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Particle Image Velocimetry Experiments in a Wind Tunnel to Study Wind-driven Airflow through Building Openings



Liang Chung J. Lo


Today’s low energy and sustainable buildings often call for innovative designs involving strategies such as natural ventilation. However, natural ventilation airflows are often difficult to estimate, in large part due to the unsteadiness of the wind. This study investigates wind-driven natural ventilation experimentally using particle image velocimetry (PIV) in a boundary layer wind tunnel using a glass building analogue with modeled openings. Using the PIV technique, both the outdoor wind flow and the resulting indoor airflow were visualized and measured. By varying the opening sizes in the glass model and the wind directions, the airflow behavior near the openings was investigated. While PIV in a wind tunnel provides a useful investigative method to study wind-driven airflow, there are significant challenges in the experimental design and setup. This paper discusses the difficulties and presents possible solutions for improving the quality of data gathered from the experiment.
Proceedings Title
Indoor Air 2014
Conference Dates
July 7-12, 2014
Conference Location
Hong Kong, -1


NATURAL VENTILATION, Indoor airflow, PIV, Wind tunnel
Created August 6, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017