Talib Dbouk and Dimitris Drikakis
University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus
The impact of air ventilation systems on airborne virus transmission, and aerosols in general, in confined spaces, is not yet understood.
The recent pandemic has made it crucial to understand the limitations of ventilation systems regarding virus transmission.
Let us consider an elevator as a prototypical example of a confined space and show how ventilation designs alone, regardless of cooling or heating, contribute to the airborne virus transmission.
In this study, we investigated air circulation effects inside an elevator by employing advanced multiphase computational fluid dynamics. We were interested in the performance of an air purifier installed in an elevator for reducing airborne virus transmission.
For the above reasons, we have investigated three different flow scenarios regarding the position and operation of inlets and outlets inside the elevator, and a fourth scenario that includes the operation of the air purifier.
Interestingly, we found that the position of the inlets and outlets significantly influences the flow circulation and droplet dispersion. More importantly, we found that an air purifier installed inside an elevator does not eliminate airborne virus transmission.