An investigation concerning the simulation of tornado-like vortices

Gillmeier, Stefanie (2019). An investigation concerning the simulation of tornado-like vortices. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Transient extreme wind events such as tornadoes have received increasing attention among Wind Engineers over the last years because those types of winds have been proven to be extremely dangerous and devastating. Several attempts of varying simplicity have been made to replicate the tornado flow structure analytically and experimentally. However, due to the assumptions made, those model results only show an extremely simplified version of what is a highly complex full-scale flow phenomenon.

In this work, the ability of those simplified models to replicate the flow field of atmospheric tornadoes is discussed thoroughly. A comparison between analytical and experimental models highlights that analytical vortex models are not able to represent the entire complexity of the three-dimensional flow structure obtained experimentally due to their simplifications. Furthermore, this work examines the effect of the simulator’s design on the generated vortex flow field and thereby demonstrates that aspect ratio and swirl ratio parity is not enough to guarantee the simulation of vortices with similar flow characteristics in different simulators. This work shows that a better understanding of the flow fields simulated in physical tornado-like vortex simulators is required before data obtained from those models can be used with confidence in practice.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)


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