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Computational vs. Wind Tunnel Simulation of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flow for Structural Engineering Applications



DongHun Yeo, Liang Shi


ABL simulations using LES have been performed to assess the suitability of the simulated flow for structural wind engineering applications. The governing equations of straight ABL flow for structural engineering purposes were formulated based on state-of-the-art meteorological studies. The balanced forces between horizontal pressure gradient and ground friction were adapted to the CFD solver to achieve dynamic equilibrium throughout the ABL flow. In the simulation using the precursor method, turbulent ABL flow was naturally generated to achieve horizontally homogenous ABL flow. To reduce computational resource requirements this study employed a model scale approach, similar to the approach used in wind tunnel simulations. The characteristics of simulated ABL flow were investigated and compared with their counterparts in the literature and the ASCE 49-12 Standard for wind tunnel testing. The quality of the simulations was found to be comparable and in some instances better than for their wind tunnel counterparts. The results also identified issues, mainly due to inaccurate SGS modeling, that need to be addressed by future research.
Wind Engineering in Natural Hazards (Special EMI/ASCE Publication)
Publisher Info
ASCE, Reston, VA


Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), Large eddy simulation (LES), Model scale simulation, Standards, Structural engineering, Turbulence, Wind engineering.


Yeo, D. and Shi, L. (2018), Computational vs. Wind Tunnel Simulation of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flow for Structural Engineering Applications, ASCE, Reston, VA (Accessed May 29, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2018, Updated August 18, 2020