Turbulent dispersion via fan-generated flows

Siobhan K. Halloran, Anthony S. Wexler, William D. Ristenpart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Turbulent dispersion of passive scalar quantities has been extensively studied in wind tunnel settings, where the flow is carefully conditioned using flow straighteners and grids. Much less is known about turbulent dispersion in the "unconditioned" flows generated by fans that are ubiquitous in indoor environments, despite the importance of these flows to pathogen and contaminant transport. Here, we demonstrate that a point source of scalars released into an airflow generated by an axial fan yields a plume whose width is invariant with respect to the fan speed. The results point toward a useful simplification in modeling of disease and pollution spread via fan-generated flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055114
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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