Environmental Flow Wind Tunnel (EnFlo)
The EnFlo laboratory was established so that a wide range of atmospheric boundary layer conditions could be simulated at laboratory scale applied to the study of flow and dispersion processes. The EnFlo wind tunnel is the only wind tunnel in the UK, and one of a few world-wide, designed specifically for this purpose. It has a working section that is 20 m long, 1.5 m high and 3.5 m wide.
The inlet contains a heating section that can raise the temperature of the incoming air flow and the working section is built from roof, floor and wall surfaces that can be either heated or cooled. In this way, stable or unstable conditions can be imposed on the flow through the working section. The airflow itself is driven by twin fans in the outlet section, and between the working and outlet sections is a heat exchanger that removes the heat added to the flow and returns the temperature to that of the laboratory, through which the flow recirculates to the inlet.
Atmospheric boundary layer simulation is based on Monin-Obhukov similarity and this implies that the tunnel must operate at low speeds, with the range being from 0.5 to 2.5 ms-1. Associated with low flow speeds are large temperature gradients and surface heat transfer rates, necessary to impose stability effects, stable and unstable. chilled water system provides the cooling capability, whereas heating is electrical and can be profiled both at the inlet and over the working section surfaces. Temperature differences between the surface and flow can exceed 100 K, limited by the total power consumption.
The working section is fitted with two, three - dimensional traverse gears capable of accessing most of the section. A turntable is centred 14 m from the working section inlet. Associated instrumentation enables, velocity, pressure, temperature and tracer concentration fields to be measured, which includes the capability of measuring the correlations between these fields. Operation of the tunnel and all associated instrumentation is fully automated, allowing unmanned operation over extended periods. All data, along with comprehensive meta-data, are automatically archived.
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