Effects of Non-Uniform Wall Heating on Thermal and Momentum Fields in a 3-Dimensional Urban Environment

Monday, 15 December 2014
Negin Nazarian, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States and Jan P Kleissl, Univ of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States
As urbanization progresses, microclimate modifications are also aggravated and the increasing environmental concerns call for more sophisticated methods of urban microclimate analysis. Comprehensive numerical simulations for a clear summer day in southern California are performed in a compact low-rise urban environment. The effect of realistic unsteady, non-uniform thermal forcing, that is caused by solar insolation and inter-building shadowing on thermal and flow conditions are analyzed based on Algebraic Wall-Modeled Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model.

The urban thermal field is influenced by urban density, material properties and local weather conditions, as well as urban canyon flow. Urban canyon conditions are translated into vertical and horizontal bulk Richardson numbers indicating atmospheric instability and solar tilt with respect to the momentum forcing of the canyon vortex, respectively. The effect of roof heating is found to be critical on the vortex formation between buildings when the vertical bulk Richardson number is low.

Variations of Convective Heat Transfer Coefficients (CHTCs) along building walls are studied and the street canyon ventilation performance is characterized by the mean of air exchange rate (ACH). It is found that volumetric air exchange from street canyons, as well as the distribution of heat transfer along the wall depends strongly on the three-dimensional orientation of the heated wall in relation to wind direction. For example, air removal increases by surface heating and is larger when the leeward wall is heated. In summary, we demonstrate the importance of considering complex realistic conditions on 3-dimensional thermal and momentum fields in Urban Environments.