Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wind tunnel tests could lead to healthier towns and cities

16.12.2003


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”.

Jane Reck | EPSRC
Further information:
http://www.epsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boars
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boars

12.12.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

How fires are changing the tundra’s face

12.12.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Telescopes team up to study giant galaxy

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>