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'[OT]: Wind Tunnels'
2001\10\02@230343 by Tony Goetz

picon face
We have to do a big science project before we graduate, though they'd like us
to do it this year (junior year, high school). Alright.

Being highly creative nerds, we decided to ditch projects like "baking soda +
vinegar = fwoosh." If we're going to have to build a project, we're going to
really build a project! So, logically, we've set our sights on building a
wind tunnel.

Now then, we could come up with a wind-tunnel-shaped object and run a fan
through it, but I think we might as well do it right (Might give us a few
more points if we scientifically do this, since it IS for the M.E.R.I.T.S.
science/math program at our school). I've been searching and searching for
information on wind tunnel design, but haven't found many sites that provide
what we need - the equations, formulae, etc on how to figure this all out. It
won't be that powerful a wind tunnel - maybe 50mph depending on our setup. It
could be more, if we're able to get more out of it. Websites and book
recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and to keep it somewhat on topic, I'm planning to use pressure, stress,
and temperature sensors interfaced to a PIC and then to a computer for data
aquisition. I hope......!

I'll ask the model rocket group too - I know it's a subject they've
considered.


-Tony

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2001\10\02@233700 by L Vetrivel

picon face
Hi Tony,
That's one interesting project you have got there! Here is web site:
http://www.aerolab.com. It is a company that manufactures/builds wind
tunnels. They have some nice pictures in their website.
And check this out(NASA's):
www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/BGA/Dan/wind_tunnel_int.htm
you may find it useful! They have beginers guide to aeronautics etc.
They talk about <A HREF="http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/bern.html">Bernoulli's Equation</A> etc.

Remember the pitot tube when you build the wind tunnel. (I forgot the
chemicals someone once suggested for visualizing flow patterns :-( ).
...and use a webcam to catch the flow patterns...! How beautiful Physics is!

Goodluck!
Vetri
UCSF
San Francisco

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2001\10\02@235151 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 10:25 PM 10/2/01 EDT, you wrote:
>We have to do a big science project before we graduate, though they'd like us
>to do it this year (junior year, high school). Alright.
>
>Being highly creative nerds, we decided to ditch projects like "baking soda +
>vinegar = fwoosh." If we're going to have to build a project, we're going to
>really build a project! So, logically, we've set our sights on building a
>wind tunnel.
>
>Now then, we could come up with a wind-tunnel-shaped object and run a fan
>through it, but I think we might as well do it right (Might give us a few
>more points if we scientifically do this, since it IS for the M.E.R.I.T.S.
>science/math program at our school). I've been searching and searching for
>information on wind tunnel design, but haven't found many sites that provide
>what we need - the equations, formulae, etc on how to figure this all out. It
>won't be that powerful a wind tunnel - maybe 50mph depending on our setup. It
>could be more, if we're able to get more out of it. Websites and book
>recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Check out the old _Amateur Scientist_ columns from _Scientific American_ ,
there's a wealth of information available there. Since you can't compete
with supersonic blowdown and continous windtunnels, maybe consider very
low speed wind tunnels. There are practical applications for these, very
important ones. One of the SciAm articles covers this. Any decent library
will have a full set. Ask the librarian how to use a periodical index if
you don't know how (or search the web, they are indexed on at least one
site).

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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2001\10\03@010907 by Brandon Fosdick

flavicon
face
Tony Goetz wrote:
{Quote hidden}

"Introduction to Aerodynamics" by Dr. John D Anderson, also known as
"The Blue Book", is an excellent book for learning fundamental
aerodynamics. It's used here (University of Maryland) for the freshmen
aerodynamics class, which incidentaly is taught by Dr. Anderson (or at
least it was when I was a freshmen). Excellent book, excellent class.
It's not written for the high school crowd but I think it should still
be useful. Many of the examples revolve around low speed wind tunnels,
and if I remember correctly there's even a section on wind tunnel
design. Or maybe that was the white book...don't have them in front of
me.

