Journal of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics vol:94 issue:10 pages:699-723
A methodology for numerically simulating the flow conditions in closed-circuit wind tunnels is developed as a contribution to the general philosophy of incorporating Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in wind tunnel design and testing and to CFD validation studies. The methodology is applied to the full-scale Jules Verne climatic wind tunnel in which experimental data have been obtained. Due to the specific features of this closed-circuit wind tunnel, the conventional CFD modeling approach, in which only the flow in the wind tunnel test section is modeled, is inadequate. To obtain accurate results the entire wind tunnel has to be modeled. In the numerical closed-circuit wind tunnel, the conventional flow inlet and outlet are replaced by a single "fan boundary condition". Special attention is given to the theoretical background and the practical implementation of this type of boundary condition in the CFD model. The numerical model is validated for the case of an empty wind tunnel and for the case in which a block-type building is placed in the test section. It will be shown that this methodology can generally reproduce the wind tunnel measurements of mean velocities with an error equal to or less than 10% despite the occurrence of multiple flow separations upstream of the test section. This provides perspectives for the future use of this methodology as a tool for wind tunnel design and testing and for CFD validation purposes. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.