Maximizing Corner Efficiency for a Low-Speed Closed-Return Wind Tunnel

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Eager, Daniel
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Houghton College
A low-speed closed-return wind tunnel is being designed and built at Houghton College. To aid in the design of the wind tunnel, empirical correlations were used to predict stagnation pressure losses in different sections of the wind tunnel based on design choices that were made. This was used to roughly size the wind tunnel, but some components need more detailed design – the corners are an example of this. In corners, turning vanes are commonly used to help minimize the stagnation pressure loss that is associated with changing the direction of the flow. To determine the optimal number of vanes, simulations were conducted using ANSYS Fluent. Vanes with an airfoil cross-section were utilized since they are more efficient than single-walled vanes, are better equipped to handle fluid flows at different incoming angles, and are commercially available. The numerical results will be presented and future work discussed.
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