“We have developed a method to ventilate big workspaces, where many people are,” says Alan Kabanshi, researcher at the University of Gävle.
Alan Kabanshi explains that a big part of all the energy that we use is used for buildings. And the largest component here is climate control.
EU demands that energy use for all buildings must be reduced, and to meet these demands we are making buildings more airtight. But when you use ordinary methods for ventilation, problems arise when buildings are too airtight.
“At the end of the day, you start to feel dizzy and tired in such a building. Colds and allergies increase,so both health and productivity are affected by the quality of the air. Besides, energy costs for ventilation here are very high,” Alan Kabanshi says.
These are common symptoms in open-plan offices, cafés and classrooms, places where there are many people.
The researchers in Gävle have developed a completely new way to ventilate. Air jets that come and go at intervals via small mouthpieces that provide high pressure air, aimed above the heads of the seated people.
“You get a nice feeling of a cool breeze, and you feel like you are outdoors, that nice breeze blowing your way. You get this feeling because the air comes at intervals. You don’t get this kind of experience if the airflow is even.”
“Our studies show that work performance is improved and you experience the air in the room as being much fresher.”
This method decreases ventilation costs, which is a major cost; ventilation costs could be up to 60%. This is a result of the fact that the cost for cooling the building decreases, as the air jets make people feel cooler.
“This is completely new research, a system that ventilates with interruptions/intervals. The effect is especially good in large workplaces where there are many people. As the air comes directly to the place where you breathe, all this energy can be saved.”
Alan says that more research is needed before the implementation and commercialisation of the system.
He is very interested in the great potential of the research at the University of Gävle, a university that is growing all the time and he has accepted a postdoc position at the University.
Alan Kabanshi defended his doctoral thesis, “Experimental study of an intermittent ventilation system in high occupancy spaces,” Thursday 18 May at 10.00 a.m. in room 12:108 at the University of Gävle.
For more information, please contact:
Alan Kabanshi, doctoral student at the Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Gävle
Phone: 026-64 88 22
Text and photo: Douglas Öhrbom