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A1 Flue Systems makes strides towards pollution modelling with new hire

A ground-breaking system that models the way that air pollution disperses from chimney systems is a step closer to being launched by A1 Flue Systems following the appointment of a specialist chemical engineer who will oversee its testing. 

Stuart McCready.

Nottingham-based A1 Flue Systems has appointed Stuart McCready, who will be instrumental in completing the final stages of development of the company’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) dispersion modelling system.

The system will accurately predict how exhaust gases from a building’s boiler system disperse into the atmosphere, thus enabling architects and construction companies to accurately assess whether new office blocks, hotels, apartments and skyscrapers will meet air quality targets – even before they are built.

A1 Flue Systems began developing the new system – which is based on OpenFOAM CFD, also used in Formula 1 racing – in 2015, and Mr McCready has joined the company via the University of Nottingham to complete trials ahead of it being rolled out to the construction industry.

Director TJ Duncan-Moir said that legislation and regulation around air quality – especially in densely populated areas such as city centres – is only going to tighten, and CFD dispersion modelling is set to become a critical part of the design and construction of buildings, particularly tall ones.

“We have a well-earned reputation for the quality of our design, engineering and manufacturing of flue and chimney systems – which is why we have a portfolio of projects that includes The Shard and currently Battersea Power Station – and we recognised the opportunity of adding CFD dispersion modelling to the services we can offer to construction companies and architects,” said Ms Duncan-Moir.

“As part of the strategic growth of our company, we will become the first UK commercial flue and chimney company to develop the in-house capability to conduct atmospheric dispersion studies that predict the dispersion of combustion exhausts from commercial chimneys and identify instances exceeding the UK National Air Quality Objectives (NAQOs) over urban areas designated as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). This will help companies that design buildings to find the most effective ways to safely disperse omission gases from central heating and power (CHP) systems.”

Speaking about his appointment, Mr McCready said that he is impressed at the rate of development since A1 Flue Systems started the project from scratch in 2015, and is excited at the prospect of helping the company to develop a modelling service that dovetails with its design, manufacturing and installation expertise.

“I’ve joined A1 Flues at a very exciting time, as a lot of progress has already been made in the development of its OpenFOAM CFD, and I’m looking forward to working on the final phase of work to trial the system and then take it to market,” he said.

The system takes into consideration the design of the building, where its flues terminate, and the proximity of other buildings, in order to predict dispersion patterns in six atmospheric conditions, which range from a calm sunny day to extreme weather conditions such as the ‘Beast from the East’ that gripped the UK earlier this year.

A1 Flue Systems director John Hamnett added: “Modelling the way that gas emissions disperse from commercial chimneys is still in its infancy in our industry, so this will give us a big advantage in securing contracts on a range of construction projects.”

If testing goes to plan, A1 Flue Systems predicts that the new modelling service could be ready as soon as December 2018.

13 October 2018

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