Numerical Assessment of the Influence of Heat Loads on the Performance of Temperature-Controlled Airflow in an Operating Room

Airborne bacteria-carrying particles (BCPs) in an operating room (OR) can cause post-operative infections in the patients. The ventilation system in the OR is crucial in removing or diluting airborne BCPs. This study numerically assessed a newly developed OR ventilation scheme – temperature-controlled airflow (TAF), with special focus on the influence of heat loads on the airflow and BCPs concentration. TAF supplies clean air at different temperature levels to different zones and establishes a high-momentum downward airflow pattern over the operating table.

How safe is it to neglect thermal radiation in indoor environment modeling with high ventilation rates?

Typical heat sources in indoor environments include humans, electrical devices, and computers. The number of such sources in operating room environments is even higher due to the presence of surgical staff members and medical equipment. The exchange of thermal energy between indoor surfaces and air is usually modelled by considering contributions from both radiation and convection. Complete heat transfer simulations in indoor environments are normally difficult since radiation models have a tendency to generate numerical instability and, hence, problems with convergent solutions.