Details emerge about new advanced manufacturing park
By Mary Del
The first project to be built at London’s new advanced manufacturing park will be known as the WindEEE Dome – and it will be the world’s first hexagonal wind tunnel.
The Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment Dome will physically simulate high-intensity wind systems, including tornados, downbursts and gust fronts that cannot be created in any existing wind tunnels. Construction will begin late this fall and the dome should be operational by June 2012. The $23.6- million pricetag is being partly funded through The Canada Foundation for Innovation ($9.5 million) and the Ontario Research Fund ($9.5 million).
“We know the wind can be a creator and a destroyer,” says Horia Hangan, WindEEE Dome principal investigator and a professor at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Engineering. “We anticipate that researchers and industrial partners across the country and internationally will find a home in WindEEE and that together, we will find new ways to enhance the wind’s creative energy and ways to dissipate its destructive nature.”
Hangan’s research focuses on wind tunnel simulations to study wakes, boundary layers, jets and tornado-like vortices. His work will further our understanding of wind flow, wind energy, pollution dispersion, and how winds affect structures such as buildings and bridges. The six-sided structure will be 40 metres across, and will contain a matrix of more than 100 fans, each about one metre in diameter. Together, they can create winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour.