Vrije Universiteit Brussel


The Wind Tunnel

The wind tunnel of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the VUB is an open circuit wind tunnel with a 1 m high, 2 m wide and 12 m long testing chamber. Downstream the testing there is a diffuser followed by a vertical exit of the stream. The wind tunnel is powered by a big centrifugal fan which creates a wind stream that is guided first to a stabilization chamber, and then to the testing chamber. The stability chamber is used to reduce the turbulence associated to the fan. This wind tunnel is prepared to test models in a low-turbulence stream condition, as well as in a stream that reproduces the atmospheric boundary layer. A wide range of projects can be carried out in a wind tunnel, for example research into the wind action on buildings and other civil structures, analysis of the suitability of geografic areas for the installation of wind turbines parks, or research on pedestrian comfort in urban environments.

Different views of the wind tunnel of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the VUB.

Example of the atmospheric boundary layer simulation in a wind tunnel.
Study of the wind flows in the Koning Boudewijn stadium (Brussels),
carried out at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the VUB.

Examples of wind tunnel projects. Wind-load tests (upper left),
and wind-comfort at pedestrian level in an urban configuration
(lower left, both pictures from the Torre Espacio project in Madrid).
Research on coal dust dispersion in the surroundings of a dock in Galicia,
Spain (right). Pictures courtesy of the IDR/UPM Institute (Madrid).

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