between the thermal buoyancy
of the air and jet momentum. Vx = 1.2Vo C d R fa (3)
Jet Expansion Zones. The full length of an air jet, in terms of the
maximum or centerline velocity and temperature differential at the Centerline Velocity in Zone 3. In zone 3, maximum or center-
cross section, can be divided into four zones: line velocities of radial and axial isothermal jets can be determined
accurately from the following equations:
Zone 1 is a short core zone extending from t he outlet face, in
which the maximum velocity and temperature of t he airstream K c Vo A o Kc Qo
Vx = ------------------------ = --------------- (4)
remains practically unchanged. X X Ao
Zone 2 is a transition zone, with its length determined by the type
of outlet, aspect ratio of the outlet, initial airflow turbulence, etc. where
Zone 3 is of major engineering importance because, in most Kc = centerline velocity constant
cases, the jet enters the occupied area in this zone. Turbulent flow Ao = free area, core area, or neck area as shown in Table 1 (obtained
is fully established and may be 25 to 100 equ ivalent air outlet from outlet manufacturer), ft2
Ac = measured gross (core) area of outlet, ft2
diameters (i.e., widths of slot air diffusers) long. The an gle of
divergence is well defined. Typically, free air jets diverge at a con- For centerline velocities of linear jets, use Equation (2).
stant angle, usually ranging from 20 to 24, with an average of Because Ao equals the effective area of the stream, the flow area
22. Coalescing jets for closely spaced multiple outlets expand at for commercial registers and diffusers, according to ASHRAE Stan-
smaller angles, averaging 18, and jets discharging into relatively dard 70, can be used in Equation (4) with the appropriate value of
small spaces show even smaller angles of expansion (McElroy Kc.
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20.4 2013 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals


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Fig. 2 Airflow Patterns of Different Diffusers

Table 1 Recommended Values for Centerline Velocity Determining Centerline Velocities. To correlate data from all
Constant Kc for Commercial Supply Outlets for four zones, centerline velocity ratios are plotted against distance
Fully and Partially Mixed Systems, Except UFAD from the outlet in Figure 3.
Outlet Type Discharge Pattern Ao Kc Airflow patterns of diffusers are related to the centerline velocity
High sidewall grilles 0 deflectiona Free 5.7
constants and throw distance. In g eneral, diffusers with a circular
(Figure 2A) Wide deflection Free 4.2
airflow pattern (radial jet) have a shorter throw than those with a
High sidewall linear Core less than 4 in. highb Free 4.4
directional or cross-flow pattern (axial jet). During cooling, the cir-
(Figure 2B) Core more than 4 in. high Free 5.0 cular pattern tends to curl back from the end of the throw toward the
Low sidewall Up and on wall, no spread Free 4.5 diffuser, reducing the drop and en suring that the cool air remains
(Figure 2C) Wide spreadb Free 3.0 near the ceiling.
Baseboard Up and on wall, no spread Core 4.0 In cross-flow airflow patterns, the airflow does not roll back to
(Figure 2C) Wide spread Core 2.0 the diffuser at the end of the throw, but continues to move away from
Floor grille No spreadb Free 4.7 the diffuser at low velocities.
(Figure 2C) Wide spread Free 1.6 Throw. Equation (4) can be transposed to determine the throw X
Ceiling 360 horizontalc Neck 1.1 of an outlet if the discharge volume and the centerline velocity are
(Figure 2D) Four-way; little spread Neck 3.8 known:
Ceiling linear slot One-way; horizontal along ceilingb Free 5.5
(Figure 2E) Kc Qo
aFree area is about 80% of core area. c Cone free area is greater than duct X = ----------------- (5)
bFree area is about 50% of core area. area. Vx Ao
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Space Air Diffusion 20.5

