Numerical studies on air flow around a cube

Y. Gao, Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, air approach flow moving towards a cube will be studied using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The Reynolds Averaging of Navier-Stokes (RANS) equation types of k - ε turbulence model are used. Some RANS predicted results are compared with different upstream air speeds. Flow separation at the corner above the top of the cube, level of separation and reattachment are investigated. Reference is made to the experimental data on wind tunnels reported in the literature. A method similar to 'recirculation bubble promoter' is used for different approach flow speed distributions. Problems encountered in numerical simulations due to the sharp corner are discussed with a view to obtaining better prediction on recirculation flow in regions above the top of the cube. Correlations between the turbulent kinetic energy above the cube and the recirculation bubble size are derived for different distributions of approach flow speed. By limiting the longitu dinal velocities in the first cell adjacent to the sharp edge of the cube or rib, and making good use of the wall functions at the intersection cells of the velocity components, positions of maximum turbulent kinetic energy and the flow separation and reattachment can be predicted by a standard k - ε model. The results agree with those obtained in the experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-135
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005


  • Flow separation and reattachment
  • Standard k - ε turbulence model
  • Turbulent kinetic energy
  • Upstream flow velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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