Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wind Tunnel Tests Could Lead To Healthier Towns And Cities

Date:
December 17, 2003
Source:
Engineering And Physical Science Research Council
Summary:
It's hardly an appealing thought but the overpowering fragrance of mothballs in a large wind tunnel could provide the key to improving air quality in our towns and cities.

It's hardly an appealing thought but the overpowering fragrance of mothballs in a large wind tunnel could provide the key to improving air quality in our towns and cities.

The tests will improve our understanding of how pollution and heat behave at street level so that more effective ventilation methods can be developed.

The research will be carried out by scientists at the University of Reading in collaboration with EnFlo, based at the University of Surrey, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

In towns and cities, pollution and heat released below building height (e.g. from cars and buildings) can be trapped at street level until ventilated to the air above. This can cause pollution "hotspots" which affect sufferers from respiratory diseases such as asthma; it can also contribute to an uncomfortably warm urban climate.

The new research will focus on the ventilation process. This process depends on street layout, wind speed and other factors, and understanding it is vital to taking effective action to improve urban climate and air quality.

The project will centre on wind tunnel tests that simulate airflow in urban areas. Cube and bar shapes representing a variety of urban settings will be placed in a wind tunnel and covered in naphthalene (an aromatic hydrocarbon used in mothballs), which is carried by airflow in a similar way to heat and pollution. By measuring the net loss of naphthalene after air has flowed over it, the rate of ventilation for the airflow and urban layout under examination can be calculated.

Interpretation of the results, which will require expertise in fluid dynamics, turbulence, heat transfer and meteorology, will enable the impact of different factors on ventilation to be assessed. An innovative feature of the research will involve the use of sensors to detect naphthalene concentrations. Deploying the sensors successfully will require trial and error, but will ultimately enable the extent and duration of "hotspots" to be determined.

The project team has already found that ventilation depends on street width, building height and the precise location of the pollution or heat source. Dr Janet Barlow, who is leading the team at the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, says: "Better understanding of heat and pollution ventilation rates will help inform the decision-making of architects and town planners. This should help to promote more sustainable, more comfortable and healthier urban environments".

Notes for Editors:

The 22-month research initiative, "Quantifying Turbulent Ventilation of Heat and Pollution from Urban Areas", will receive funding from EPSRC of nearly 98,000.

Typical pollution found at street level in urban areas includes fine particulates, carbon monoxide and ozone, which can affect the lungs, and carbon dioxide and larger particulates, which can contribute to a local "greenhouse" effect and raise urban temperatures.

EnFlo is the Environmental Flow Research Centre at the University of Surrey. The new project will make extensive use of its wind tunnel facilities. For more information on EnFlo, visit the website at http://vortex.mech.surrey.ac.uk/FRC/enflo_home.html

The project will run in parallel with the DAPPLE (Dispersion of Air Pollution and Penetration into the Local Environment) initiative, also funded by EPSRC. DAPPLE is a 4-year project involving the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Reading and Surrey, and Imperial College London. Its aim is to increase understanding of vehicle emissions, pollutant dispersion and exposure to pollution in realistic urban environments, and so make possible the improvements necessary to enable the better planning and management of urban air quality. For more information on DAPPLE, visit the website at http://www.dapple.org.uk.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests more than 500 million a year in research and postgraduate training to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and from mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements in everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC also actively promotes public awareness of science and engineering. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. Website address for more information on EPSRC: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Engineering And Physical Science Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Engineering And Physical Science Research Council. "Wind Tunnel Tests Could Lead To Healthier Towns And Cities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031217072220.htm>.
Engineering And Physical Science Research Council. (2003, December 17). Wind Tunnel Tests Could Lead To Healthier Towns And Cities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031217072220.htm
Engineering And Physical Science Research Council. "Wind Tunnel Tests Could Lead To Healthier Towns And Cities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031217072220.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins