Comparative Evaluation of Four RANS Turbulence Models for Aerosol Dispersion from a Cough
The study of aerosol dispersion in indoor environments is essential to understanding and mitigating airborne virus transmission, such as SARS-CoV-2. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has emerged as a valuable tool for investigating aerosol dispersion, providing an alternative to costly experimental methods. In this study, we investigated the performance of four (4) Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence models in predicting aerosol dispersion from a human body coughing in a small, ventilated indoor environment. We compared the Standard, RNG, Realizable k-ϵ models and the SST k- ω model using the same boundary conditions. We initially observed that the horizontal distance of the coughed aerosols after 10.2s dispersion time was substantially shorter with the standard k-ϵ turbulence compared to the other three turbulence models compared to the SST k-ω model, the RNG, and realizable k-ϵ models exhibit a high degree of similarity in their dispersion patterns. Specifically, we observed that the aerosols dispersed horizontally faster with the RNG and Realizable k-ϵ models. In conclusion, when compared to qualitative data from the literature, our observations exclude the standard k-ϵ turbulence. However, to select the most appropriate turbulence model for capturing the cough flow and aerosol dispersion dynamics, further detailed validation against both quantitative and qualitative data is needed.
CitationOwolabi J, Khawaja HA, Aganovic A. Comparative Evaluation of Four RANS Turbulence Models for Aerosol Dispersion from a Cough. E3S Web of Conferences. 2023;396(01072)
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