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EL Studies CO Resulting from Indoor Operation of Portable Generators
EL has completed an analysis of indoor carbon monoxide (CO) levels associated with the operation of portable generators in single-family homes. In recent years, concerns have increased regarding the hazard of acute residential CO exposures from portable gasoline powered generators that can result in death or serious and/or lasting adverse health effects in exposed individuals. As of April 2012, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) databases contain records of at least 755 deaths from CO poisoning associated with consumer use of generators in the period of 1999 through 2011. EL has developed a computer simulation to evaluate indoor CO exposures as a function of generator source location and CO emission rate, in support of CPSC analyses of potential CO emission limits. These simulations employed the NIST-developed multizone airflow and contaminant transport model CONTAM, which was applied to a collection of 87 dwellings that are representative of the U.S. housing stock. A total of almost one hundred thousand individual 24-hour simulations were conducted. The results of these analyses are presented in the form of maximum levels of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) that would be experienced by occupants in the occupied portions of the dwellings as a function of CO emission rate for different indoor source locations. The simulation results show that the generators located in occupied portions of homes (e.g. basements) result in much higher CO exposures than for generators located in garages, but that garage locations can still result in significant exposures. Lower CO emission rates are associated with lower exposures. Considering all the cases, this reference maximum CO emission rate was found to be 27 g/h for a generator operating continuously for 18 h. This work is presented in NIST Technical Note 1782, Residential Carbon Monoxide Exposure due to Indoor Generator Operation: Effects of Source Location and Emission Rate
Contacts: Andrew Persily, (301) 975-6418
EL Joins ROS-Industrial Consortium
Through efforts of the NIST Engineering Laboratory, NIST became a government member of the ROS-Industrial Consortium in May 2013. The Robot Operating System (ROS), established by Willow Garage, Inc., provides software libraries and other tools to help system developers create robot applications. The availability of a common, license-free software platform has accelerated development of new robot control algorithms and entire robot systems. Initially embraced by research organizations, thousands of ROS software modules are now available in a central repository. As the software base matures and grows, developers of commercial applications are also interested in using the wealth of available tools and algorithms. The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) recently formed the ROS-Industrial Consortium (RIC) to foster development of industrial and manufacturing applications of robots by leveraging the growing body of robot software and tools within ROS. The consortium seeks to accelerate transition of robotics research to real-world applications. The RIC currently has over a dozen members, including aerospace manufacturers, robot developers, controller developers, universities, and non-profit organizations. Membership in the ROS-Industrial Consortium allows NIST to attend consortium events, including training, and to provide input to the ROS-Industrial roadmap that is being developed. Consortia such as RIC are instrumental in advancing robot capabilities, particularly for manufacturing applications, through consensus definition and understanding of the requirements for advanced applications. The RIC members jointly agree on precompetitive research to accelerate achievement of the required capabilities.
Contact: Elena Messina, (301) 975-3510