Qualitative and quantitative investigation of multiple large eddy simulation aspects for pollutant dispersion in street canyons using OpenFOAM

Arsenios E. Chatzimichailidis, Christos D. Argyropoulos, Marc J. Assael, Konstantinos Kakosimos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Air pollution is probably the single largest environment risk to health and urban streets are the localized, relevant hotspots. Numerous studies reviewed the state-of-the-art models, proposed best-practice guidelines and explored, using various software, how different approaches (e.g., Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS), large eddy simulations (LES)) inter-compare. Open source tools are continuously attracting interest but lack of similar, extensive and comprehensive investigations. At the same time, their configuration varies significantly among the related studies leading to non-reproducible results. Therefore, the typical quasi-2D street canyon geometry was selected to employ the well-known open-source software OpenFOAM and to investigate and validate the main parameters affecting LES transient simulation of a pollutant dispersion. In brief, domain height slightly affected street level concentration but source height had a major impact. All sub-grid scale models predicted the velocity profiles adequately, but the k-equation SGS model best-resolved pollutant dispersion. Finally, an easily reproducible LES configuration is proposed that provided a satisfactory compromise between computational demands and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2019



  • Atmospheric dispersion
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Street canyon
  • Turbulence modelling: subgrid-scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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