- Kimya Shakouhi
- BBC Future
The city of Yazd, in the Iranian desert, has long been the cradle of creative creativity.
It houses ancient engineering marvels including an underground cooling structure calledAndashamedUnderground irrigation system called qanat; And even a messaging network called PradazIt is 2,000 years older than the US Postal Service.
Among these ancient techniques, too budgies, also called “wind traps” or “windbreaks”.
It is common to see these structures on the rooftops of the city. Most often they are rectangular towers, although they can also be circular, square, octagonal, or have other ornate shapes.
Yazd is said to have the largest number of windbreaks in the world, Although it is possible that it originated in ancient Egypt.
But in Yazd they soon became indispensable, making this part of the hot and arid Iranian plateau habitable.
Although many of these structures are now deserted, they attract academics, architects, and engineers from the desert city. to see If they can help us today to keep us New in the world becomes hotter.
Since it does not require electricity to operate, it is a cost effective and environmentally friendly method of refrigeration.
With conventional mechanical ventilation already accounting for a fifth of total electricity consumption worldwide, older alternatives such as a wind trap are becoming an increasingly attractive option.
How it works
There are two main forces that push air through the structure and into the building: Incoming wind and change in air buoyancy based on temperature(Warmer air sits on top of cooler, denser air.)
Air enters through the wind collector vents and is directed toward the house, depositing sand or debris at the foot of the tower. It flows through the interior of the building, sometimes through water tanks that further cool it.
This makes Hot air inside height You will exit the building through from the towerThanks to the pressure inside the building.
The house design, tower shape, orientation, number of openings, and configuration of internal fixed blades, ducts, and height are modified to improve its wind-carrying capacity into homes.
The use of air to cool buildings dates back to the days when desert environments began to thrive.Some of the oldest wind capturing techniques come fromNS Egypt from 3300 years agoAccording to researchers Chris Suelberg and Julie Rich from Weber State University in Utah, US.
The system at the time consisted of buildings with thick walls, a few windows facing the sun, vents on one side where the wind was beating, and a vent on the other side, known as king.
Although some say that the birthplace of the wind trap was Iran itself.
Wherever they were invented, they have spread in the MENA region.
Technology variants can be found in many countries, such as Barjeel Qatar and Bahrain roof Egypt meng From Pakistan, says Fatima Gomizadeh of the Malaysian University of Technology.
However, it is widely believed that the Persian civilization changed the structure to make it better cool, for example merging it with an irrigation system.
With the warm climate, these structures soon became famous in Yazd, which was filled with ornate high towers.
FIt was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2017.This is partly due to the spread of windbreaks.
In addition to serving the functional purpose of cooling homes, the towers also had a strong cultural significance and stood out on the horizon as the Zoroastrian Fire Temple and the Tower of Silence.
wind catcher DOLTAD, which is 33 meters high and is said to be the highest in the world. It is one of the few that still works. Perched on top of an octagonal building, it overlooks a fountain that extends beyond the rows of pine trees.
Because of its ability to cool without generating emissions, there are researchers who insist that its use should be reconsidered.
Parham Khairkha We will find them from Ilam University in Iran studied them extensively.
He explains that some inconveniences, such as pests entering the canals and the accumulation of dust and debris from the desert, caused it to fall out of favor.
Today, mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems are used, which are alternatives that often run on fossil fuels and use refrigerants that act as powerful greenhouse gases if released into the atmosphere.
The rise of modern cooling technologies has been the cause of the decline of traditional methods in Iran, Iranian architectural historian Elizabeth Beasley wrote in 1977.
without constant maintenance, The harsh climate of the Iranian plateau was eroding Many structuresFrom wind collectors to ice houses.
Jerkhah Sanjedh also believes that its lack of use is partly due to a tendency to favor Western technologies.
“Reuse requires changing cultural perspectives. People need to look back and understand why energy conservation is so important,” says Jerkhah Sangde.
Khairkhah Sanjadeh hopes that Iran’s windbreaks will be upgraded and be an energy efficient way to cool buildings. But it has faced many barriers, from ongoing international tensions to the coronavirus pandemic to water shortages.
“Things are so bad in Iran that (people) are looking at them day in and day out,” he says.
There may be a revival at some point in fossil-fuel-free refrigeration, and surprisingly, they are found in many Western countries as well (albeit less luxurious than the wind-blown ones in Iran).
employment United kingdomNS Between 1979 and 1994 about 7,000 different types of wind collectors were installed in public buildings. They have buildings like the Royal Chelsea Hospital in London and supermarkets in Manchester, a city in the north of England.
It bears little resemblance to the dominant structures in Iran.
In a three-story building on a busy street in North London, small, hot-pink ventilation towers allow passive ventilation. At the top of the Dartford area shopping center, conical ventilation towers rotate to catch the breeze with the help of a pavilion.
The United States has also enthusiastically embraced designs inspired by wind chasers. An example is the visitor center in Zion National Park in southern Utah.
The park is located on a high desert plateau similar to Yazd in terms of climate and terrain. And the use of passive cooling technologies, including windbreaks, virtually eliminates the need for mechanical air conditioning.
Scientists recorded a temperature difference of about 16 degrees Celsius between the outside and the inside From the visitor center.
As sustainable alternatives are sought in the face of global warming, there is room for these technologies to continue to expand.
In Palermo, Italy, researchers found that due to its climate and prevailing wind conditions, it is a suitable place to invest in the development of Iranian windbreaks.
Last October, the wind catcher featured prominently at the Dubai International Fair, as part of a network of conical buildings at the Austrian Pavilion. The Austrian studio Querkraft drew inspiration from Arabic architecture when designing it.
While researchers such as Jerkhah Sangde argue that a wind receiver has a lot to offer to cool homes without fossil fuels, this innovative technology has already gone further than you might imagine.
The next time you see a tall, airy tower on top of a supermarket, skyscraper, or school, look closely – you might look at Iran’s wonderful wind trap heritage.
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