A Review of Urban Wind Energy Research: Aerodynamics and Other Challenges

Daniel Micaleff, Gerard van Bussel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


Urban wind energy research is crucial for the success or failure of wind turbines installed in the built environment. Research in this field is fragmented into various research groups working on different topics in isolation with seemingly few efforts of integrating the various fields. This review aims at highlighting the synergies between the various advances, particularly in aerodynamics, but also in other areas. Past and current work has been focused on establishing reliable wind statistics at the site of interest. Advances in building aerodynamics have provided new insight on the local flow occurring at the rotor location. An outlook toward future research and the need to treat the different flow scales in a holistic manner is emphasized given also the recent advances in rotor aerodynamics related to the effect of flow skewness and turbulence. This will shed light on the critical issues that need to be addressed by scientists in order to make urban wind energy viable for decentralized generation. Various other present challenges are discussed briefly including structural aspects, noise emissions, economics and visual impact. Research in this field should be the guidepost for more targeted certification standards, in an effort to regularize the small wind energy market.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2204
Number of pages27
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • urban wind energy
  • wind resource
  • small-scale wind turbine
  • Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT)
  • Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT)
  • building integrated wind energy
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


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