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IIT-Bombay Researcher Develops Computer Simulator to Prevent Covid Spread in Enclosed Spaces

In a bid to strengthen the fight against Covid-19, the researchers of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) have developed a computer simulator that will help in the prevention of virus spread inside enclosed premises. The simulator that is being hailed as an “innovative solution” has been built after carrying out a study to assess the airflow inside enclosed premises.

According to a MidDay report, researchers developed the computer simulator after they studied the data and took the information of airflow around aircraft and engines to get the desired airflow within indoor spaces. They also studied the functioning of the ventilation process of a shared washroom in which water acts as a major source of aerosol carrying virus like Covid-19.

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Professor Krishnendu Sinha from the Aerospace Engineering Department of IIT-B explained that the motivation behind developing a computer simulator. According to him, in an ideal condition, the air of a room should be replaced with fresh air continuously for proper ventilation. However, air gets trapped in several areas of a room such as behind the door, in corners, around furniture and other obstacles. He called these areas as “dead zones,” where the air gets trapped and moves in a circular motion. “The computer simulation helps to identify such areas (dead zones) in a room,” Prof Sinha told MidDay.

Explaining the working of the computer simulator, Prof Sinha said, “The model or design of the room is fed to the computer simulator. The software then studies the room and its existing ventilation system by measuring the dimensions and the placements of fans, exhaust fans, doors, windows among all.” He added that the device identifies the dead zones and later makes recommendations for ventilation.

The IIT-B team which developed a computer simulator has titled their study ‘Effects of Recirculation Zones on the Ventilation of a Public Washroom’. It has been reportedly featured in the journal- Physics of Fluids journal, published by the American Institute of Physics.

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