making future happen
The area „traffic and environment“ of FVT deals with the topics tunnel ventilation and safety, fire protection, urban air quality und air pollution dispersion as well as environmental monitoring and measurement. Last includes an accredited laboratory for measurements of the particulate fractions PM10 and PM2.5 as well as of the pollutants NOX, NO2, NO and O3.
The objective of this research area is to investigate and manage the interrelated processes of emission and dispersion of airborne pollutants, with an emphasis on recording traffic emissions and their dispersion in urban areas. The intention is to investigate traffic emissions and air quality in order to develop the basis for a sustainable improvement in the quality of life.
An additional focus is placed on ventilation, fire safety and environmental issues concerning road and rail tunnels. Activities here entail undertaking theoretical investigations, system design, on-site testing of ventilation and safety systems, and performance of fire and system tests.
The intense usage of measurement systems has led to the development of considerable competence in the monitoring and measurement of airborne pollutants as well as in the determination of properties related to thermo- and aerodynamics.
Tunnel Safety and Ventilation
As early as the late 1960s, research in vehicle emissions and thermodynamics had resulted in the design of ventilation systems for road tunnels. In the meantime, the department has become a highly recognized institution when it comes to ventilation and safety issues relating to road and rail tunnels, metro lines, and complex subsurface parking facilities. Projects have been successfully completed in almost all continents of the world. The fact that staff members are involved in organisations such as PIARC, NFPA 502, etc., reflects the international scope of department activity.
The research activities in the field cover:
- Tunnel ventilation design
- Full scale fire tests
- On-site aero- and thermodynamic tunnel investigations
- Acceptance tests for fans and ventilation control systems
- Safety techniques for road and rail tunnels
- Complex CFD simulations
The Institute is host and organizer of the biennial international conference TUNNEL SAFETY AND VENTILATION – New Developments in Tunnel Safety, which continues to attract 250 to 300 participants. For more see: www.tunnel-graz.at
In the past few years, the focus of FVT-research area traffic and environment was on the extension of expertise in the field of fire protection. Since 2020 FVT is listet as certificated system designer for fire alarm systems and electro-acoustic emergency systems. The acquired know how could be deepened in several national and international projects.
Following services in the field of fire protection are available:
- Design of smoke and heat extraction systems
- Design of fire alarm systems
- Fire protection plan
- Cold- and hotsmoke tests
- Full scale fire tests
- On-site aero- and thermodynamic investigations
- Acceptance tests for ventilation systems and ventilation control systems
- Complex CFD simulations
- Evacuation Simulations
Urban Air Quality
The institute is one of the major research institutions for vehicle emissions under real world driving conditions. However, emissions are only one part of the story. The impact of these emissions is what really matters. Hence, knowledge of emissions was combined with knowledge of dispersion processes in the atmosphere (thermo- and aerodynamics). There is also a strong focus on urban regions, where road traffic is a major polluter.
The research work focuses primarily on the following areas:
- Emissions inventories and air quality assessments
- Mapping of air quality for urban agglomerations
- Environmental Assessment Studies (EAS)
- Dispersion modelling alongside roads, tunnel portals and in complex building developments (micro-scale) or complex terrain
- Effects of action plans in areas with air quality problems
- Development of dispersion models
The high-resolution model system GRAMM/GRAL, developed at the Institute, has become a benchmark for dispersion modelling in urban areas, both in scientific research, as well as in regulatory assessments. The model is especially suitable for low-wind speed conditions and complex terrain. An integrated micro-scale flow-field model takes the effect of buildings on pollutant dispersion into account. The GRAL model system is freeware: >> gral.tugraz.at
Air Quality monitoring
Accredited Environmental Engineering Test Laboratory In order to provide sophisticated air-quality monitoring, in 2006, the FVTmbH established an accredited measuring laboratory in accordance with EN ISO/IEC 17025. This can deal with the measurement of particulate matter, of fractions PM10 and PM2.5, as well as measurement of the air pollutants NOX, NO and O3.
In accordance with the major areas of research activity, measurement technology focuses, on the one hand, on the monitoring of airborne pollutants and related meteorological parameters, and on the other hand, on the parameters related to aero- and thermodynamics.
The available equipment consists of:
- Mobile air quality monitoring stations, including those for meteorology
- Special equipment related to particulate matter (e.g. to measure size and mass, distribution, etc)
- High-resolution measurement equipment for applications in aero- and thermodynamics
- Measurement equipment for fire tests
- Sonic measurement equipment, including frequency-band analysis