A three-dimensional numerical code with unstructured tetrahedral grids, the finite element flow solver (FEFLO), was used to simulate the mean flow and the turbulence within obstacle array configurations consisting of simple cubical elements. Model simulations were compared with observations from a hydraulic water flume at the University of Waterloo. FEFLO was run in large eddy simulation mode, using the Smagorinsky closure model, to resolve the larger scales of the flow field. There were four experiment test cases consisting of square and staggered arrays of cubical obstacles with separations of 1.5 and 0.5 obstacle heights. The mean velocity profile for the incoming neutral boundary layer was approximated by a power law, and the turbulent fluctuations in the approach flow were generated using a Monte Carlo model. The numerical simulations were able to capture, within 40% on average, the general characteristics of the mean flow and the turbulence, such as the strong mean wind shears and the maximum turbulence at the elevation of the obstacles and the nearly constant mean wind and the 50% reduction in the turbulent velocity within the obstacle canopy. As expected, the mean wind speeds were significantly decreased (by about a factor of two or three) in the array with closer obstacle packing. It was found that, a “street canyon” effect was more obvious for the square arrays, with higher flow speeds in between the obstacles, than for the staggered arrays.

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Published on 01/01/2002

DOI: 10.1016/S1352-2310(02)00566-6
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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