Good luck!

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2001\10\03@105809 by Lawrence Lile

flavicon
face
If you are doing temperature sensing and airflow sensing, you may want to
reconsider whether using a PIC is the most efficient use of your time.
Granted, a PIC and a dallas one-wire temperature sensor will be about the
cheapest way to do this.  But a typical installation like this would
probably use thermocouples and a thermocouple data acquisition module
plugged into a PC.
www.advantech.com/ia/products/index.asp?category_name=Remote%20DAC%20
System

Considering this is a high school project, it's likely you have plenty of
time, but not plenty of money.

You'll need a big fan for this project.   Chicago Blower Company
http://www.chiblo.com/index.html   can provide a bunch of technical
assistance in sizing a fan.

You will also want to check out an ASHRAE FUNDAMENTALS manual from an
engineering library.  Chapter 32 covers duct sizing and calculation of duct
velocity.  Once the duct velocity and pressure drop are calculated,
manufacturer's data will tell ou what size fan you need, and what size motor
will drive it.  ASHRAE FUNDAMENTALS Chapter 32 is the most concise and
straightforward manual on what you are trying to accomplish that you will
find.


The guys at Chicago Blower will be very helpful in this regard.  They
specialize in large industrial fans, and you might be able to talk them out
of one if you can convince them it's a tax write-off.

--Lawrence Lile

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2001\10\04@015339 by Tony Goetz

picon face
Let's just hope it stays "interesting!" It looks like we've obtained most of
what we need to begin design as far as where components should be placed, but
shapes and sizes are still a bit unclear. With the book recommendations I've
recieved, I'll be checking out the library (we don't have the best one
around, but it might have SOMEthing), ebay, and amazon.com.
I plan to have a pitot of some sort, and it looks like there are a few smoke
generators out there for visualization. And, of course, tests will be
photographed for the most part!


Thanks for your help..
-Tony


<< Hi Tony,
That's one interesting project you have got there! Here is web site:
http://www.aerolab.com. It is a company that manufactures/builds wind
tunnels. They have some nice pictures in their website.
And check this out(NASA's):
www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/BGA/Dan/wind_tunnel_int.htm
you may find it useful! They have beginers guide to aeronautics etc.
They talk about <A
HREF="http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/bern.html">Bernoulli's
Equation</A> etc.

Remember the pitot tube when you build the wind tunnel. (I forgot the
chemicals someone once suggested for visualizing flow patterns :-( ).
...and use a webcam to catch the flow patterns...! How beautiful Physics is!

Goodluck!
Vetri
UCSF
San Francisco >>

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2001\10\04@015630 by Tony Goetz

picon face
Oh, it will most definitely be LOW speed. I don't really see us getting
something up to 100+mph in the test section. Then again, I read about some
guy evacuating a water heater, opening the valve, and pulling a very short
supersonic wind through his tunnel. But that's not going to happen for
us.....for now. I'll make it a point to keep an eye out for Scientific
American. Columns like Amateur Scientist sound like just about the thing we
need.

Thanks!
-Tony


<< >We have to do a big science project before we graduate, though they'd
like us
>to do it this year (junior year, high school). Alright.
>
>Being highly creative nerds, we decided to ditch projects like "baking soda
+
>vinegar = fwoosh." If we're going to have to build a project, we're going to
>really build a project! So, logically, we've set our sights on building a
>wind tunnel.
>
>Now then, we could come up with a wind-tunnel-shaped object and run a fan
>through it, but I think we might as well do it right (Might give us a few
>more points if we scientifically do this, since it IS for the M.E.R.I.T.S.
>science/math program at our school). I've been searching and searching for
>information on wind tunnel design, but haven't found many sites that provide
>what we need - the equations, formulae, etc on how to figure this all out.
It
>won't be that powerful a wind tunnel - maybe 50mph depending on our setup.
It
>could be more, if we're able to get more out of it. Websites and book
>recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Check out the old _Amateur Scientist_ columns from _Scientific American_ ,
there's a wealth of information available there. Since you can't compete
with supersonic blowdown and continous windtunnels, maybe consider very
low speed wind tunnels. There are practical applications for these, very
important ones. One of the SciAm articles covers this. Any decent library
will have a full set. Ask the librarian how to use a periodical index if
you don't know how (or search the web, they are indexed on at least one
site).

