, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 33-50
Date: 11 Nov 2012

An approach to simulate wind fields around an urban environment for wind energy application

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This work proposes an approach to simulate wind flow fields around an urban environment with the aim of evaluating the potential impact of buildings on the general wind patterns and power production using the current generation of commercial wind turbines. The simulation process was performed with the aid of accessible computational tools that can potentially render the proposed procedure applicable in other cases of interest. The roughness of the urban environment was defined as the association of roughness map, topography, and an alternative process for obtaining the volumetry of buildings. A case study was conducted in a region located at the district of Boa Viagem (Recife-PE) for assessing the applicability of the approach. Scenarios were designed in order to simulate wind flow patterns and pre-identify sites that have suitable wind energy potential for electric power production by investigating the combination of wind speed magnitude and turbulence intensity. From the results obtained, it was possible to identify zones of potential wind sources that are not detected in classical wind atlas probably due to the influence of the built environment on local wind flow patterns.