WT1, an open jet tunnel is installed in one of the Cold Chamber which means that it can be used for icing research. The photos shows ice particles being generated by a fine water spray mist which turns into ice further down the tunnel, which then start to accumulate around the front of the cylinder and the pressure measurement device. Icing problems are being looked at as part of the Cold Tech RT3 project for installations such as wind turbines down to instrumentations that measure flow velocity devices such as the pitot-static tubes that are so vital for aircraft safety.
WT2 is another open jet tunnel installed in the outbuilding. This is being used in conjunction with the Cold Tech. RT1 project to look at optimisation of protective shielding for both off-shore and land based installations. Both flow velocity profile and pressure drop across such shielding are being looked at and compared against computer simulation results.
It can also be used to determine the air flow around houses to improve the design to minimise damage to roofs during a storm and snow deposition on the leeward side of the building.
WT3 is the largest wind tunnel installed at the University and is capable of speeds up to 200 km/h. The photo below shows Dr. William Tiu and Yizhong Xu (who has recently joined Narvik University College as a researcher) calibrating the flow velocity using a hand held device. The readings from this device correlate with test obtained using pressure transducers. The flow field across the working section has been checked and after some adjustment is now showing a uniform flow field. Because of its higher speed capability and instrumentation, it can be used to look at fluid-structure interaction problems such as vibration of suspension bridges and wind turbine blades (with off-balance loads due to icing).
The facilities offered by the three Wind Tunnels allow research staff and undergraduate students to validate computer simulation models. Conversely they allow tests to be carried out on physical scenarios that might otherwise be impossible to model on a computer system. Furthermore, by having simple but effective demonstration models, they can also be used to complement the other facilities within Narvik University College to help attract secondary school students into the World of Technology (WT).