The development of commercial wind towers for natural ventilation: a review

Ben Richard Hughes, John Kaiser Calautit, Saud Abdul Ghani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


Wind towers have been in existence in various forms for centuries as a non mechanical means of providing indoor ventilation, energy prices and climate change agendas have refocused engineers and researchers on the low carbon credentials of modern equivalents. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the development of wind tower device and their integration into buildings, thus providing a comprehensive review of current and potential wind tower development. Previous works have investigated wind and buoyancy factors for induced natural ventilation to drive air flow through the wind tower. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of different configurations and components on the performance of wind towers. Studies include the use of evaporative cooling device inside the tower to improve its thermal performance, the use of solar chimneys, courtyards and curved roofs to enhance the air movement inside the structure, and the use of volume control dampers and ceiling diffuser to optimize the fresh air flow rate and indoor conditions. The review further highlights the different cooling techniques which can be integrated with wind tower systems to improve ventilation and thermal performance. The basic principles of each technique along with its corresponding capabilities are summarized along with their advantages limitations and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-627
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • evaporative cooling
  • natural ventilation
  • thermal comfort
  • wind towers
  • wind vent


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