The effect of an opposing wind on the stratification and flow produced by a buoyant plume rising from a heat source on the floor of a ventilated enclosure is investigated. Ventilation openings located at high level on the windward side of the enclosure and at low level on the leeward side allow a wind-driven flow from high to low level, opposite to the buoyancy-driven flow. One of two stable steady flow regimes is established depending on a dimensionless parameter $F$ that characterizes the relative magnitudes of the wind-driven and buoyancy-driven velocities within the enclosure, and on the time history of the flow. A third, unstable steady flow solution is identified. For small opposing winds (small $F$) a steady, two-layer stratification and displacement ventilation is established. Exterior fluid enters through the lower leeward openings and buoyant interior fluid leaves through the upper windward openings. As the wind speed increases, the opposing wind may cause a reversal in the flow direction. In this case, cool exterior fluid enters through the high windward openings and mixes the interior fluid, which exits through the leeward openings. There are now two possibilities. If the rate of heat input by the source exceeds the rate of heat loss through the leeward openings, the temperature of the interior increases and this flow reversal is only maintained temporarily. The buoyancy force increases with time, the flow reverts to its original direction, and steady two-layer displacement ventilation is re-established and maintained. In this regime, the increase in wind speed increases the depth and temperature of the warm upper layer, and reduces the ventilation flow rate. If, on the other hand, the heat loss exceeds the heat input, the interior cools and the buoyancy-driven flow decreases. The reversed flow is maintained, the stratification is destroyed and mixing ventilation occurs. Further increases in wind speed increase the ventilation rate and decrease the interior temperature.
The transitions between the two ventilation flow patterns exhibit hysteresis. The change from displacement ventilation to mixing ventilation occurs at a higher $F$ than the transition from mixing to displacement. Further, we find that the transition from mixing to displacement ventilation occurs at a fixed value of $F$, whereas the transition from displacement to mixing flow is dependent on the details of the time history of the flow and the geometry of the openings, and is not determined solely by the value of $F$.
Theoretical models that predict the steady stratification profiles and flow rates for the displacement and mixing ventilation, and the transitions between them, are presented and compared with measurements from laboratory experiments. The transition between these ventilation patterns completely changes the internal environment, and we discuss some of the implications for the natural ventilation of buildings.