Technical overall features
The SEASTAR-WT is an open circuit wind tunnel with rectangular open-jet test section, which dimensions are 6.4×2.5×7.6 m in the spanwise, vertical and streamwise directions, respectively.
The main structure of the WT consists of:
- a contraction
- a wide test section
- a diffuser
- and an air exhaust.
During regular operation, the wind tunnel collects air from the ambient. The air is straightened through a honeycomb layer, that abates any residual fluctuations as well as large structures that may affect the flow quality within the test section. A convergent with area ratio equal to 1.44 minimises the streamwise velocity fluctuations and accelerates the flow to the desired test speed.
The design of the convergent was carefully investigated with numerical simulations as well as looking at data from existing facilities. The final geometry is characterized by two cubic polynomials matched in way to ensuring continuity of the second order derivatives. This choice was deemed to be satisfactory in terms of the flow homogeneity and uniformity within the test section.
A wide test section extending from 6.4m in the cross-stream direction, 2.5 m in height and 7.6 m in the streamwise direction allows testing of a wide range of models and experimental conditions. The possible investigations include air quality, civil and aeronautical applications.
Downstream of the test section, the air decelerates through a 4 m long diffuser with a 3.6° divergence angle, carefully designed to avoid flow separation.
The flow, which is driven by 10 axial fans disposed in two rows and located downstream the diffuser, is finally exhausted in the ambient through an opening in the ceiling.
The flow uniformity has been assessed via extensive characterization tests, using rakes of Pitot Tubes that were traversed across the cross section at several location in the streamwise direction.
The results show that it is possible to obtain a large area of uniform and parallel flow (4.5 m x 5.0 m x 2.0 m) (length x width x height) attaining test speeds as large as 8 m/s, using about 92 kW of power.
The available power of the facility is about 100kW.
The Wind Tunnel is equipped with 10 axial fans with nominal power absorbed of 9.2kW.
The Wind Tunnel is provided with other auxiliary systems:
- Gas supply line, connected with an external storage
- Air extractor for removal of gases residues
Additional supporting features
A unique characteristic of the wind tunnel is that the facility has been designed and built inside a large existing room, so that particular arrangements have been devised to fit the various elements in a confined space while maintaining the flow quality.
The Wind Tunnel is provided with a Technical Control Room, located above the convergent section and it allows easy visual control of operations into the test room.
The Control Room is provided with:
- Control desk for test monitoring (PC + 2 monitors)
- HVAC system
- Control window
- Electric panel
- Full office setup.
The SEASTAR-WT can be further customised according to the specific requirements of those who are interested in its deployment.
The SEASTAR-WT is located in a scientific technological park with supporting facilities such as:
- Additional spaces for offices
- Parking lots
- Pressurised gases storage area.
The Environment Park is also in easy reach of railway stations and of the city airport.