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Volume 15, No. 1, February 2015, Pages 1-10 PDF(1.1 MB)  
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2014.10.0246   

A Concept of a Novel Solar-Assisted Large-Scale Cleaning System (SALSCS) for Urban Air Remediation

Qingfeng Cao1, David Y.H. Pui1,2, Wojciech Lipiński3

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 111 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
2 Faculty of Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
3 Research School of Engineering, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia


  • A novel solar thermal system is proposed for urban air remediation.
  • The solar-driven air is passed through a filter bank to remove the particulate matter (PM).
  • The heat and fluid flow characteristics are evaluated numerically.
  • The potential for solar-driven air cleaning is demonstrated.
  • The process proposed is scalable by multiplying the air clean units.



A solar-assisted large-scale cleaning system (SALSCS) is proposed for air pollution abatement. The system consists of a large-scale flat-plate solar collector, a chimney, and a filter bank. In the basic configuration, an air flow is driven exclusively by buoyancy generated in the collector–chimney system, and PM2.5 and larger particulate matter is separated from the air in the filter bank. The proof of concept is obtained by means of a transient 3D numerical simulation of fluid and heat flow for a full-scale system, implemented in ANSYS Fluent and performed using high-performance computing techniques. The effects of the filter bank on the system performance including heat transfer and fluid flow characteristics are evaluated by studying two system configurations, without and with a filter bank, respectively. The proposed SALSCS system is predicted to be capable of processing atmospheric air at a flow rate of 2.64 × 105 m3/s, corresponding to the volume of 22.4 km3 of polluted air remediated in 24 hours.



Keywords: SALSCS; Air remediation; PM2.5 pollution; Solar; Numerical simulation.



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