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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 783187, 10 pages
Research Article

Large Eddy Simulation of Unstably Stratified Turbulent Flow over Urban-Like Building Arrays

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Received 8 October 2013; Accepted 31 October 2013

Academic Editor: Bing Wang

Copyright © 2013 Bobin Wang and Guixiang Cui. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thermal instability induced by solar radiation is the most common condition of urban atmosphere in daytime. Compared to researches under neutral conditions, only a few numerical works studied the unstable urban boundary layer and the effect of buoyancy force is unclear. In this paper, unstably stratified turbulent boundary layer flow over three-dimensional urban-like building arrays with ground heating is simulated. Large eddy simulation is applied to capture main turbulence structures and the effect of buoyancy force on turbulence can be investigated. Lagrangian dynamic subgrid scale model is used for complex flow together with a wall function, taking into account the large pressure gradient near buildings. The numerical model and method are verified with the results measured in wind tunnel experiment. The simulated results satisfy well with the experiment in mean velocity and temperature, as well as turbulent intensities. Mean flow structure inside canopy layer varies with thermal instability, while no large secondary vortex is observed. Turbulent intensities are enhanced, as buoyancy force contributes to the production of turbulent kinetic energy.