Measure Fume Hood Airflow

June 1, 2021 | Posted By: Jan Fischer

Regular testing and inspection assure fume hoods, or fume cupboards, perform as required to protect laboratory personnel. Performance testing of fume hoods should be done at least annually, and airflow testing and face velocity testing are pivotal in evaluating fume hood containment and operation. (From OSHA’s chemical fume hood fact sheet:  Laboratory standard 29 CFR 1910.1450 requires that fume hoods be maintained and function properly when used.)

Certifiers test a large number of fume cupboards on a regular basis, and OEMs routinely conduct performance testing for the fume hoods they produce. Many have replaced the single-point airflow measurement approach with multipoint measurement to improve efficiencies. For inflow face velocity profiling and fume hood performance testing:

Measure fume hood airflow with multi sensor instrument.
This °C SPAR sensor pole array is used to measure airflow within the fume hood at multiple points simultaneously.

These multipoint instrumentation systems from Degree Controls are more efficient than systems which measure a single test point at a time. One of our certifier clients typically measures face velocity at 9, 12 or 15 test points in the plane of the sash, depending upon the size of the fume cupboard. Before switching over to °C SPAR multipoint airflow measurement systems, they tested each point individually using a standard anemometer and recorded results manually. Clearly, this type of single point, manual measurement is time-consuming.

°C SPAR multipoint airflow instrumentation systems bring concurrent measurement and automation to repetitive tasks for a positive ROI (return on investment) and reductions in total test times. °C SPAR is capable of measuring velocity with ± 3% accuracy, in accordance with the ANSI/ ASHRAE 110 and NSF 49 standards for laboratory fume hood and biosafety cabinet testing. 

Contact Degree Controls for a °C SPAR linear array for improved efficiency and uniformity of your laboratory fume hood testing. We appreciate your consideration and hope that you are enjoying some beautiful spring weather.

DegreeC offers sensor grid arrays as well, see our °C Grid systems.

About the Author

Jan Fischer

Having joined DegreeC in 2009, Jan has over a decade of experience consulting professionals in a wide range of industries on methods for using airflow sensors and instrumentation to collect data for testing and analysis.