Wind tunnel test and numerical study of a multi-sided wind tower with horizontal heat pipes

Harry Mahon*, Daniel Friedrich, Ben Richard Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Passive ventilation such as wind towers can ventilate spaces by using regional pressure differences and the stack effect. Wind towers are often closed throughout the winter to prevent an increase in heating energy demand. Heat pipes can be installed to recover heat from the outgoing to the incoming air, however the inclusion of heat recovery can incur a pressure drop that negatively impacts ventilation rates. Here it is shown that with an array of horizontally arranged heat pipes, ventilation rates of 0.1 m3/s are maintained at a 1 m/s inlet velocity. The incoming air temperature was raised by up to 2.8 °C, thereby increasing the operational window of the passive ventilation system. By mounting the heat pipes horizontally through the wind tower, direct heat transfer is facilitated between the inlet and outlet. The results demonstrate how a passive ventilation and heat recovery system is likely to operate in the winter months of a cooler climate according to the wind speed and temperature difference between the fresh and exhaust air. It is intended that this system will be further developed to provide both heating and cooling in the winter and summer respectively by installing a seasonal thermal loop.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125118
Early online date14 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Passive ventilation
  • Wind tower
  • Wind tunnel testing
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Heat recovery
  • Heat pipes


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