Optimal Location of Microturbines in Low-rise Building Blocks for Sustainable Wind Energy Utilization (Case Study: Qazvin City)

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Art, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran.



Small wind turbines are developed to help harvest clean wind energy within the built environment and to avoid energy losses and negative environmental effects associated with wind farms. A common issue is that the wind speed in the urban environment, especially at low altitude, does not necessarily meet the minimum speed required by the microturbines. Since the production power of the turbines has a direct relationship with the speed of the wind, it is necessary to place the turbine in a place with maximum wind speed. The purpose of this article is to identify the optimal location of the microturbine between and on the roof of buildings, so that by using the maximum available wind speed, the microturbine can show optimal performance. By comparing the wind speed at various points in 6-, 12- and 18-meters wide corridors between buildings in Qazvin City with relatively good wind potential, as well as three points on the middle axis of the rooftop, CFD simulation and 3D profiles show that it is possible to locate areas in corridors between low-rise buildings where the wind speed gets accelerated by up to 43%, which creates an opportunity for on-site use of renewable wind energy.


  1. Abe, K., & Ohya, Y. (2004). An investigation of flow fields around flanged diffusers using CFD. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 92(3–4), 315–330. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jweia.2003.12.003.
  2. Abohela, I., Hamza, N., & Dudek, S. (2013). Effect of roof shape, wind direction, building height and urban configuration on the energy yield and positioning of roof mounted wind turbines. Renewable Energy, 50, 1106–1118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2012.08.068.
  3. Alamdari, P., Nematollahi, O., & Alemrajabi, A. (2019). Investigating the potential of wind energy in Qazvin province for the construction of a wind power plant. 5th Conference and Exhibition on Environmental Engineering.
  4. Anderson, D. ., Whale, J., Livingston, P. ., & CHAN, D. (2008). Rooftop Wind Resource Assessment using a Three-Dimensional Ultrasonic Anemometer (p. 7). Murdoch University.
  5. Ayhan, D., & Sağlam, Ş. (2012). A technical review of building-mounted wind power systems and a sample simulation model. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(1), 1040–1049. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/ j.rser. 2011.09.028.
  6. Bataineh, K., & Alrabee, A. (2018). Improving the energy efficiency of the residential buildings in Jordan. Buildings, 8(7), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8070085.
  7. Biglari, M., Assareh, E., Nedaei, M., & Poultangari, I. (2014). Feasibility study and economic evaluation of wind energy in north of Khuzestan province : case study of shush-tar. Iranian Journal of Energy, 17(1).
  8. Blackmore, P. (2008). Siting Micro-Wind Turbines on House Roofs. BRE Press.
  9. Bobrova, D. (2015). Building-integrated wind turbines in the aspect of architectural shaping. Procedia Engineering, 117(1), 404–410. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2015.08.185.
  10. Cace, J., Horst, E., Syngellakis, K., Niel, M., Clement, P., Heppener, R., & Peirano, E. (2007). Urban wind turbines - guidlines for small wind turbines in the built environment. 1–41.
  11. Calautit, K., Aquino, A., Calautit, J. K., Nejat, P., Jomehzadeh, F., & Hughes, B. R. (2018). A review of numerical modelling of multi-scale wind turbines and their environment. Computation, 6(1), 1–37. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/ computation6010024.
  12. Chang, R.-D., Zuo, J., Zhao, Z.-Y., Zillante, G., Gan, X.-L., & Soebarto, V. (2017). Evolving theories of sustainability and firms: History, future directions and implications for renewable energy research. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 72, 48–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.01.029.
  13. Cho, K. P., Jeong, S. H., & Sari, D. P. (2011). Harvesting wind energy from aerodynamic design for building integrated wind turbines. International Journal of Technology, 2(3), 189–198. https://doi.org/10.14716/ ijtech. v2i3.1056.
  14. Dabiri, J. O. (2011). Potential order-of-magnitude enhancement of wind farm power density via counter-rotating vertical-axis wind turbine arrays. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, 3(4). https://doi.org/ 10.1063/ 1.3608170.
  15. Dutton, Andrew & Halliday, Jim & Blanch, MJ. (2005). The Feasibility of Building-Mounted/Integrated Wind Turbines (BUWTs): Achieving their potential for carbon emission reductions. Final Report of Carbon Trust Contract 2002-07-028-1-6.
  16. Farsi, S., & Nazari, M. (2018). Optimal Height for a Wind Tower on a Building in Yazd. Iranian Journal of Energy, 20(4), 101-112.
  17. Heo, Y. G., Choi, N. J., Choi, K. H., Ji, H. S., & Kim, K. C. (2016). CFD study on aerodynamic power output of a 110 kW building augmented wind turbine. Energy and Buildings, 129, 162–173. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/ j.enbuild.2016.08.004.
