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Article

Pedestrian-Level Urban Wind Flow Enhancement with Wind Catchers

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2
Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore 138602, Singapore
3
Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090159
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Urban Ventilation Assessment and Flow Modelling)
Dense urban areas restrict air movement, causing airflow in urban street canyons to be much lower than the flow above buildings. Boosting near-ground wind speed can enhance thermal comfort in warm climates by increasing skin convective heat transfer. We explored the potential of a wind catcher to direct atmospheric wind into urban street canyons. We arranged scaled-down models of buildings with a wind catcher prototype in a water channel to simulate flow across two-dimensional urban street canyons. Velocity profiles were measured with Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters. Experiments showed that a wind catcher enhances pedestrian-level wind speed in the target canyon by 2.5 times. The flow enhancement is local to the target canyon with little effect in other canyons. With reversed flow direction, a “reversed wind catcher” has no effect in the target canyon but reduces the flow in the immediate downstream canyon. The reversed wind catcher exhibits a similar blockage effect of a tall building amid an array of lower buildings. Next, we validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of all cases with experiments and extended the study to reveal impacts on three-dimensional ensembles of buildings. A wind catcher with closed sidewalls enhances maximum pedestrian-level wind speed in three-dimensional canyons by four times. Our results encourage better designs of wind catchers to increase wind speed in targeted areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban street canyon; wind enhancement; architectural intervention; water channel experiment; CFD simulation; passive ventilation urban street canyon; wind enhancement; architectural intervention; water channel experiment; CFD simulation; passive ventilation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chew, L.W.; Nazarian, N.; Norford, L. Pedestrian-Level Urban Wind Flow Enhancement with Wind Catchers. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 159. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090159

AMA Style

Chew LW, Nazarian N, Norford L. Pedestrian-Level Urban Wind Flow Enhancement with Wind Catchers. Atmosphere. 2017; 8(9):159. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090159

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chew, Lup Wai, Negin Nazarian, and Leslie Norford. 2017. "Pedestrian-Level Urban Wind Flow Enhancement with Wind Catchers" Atmosphere 8, no. 9: 159. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090159

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