Windtunnel Design & Construction – part 1: design brief

 

In 2013 I designed & built the new low-speed windtunnel for the VUB, Vrije Universiteit Brussels. At the time I got asked to take on this job, I was in the process of building my own low-cost windtunnel in my workshop. I wanted to continue the wind tunnel testing I was doing with Maximillian. As a result of this project, this first tunnel was never finished.
But there is a 20m/s, 2-ton, modular wind tunnel at the VUB.  And I have the keys of the room.

Ofcourse, if I had simply rented someone elses wind tunnel for a couple of weeks, those wind tunnel tests would have been finished a long time age. I’m stupid that way.

The design brief, by prof. Tim De Troyer, was for a low-speed wind tunnel with these specifications:

-maximum windspeed 15m/s
-cross-section of test section: 500mm high by 700mm wide
-overall length <10.5 m, constricted by room dimensions
-all components needed to fit through the doorframe (1480mmx2050mm) as the tunnel will need to be moved somewhere in 2016
-to allow for multiple student projects to use the tunnel, it needed interchangeable test sections

A baseline for the design was provided by an existing wind tunnel, designed and built by the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics for EMA, Ecole des Mines in Alès, France.
http://mines-ales.fr/pages/lequipement )
This tunnel is a suction-type tunnel. These can be shorter for a given wind speed than the equivalent blower tunnel.
The new design was to be a 140% scaled-up version of this tunnel.

The windtunnel was designed and built over a period from may 2013 to december 2013.

Airflow design & overall dimensions: Tim De Troyer

 

 



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