Paper Conference

Proceedings of Building Simulation 2017: 15th Conference of IBPSA


Integrated Occupant Motion Sensing with Real-Time CFD Simulation as a Design Assessment Tool

Aman Singhvi1, Nada Tarkhan1-
1Graduate School of Design, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract: The research presented is an investigative work on real-time interactive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation where a section of a wind tunnel is computationally simulated using Lattice Boltzmann equations for fluid flows. This research introduces a different approach to dynamic fluid simulation in design, which uses physical parameters from the built environment and creates a user-interactive output interface. The intention of the tool is to a) make early stage airflow analysis in the design process more intuitive to all the stakeholders involved as well as b) invoke future conversations for simulation engines to input live data from physical sensors. The LBM code is built in Microsoft Visual Studio and is connected to Microsoft Kinect V2 to detect the occupant’s movement and mirror the resulting disturbance in air inside the simulation. A flow field with initial conditions is generated with parameters such as dynamic viscosity, initial velocity, fluid density and boundary conditions. A Module of Kinect sensor and HD projectors is organized in the space to create a sensing and projection network. Three experiments were setup on a 1:1 scale in spaces with increasing area, height, number of people equipment capacity. The disturbances in airflow caused by people’s motion were captured and projected live on a fabric screen for visual assessment. The experiments validated the ability of the method to simulate transient airflow with live occupant states and highly customizable boundary conditions along with furniture input. The built system was observed to output seamlessly at 30fps with occupants interacting with the flow field in the physical world. The system also displayed high quality visuals for an engaging interactive experience. Keywords Real-time CFD, Lattice Boltzmann, Occupant Motion, Spatial Interaction, Wind Tunnel, Early Stage Design, Educational Tool.
Pages: 2307 - 2314