Faculty of Engineering

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Engineering
Organisational UnitDepartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)David Burton


This unit introduces aerodynamic concepts applicable to both wind energy and wind engineering. It conveys the fundamentals of the wind environment, and how the wind interacts with both turbines to generate power, and structures to cause loads.

The unit will be conveyed in three sections: the wind environment, wind energy and wind engineering.

Wind engineering is a broad field that concerns the manner that the wind resource can be understood and harnessed for the benefit of society, and the need to understand the potential damaging effects for design purposes, such as wind effects on structures. Examples of wind engineering areas include the effect of wind on structures and their surrounding environment, building ventilation, pollution dispersion, and energy production from wind.

Students will first develop an understanding of the natural wind environment, which is essential to both the assessment of the performance of wind turbines and the estimation of structural wind loads. The significance of the wind environment to engineering problems, both structural and mechanical, is explored. The section on wind energy aerodynamic considers the science associated with the production of power from the wind. An understanding of the wind resource and the aerodynamics of wind turbines, including turbine performance, analysis methods, wind turbine siting, and blade / component loading will be developed. The wind engineering section is primarily concerned with understanding wind effects on structures, although other wind engineering problems such as pedestrian level winds, pollutions dispersion and wind-generated noise are discussed. The techniques (including wind tunnel and code based) available to the engineer when estimating wind loads are introduced and applied providing experience in solving practical engineering problems.


At the completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Describe the statistical characteristics of the wind resource for both mean and extreme wind events, and the environmental parameters that influence the nature of the atmospheric boundary layer.
  • Apply basic wind turbine aerodynamic models of horizontal wind turbines to estimate turbine aerodynamic performance, including the actuator disc concept and blade element momentum theory, and approaches to aerofoil design.
  • Combine environmental and turbine performance data to evaluate the power production of individual turbines and wind farms, considering site identification, topology and turbine wake interaction.
  • Synthesize relevant wind resource, experimental and environmental data to analyse the mean and peak, local and bulk loads on structures using reference data, standards (AS/NZS1170.2) and experimental testing.
  • Predict the dynamic response of basic structures under wind loads, including vortex induced vibration, buffeting, galloping and flutter.
  • Apply the techniques and considerations relevant to a wind engineer to engineering problems and projects including: wind loading, wind and turbine generated noise, wind effects on pedestrians and pollution dispersion.


Laboratory and assignments: 40%
Examination (2 hours): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures, 2 hours practice sessions or laboratories and 7 hours of private study per week.