Fig. 4 Cross-Sectional Velocity Profiles for


Straight-Flow Turbulent Jets

Vx = centerline velocity in same cross-sectional plane


V = actual velocity at point being considered
Fig. 3 Chart for Determining Centerline Velocities of
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Axial and Radial Jets Experiments show that the conical angle for r0.5V is approxi-
mately one-half the total angle of divergence of a jet. The velocity
The following example illustrates the use of Table 1 and Figure 3. profile curve for one-half of a straight-flow turbulent jet (the other
half being a symmetrical duplicate) is shown in Figure 4. For
Example 1. A 12 by 18 in. high sidewall grille with an 11.25 by 17.25 in. multiple-opening outlets, such as grilles or perforated panels, the
core area is selected. From Table 1, Kc = 5 for zone 3. If the airflow is velocity profiles are similar, but the angles of divergence are
600 cfm, what is the throw to 50, 100, and 150 fpm? smaller.
Solution: Entrainment Ratios. The following equations are for entrain-
From Equation (5), ment of circular jets and of je ts from long slots. F or third-zone
Kc Qo expansion of circular jets,
5 600 2920
X = ----------------- = ---------------------------------------------------------- = ------------
Vx Ao V x 11.25 17.25 144 Vx Qx 2X
------ = ----------------- (7)
Solving for 50 fpm throw, Qo Kc Ao
X = 2920/50 = 58.4 ft
By substituting from Equation (4),
But, according to Figure 3, 50 fpm is in zone 4, which is typically
20% less than calculated in Equation (4), or Qx Vo
------ = 2 ------ (8)
X = 58.4 0.80 = 47 ft Qo Vx
Solving for 100 fpm throw,
For a continuous slot w ith active sections up to 10 ft and sepa-
X = 2920/100 = 29 ft rated by 2 ft,
Solving for 150 fpm throw,
Qx 2 X
X = 2920/150 = 19 ft ------ = ------ ------ (9)
Qo Kc Ho
Velocity Profiles of Jets. In zone 3 of both axial and radial jets,
the velocity distribution may be expressed by a single curve (Figure or, substituting from Equation (2),
3) in terms of dimensionless coordinates; this same curve can be
used as a good approximation for adjacent portions of zones 2 and Qx Vo
4. Temperature and density differences have little effect on cross- ------ = 2 ------ (10)
Qo Vx
sectional velocity profiles.
Velocity distribution in zone 3 can be e xpressed by the Gauss
where
error function or probability curve, which is approximated by the
Qx = total volumetric flow rate at distance X from face of outlet, cfm
following equation:
Qo = discharge from outlet, cfm
2 X = distance from face of outlet, ft
r Vx Kc = centerline velocity constant
r----------- = 3.3 log ----- (6) Ao = core area or neck area free (see Table 1), ft2
0.5V V
The entrainment ratio Qx /Qo is important in determining total air
where movement at a given distance from an outlet. For a given outlet, the
r = radial distance of point under consideration from centerline of jet entrainment ratio is proportional to the distance X [Equation (7)] or
r0.5V = radial distance in same cross-sectional plane from axis to point to the square root of the distance X [Equation (9)] from the outlet.
where velocity is one-half centerline velocity (i.e., V = 0.5Vx) Equations (8) and (10) show that, for a fixed centerline velocity Vx,
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20.6 2013 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals

the entrainment ratio is proportional to outlet velocity. Equations (8) two factors: the cold draft caused by the separated jet in the occu-
and (10) also show that, at a given centerline and outlet velocity, a pied space, and areas of the room not reached by the separated jet.
circular jet has greater entrainment and total air movement than a The separation distance parameter xs is the distance from the dif-
long slot. Comparing Equations (7 ) and (9), the long slot should fuser at which a jet separates from the ceiling.
have a greater rate of entrainment. The entrainment ratio at a given Separation distance correlates with outlet jet conditions (Kirk-
distance is less with a large Kc than with a small Kc. patick and Elleson 1996). Separation distance depends on the veloc-
ity constant K, outlet temperature, flow rate, and st atic pressure
Isothermal Radial Flow Jets drop. For slot and round diffusers,
In a radial jet, as with an axial jet, the cross-sectional area at any
distance from the outlet varies as the square of this distance. Cen- xs = (11.91)CsK 1/2 (T/T )1/2 Qo 1/4 P 3/8 (13)
terline velocity gradients and cro ss-sectional velocity profiles are
similar to those of zone 3 of axial jets, and the angles of divergence where
are about the same. xs = jet separation distance, ft
Cs = separation coefficient, 1.2
Nonisothermal Jets Kc = centerline velocity constant
T = room-jet temperature difference, F
When the temperature of introduced air is different from the
T = average absolute room temperature, R
room air temperature, the diffuser air jet is affected by thermal Qo = outlet flow rate, cfm
buoyancy caused by air density difference. The trajectory of a non- P = diffuser static pressure drop, in. of water
isothermal jet introduced horizontally is determined by the Archi-
medes number (Baturin 1972): Attached jets travel at a higher velocity and entrain less air than
a free jet. Values of centerline velocity constant K are approximately
gL o T o T A those for a free jet multiplied by 2 ; that is, the normal maximum
Ar = --------------------------------
2
(11) of 6.2 for K for free jets becomes 8.8 for a similar jet discharged par-
Vo TA allel to an adjacent surface.
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When a jet is discharged parallel to but at some distance from


