Air flow quality analysis of an open-circuit boundary layer wind tunnel and comparison with a closed-circuit wind tunnel
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AuthorJiménez Portaz, María; Chiapponi, Luca; Clavero Gilabert, María; Losada Rodríguez, Miguel Ángel
Phys. Fluids 32, 125120 (2020); [https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0031613]
The wide use of wind tunnels, as a tool to measure the flow properties and the flow effects on different structures/ecosystems, makes it necessary to guarantee the correct functioning of the facility and to carry out a continuous monitoring. The aim of this work is (i) to check the homogeneity and quality of the air flow in an open-circuit boundary layer wind tunnel, (ii) to provide data and ideas that could help other researchers to improve similar tunnels, and (iii) to compare some of the results with the behavior of a classic closed-circuit wind tunnel. Experiments are carried out working with a constant reference velocity, using a hot cross wire anemometry system to obtain high resolution measurements, in the entrance and test sections for different longitudinal and cross planes. The results concern the characteristics of the mean and turbulent flow. In this manuscript, we report the analysis of the turbulence production, the Reynolds stresses, the vertical velocity skewness, the vorticity, and the spectral properties, and a quadrant decomposition is also performed. Finally, comparing the results with respect to a closed-circuit wind tunnel, it is shown that the turbulence intensity is generally higher and the mean flow is more homogeneous in the present open-circuit wind tunnel. Moreover, the Reynolds number is similar in both tunnels, which indicates that both tunnels are mechanically similar.