Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Identifying decaying contaminant source location in building HVAC system using the adjoint probability method


contaminant source identification, adjoint probability method, inverse modeling, HVAC system


Building heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system can be potential contaminant emission source. Released contaminants from the mechanical system are transported through the HVAC system and thus impact indoor air quality (IAQ). Effective control and improvement measures require accurate identification and prompt removal of contaminant sources from the HVAC system so as to eliminate the unfavourable influence on the IAQ. This paper studies the application of the adjoint probability method for identifying a dynamic (decaying) contaminant source in building HVAC system. A limited number of contaminant sensors are used to detect contaminant concentration variations at certain locations of the HVAC ductwork. Using the sensor inputs, the research is able to trace back and find the source location. A multi-zone airflow model, CONTAM, is employed to obtain a steady state airflow field for the studied building with detailed duct network, upon which the adjoint probability based inverse tracking method is applied. The study reveals that the adjoint probability method can effectively identify the decaying contaminant source location in building HVAC system with few properly located contaminant concentration sensors.


Tsinghua University Press