where a solid surface (wall, ceiling, or floor), its expansion in the direc-
g = gravitational acceleration rate, ft/min2 tion of the surface is reduced, and entrained air must be obtained
Lo = length scale of diffuser outlet equal to hydraulic diameter of by recirculation from the jet instead of from ambient air (McElroy
outlet, ft 1943; Nottage et al. 1952b; Zhang et al. 1990). The restriction to
(To TA) = initial temperature of jet temperature of ambient air, F entrainment caused by t he solid surface induces t he Coanda
Vo = initial air velocity of jet, fpm
effect, which makes the jet attach to a surface after it leaves the dif-
TA = room air temperature, R
fuser outlet. The jet then remains attached to the surface for some
The influence of buoyant forces on horizontally projected heated distance before separating again.
and chilled jets is significant in heating and cooling with wall out- In nonisothermal cases, the jets trajectory is determined by the
lets. Koestels (1955) equation describes the behavior of these jets. balance between thermal buoyancy and the Coanda effect, which
Helander and Jakowatz (1948), Helander et al. (1 953, 1954, depends on jet momentum and dist ance between the jet exit and
1957), Knaak (1957), and Yen et al. (1956) developed equations solid surface. The behavior of such nonisothermal surface jets has
for outlet characteristics that affect the downthrow of heated air. been studied by Kirkpatrick et al. (1991), Oakes (1987), Wilson
Koestel (1954, 1955) developed equations for temperatures and et al. (1970), and Zhang et al. (1990), each ad dressing different
velocities in heated and chilled jets. Kirkpatrick and Elleson (1996) factors. More sy stematic study of these jets in room ventilation
and Li et al. (1993) provide additional information on nonisother- flows is needed to provide reliable guidelines for designing air dis-
mal jets. tribution systems.

Nonisothermal Horizontal Free Jet Multiple Jets


A horizontal free jet rises or f alls according to the temperature Twin parallel air jets act independently until they interfere. The
difference between it and the ambient environment. The horizontal point of interference and its dist ance from out lets vary with the
jet throw to a given distance follows an arc, rising for heated air and distance between outlets. From outlets to the point of interference,
falling for cooled air. The distance from the diffuser to a given ter- maximum velocity, as for a single jet, is on the centerline of each
minal velocity along the discharge jet remains essentially the same. jet. After interference, velocity on a line midway between and par-
allel to the two jet centerlines increases until it equals jet center-
Comparison of Free Jet to Attached Jet line velocity. From this point, maximum velocity of the combined
An attached jet induces air along the exposed side of the jet, jet stream is on the midway line, and the profile seems to emanate
whereas a free jet can induce air on all its surfaces. Because a free from a single outlet of twice the area of one of the two outlets.
jets induction rate is larger compared to that of an attached jet, a
free jets throw distance will be shorter. To calculate the throw dis- Airflow in Occupied Zone
tance X for a noncircular free jet from catalog data for an attached Mixing Systems. Laboratory experiments on jets usually involve
jet, the following estimate can be used. recirculated air with negligible resistance to flow on the return path.
Experiments in small- cross-sectional mine tunnels, where return
Xfree = Xattached 0.707 (12) flow meets considerable resistance, show that jet expansion termi-
nates abruptly at a distance that is independent of discharge velocity
Jets from ceiling diffusers initially tend to attach to the ceiling and is only slightly affected by outlet size. These distances are deter-
surface, because of the force exerted by the Coanda effect. However, mined primarily by the return paths size and length. In a long tunnel
air jets detach from the ceiling if the airstreams buoyancy forces are with a cross section of 5 by 6 ft, a jet may not travel more than 25 ft;
greater than the inertia of the moving air stream. in a tunnel with a relatively large section (25 by 60 ft), the jet may
With separation, a cold jet may enter the occupied space, and can travel more than 250 ft. McElroy (1943) provides data on this phase
result in thermal discomfort. The thermal discomfort is caused by of jet expansion.
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Space Air Diffusion 20.7

