The development of a small scale wind tunnel simulating the atmospheric boundary layer

by Maximillian Hobson-Dupont

Institution: San Jose State University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Mechanical engineering; Meteorology
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2097692
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=1593083


There has been much success in atmospheric boundary layer simulation with medium sized closed-circuit wind tunnels with test section dimensions of approximately 1 x 1 m. However, smaller, blower-type wind tunnels are more common in university laboratories due to the lower cost and smaller space requirements. A small size, open flow wind tunnel with a 1 x 1 foot test section was modified to simulate the atmospheric boundary layer with a combination of upstream spires and cubic roughness elements. The primitive spire geometry detailed in the literature was found to yield poor agreement with the power law velocity profile of interest, and a novel iterative algorithm was developed to produce nonlinear spire geometry. The geometry generated by the algorithm was tested in the wind tunnel and found to simulate the desired velocity profile based on a Hellman exponent of 0.20 with a high degree of agreement, having a maximum velocity error of 4%. This confirmed the suitability of small-sized wind tunnels for simulating the atmospheric boundary layer.