From numerical prototypes to real models: a progressive study of aerodynamic parameters of nonconventional concrete structures with Computational Fluid Dynamics
AbstractThe practical evaluation of aerodynamic coefficients in unconventional concrete structures requires specific studies, which are small-scale models evaluated in wind tunnels. Sophisticated facilities and special sensors are needed, and the tendency is for modern and slender constructions to arise with specific demands on their interaction with the wind. On the other hand, the advances obtained in modern multi-core processors emerge as an alternative for the construction of sophisticated computational models, where the Navier-Stokes differential equations are solved for fluid flow using numerical methods. Computations of this kind require specialized theoretical knowledge, efficient computer programs, and high-performance computers for large-scale calculations. This paper presents recent results involving two real-world applications in concrete structures, where the aerodynamic parameters were estimated with the aid of computational fluid dynamics. Conventional quad-core computers were applied in simulations with the Finite Volume Method and a progressive methodology is presented, highlighting the main aspects of the simulation and allowing its generalization to other types of problems. The results confirm that the proposed methodology is promising in terms of computational cost, drag coefficient estimation and versatility of simulation parameters. These results also indicate that mid-performance computers can be applied for preliminary studies of aerodynamic parameters in design offices.