The assessment of the performance of a windcatcher system using computational fluid dynamics

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102 Citations (Scopus)


Natural ventilation is increasingly being used in modern residential buildings to minimize the consumption of non-renewable energy and the reliance on active means for environmental control. Innovative green features such as the windcatcher has made use of natural ventilation in residential buildings for increasing ventilation rate. This paper presents a numerical study of assessment of the performance of windcatcher using computational fluid dynamics. A 500 mm square windcatcher system connected to the room has been modeled for different wind speeds in the range of 0.5-6 m/s and four different wind directions. The numerical results generally agree with the published experimental results of a wind tunnel experiment. The numerical results demonstrate that the windcatcher performance is greatly influenced by the external wind speed and direction with respect to the windcatcher quadrants. In all cases studied, the maximum velocity of air entering the room is close to the external wind speed and the windcatcher system is found to be an efficient way to channel fresh air into the room. The study also shows that the airflow rate of the air entering the room increases with the wind speed and slightly decreases with the wind incidence angle when the wind speed is lower than 3 m/s. In addition, the results show that the uniformity of air inlet decreases with increasing the wind speed and the incidence angle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1141
Number of pages7
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • Buildings
  • CFD
  • Green features
  • Natural ventilation
  • Windcatcher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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