Vehicle Cabin Air Quality with Fractional Air Recirculation
A fractional recirculation of cabin air was proposed and studied to improve cabin air quality by reducing cabin particle concentrations. Vehicle tests were run with differing number of passengers (1, 2, 3, and 4), four fan speed settings and at 20, 40, and 70 mph. A manual control was installed for the recirculation flap door so different ratios of fresh air to recirculated air could be used. Full recirculation is the most efficient setting in terms of thermal management and particle concentration reduction, but this causes elevated CO₂ levels in the cabin. The study demonstrated cabin CO₂ concentrations could be controlled below a target level of 2000 ppm at various driving conditions and fan speeds with more than 85% of recirculation. The proposed fractional air recirculation method is a simple yet innovative way of improving cabin air quality. Some energy saving is also expected, especially with the air conditioning system.