Fig. 6 Schematic Diagram of Major Flow Elements in


Room with Displacement Ventilation
cold downdraft may transport some air from the upper zone back
down to the stratified zone. Figure 6 shows these basic elements in
a simplified schematic of a TDV system. In the figure, q0 represents
Fig. 5 Thermal Plume from Point Source the supply airflow into the room from a low sidewall diffuser, q1 is
the upward-moving airflow in thermal plumes that form above heat
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Zhang et al. (1990) found that, for a given heat load and room air sources, and q2 is the downward-moving airflow resulting from cool
supply rate, air velocity in the occupied zone increases when outlet surfaces. In this simplified configuration, the stratification height
discharge velocity increases. Therefore, the design supply air veloc- occurs at a height SH, where the net upward-moving flow q1 q2
ity should be high enough to maintain the jet traveling in the desired equals q0. An important objective in designing and operating a TDV
direction, to ensure good mixing before it reaches the occupied system is to maintain stratification above the occupied zone.
zone. Excessively high outlet air velocity induces high air velocity
in the occupied zone and may result in thermal discomfort. SYMBOLS
Turbulence Production and Transport. Air turbulence in a Ac = measured gross (core) area of outlet, ft2
room is mainly produced at the diffuser jet region by interaction of Ao = core area or neck area, ft2
supply air with room air and with solid surfaces (walls or ceiling) in AR = cross-sectional area of confined space normal to jet, ft2
the vicinity. It is then transported to other parts of the room, in- Ar = Archimedes number [Equation (11)]
cluding the occupied zone (Zhang et al. 1992). Turbulence is also c = pollutant concentration
damped by viscous effect. Air in the occupied zone usually contains Cd = discharge coefficient (usually between 0.65 and 0.90)
very small amounts of turbulent kinetic energy compared to the jet cR = concentration of pollutant at return grille near ceiling level
region. Because turbulence may cause thermal discomfort (Fanger g = gravitational acceleration rate, ft/min2
et al. 1989), air distribution systems should be designed so that sta- H = height or width of slot (Table 2), or of room
Ho = width of jet at outlet or at vena contracta or width of slot, ft
tionary occupants are not subjected to the region where primary
Kc = centerline velocity constant
mixing between supply and room ai r occurs (except in specialized Lo = length scale of diffuser outlet equal to hydraulic diameter of
applications such as task ambient or spot-conditioning systems). outlet, ft
P = diffuser static pressure drop, in. of water
Thermal Plumes Qo = discharge from outlet, cfm
As a thermal plume rises because of natural convection above a Qx = total volumetric flow rate at distance X from face of outlet, cfm
heat source, it entrains surrounding air and therefore incr eases in r = radial distance of point under consideration from centerline of jet
size and volume, and decreases in velocity (Figure 5). The maxi- r0.5V = radial distance in same cross-sectional plane from axis to point
mum height to which a plume rises depends primarily on the heat where velocity is one-half centerline velocity (i.e., V = 0.5Vx)
Rfa = ratio of free area to gross (core) area
sources strength, and secondar ily on stratif ication in the room
SH = stratification height
(which decreases the rising plumes buoyancy). The stratified zone T = average absolute room temperature, R
has little or no recirculation. In this region, cool supply air gradually T = room/jet temperature difference, F
flows across the room in a thin layer, typically 4 to 6 in. thick. It is TA = temperature of ambient air, F
drawn horizontally toward the heat sources, where it joins rising air TE = temperature at ceiling, F
in the plumes and is entrained upward. These plumes e xpand and TF = temperature near floor, F
rise until they encounter equally warm air in the upper regions of the TH = temperature at given height, F
space. The upper zone above the stratification height is cha rac- TO = initial temperature of jet, F
terized by low-velocity recirculation, which produces a fairly well- TS = supply temperature, F
mixed layer o f warm air with greater contaminant concentration V = actual velocity at point being considered
than that in the lower levels of the space. Vc = nominal velocity of discharge based on core area, fpm
Vo = initial air velocity of jet, fpm
Typically, warmer, more polluted air will not reenter the strati- VT = terminal velocity, fpm
fied zone. This principle is the basis for the improved ventilation Vx = centerline velocity, fpm
effectiveness and heat removal efficiency of TDV systems. In some X = distance from face of outlet to location of centerline velocity VX, ft
situations (e.g., morning start-up, winter), there are also sources of Xattached = throw distance of attached jet, ft
cooling in the space, such as cold perimeter windows. The resulting Xfree = throw distance of free jet, ft
This file is licensed to Rabee Taleb (rabee_t@hotmail.com). Publication Date: 6/1/2013

20.8 2013 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals

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