# Windflow through courtyard of apartment complex?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by zargod, Jun 23, 2012.

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1. ### zargodRegistered Member

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? I cannot find an answer to this online easily. Any help thanks.

Situation: I live with one window in a small courtyard with other tenants windows as close as 8 feet away. I smoke so I use a box fan to blow air IN, not out, so the smoke and smell does not get blasted into the other rooms. So I am trying to find out how the airflow works in a small and very thin Courtyard, say 8 feet by 30, and 2 story deep. I think the wind blowing in is best but I could be wrong and would like some science to understand whats actually going on with the wind.

Does the wind blowing overhead suck all the air out of the courtyard with it? That seems the logical guess. Would a fan blowing out have better effects than blowing with the neighbors windows right there and we all do have them open a bit it seems, for air renewal and smoke removal and not smoking out the neighbors...

3. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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The search terms you are probably looking for are "building aerodynamic" or "architectural aerodynamics" that should give you some results if nobody answers.

Most people that would likely attempt to work out such problems would first attempt to evaluate as to what values are important before they even attempt the mathematics, otherwise you'll be left with a lot of guestimations, The more the guesses for estimated values the greater the margin for error. I hope that helps.

5. ### keith1Guest

If the direction of the wind is parallel with the length of the courtyard, you may get some coiling downdraft movement of air which likely would act as you suggest.
Variables of windows open in an apartment's outer surfaces (not on the courtyard), that would draw air into the apartment, again, depending on wind direction, variables we have not been made privy to.

Because of wind dynamics in the long courtyard column, air may naturally progress through the apartment, to exit the outer surfaces, with no fan needed.

One could discuss your intent to explore these unknowns with your neighbors in advance. Then purposely release smoke (either cigar, white nontoxic smoke bombs used for such purpose, or other available smoke source).

Solution #2: Smoke 25 feet away from the housing complex.

Solution #3: Quit smoking.

7. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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That's the best and cheapest solution.

8. ### zargodRegistered Member

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Let me Re Define:

Forget the smoking. How can I efficiently clear out the air in my room with the above specs, does fan blowing IN or OUT make a difference. Now this is NOT to AC the room, cool hot has nothing do with it. I would like to know how to get the most fresh air in that room as quick as possible.

9. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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What you need is a decent airflow, this in some environments might be done by opening a window in another room on a different face of a building and allowing the airflow from around the building to naturally flow through.

If you've only got one window, then that's obviously not an option, however there is something you could try (Although I'm not promising anything, you'd have to look online and see if other people have tried this)

Take a wide diameter flexible pipe (similar to that used for tumble dryers or aircons) and put that in one half of the window opening and stretch it to the other side of the room and fix it to your fan that pulls air in, Leave the other half of the window open.

Now the ideas this, if the diameter of the pipe is big enough you'll be able to "suck" a decent enough air flow through with no problem, if the pipework is too thin, then you'll going to find your fan having to work harder to pull air through.

I would have said stick the fan in the window to get round the problem of airflow constriction, however doing this means that your window won't be open to allow natural windflow to also effect the room (since the window would be split between the confines of the pipe output and the fan)

10. ### keith1Guest

Redefining gives opportunity for clarity of thought.

1) As is already been stated, the design of the apartment may already hold the most efficient method, owing that your room is :

--downwind and aligned at the shortest wall of the inside courtyard. The wind will naturally draft to your room window.
-- a clear path for the wind to travel thru your room, to the rest of the house, and to exit the house somewhere downwind of your room. The wind must exit an opening. It cannot travel into a "closed bottle".

2) If you want a fan-assisted arraignment that is the most efficient use of such, then place the fan to blow air out of the house (outlet). The fan's motor size, fan blade size, diameter of fan opening is of course a variable. The (inlet) window, preferably in your room as it will get the fresh inlet air first, should be larger in area, than the fan aperture area (diameter of the fan blade). Fans like to draw air, rather than push a volume of air in front of them.

If a door is closed or blockage is introduced between the Inlet opening and the fan port exit (outlet), will of course defeat the circulation ability of the fan system.

11. ### zargodRegistered Member

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Good food for thought thnx!