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Experimental study on the measurement of Building Infiltration and Air Leakage rates (at 4 and 50 Pa) by means of Tracer Gas methods, Blower Door and the novel Pulse technique in a Detached UK Home

Alan Vega Pasos, Xiaofeng Zheng, Vasileios Sougkakis, Mark Gillott, Johann Meulemans, Olivier Samin, Florent Alzetto, Luke Smith, Stephen Jackson, Christopher J Wood, 2018
air infiltration | air leakage | tracer gas | PULSE | blower door
Bibliographic info: 39th AIVC Conference "Smart Ventilation for Buildings", Antibes Juan-Les-Pins, France, 18-19 September 2018
Languages: English Pages (count): 10

Air infiltration contributes to a heat loss typically representing up to one third of the heating demand of a building. The building airtightness, also quantified as air leakage, is the fundamental building property that impacts infiltration. The steady (de)pressurization method (blower door) is the widely accepted standard process for measuring building air leakage. However, this method requires the enclosure to be pressurised to a typical range of 10-60 Pa, which is not physically representative of the pressures experienced by buildings under natural conditions. The Pulse technique is a novel alternative method, which measures air leakage at low pressures; quoting it at a reference pressure of 4 Pa. An experiment was designed to test the leakage characteristics of a detached house in the UK and compare them with the infiltration rate; which were measured by tracer gas techniques, utilising the decay method.  The blower door and Pulse tests were both performed multiple times during a six week period to cover a range of different environmental conditions.  Initial results have shown that there might be correlation between the infiltration rate and air leakage at 4 Pa and 50 Pa. It was concluded that Pulse technique’s results induce less uncertainty when predicting air infiltration. Further experimental testing is required to be carried out in a range of properties to investigate how this conclusion stands and how the results given by existing infiltration models compare with the experimentally obtained infiltration rate. 

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