A CFD-Based Wind Solver for an Urban Fast Response Transport and Dispersion Model

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In many cities, ambient air quality is deteriorating leading to concerns about the health of city inhabitants. In urban areas with narrow streets surrounded by clusters of tall buildings, called street canyons, air pollution from traffic emissions and other sources may accumulate resulting in high pollutant concentrations. For various situations, including the evacuation of populated areas in the event of an accidental or deliberate release of chemical, biological and radiological agents, it is important that models should be developed that produce urban flow fields quickly. Various computational techniques have been used to calculate these flow fields, but these techniques are often computationally intensive. Most fast response models currently in use are at a disadvantage in these cases as they are unable to correlate highly heterogeneous urban structures with the diagnostic parameterizations on which they are based. In this paper, a novel variant of the popular projection method for solving the Navier–Stokes equations has been developed and applied to produce fast and reasonably accurate parallel computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solutions for flow in complex urban areas. This model, called QUIC-CFD represents an intermediate balance between fast (on the order of minutes for a several block problem) and reasonably accurate solutions. This paper details the solution procedure and validates this model for various simple and complex urban geometries.