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Canadian researchers create ‘tornado-creating’ wind dome with wind scanner

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The WindEEE Research Institute has announced the successful installation of a short-range 3D WindScanner within a 3D wind-system generating wind dome.
Canadian researchers create ‘tornado-creating’ wind dome with wind scanner

The scanner is based on the successful ZephIR Continuous Wave Lidar technology and has been supplied by the Wind Energy Department of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to study turbulence effects for wind turbines, buildings and structure. The organisations believe it to be the first deployment of its kind, utilising the ‘best in class’ technology of both a 3D wind-system generating wind dome (WindEEE) and a 3D scanning wind lidar measurement sensor, ZephIR/Windscanner.

“Our vision has always been to be a global leader in wind research and innovation, making a global contribution to the resilience of structures” said Professor Horia Hangan, Director of the WindEEE Research Institute at Western University Canada. “WindEEE, our tornado generating wind dome is now home to the world’s leading measurement system, the WindScanner scanner which is based on equally novel ZephIR Lidar Technology. We very much look forward to communicating the further results from our work as we progress with leading research and educational programs at Western University.”

The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment (WindEEE) Dome is the world’s first hexagonal wind tunnel, having a large scale structure which allows for wind simulations over extended areas and complex terrain. The 25 metre diameter inner dome and 40 metre diameter outer dome enables the wind dome to reproduce, under controlled conditions, the dynamics of real wind systems, allowing for the manipulation of inflow and boundary conditions. The manipulation of outflow and direction of fans enables the facility to produce time-dependent straight, sheared or swirl winds of variable directionality. This means that a large variety of wind fields, such as boundary layers, portions of hurricanes, tornados, downburst, low-level currents or gust fronts can be physically stimulated.

WindScanner incorporates remote sensing wind measurement methodology with integrated synchronised 3-axis beam steering and scanning systems. This provides detailed full-scale real atmospheric wind and turbulence measurements. It is the first of three time and space beam synchronized systems to be installed with the ZephIR Continuous Wave Lidar is at its core. These systems are required to measure the variety of the 3D wind conditions generated by WindEEE in the most accurate way possible.

The combination of these state-of-the-art technologies will help the industry to understand more about the vulnerability to turbulence of wind turbines, wind farms and other buildings and structures. With increasing rotor diameters of wind turbines, the turbulence effects become increasingly significant in the operations, maintenance and performance of modern wind farms.

For additional information:

WindEEE Research Institute

Wind Energy Department of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

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