Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

CFD Consulting - Laboratories, Fume Hoods and Bio-Safety Cabinets

Labs and Fume Hoods

Laboratories are one of the most energy intensive spaces of any buildings. Since safety is of primary importance, engineers historically have overdesigned the mechanical systems servicing labs with the mistaken perception that "more air is better" or worse yet, "dilution is the solution". Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) provides a systematic methodology to accurately assess both the ventilation performance of laboratories and the containment/energy efficiency of fume hoods that may reside in those labs.  M/E Engineering has used CFD to evaluate many laboratories ranging from the academic arena to large corporate clients. We have also benchmarked many of the CFD analyses against the ASHRAE Standard 110 test, smoke visualization, and anemometer measurements. The results from the studies are generally used as feedback to the lab designers to dramatically improve safety while simultaneously lowering the operating energy costs. It is not unusual to realize a 30% decrease in energy while achieving a robust 100% containment in the lab's fume hoods.

What we do:

  • CFD evaluation of the containment ability of fume hoods.
  • Studies that simulate the ASHRAE standard 110 test for fume hood performance.
  • Assessment of chemical contamination in labs.
  • Determination of purge time after a chemical spill.
  • Determination of the ventilation effectiveness using a virtual, hybrid ASHRAE standard 129.
  • Optimization studies of lab safety and energy efficiency.

Spaces Modeled:

  • Academic laboratories
  • Crime labs
  • Pharmaceutical R&D
  • Chemical and petrochemical manufacturing
  • Industrial R&D labs
  • Nuclear labs

 

Laboratories, Fume Hoods and Bio-Safety Cabinets Examples:

(click on images to enlarge)

Streamline flow patterns around a worker by a fume hood
Streamline flow patterns around a worker by a fume hood
Animated walk-by in front of an open fume hood
Animated walk-by in front of an open fume hood