Numerical Investigation of Interference Effects on Wind Flow around a Group of Cooling Towers including Wind Ribs Effects

Document Type : Research Article



In this paper, the interference effects of neighboring large structures located at upstream of the cooling towers group were numerically investigated. In order to assess the computed pressure field, the concept of using equivalent sand-grain roughness is utilized to simulate the physical effects of external ribs. The numerical solution results are compared with a set of reported laboratory measurements as well as VGB code of practice. Having a verified numerical model, the interference effects of a group of cooling towers were considered. In order to investigate the grouping effect, the lay out of a set of three cooling tower Kazeroun power station (South west of Iran) was used. The computed wind pressures on cooling towers in a group with irregular arrangement present different distribution from the pressure values suggested by VGB guideline. The effects were found more pronounced for lower parts of the cooling towers by considering the interference effects of upstream large structures.


[1]Niemann H.J., Ruhwedel J., "Full-scale and model tests on wind induced, static and dynamic stresses in cooling tower shells". Engineering Structure. 1980; Vol 2,pp:81–89.
[2]Niemann H J." Wind effects on cooling-tower shells". J Structural Engineering, ASCE 1980; Vol 106(3),pp:643–61.
[3]Borri C., Orlando M. and Spinelli P., "Wind induced stresses on two neighboring cooling towers". In:Proceedings of 10th ICWE, Copenhagen, Denmark,Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema 1999; vol 1, pp: 401–8.
[4]Prabhakar, "Wind effects on hyperbolic cooling towers" Wind Loads on Structures. 1991; pp: 205-214.
[5]Zhai Z., Fu S., "Modeling the airflow around cooling towers with multi-block CFD", In The 4th International ASME/JSME/KSME Symposium, Canada, 2002.
[6]Sabbagh-Yazdi S.-R., Torbati M. Azad F.M. Haghighi, B. "Computer simulation of changes in the wind pressure due to cooling towers-buildings interference WSEAS Transactions on Mathematics" 2007; Vol 6(1), pp: 205-214.
[7]Goudarzi M.A, Sabbagh-Yazdi S R., "Modeling wind ribs effects for numerical simulation external pressure load on a cooling tower of KAZERUN power plant-IRAN" Wind and Structures, 2008; Vol. 11, No. 6.
[8]Khanduri A, Stathopoulos T, Be´dard C."Wind-induced interference effects on buildings- a review of the stateof-the-art". Engineering Structure, 1998; Vol 20(7),pp:617–30.
[9]Blessmann J. "Wind action on isolated and grouped hyperbolic cooling towers". In: Proceedings of International Conference on New Trends in Structural Mechanics, Prague, Czech Republic, 1991; pp:c1–6.
[10]Niemann H J, Ko¨pper H D. "Influence of adjacent buildings on wind effects on cooling towers".Engineering Structure 1998; vol ,20(10),pp:874–80.
[11]Bartoli G, Borri C, Hoffer R, Orlando M. "Wind induced pressures and interference effects on a group of cooling towers in a power plant arrangement". In: Proceedings of 2nd European and African Conference on Wind Engineering, Genoa, Italy, Padua, SGE, 1997;
[12]Sun TF, Gu ZF, He DX, Zhang LL. "Fluctuating pressure on two circular cylinders at high Reynolds number". J Wind Eng Indust Aerodyn 1992;4144 pp:577–88.
[13]Orlando M. "Wind-induced interference effects on two adjacent cooling towers" Engineering Structures 2001;Vol, 23 (8), pp:979-992.
[14]Launder BE, Spalding DB. "The Numerical Computation of Turbulent Flows", Computer Methods In Applied Mechanics and Engineering 1974; Vol,3 ,pp: 269-289.
[15]Sabbagh Yazdi S.R "Using Artificial Dissipation on Unstructured Meshes for Numerical Solution of Inviscid Incompressible Flow", 4th Conference of Iranian Aerospace Society, Amir Kabir University of Technology,Tehran-Iran,(2003) pp:538-548.
[16]Schlichting H. "Boundary-layer theory". 1968 Mc Graw-Hill, 6th edition.
[17]VGB Guideline. "Structural Design of Cooling Towers",VGB-Technical Committee“ Civil Engineering Problems of Cooling Towers”, VGB-R 610 U, Essen, Germany 1997.
[18]Su M.D, Tang G.F, Fu S., "Numerical simulation of fluid flow and thermal performance of a dry-cooling tower under cross wind condition", Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 1999; Vol 79(3), pp:289–306.