Impact of a wall downstream of an air curtain nozzle on air curtain separation efficiency

Adelya Khayrullina (Corresponding author), Bert Blocken, Maria Odete Magalhães de Almeida, Twan van Hooff, Gert Jan van Heijst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Air curtains (ACs) employ plane turbulent jets to separate two environments in terms of heat and mass transfer, while still allowing unrestricted access through the opening between these environments. Most previous studies focused on ACs discharged from nozzles located just above the opening. However, in some cases ACs have to be installed close to the ceiling at a substantial distance from the top of the opening. The AC blown downwards along the vertical wall then first resembles a wall jet and after reaching the top of the opening starts resembling a free jet. The present study analyzes the behavior and performance of an AC with upstream wall above the opening. 2D steady RANS CFD simulations are performed based on grid-sensitivity analyses and validation with experimental data for a wall jet and a free jet. The total opening height is 4 m and vertical walls of 0.5 m, 1 m and 2 m, partly closing this opening, are considered. AC performance is evaluated both with the separation efficiency η (based on infiltration) and the adapted separation efficiency η* (based on infiltration and exfiltration). It is shown that the presence of the wall reduces jet decay. The longer the wall, the larger the jet momentum over the opening height. This reduces infiltration and increases η, but it increases exfiltration and therefore decreases η*. In practice, the jet discharge velocity (jet momentum) will have to be adjusted to keep high η*.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107873
Number of pages14
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the partnership with ANSYS CFD. Twan van Hooff was a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Belgium , during the execution of the research presented in this paper and acknowledges its financial support (project FWO 12R9718N ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Building physics
  • Computational fluids dynamics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Plane turbulent impinging jet
  • Separation efficiency


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