Designing and building a low cost laminar flow wind tunnel
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Designing and Building a Low-Cost, Laminar Flow Wind Tunnel. S. Clardy Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR. Motivation.

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Designing and Building a Low-Cost, Laminar Flow Wind Tunnel

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Designing and Building a Low-Cost, Laminar Flow Wind Tunnel

S. ClardyHenderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR


Motivation

  • The purpose of this study was to design and build a “small scale” wind tunnel (net length is approx. 20 ft – test chamber length is 3 ft) in which experimenters can reliably determine the turbulent effects from the wing itself versus effects created by the wind tunnel design and the medium used to view the turbulent flow.

  • Partnership in Light Sport Aircraft to study potential new wing designs to reduce vortices


Project Constraints

  • Cost

    • Designed to be built for under $5000

  • Facility Layout

    • Placed in a 6’x24’ room

    • Hallway considerations

Hallway

Wind Tunnel Room

Shop

Classroom


Open return vs. Closed Return Systems


Open Design with Semi-CloseD Effects Due to Placement

Hallway

Wind Tunnel Room

Shop

Classroom


Our Windtunnel


The Nozzle

  • Shape determined by 5th order Bell-Metha polynomials1

  • Y is the height, x is horizontal distance, L is the total axial length (4ft)

  • Using boundary condition

    • a= -7.5

    • b=18.75

    • c=-12.5

    • d=0

    • e=0

    • f=2

1. Justin Pereira, ed. Wind Tunnels: Aerodynamics, Models, and Experiments. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2011, Ch 7.


The Viewing Chamber

  • 18”x18”x36”

  • ½” plexiglass

  • Center and wall mounting systems

  • Sample size: 14.4” across the chamber


The Diffuser


Material and Construction Decisions

  • Nozzle

    • Fiberglass

    • Cast in 2 halves

    • Mold created from wood and foam

  • Diffuser

    • Fiberglass

    • Cast in 2 halves (length-wise)

    • Mold created from wood

    • Square outlet vs. round outlet


Thanks!

  • Arkansas Space Grant Consortium

  • Ellis College Planning and Advisory Committee

  • HSU Physics

  • Student Collaborators:

    • Ross Pilgreen

    • Nathan Johnson

    • Jonathan Springer

    • Brian Terry

    • Matthew Bolt


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