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Street canyon ventilation and airborne pollution dispersion: 2-D versus 3-D CFD simulations

Mei, S.-J., Luo, Z., Zhao, F.-Y. and Wang, H.-Q. (2019) Street canyon ventilation and airborne pollution dispersion: 2-D versus 3-D CFD simulations. Sustainable Cities and Society, 50. 101700. ISSN 2210-6707

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2019.101700


Urban ventilation is important for building a healthy urban living environment. 2-D CFD simulation has been used widely for street canyon ventilation due to its computational efficiency, but its applicability for a 3-D simulation has never been studied. This paper tried to answer the question: if and under what conditions, the widely-adopted 2-D CFD simulations on street canyon ventilation can represent real 3-D scenarios? 3-D simulations on street canyons with various street lengths and corresponding 2-D simulations are carried out with RNG k-ε model. Our study identified two important ventilation mechanism for controlling ventilation and dispersion in a 3-D street canyon, i.e., canyon vortex on the canyon top and the corner vortices at the street ends. The relative importance of these two driving forces will change with the street length/street width ratio (B/W). For isolated street canyon, when B/W is higher than 20 (for H/W=1) and 70 (H/W=2), the street canyon ventilation will be dominated by canyon vortex, and 3-D street canyon ventilation could be simplified as a 2-D case. For multiple street canyon, the threshold of B/W will become 20 when H/W=1, and 50 when H/W=2. The findings in this study could improve our approaches for simulating urban ventilation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:84719


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