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Wind and Structures
  Volume 3, Number 2, June 2000 , pages 073-81

A comparison of numerical simulations and full-scale measurements of snowdrifts around buildings
Thomas K. Thiis(Norway)

    Snowdrifts around buildings can cause serious problems when formed on undesirable places.rnThe formation of snowdrifts is highly connected to the wind pattern around the building, and the windrnpattern is again dependent on the building design. The shear stress on the surface and snowdrifting aroundrndifferent buildings are investigated through CFD analysis and compared to measurements. The computationsrnof shear stress shows local minima in the same areas as snowdrifts are formed. The snowdrifting computationsrnutilises a drift-flux model where a fluid with snow properties is allowed to drift through a fluid with airrnproperties. An apparent dynamic viscosity of the snow/air mixture is defined and used as a thresholdrncriterion for snowdrifting. The results from the snowdrifting computations show increased snow density wherernsnowdrifts are expected, and are in agreement with previous large-scale snowdrift measurements. The resultsrnshow that computational fluid dynamics can be a tool for planning building design in snowdrifting areas.
Key Words
    snowdrift; building; numerical simulation; CFD; wind.
Thomas K. Thiis, Narvik Institute of Technology, p.b. 385, N-8501 Narvik, Norway

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