Key outcomes:

  • Stockpile emission wind direction dependence assessed
  • Control measure effectiveness quantified and optimised

Stockpiles are commonly used to store large amounts of material in many industries. Depending on the material being stored, airborne dust emissions can pose significant health and environmental concerns, due to the presence of particulate matter such as crystalline silica, asbestos, arsenic or contaminated soil. To alleviate this problem, a wind break can be used to protect stockpiles from dust emissions.

Dust emissions from a pair of stockpiles during oblique winds.

Figure 1: Contours of dust released from a pair of stockpiles exposed to an oblique wind. The stockpiles are coloured by dust release rate, with blue corresponding to a low rate of dust generation, and red corresponding to a high rate. The generation is highest on the leading edges of the stockpile.

Synergetics have used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling to assess and quantify stockpile emissions and the effect of engineered solutions that significantly reduce emissions for both orthogonal and oblique wind direction. This provides an optimised design for man-made and vegetative wind breaks, and wind fences.