Full-Scale Wind Pressure Measurements
Motivation and Objective
Each year, extreme wind events are responsible for about $100 billion of damage globally, and this number continues to increase. To design resilient buildings, engineers need tools that can accurately characterize wind loads. Presently, only wind tunnel testing is approved for the design of high-rise buildings. The goal of this project is to compare the efficacy of wind tunnel testing with computational simulations for characterizing peak wind forces. We will do this by taking full-scale measurements on high-rise buildings and then comparing these with those predicted through wind tunnel and CFD.
Wind tunnel testing several absolute sensors identified one which is able to measure turbulent wind pressures at relatively low wind speeds. Previous full-scale experiments used differential sensors, which introduce problems associated with changing reference pressure, hindering direct comparison with CFD or wind tunnel results. A custom remote datalogger was designed featuring this absolute transducer. The datalogger was designed to be unobtrusive, low-cost, and low-profile/aerodynamic. One is shown on the left.
A network of these sensors is being deployed on two buildings: the Space Needle in Seattle, and 650 California St. in San Francisco. Simultaneously, large-eddy simulations (LES) are being run to simulate the wind loading on both buildings. The next step will be to compare wind pressures predicted by LES with real-world results.
- Presentation at the 6th American Association for Wind Engineering Workshop, May 12-14, 2021.
- Presentation at the 73rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, November 24, 2020.
Acknowledgements and Resources
This research is funded by NSF CAREER Award 1749610, and by Stanford's UPS endowment fund.