Evaluation of an improved air distribution system for aircraft cabin

Liping Pang, Jie Xu, Lei Fang, Mengmeng Gong, Hua Zhang, Yu Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    An improved air distribution system for aircraft cabin was proposed in this paper. Personalized outlets were introduced and placed at the bottom of the baggage hold. Its ratio of fresh air to recirculation air and the conditioned temperature of different types of inlets were also designed carefully to meet the goals of high air quality, thermal comfort and energy saving. Some experiments were conducted to evaluate and compare its performances with two other systems. First the Flow Visualization with Green Laser (FVGL) technology was used to analyze the air flow. The top-in-side bottom-out pattern may have the disadvantages of an indirect path to deliver fresh air to passengers, a low fresh air utilization ratio and the potential to widely spreading airborne infectious diseases. The bottom-in-top-out pattern can overcome these disadvantages very well, but it also faces the stratification of contaminated air above the head of the passengers. The improved pattern may overcome the above challenges quite well while also delivering good ventilation performance. The modified Personal Exposure Effectiveness (PEE) was measured to compare their performances with regard to inhaled air quality. The measured results suggest that personalized inlet should be designed to adjust its supply air angle according to the height of the passenger's face to provide a higher fresh air utilization effectiveness and better air quality for passengers in the improved pattern. Some simulations revealed that the improved pattern had the potential to save energy by decreasing the amount of fresh air without significantly affecting air quality and thermal comfort.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBuilding and Environment
    Pages (from-to)145-152
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Civil aircraft cabin
    • Air distribution system
    • Air quality
    • Flow visualization
    • Personal exposure effectiveness
    • Energy consumption


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