Turbulent airflow past a rectangular cylinder building

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, AFMC 2014, 2014
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The successful use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in structural wind engineering applications would significantly reduce the time and resources required compared to scale model testing in a physical wind tunnel. The current industry standard for calculating allowable façade loads on medium and high rise structures involves building and hot tapping a detailed scale model and testing in a physical wind tunnel; this is a time and labour intensive process which could greatly benefit from the successful application of CFD. This paper uses a case study of a rectangular cylinder building to compare the mean pressure coefficient results simulated using CFD k-ω Shear Stress Turbulence (SST) model with wind tunnel measurements. It analyses findings at 0°, 30°, 60° and 90°, in turbulent conditions, at 143 separate points for each angle. Previous research with this model for this application has focused on square cylinders, minimal points of measurement and common angles of incidence. The wind tunnel used was a commercial blockage-tolerant boundary layer wind tunnel and the CFD simulation was run using Ansys CFX 14.0. The wind tunnel results showed mean values falling within a pressure coefficient range of ±1, except for those points located adjacent to the leading edge on the roof. The CFD results showed a good agreement with the mean values obtained in the wind tunnel test for central windward points and locations that were not immediately adjacent to an edge. However a significant over prediction of the pressure coefficient up to 250% was found in areas of separation. The k-ω SST model claims to perform better in areas of adverse pressure gradient and, consequently, areas of separation than the standard k-ω model, k-ε model or their variants. This paper demonstrates that whilst such claims may be correct, the k-ω SST model is still not at an acceptable standard for commercial wind engineering applications.
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