  18. Jafari, S. A. H., & Kosasih, B. (2014). Flow analysis of shrouded small wind turbine with a simple frustum diffuser with computational fluid dynamics simulations. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 125, 102–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jweia.2013.12.001.
  19. Jahangiri, M., Aghaei, E., & Zamani, M. (2012). Investigating renewable wind energy potential in Qazvin province, case study: Shoorje station. 2nd Conference on Environmental Planning and Management.
  20. KC, A., Whale, J., & Urmee, T. (2019). Urban wind conditions and small wind turbines in the built environment: A review. Renewable Energy, 131, 268–283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2018.07.050.
  21. Ledo, L., Kosasih, P. B., & Cooper, P. (2011). Roof mounting site analysis for micro-wind turbines. Renewable Energy, 36(5), 1379–1391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2010.10.030.
  22. Lee, K. Y., Tsao, S. H., Tzeng, C. W., & Lin, H. J. (2018). Influence of the vertical wind and wind direction on the power output of a small vertical-axis wind turbine installed on the rooftop of a building. Applied Energy, 209(May), 383–391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.185.
  23. Lu, L., & Ip, K. Y. (2009). Investigation on the feasibility and enhancement methods of wind power utilization in high-rise buildings of Hong Kong. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 13(2), 450–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2007.11.013.
  24. Lu, L., & Sun, K. (2014). Wind power evaluation and utilization over a reference high-rise building in urban area. Energy and Buildings, 68, 339–350. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2013.09.029.
  25. Minh Bui, D., & Melis, W. J. C. (2013). Micro Wind Turbines for Energy Gathering in Build Up Areas. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Development, 2(2), 105–114. https://doi.org/10.20533/ ijsed.2046. 3707.2013.0016.
  26. Minner, K. (2010). Marina + Beach Towers / Oppenheim Architecture + Design. Archdaily.Com. https://www.archdaily.com/ 87669/marina- beach- towers- oppenheim- architecture- design? ad_ medium= bookmark- recommendation & ad_name=iframe-modal.
  27. Nasarullah Chaudhry, H., Kaiser Calautit, J., & Richard Hughes, B. (2014). The Influence of Structural Morphology on the Efficiency of Building Integrated Wind Turbines (BIWT). AIMS Energy, 2(3), 219–236. https://doi.org/10.3934/energy.2014.3.219.
  28. Padmanabhan, K. K. (2013). Study on increasing wind power in buildings using TRIZ Tool in urban areas. Energy and Buildings, 61, 344–348. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2012.11.038.
  29. Park, J., Jung, H. J., Lee, S. W., & Park, J. (2015). A new building-integrated wind turbine system utilizing the building. Energies, 8(10), 11846–11870. https://doi.org/10.3390/en81011846.
  30. Rafailidis, S. (1997). Influence of building areal density and roof shape on the wind characteristics above a town. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 85(2), 255–271. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1000426316328.
  31. Ramin, H., & Karimi, H. (2020). Optimum envelope design toward zero energy buildings in Iran. E3S Web of Conferences, 172, 16004. https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/202017216004.
  32. Sari, D. P. (2015). Measurement of the Influence of Roof Pitch to Increasing Wind Power Density. Energy Procedia, 65, 42–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2015.01.029.
  33. Toja-Silva, F., Lopez-Garcia, O., Peralta, C., Navarro, J., & Cruz, I. (2016). An empirical–heuristic optimization of the building-roof geometry for urban wind energy exploitation on high-rise buildings. Applied Energy, 164, 769–794. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.11.095.
  34. Wang, B., Cot, L. D., Adolphe, L., & Geoffroy, S. (2017). Estimation of wind energy of a building with canopy roof. In Sustainable Cities and Society (Vol. 35). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2017.08.026.
  35. Wang B, Cot LD, Adolphe L, Geoffroy S, Morchain J. (2015). Estimation of wind energy over roof of two perpendicular buildings. In Energy and Buildings. 88:57-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2014.11.072.
  36. Wang, C., & Prinn, R. G. (2010). Potential climatic impacts and reliability of very large-scale wind farms. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10(4), 2053–2061. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-10-2053-2010.
  37. Yang, A. S., Su, Y. M., Wen, C. Y., Juan, Y. H., Wang, W. S., & Cheng, C. H. (2016). Estimation of wind power generation in dense urban area. Applied Energy, 171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.03.007.
  38. Zhou, H., Lu, Y., Liu, X., Chang, R., & Wang, B. (2017). Harvesting wind energy in low-rise residential buildings: Design and optimization of building forms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 167, 306–316. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.08.166.