On the flow over high-rise building for wind energy harvesting: an experimental investigation of wind speed and surface pressure

Hassan Hemida, Anina Šarkić Glumac*, Giulio Vita, Kristina Kostadinović Vranešević, Rüdiger Höffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


The human migration from rural to urban areas has triggered a chain reaction causing the spiking energy demand of cities worldwide. High-rise buildings filling the urban skyline could potentially provide a means to improve the penetration of renewable wind energy by installing wind turbines at their rooftop. However, the above roof flow region has not received much attention and most results deal with low-rise buildings. This study investigates the flow pattern above the roof of a high-rise building by analysing velocity and pressure measurements performed in an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel, including four wind directions and two different roof shapes. Comparison of the surface pressure patterns on the flat roof with available low-rise building studies shows that the surface pressure contours are consistent for a given wind direction. At 0° wind direction, a separation bubble is detected, while cone vortices dominate at 30° and 45°. The determining factor for the installation of small wind turbines is the vicinity to the roof. Thus, 45° wind direction shows to be the most desirable angle by bringing the substantial amplification of wind and keeping the turbulence intensity low. Decking the roof creates favourable characteristics by overcoming the sensitivity to the wind direction while preserving the speed-up effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5283
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the COST Action TU1804 WINERCOST-"Wind Energy to enhance the concept of Smart cities" through a Short Term Scientific Mission to conduct the experiments. Further, this work was supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) under project reference C19/SR/13639741. The support of the European Commission's Framework Program "Horizon 2020" through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) "AEOLUS4FUTURE-Efficient harvesting of the wind energy" (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014: Grant agreement no. 643167) is also acknowledged. The time and support received at the Ruhr-University Bochum by the Christian Neuhaus, Cornelia Kalender, Ulf Winkelmann are also acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Pressure measurements
  • Urban wind energy harvesting
  • Velocity measurements
  • Wind tunnel experiments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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