Experts believe wind turbulence has an effect on energy, comfort and health. Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology built a tunnel, powered by an electric motor, to shoot air through a tube at 100 mph. The experiment replicated a city environment where trapped heat is unable to circulate out. By generating the highest possible velocities, scientists are determining how air masses circulate around buildings. To compliment the wind tube, high-speed cameras and lasers measure the speeds. Previous wind tunnel speeds were determined from a single set of measurements, while these experiments measure fluctuations and turbulence in real time. Researchers say the results will aid architects, urban climate planners, air hygienists and building engineers to further analyze energy usage.
Scattered showers. Partly sunny, high near 89. Westerly winds 5 mph. Rain chance: 30 percent. Tonight: Mostly cloudy, then gradually clearing. Low near 68. Westerly winds 5 mph.