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Wind and Structures
  Volume 27, Number 1, July 2018, pages 11-27

A study on the action mechanism of internal pressures in straight-cone steel cooling tower under two-way coupling between wind and rain
S.T. Ke, L.Y. Du, Y.J. Ge, Q. Yang, H. Wang and Y. Tamura

    The straight-cone steel cooling tower is a novel type of structure, which has a distinct aerodynamic distribution on the internal surface of the tower cylinder compared with conventional hyperbolic concrete cooling towers. Especially in the extreme weather conditions of strong wind and heavy rain, heavy rain also has a direct impact on aerodynamic force on the internal surface and changes the turbulence effect of pulsating wind, but existing studies mainly focus on the impact effect brought by wind-driven rain to structure surface. In addition, for the indirect air cooled cooling tower, different additional ventilation rate of shutters produces a considerable interference to air movement inside the tower and also to the action mechanism of loads. To solve the problem, a straight-cone steel cooling tower standing 189 m high and currently being constructed is taken as the research object in this study. The algorithm for two-way coupling between wind and rain is adopted. Simulation of wind field and raindrops is performed with continuous phase and discrete phase models, respectively, under the general principles of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Firstly, the rule of influence of 9 combinations of wind sped and rainfall intensity on flow field mechanism, the volume of wind-driven rain, additional action force of raindrops and equivalent internal pressure coefficient of the tower cylinder is analyzed. On this basis, the internal pressures of the cooling tower under the most unfavorable working condition are compared between four ventilation rates of shutters (0%, 15%, 30% and 100%). The results show that the 3D effect of equivalent internal pressure coefficient is the most significant when considering two-way coupling between wind and rain. Additional load imposed by raindrops on the internal surface of the tower accounts for an extremely small proportion of total wind load, the maximum being only 0.245%. This occurs under the combination of 20 m/s wind velocity and 200 mm/h rainfall intensity. Ventilation rate of shutters not only changes the air movement inside the tower, but also affects the accumulated amount and distribution of raindrops on the internal surface.
Key Words
    straight-cone; steel cooling tower; two-way coupling between wind and rain; ventilation rate of shutters; aerodynamic force on internal surface; action mechanism; parameter analysis
S.T. Ke, L.Y. Du and Q. Yang:Department of Civil Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 29 Yudao Road, Nanjing 210016, China
Y.J. Ge: State Key Laboratory for Disaster Reduction in Civil Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, China
H. Wang: School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, 2 Sipailou Road, Nanjing 210096, China
Y. Tamura: Center of Wind Engineering Research, Tokyo Polytechnic University, 1583 Iiyama, Atsugi, Kanagawa 243-0297, Japan

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