Air Research

Building-integrated wind energy is gaining considerable traction, as evinced by a number of high profile projects around the world. Among the strategies for integration, using the building form to augment wind flows onto the turbines can significantly increase energy production, compared to using the buildings merely as towers for mounting the turbines. However, most of the existing proposals for this form-based augmentation utilize large non-yawing wind turbines.

This severely limits their applicability, especially in urban environments where the wind flows are typically turbulent and variable. Additionally, the structural and safety issues that result from these strategies require significant mitigation measures. This research and development area investigates the viability of deploying smaller distributed turbines mounted on the exterior of aerodynamically shaped buildings, based on the concept of the
Wind Assisted Rotor Platform (WARP). The WARP system uses saddle ridge shaped modules to amplify and channel wind flows onto attached turbines. As part of this study, different WARP-based configurations are being evaluated against other comparable wind augmentation options for single tower buildings on the basis of potential energy yields and usable floor space area. The results show that the new approach can generate up to 150% greater energy yield than the next highest alternative. Further analysis of the proposed approach also suggests that it can allow for harnessing a wide range of wind directions, while freeing up valuable interior space, offering it huge advantages in variety of design situations.

Related Research

Sponsorship to Date


Research Teams:

Anna Dyson, Jason Vollen, Chris Letchford, Michael Amitay, Ajith Rao, David Menicovich, Nina Wilson, Teresa Rainey, Ning Xiang, Rhett Russo. 

Industrial Collaborators:


Other Collaborators:


Select Publications

C.W. Letchford, D.C. Lander, P. Case, A. Dyson, M. Amitay, (2016) Bio-mimicry inspired tall buildings: The response of cactus-like buildings to wind action at Reynolds Number of 10x4, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Volume 150, Pages 22-30. 

Menicovich, D., et al. (2014) "Improving aerodynamic performance of tall buildings using Fluid based Aerodynamic Modification." Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 133: 263-273.

Menicovich, D., et al. (2012) "A Different Approach to the Aerodynamic Performance of Tall Buildings." Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats Technical Paper(Issue IV): 18-23.


Methods and Systems of Modifying Air Flow at Building Structures

Dyson, A., Vollen J., Amitay M., Stark P., Rao A., DeMauro E., Menicovich D. (2015).U.S. Application No. US20150308103A1

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