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A wind-tunnel study of flow distortion at a meteorological sensor on top of the BT Tower, London, UK

By Janet F. Barlow, James Harrison, Alan G. Robins and Curtis R. Wood


High quality wind measurements in cities are needed for numerous applications including wind engineering. Such data-sets are rare and measurement platforms may not be optimal for meteorological observations. Two years' wind data were collected on the BT Tower, London, UK, showing an upward deflection on average for all wind directions. Wind tunnel simulations were performed to investigate flow distortion around two scale models of the Tower. Using a 1:160 scale model it was shown that the Tower causes a small deflection (ca. 0.5°) compared to the lattice on top on which the instruments were placed (ca. 0–4°). These deflections may have been underestimated due to wind tunnel blockage. Using a 1:40 model, the observed flow pattern was consistent with streamwise vortex pairs shed from the upstream lattice edge. Correction factors were derived for different wind directions and reduced deflection in the full-scale data-set by <3°. Instrumental tilt caused a sinusoidal variation in deflection of ca. 2°. The residual deflection (ca. 3°) was attributed to the Tower itself. Correction of the wind-speeds was small (average 1%) therefore it was deduced that flow distortion does not significantly affect the measured wind-speeds and the wind climate statistics are reliable

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

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