Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
In 2013 West Virginia University acquired an Environmental Wind Tunnel from Cornell University. Due to the state of the tunnel, elements of the tunnel were redesigned and rebuilt at the West Virginia University Hangar in Morgantown, West Virginia. The motivation of this research was to evaluate and qualify the flow field within the test section of this redesigned and reconstructed wind tunnel. The tunnel has many uses for the university, including outside research opportunities as well as educational purposes for students in the Aerospace Engineering Department. The methods employed for this effort included developing a grid of pitot tubes to cover the test section cross sectional area. An electric pressure-scanning module that contained 64 pressure scanning ports was utilized, thus allowing the grid to contain 64 pitot tubes arranged into an 8x8 formation.
Using this grid and pressure-scanning module system, the flow field of the test section was mapped across the velocity range of the tunnel. The available power in the test section was also calculated along with the tunnel efficiency. Results revealed variation in motor speed across the test section had little impact on the shape of the velocity profile in the test section. A linear relationship between test section average speed and motor speed was found to be almost one knot, or roughly 1.16 MPH per Hz. This relationship allows for a quick estimation of necessary motor speed given a desired average speed in the test section. The wind power in the test section was found to be approximately half that of the total power output of the motors. The relationship between motor speed and power required was cubic. From this, a model was created so that desired test section speed could be input and required motor speed in Hz was output.
Reid, Katherine Mary, "Flow Field Measurement and Qualification of the West Virginia University Environmental Wind Tunnel" (2021). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8026.