Dynamics of Rn transport from the cellar to the living area in an unheated house.


Environmental parameters such as temperature and wind, occupant activities, and house-specific parameters such as subsoil geology, leakiness of the substructure to soil gas, and air exchange rate are the main factors influencing Rn entry into a building and its subsequent indoor behavior. Experiments performed in an unheated, uninhabited house showed a reproducible diurnal fluctuation of the indoor concentration of Rn decay products. Strong, long-term correlations between temperature differences indoor-outdoor (indoor temperature minus outdoor temperature) and pressure differences outdoor-indoor (outdoor pressure minus indoor pressure) were found. At positive temperature differences inside-outside, an average airflow velocity of about 0.05 m s-1 between ground floor and first floor was detected. This air movement was able to vertically transport Rn at a rate of approximately 11 kBq h-1 in a volume of air of about 5.5 m3 through a cross-sectional area of only 0.03 m2. For this specific house, stack effects were identified as the main driving force for Rn migration from the cellular to higher floors. The diurnal fluctuation of Rn progeny concentrations in the living area can be explained by temporal variations in the amount of Rn-rich air transported vertically from the cellar into the building as a consequence of stack effects.

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@article{Furrer1991DynamicsOR, title={Dynamics of Rn transport from the cellar to the living area in an unheated house.}, author={D . U . Furrer and Regina Crameri and Werner Burkart}, journal={Health physics}, year={1991}, volume={60 3}, pages={393-8} }