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# Confined Space Volume and Air Movement Calculations

I'm having a brain fart and can't find some information I need.

I want to know how to calculate the volume of a confined space so as I can determine the required ventilation.

Anyone?

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### Replies to This Discussion

Diagrams make it easier too!!!!
If the space is roughly a cube, then it's simply width x length x height equals cubic feet/cubic meters.
The vent fan should be rated in cubic feet per minute or cubic meters per minute.

Let's say you have space with 400 cubic meters of volume and a 200 cfm fan. It will take approximately 2 minutes to get one atmosphere exchange, provided that the fan can ventilate all nooks and crannies in the space, and that your space isolation and lockout/tagout have prevented any additional source of toxins from entering the space. Based on the rule that we try for 7 air exchanges, it will take 14 minutes to completely ventilate the space.

If the space is a cylinder, it's pi x the radius squared x the height of the cylinder to determine the volume.
Their are online calculators that let you just plug in the numbers in either feet or meters.

Breath deep,
Ben
it's pi x the radius squared x the height of the cylinder

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought I'd never use that shit again in my life after leaving school!

Thanks Ben- you sure you're not running for Pres?
Nope, PM of Oz after my retirement, remember?

As a student, I hated algebra, geometry, and statistics with a passion.
Now it seems as if those topics dominate half of my life.
If the space is an odd shape, just calculate it as if it were a cube or cylinder measured from the widest part of each dimension. That will lead to ventilation overkill, but that's a good thing.
In New York State we use a nomograph, calculate cubic feet, factor in CFM of equipment minus friction loss from elbows etc. You can find them posted on the side of some ventilation systems or I'm sure on line. Riz
Here is an example, 1000 cubic feet of space with 800 cubic feet per minute of ventilation capacity would take approx. 10 minutes to exchange under ideal conditions.

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