Volume 16 Part 1 Article 37: Calculating Airflow in Multi-tiered Growing Systems

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 37
Year 2004
Title: Calculating Airflow in Multi-tiered Growing Systems
Author: J. Grant


Computational fluid dynamics was used to model airflow patterns in multi-tiered growing systems in Irish mushroom tunnels. Improving air distribution systems by empirical methods alone would be timeconsuming and each case would have to be regarded as a new problem. The aim of this work was to shorten the development time for a flow solution by testing proposals in a model. The first stage was the construction of a computer model with dimensions derived from a small-scale tunnel at Kinsealy Research Centre with two rows of shelving and three levels. The complex airflow in this model was tested for numerical accuracy by refinement of the computational grid. The effect of the selection of a discretization scheme for the convective terms in the flow equations was examined and it was found that second-order accurate methods with local grid refinement provided a relatively more accurate solution at low grid densities. The flows calculated with the model resulting from the accuracy studies were compared with measured data from the experimental unit. Quantitative agreement was good and the flow pattern matched that shown by testing with smoke as a visualization aid.

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