CFD Study on the Influence of Atmospheric Stability on Near-field Pollutant Dispersion from Rooftop Emissions

  • Jeong, Sang Jin (Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Kyonggi University) ;
  • Kim, A Ra (Department of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Kyonggi University)
  • Received : 2017.05.22
  • Accepted : 2017.10.26
  • Published : 2018.03.31


The aim of this work is to investigate the effect of atmospheric stability on near-field pollutant dispersion from rooftop emissions of a single cubic building using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This paper used the shear stress transport (here after SST) k-${\omega}$ model for predicting the flow and pollutant dispersion around an isolated cubic building. CFD simulations were performed with two emission rates and six atmospheric stability conditions. The results of the simulations were compared with the data from wind tunnel experiments and the result of simulations obtained by previous studies in neutral atmospheric condition. The results indicate that the reattachment length on the roof ($X_R$) obtained by computations show good agreement with the experimental results. However, the reattachment length of the rooftop of the building ($X_F$) is greatly overestimated compared to the findings of wind tunnel test. The result also shows that the general distribution of dimensionless concentration given by SST k-${\omega}$ at the side and leeward wall surfaces is similar to that of the experiment. In unstable conditions, the length of the rooftop cavity was decreased. In stable conditions, the horizontal velocity in the lower part around the building was increased and the vertical velocity around the building was decreased. Stratification increased the horizontal cavity length and width near surface and unstable stratification decreased the horizontal cavity length and width near surface. Maintained stability increases the lateral spread of the plume on the leeward surface. The concentration levels close to the ground's surface under stable conditions were higher than under unstable and neutral conditions.



  1. ASHRAE (2007) Building Air Intake and Exhaust Design. ASHRAE Handbook-Heating, Ventilating, and Airconditioning Applications (Chapter 44). American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, Atlanta, United States.
  2. Blocken, B., Stathopoulos, T., Carmeliet, J. (2007) CFD simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer: wall function problems. Atmospheric Environment 41, 238-252.
  3. Castro, I.P., Robins, A.G. (1977) The flow around a surface-mounted cube in uniform and turbulent streams. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 79, 307-335.
  4. FLUENT Ver.14.0 (2012) User's Guide.
  5. Franke, J., Hellsten, A., Schlünzen, H., Carissimo, B. (2007) Best practice guideline for the CFD simulation of flows in the urban environment. COST Action 732.
  6. Franke, J., Hirsch, C., Jensen, A.G., Krüs, H.W., Schatzmann, M., Westbury, P.S., Miles, S.D., Wisse, J.A., Wright, N.G. (2004) Recommendations on the use of CFD in wind engineering. In: van Beeck, J.P.A.J. (Ed.), Proceedings of the international conference on urban wind engineering and building aerodynamics. COST action C14, impact of wind and storm on city life built environment. Von Karman Institute, Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium, 5-7 May 2004.
  7. Higson, H.L., Griffiths, R.F., Jones, C.D., Biltoft, C. (1995) Effect of atmospheric stability on concentration fluctuations and wake retention times for dispersion in the vicinity of an isolated building. Environmetrics 6, 571-581.
  8. Jeong, S.J. (2017) A CFD study of near-field odor dispersion around a cubic building from rooftop emissions, Asian Journal of Atmospheric Environment 11(3), 153-164.
  9. Lateb, M., Meroney, R.N., Yataghene, M., Fellouah, H., Saleh, F., Boufadel, M.C. (2016) On the use of numerical modelling for near-field pollutant dispersion in urban environments - A review. Environmental Pollution 208, 271-283.
  10. Li, W., Meroney, R.M. (1983) Gas dispersion near a cubical model building - Part I. Mean concentration measurements. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 12, 15-33.
  11. Lin, X.J., Barrington, S., Choiniere, D., Prasher, S. (2007) Simulation of the effect of windbreaks on odour dispersion using the CFD SST k-$\omega$ model. Biosystems Engineering 98, 347-363.
  12. Mavroidis, I., Griffiths, R.F., Jones, C.D., Biltoft, C. (1999) Experimental investigation of the residence of contaminants in the wake of an obstacle under different stability conditions. Atmospheric Environment 33, 939-949.
  13. Menter, F.R., Kuntz, M., Langtry, R. (2003) Ten years of industrial experience with the SST turbulence model. In: Hanjalic, K., Nagano, Y., Tummers, M. (Eds.), Turbulence, Heat and Mass Transfer 4. Begell House Inc., Redding, CT, USA, 625-632.
  14. Pieterse, J.E., Harms, T.M. (2013) CFD investigation of the atmospheric boundary layer under different thermal stability conditions. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 121, 82-97.
  15. Santos, J.M., Reis, Jr. N.C., Goulart, E.V., Mavroidis, I. (2009) Numerical simulation of flow and dispersion around an isolated cubical building: The effect of the atmospheric stratification. Atmospheric Environment 43, 5484-5492.
  16. Tominaga, Y., Mochida, A., Yoshie, R., Kataoka, H., Nozu, T., Yoshikawa, M., Shirasawa, T. (2008) AIJ guidelines for practical applications of CFD to pedestrian wind environment around buildings. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 96, 1749-1761.
  17. Tominaga, Y., Stathopoulos, T. (2010) Numerical simulation of dispersion around an isolated cubic building: Model evaluation of RANS and LES. Building and Environment 45, 2231-2239.
  18. Uehara, K., Murakami, S., Oikawa, S., Wakamatsu, S. (2000) Wind tunnel experiments on how thermal stratification affects flow in and above urban street canyons. Atmospheric Environment 34(10), 1553-1562.
  19. Yassin, M.F. (2013) Experimental study on contamination of building exhaust emissions in urban environment under changes of stack locations and atmospheric stability. Energy and Buildings 62, 68-77.
  20. Yassin, M.F., Kato, S., Ooka, R., Takahashi, T., Kouno, R. (2005) Field and wind-tunnel study of pollutant dispersion in a built-up area under various meteorological conditions. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 93, 361-382.

Cited by

  1. A CFD Study on Odor Dispersion around Building Array under Different Atmospheric Stability Conditions vol.37, pp.1, 2018,
  2. Numerical simulation and wind tunnel experiments on the effect of a cubic building on the flow and pollutant diffusion under stable stratification vol.205, pp.None, 2018,