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Diffuser

(thermodynamics)

A diffuser is "a device for reducing the


velocity and increasing the static pressure
of a fluid passing through a system”.[1]
Diffusers are used to slow the fluid's
velocity while increasing its static
pressure. The fluid's static pressure rise as
it passes though a duct is commonly
referred to as pressure recovery. In
contrast, a nozzle is often intended to
increase the discharge velocity and lower
pressure while directing the flow in one
particular direction.

Frictional effects during analysis can


sometimes be important, but usually they
are neglected. Ducts containing fluids
flowing at low velocity can usually be
analyzed using Bernoulli's principle.
Analyzing ducts flowing at higher
velocities with Mach numbers in excess of
0.3 usually require compressible flow
relations.[2]
A typical, subsonic diffuser is a duct that
increases in size in the direction of flow.
As the duct increases in size, fluid velocity
decreases, and static pressure rises. Both
mass flow rate and Bernoulli's principle are
responsible for these changes in pressure,
and velocity.

Supersonic Diffusers
A supersonic diffuser is a duct that
decreases in size in the direction of flow.
As the duct decreases in size, fluid
temperature, pressure, and density
increase, while velocity decreases.
Compressible flow is responsible for these
changes in pressure, velocity, density, and
temperature. Shock waves may also play
an important role in a supersonic diffuser.

Applications

A round diffuser in an HVAC system

Diffusers are very common in heating,


ventilating, and air-conditioning systems.[3]
Diffusers are used on both all-air and air-
water HVAC systems, as part of room air
distribution subsystems, and serve several
purposes:

To deliver both conditioning and


ventilating air
Evenly distribute the flow of air, in the
desired directions
To enhance mixing of room air into the
primary air being discharged
Often to cause the air jet(s) to attach to
a ceiling or other surface, taking
advantage of the Coandă effect
To create low-velocity air movement in
the occupied portion of room
Accomplish the above while producing
the minimum amount of noise

When possible, dampers, extractors, and


other flow control devices should not be
placed near diffusers' inlets (necks), either
not being used at all or being placed far
upstream. They have been shown to
dramatically increase noise production.
For as-cataloged diffuser performance, a
straight section of duct needs serve a
diffuser. An elbow, or kinked flex duct, just
before a diffuser often leads to poor air
distribution and increased noise.

Diffusers can be as a shape of round,


rectangular, or can be as linear slot
diffusers (LSDs), e.g.: Linear slot diffusers
takes the form of one or several long,
narrow slots, mostly semi-concealed in a
fixed or suspended ceiling.

Occasionally, diffusers are mostly used in


reverse fashion, as air inlets or returns.
This is especially true for Linear slot
diffuser and 'perf' diffusers. But more
commonly, grilles are used as return or
exhaust air inlets.

See also
Bernoulli's principle
Compressible flow
Duct (flow)
Mass flow rate
Air conditioning
ASHRAE
SMACNA
ACCA
Nozzle

References
1. "diffuser" . Merriam–Webster
Dictionary. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
2. "Mach Number" . NASA. National
Aeronautics and Space
Administration. Retrieved 5 August
2016.
3. Designer's Guide to Ceiling-Based Air
Diffusion, ASHRAE, Inc., Atlanta, GA,
USA, 2002

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Last edited 5 days ago by an anony…

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