Current wind-resistant design of wind-sensitive structures including large-scale cooling towers
is generally carried out with respect to synoptic boundary-layer-type strong winds. A swirling tornado
can produce significantly different wind pressures than conventional boundary-layer wind. This paper
presents both stationary and translating tornado effects on a cooling tower in a tornado vortex
simulator developed at Tongji University, China. Wind pressures acting on the external surface of
cooling tower model were measured at a fixed swirl ratio (S = 0.54) in the present study. Different
radial distances between a cooling tower and stationary tornado vortex center were considered.
Translating tornadoes with three different translation speeds (u = 0.04 m/s, 0.12 m/s and 0.2 m/s) were
simulated. The results show that a tornado vortex can produce high negative wind pressures on a
cooling tower surface due to the negative pressure drop accompanying a tornado. A cooling tower
exposed to a tornado experiences combined effects of pressure drop accompanying a tornado and
aerodynamic flow-structure interaction.
Journal of Applied Science and Engineering 19(3), pp.285-292