Photo: Timm Becker

New wind tunnel is opening in 2018

Wednesday 31 May 17

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Christian Bak
Senior Scientist
DTU Wind Energy
+4546 77 50 91

The new wind tunnel at DTU Risø Campus is well on its way. In the beginning of 2018, the wind tunnel will be officially opened.

770 kilograms. This is the amount of air, that the new Poul la Cour wind tunnel at DTU Risø Campus can push around every single second.

The reason for building the new wind tunnel is to be able to do research, which can put Denmark in a top position in the world. The wind tunnel also makes it possible to make high quality measurements and ensure that Danish companies working within the field of wind energy gets accurate and useful data.

Senior researcher at DTU Wind Energy Christian Bak is the project manager for the new wind tunnel. He says:

“It runs at 2.4 megawatts and can produce a smooth, quiet and very low turbulent wind. You may call it a large, advanced hairdryer," he says.

4,7 metres i diameter
With a size of 4.7 metres in diameter, the wind tunnel will be one of the largest university owned tunnels in the world. It can deliver wind speeds corresponding to three times hurricane speed, when needed, Christian Bak explains.

About the reasons for building a new large wind tunnel, Christian Bak says:

“Wind turbines today have gotten so big, that we need a large wind tunnel. The aerodynamics and noisy act differ on a large scale. Therefore, we cannot just test aerodynamics on a small scale and adjust the numbers in order to get precise data for a large wind turbine. It is important with reliable and low noise turbines. Aside from optimizing the aerodynamics, we can produce even more electricity and achieve even greater CO2 savings, which could easily be several hundred million kilograms of CO2. This means, that the wind turbine industry is worth a lot of money worldwide. Therefore it is expensive and unfortunate to draw wrong conclusions based on false data”, he explains.

It is not just the researchers at DTU and other Danish and European universities, who will benefit from the wind tunnel. The tunnel can be leased by the industry half of the year, with a significant emphasis on the wind turbine industry in order to make it possible for the companies to test their own prototypes.

Work on the wind tunnel is expected to be finished during the fall. Afterwards a test phase will follow before the wind tunnel will open in the beginning of 2018.