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Field trialling of a new airtightness tester in a range of UK homes

Cooper, Edward; Zheng, Xiaofeng; Wood, Christopher J.; Gillott, Mark C.; Tetlow, David; Riffat, Saffa; De Simon, Lia

Authors

Edward Cooper ed.cooper@nottingham.ac.uk

Xiaofeng Zheng xiaofeng.zheng@nottingham.ac.uk

Christopher J. Wood christopher.wood@nottingham.ac.uk

Mark C. Gillott

David Tetlow david.tetlow@nottingham.ac.uk

Saffa Riffat saffa.riffat@nottingham.ac.uk

Lia De Simon ezxld@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

A low pressure ‘quasi-steady’ pulse technique for determining the airtightness of buildings has been developed and compared with the standard blower-door technique for field-testing a range of UK homes. The reported low pressure air pulse unit (APU) for determining the airtightness of buildings, through several development stages related to optimizing the algorithm, pressure reference and system construction, has been trialled under various testing and environmental conditions to assess its repeatability and accuracy. The houses, representative of the UK housing stock, mostly have high levels of air leakage; resulting in poor energy performance and imbalanced indoor environments. The results of the pulse techniques are also compared with the standard blower door technique. A comparison between the results obtained using the two techniques is presented, which indicates that the pulse technique is reliable for determining building leakage at low pressure. Repeatability of consecutive tests in identical conditions is found to be within ± 5% of the mean, and within ± 8% when tested under different environment conditions. It has also been shown that the correct tank/valve combination is necessary to achieve the required quasi-steady flow. Tests for accuracy using the addition of known openings have been conducted and shown that uncertainties are hard to eliminate for a clean comparison when testing conditions are not controlled.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 18, 2016
Journal International Journal of Ventilation
Print ISSN 1473-3315
Electronic ISSN 2044-4044
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14733315.2016.1252155
Keywords Airtightness, building leakage, blower-door, pulse test, steady pressurisation, transient
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14733315.2016.1252155
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
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