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The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect on room ventilation of thermal buoyancy caused by temperature differences between surfaces and the supply air. Spatial distributions of local mean age were obtained in a half-scale environmental chamber under well-controlled temperature conditions simulating isothermal ventilation, cooling, and heating. Air was supplied and returned through slots in the ceiling. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6 ) tracer gas concentration was measured by an electron capture gas chromatograph. Tracer gas concentration was measured at various points in the chamber versus time after a pulse injection was applied in the supply air duct. The maximum local mean age (LMA) was obtained near the center of a large recirculation zone for isothermal conditions. The results for cooling conditions showed a relatively uniform LMA distribution in the space compared to the isothermal conditions, as the room air was well mixed by the cold downdraft from the supply. However, there was a large variation in local air change indices in the space for the heating condition because of stable thermal stratification. Warm supply air could not penetrate into the lower half of the space but short-circuited to the exhaust duct. The model results in the present study can be converted to full-scale situations using similitude and can be used for validating computational fluid dynamics codes.

Units: SI