Dispersion study in a street canyon with tree planting by means of wind tunnel and numerical investigations - Evaluation of CFD data with experimental data

C.B. Gromke, R. Buccolieri, S. Sabatino, Di, B. Ruck

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This paper is devoted to the study of flow and traffic exhaust dispersion in urban street canyons with avenue-like tree planting. The influence of tree planting with different crown porosity was investigated. Wind tunnel experiments for perpendicular approaching flow showed that avenue-like tree planting cause increases in exhaust concentrations at the leeward wall as tree crowns reduce the vortex found in the outer regions of the tree-free street canyon and the vertically entering volume flow rate at the canyon-roof top interface. This results in less ventilation and consequently larger concentrations in proximity of the leeward wall. At the windward wall, decreases in concentration are due to the upward moving stream in front of the leeward wall which extends farther into the skimming above roof flow and is better mixed. The clean air entrained in front of the windward wall mixes with air inside the street canyon leading to smaller concentrations. Experiments performed in the wind tunnel with different tree crown porosities did not indicate substantial changes in the flow and concentration fields. The porous model crowns investigated behaved almost like impermeable objects when arranged in a sheltered position and wind speeds are relatively small as in the street canyon. The above described experiments have been also investigated by means of numerical simulations with the CFD code FLUENT(tm), rarely applied to this type of problems. The standard k-e turbulence model and the Reynolds Stress Model were used for flow while the Eulerian advection diffusion scheme has been used for dispersion. Both models reproduced qualitatively the main aspects found in wind tunnel experiments, even though they underestimated flow velocities. Improvement of CFD dispersion performance was obtained by increasing the diffusivity through the turbulent Schmidt number Sct. Overall we found that the k-e model failed to capture the complex structure of dispersion process in the presence of tree planting as it would require unphysical low Sct values. On the other hand the RSM turbulence model agreed fairly well with experiments by slightly reducing the standard Sct. The results obtained in this work by combining wind tunnel experiments and CFD based simulations to investigate this novel aspect of research suggest ways to obtain quantitative information for assessment, planning and implementation of exposure mitigation using trees in urban street canyons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8640-8650
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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