Numerical Investigations of Transient Wind Shear from Passing a Vehicle near a Road Structure

Among elements of intelligent transportation systems for autonomous vehicles are embedded sensors for vehicle to structure and vehicle to road communications. Continuous operations of these sensors require local electric power, especially in remote areas. Electric power sources are also needed for structural health monitoring systems, for any structural damage, whether natural (i.e. earthquake) or manmade (i.e. accident). The first phase of the proposed research aims at understanding wind shear characteristics and transient wind load from passing vehicles along freeways’ underpasses. Results of the proposed phase I study could be used for design of potential antennas and monitoring systems for autonomous vehicles. In the followed phases, we will purpose design optimization for identifying a novel wind turbine system constitute of high efficiency vertical axis wind turbine(s) with guide vane enclosures for capturing and utilizing the wind energy potential for electric power generation. The phase I includes Large Eddy Simulations, laboratory experiments and field measurements of an Ahmed body representing existing vehicles in operation, at different speeds and transverse distances that characterize the transient wind shear and identifying input parameters for the subsequent design optimization study. 

Principal Investigator: 

Hamid Rahai, Ph.D.

PI Contact Information: 
California State University, Long Beach

Project Number: