Impact of Radon Ventilation on Indoor Air Quality and Building Energy saving

University dissertation from Västerås : Mälardalen University

Abstract: Industrial living is caused much people do live and work in closed and confined places; offices and residential buildings. This is why in this new world more fresh air which is generally provided by forced ventilation plays a vital role in living of human being. Furthermore because of many different indoor pollutants, like radon and artificial pollutants, the amount of fresh air and in turn the energy consumption has increased. This energy consumption related to ventilation has reached up to about 30 percent of energy used of building section. So making interaction between indoor air quality (IAQ) and optimization of energy saving is a necessary work.  Radon as a natural pollutant is occurred in environment and in many countries threatens people health whereas is called the second causes of cancer. For reducing radon concentration in residential building at the acceptable level forced ventilation is used usually. Ventilation can improve IAQ but in the other side would increase the energy consumption in building sector and just now the contribution of ventilation exceeds up 50 percent of building sector's share. The aim of this thesis is to study the impact of ventilation on indoor radon by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to achieve indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Application of CFD as a new technology, because of its cost and time savings, and on the other side, of its flexibility and precision is  increasingly grown and can be used as a very important and valuable tool for the prediction and measurement of radon distribution in a ventilated building . Currently, measurement techniques and proposed standards and regulations of indoor pollutants and ventilation, particularly related to indoor radon cannot be able to provide a secure, safe and energy efficient indoor climate. This is why the indoor airflow distribution is very complex and with changing building geometry and operation condition, the treatment of air flow pattern, substantially would be changed, whereas the rules are usually independent of the buildings features. Furthermore, the indoor standards and regulations are based on average amount of pollutants in a room, whereas the pollutant distributions aren't identical and are varied throughout the room. Then the current techniques aren't so exactly valuable and acceptable.From different methods which is privilege to control pollutants, ventilation method is applicable in existing buildings. Designing effective ventilation can reduce radon concentration to very level low with regarding energy conservation remarks. This thesis presents results from simulation studies on ventilation and radon mitigation in residential buildings, in view points of indoor air quality and energy savings. The CFD technique is applied to predict, visualize and calculate of mixture radon-air flow. The distribution of indoor radon concentration, air velocity and room temperature also have considered together for achieving indoor air quality and energy saving. The results are also compared with the experimental data and related previous works. It was found that with increasing ventilation rate, the radon concentration is decreased, but the location of ventilation system is also important. From the simulation results, it is observed that within the ventilated room, there are some zones, which are good for living and somewhere is more polluted. The traditional radon detectors basically show the average value of radon content in 1m­3 of air. That is why detector measuring is not exact and safe. Simulation results proved that floor heat can be supported ventilation effect and speed up the mixture movement. Floor heating reinforces the buoyancy effect, which is useful to reduce radon content in the floor (seating area) and then lower ventilation rate can be applied.