Determination of the dynamic wind load on water towers

The common feature of tall and slender water towers is that the wind interacts with their big surface in a great height above the ground. Their circular symmetry results in vortex shedding behind the tower and the tank, which inflicts great transverse dynamic load on the structure.

The vortex shedding and the excitation caused by it are strongly dependent on the different shapes of the reservoir and tower, the shape’s change and height, and the fact that the height of the structure is finite. In case of resonance the resulting large deformations influence the flow phenomena which results in a nonlinear process. Investigating this process has an important role during the design and modernization of water towers.

The new wind tunnel and measurement equipment in the Atmospheric Flow Laboratory enable the investigation of vortex shedding and pressures on a sufficiently detailed model of the complex geometry of water towers.

The results can be used to refine the design process of structures which are often exposed to wind loads. They can also provide an outlook for the investigation on the dynamic effects on further tower-like structures.

Involved researchers and departments

Mátyás Hunyadi PhD | BME Faculty of Civil Engineering | Department of Structural Engineering

Recent publications of BME on the subject

Márton Nemes (2011): Investigation of wind effects on water towers (In Hungarian: Víztornyok körüli széláramlások hatásának vizsgálata). MSc Thesis, BME Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Structural Engineering. Supervisors: Dr. Attila Joó, Dr. Tamás Lajos.