Particle image velocimetry measurement of indoor airflow field: A review of the technologies and applications

Xiaodong Cao, Junjie Liu, Nan Jiang, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Quantifying the airflow field in building room or vehicle cabin is crucial for creating a thermal comfortable and healthy indoor environment. Airflow field measurement can provide quantitative information of indoor air distribution and local air velocity around occupants or passengers, which has strong relationship with the ventilation effectiveness, the pollutant transportation and the energy conservation in a building or a vehicle. Specifically, PIV has gradually became the most popular and promising technique for airflow field measurement in indoor environment during the last decade. This paper firstly gave an overview of the typical PIV technologies used in indoor environment and the state-of-the-art applications of PIV in measuring the indoor airflow fields. The overview shows that the quantitative and detailed turbulent flow information obtained by PIV is critical for analyzing turbulent properties and validating numerical simulations. Specifically, the authors focused on the pros and cons of PIV measurement and gave the typical parameters of PIV used in indoor airflow field measurements. Generally, the researchers should pay more attention to the selection of appropriate PIV system parameters according to their specific research needs. The accuracy of PIV measurement and the limitations of measurement systems using PIV were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Airflow
  • Indoor environment
  • Measuring technique
  • Particle image velocimetry (PIV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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