Laboratory of Building- and Environmental Aerodynamics
Director: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Bodo Ruck
Institute for Hydromechanics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Kaiserstr. 12, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
Tel.:  +49 (0)721 608 43897, Fax:  +49 (0)721 608 43191


  Main focus

Wind action on buildings
Experimental investigations in wind tunnel allow to determine wind loads on buildings. Thus, already in the initial planning phase of buildings, optimized wind-related constructions/variations can be found. Examples are hall buildings, bridges, radio - and television towers, high-rise buildings, industrial plants, cooling towers etc.

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Wind comfort studies in the atmopsheric boundary layer wind tunnel
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distruction of houses by severe stroms
Wind loads on technical structures, ships, vehicles and planes
Wind loads have to be considered in the lay-out of technical systems. It is important to assess these loads with respect to safety aspects of technical systems. Therefore, experimental and numerical model studies have to be carried out in order to account for an appropriate assessment in the planning stage.
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wind loads on off-shore structures
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cranes
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ships
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bridges
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industrial structures
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special problems in aerodynamics
Wind loads on natural structures
Natural structures like forests, plantations, corn fields suffer from severe stroms and associated wind forces. Strategies for a reduction of wind damage to these natural structures can be developed in model studies in the atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel.
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windthrow and windbreak in forests
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wind-damaged corn fields
City climate and traffic
Planned building projects can cause lasting changes of the urban climate. For example, strong wind zones can occur, the aeration of the inner part of a city can be decreased, the pedestrian wind comfort can be changed or the pollutant dispersion, transport and ventilation is hindered. Also here, the wind tunnel experiment can supply important decision making aids in the initial planning stages of a project. By means of model investigations, wind, pressure and immission fields can be measured and problematic zones can be recognized.

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ventilation of inner cities by fresh air fluxes from mountains

Modell 3 m.jpg (108865 Byte)investigation of traffic problems in model study
Thermal flows
Thermal lift effects are induced by solar radiation acting on surfaces. Thus, heat-emitting surfaces like building fronts induce a convective flow in the surrounding. Convective and atmospheric boundary layer flow can interfere yielding unknown paths for the propagation of air pollutants flowing to or released from the building.

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s of thermal flows near buildings

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buoyancy driven flows over solar plants
Immission
Sourcenear and sourcefar immission analyses can be accomplished by model studies in the atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel. This can be done for man-made and natural structures as well. On the basis of model investigations, existing problematic zones or damages already occurred can be analyzed or proven.
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Environmental research
Wind and particles can act together in damaging natural structures. Particles or droplets can be generated or transported by wind into ecosystems and damage plants.

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coast-near forests damaged by sea spray

Protection measures
Wind protection in the form of natural shelter belts is of increasing interest for landscape architects as well as for city and road planners in order to detain suspended matters e.g. from adjacent populated areas. At industrial sites, particulate matters are often deposited, transported, processed and whirled up. Thus, it is of great importance to calm down the wind activity over the site and to prevent particles from being suspended in the atmospheric flow. Also traffic- produced pollutants are to be kept away from populated areas by means of natural shelter belts or forested areas. The lay-out of these counter-measures can be performed by experimental investigations in the wind tunnel.
(Strömungsgrößen des Windschutzes)

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lay-out of natural wind shelter belts

 

 

Numerical simulations
As an alternative to the wind tunnel, computations of flow processes and pollutant propagation around and in buildings are needed for planning. The flow processes involved are, however, extremely complex. Thus, complex numerical models are used to compute the flow fields. Beside statistic models also Large Eddy Simulations (LES) are performed.

 

Werkofen in Halle.jpg (324459 Byte) Indoor flow field in a production hall with oven; velocity and temperature field is shown; FLOVENT-Software


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