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Carbon Monoxide Generation, Dispersion and Exposure from Indoor Operation of Gasoline-powered Electric Generators under Actual Weather Conditions

Published

Author(s)

Wang Liangzhu, Steven Emmerich, Andrew K. Persily, Cheng-Chun Lin

Abstract

Gasoline-powered electric generators are widely used during power outages, for example during the U.S. hurricane season. Based on currently available data, about ninety-seven percent of generator-related carbon monoxide (CO) fatalities were associated with operating currently marketed, carbureted spark-ignited gasoline-powered generators in enclosed spaces (Hnatov 2008). To investigate the indoor CO exposure associated with running a generator indoors, the generation of CO from a generator was measured in an enclosed shed. Correlations of CO generation and O2 consumption rates were developed as functions of O2 level and actual generator load output. An indoor air quality and ventilation analysis software tool was then used to model the generator in the shed, and the predicted air change and CO levels were compared with measured values. This study then employed the simulation model to calculate CO generation and dispersion, and occupant exposures to CO, with a generator running in the garage of a house during weather conditions consistent with the days after Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005. For the simulation conditions, it was found that the resultant CO could reach dangerous levels in most rooms of the house in a short period of time.
Citation
Building and Environment
Volume
56

Keywords

carbon monoxide, gasoline-powered generator, in situ experiments, carbon monoxide exposure, multizone, simulation, indoor air quality, contaminant source

Citation

Liangzhu, W. , Emmerich, S. , Persily, A. and Lin, C. (2014), Carbon Monoxide Generation, Dispersion and Exposure from Indoor Operation of Gasoline-powered Electric Generators under Actual Weather Conditions, Building and Environment, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=904869 (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created December 10, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021