Wind Tunnel for Family Day

  • I found a good website to reference for making a wind tunnel. Generally the model is smaller than our desired design, but I look at changing the numbers over to the proper proportions for the best result.

    I would also like to have a more dynamic control of the test object, so that the angle or the position can change.

    Here are two good build website to follow. The first one is a good construction manual for a wind tunnel while, and the second one is a good source of a small wind tunnel experiment.


    I’m thinking to reduce size that we go with a closed-circuit wind tunnel shown in the picture below. tuncret.jpg illustration-wind-tunnels-1.gif .

    The big difference is their will be a change to make the large “fan” section move to below the test area instead of beside the test area. It will slightly change the aerodynamics, but will make it a more reasonable size for testing. The test area, if we can obtain plexiglass or clear plastic, would look like the below picture.

  • Sounds good!

    What material do you plan to make the loop back section from? If you want to use ducting we should checkout KRM. I was there last week and they still had a bunch of 6" and some 8" ducting there.

  • Sounds like it is worth checking out for supplies. We should be hoping for 12" ducting if we can find it for the smaller section. Lets just see what kind of supplies we can find and work from there.

  • P1020022.jpg I got this from Thompson reuse. Its here at the space! :)

  • What is the wind tunnel being made for?

  • The wind tunnel will be constructed using plywood, 3/8 and 1/4 with bracing. The area where we will be testing will be made from plexiglass.

  • I think @GHunter is asking what it is "being made for?"

    Our goal with it is to amuse children (and ourselves) with science and technology. It will be featured at our event for the Family day on Monday. After that event, the wind tunnel will likely stay at the space for people that are interested in experimenting with aerodynamics.

    @Jacob-S is the man behind this project and has been doing an awesome job. I am really looking forward to seeing this project in action!

  • Thanks Aras. The difference that a preposition can do to change a sentence.

    That’s right. The wind tunnel is being built for Family Day to demonstrate wind resistance and aerodynamics to kids. Eventually, we might add some components to do some model testing for anyone interested in wind testing. Hopefully!

  • Sounds like really fun project. Personally I would love to throw a scratch build model rocket in something like this to confirm stability.
    That could also be an idea for something kids could play with, build a little weighted model and see if they put on large enough fins to make it stable for flight.

    My brother works in a fluid dynamics research company in Vancouver, I asked him if they might have any materials kicking around and he doesn’t think so off hand but if there are some specifics you know of I can ask.
    If you need some sketching done to verify plans or materials I can throw something together in CAD.

  • I think it still needs some clear acrylic sheets. If I remember correctly, @Jacob-S said two pieces of approximately 12" by 24" or so. It would be used for the display area.

  • I forgot to add that they are based out of the lower mainland, edited now. So they wouldn’t be much help for raw materials but if looking for something very specific such as honeycomb air-flow straighteners, screens I can inquire on that. Would take some time for sure.

  • @aras - we are currently waiting on the plexiglass / acrylic sheeting, but Tyler has heard back from his source.

    @GHunter - I would definitely like to inquire about the honeycomb air-flow screens. Previously we were going to make our own with drinking straws, but the amount of time required to do it seemed unlikely. Right now we will be using a plastic lattice due to time constraints, but I’m still looking to improve on the design after Family Day.

  • 3D

    Hey, all.
    Apart from the BC Family Day deadline part, can turbofan engines be used as high-power wind generators?.. Like in this video:

    I just thought we could scale it up (like, x 3), use a brushless high-RPM motor and 3D print a big fan with a high-pressure compressor part (except we won’t have a combustion part and, therefore, a turbine).

  • @Jacob-S I’ve asked about the straightener materials.
    Some other options could be paper tubing? Toilet paper and towel rolls would be the cheapest, for a smoother finish some purchased tubing like this would work and the quality is pretty top notch.
    What is the opening area? For a 24"x24" area and 3" straightener length one could build out for $40 with the above tubing.

  • The opening area is 48" by 48". The testing area will be 15" by 15".

  • Sorry, I’ve been trying to upload the pictures of the finished product for the last few days, but the website isn’t allowing it. Either way, we were able to finish the product and have it set up for Family Day.

  • 0_1455848744938_20160207_141109.jpg

  • 0_1455848916795_20160207_141131.jpg

    Yes, we are testing the aerodynamics of snips. No one forgot them inside the test area

  • After talking with NIck, we are looking to do a couple of upgrades to the wind tunnel to make it work a little better.

    • The lattice currently in there doesn’t “streamline” the air great. Either replacing the lattice or adding another lattice would improve it much better.
    • Change smoke nozzle for a finer end piece
    • Install wind sensors: I got an Anemometer which will measure the wind speed through the test section.
    • Install weight sensors: I am thinking of using load cells from a digital scale and building a jig/apparatus to measure things like weight, lift force, and drag force.

    The last two are extras, but would it not be sweet to have an aerodynamics testing facility here in town…

  • Could build a new longer straightener by using the new laser cutter to make some strips, finger jointed for easy construction? Would make trying to build at the inlet dimensions much easier.
    0_1460393287036_flow straightener.jpg

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