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
@spam@speffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
      /.-.\
     (( * ))
      \\ //     Please help if you can:
       \\\      dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/US/Emergency_Information/
      //\\\
     /// \\\
     \/   \/
 >>

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2001\10\04@015653 by Tony Goetz

picon face
I'll have to see about getting The Blue Book. Sounds like something to keep a
lookout for online. I'm thinking about taking aerodynamics courses in
college, so maybe it'll come in handy then, whether the class uses the book
or not.

-Tony


<< > We have to do a big science project before we graduate, though they'd
like us
> to do it this year (junior year, high school). Alright.
>
> Being highly creative nerds, we decided to ditch projects like "baking
soda +
> vinegar = fwoosh." If we're going to have to build a project, we're going
to
> really build a project! So, logically, we've set our sights on building a
> wind tunnel.
>
> Now then, we could come up with a wind-tunnel-shaped object and run a fan
> through it, but I think we might as well do it right (Might give us a few
> more points if we scientifically do this, since it IS for the M.E.R.I.T.S.
> science/math program at our school). I've been searching and searching for
> information on wind tunnel design, but haven't found many sites that
provide
> what we need - the equations, formulae, etc on how to figure this all out.
It
> won't be that powerful a wind tunnel - maybe 50mph depending on our setup.
It
> could be more, if we're able to get more out of it. Websites and book
> recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Oh, and to keep it somewhat on topic, I'm planning to use pressure, stress,
> and temperature sensors interfaced to a PIC and then to a computer for data
> aquisition. I hope......!
>
> I'll ask the model rocket group too - I know it's a subject they've
> considered.

"Introduction to Aerodynamics" by Dr. John D Anderson, also known as
"The Blue Book", is an excellent book for learning fundamental
aerodynamics. It's used here (University of Maryland) for the freshmen
aerodynamics class, which incidentaly is taught by Dr. Anderson (or at
least it was when I was a freshmen). Excellent book, excellent class.
It's not written for the high school crowd but I think it should still
be useful. Many of the examples revolve around low speed wind tunnels,
and if I remember correctly there's even a section on wind tunnel
design. Or maybe that was the white book...don't have them in front of
me.

Good lu >>

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2001\10\04@094539 by Lawrence Lile

flavicon
face
> Ashrae fundamentals....seems like I remember that from somewhere. Whether
I
> do or not, you're making it sound like something to invest in! Hopefully
we
> can in the next few weeks and get this thing rolling.

Every HVAC (heating ventilating and air conditioning) Engineer has one on
his desk.  ASHRAE is a professional society that publishes manuals and
sponsors research into the basics of airflow and other things.  Any college
engineering library has one.

> I checked out Chicago Blower Co. They're products seem like very very
heavy
> duty, industrial grade devices.

Yeah - Maybe way too big for you.  OTOH, they have money and you don't......


>As for talking them out of a unit, I haven't
> the slightest idea how to go about asking. Generally, how do you do
something
> like that? (I'm fairly timid about things like that)

It takes guts and persistence.  You just call them up, keep asking for the
boss, and when you finally get him, tell him enthusiastically how cool your
project is and how desperately you need money and what a good thing it is to
support students.  If they say no, keep bugging them until they change their
mind.  Worse thing that can happen?  They say no and hang up.  So what?
They'll remember you positively in 10 years when you ask them for a job as
an overpaid consultant.  Try it.  Later, this skill will mean the difference
between starving and eating.

In the business I work in, one time a guy walked into the front door in a
gorilla suit.  (I'm not making this up) and asked to see the boss.  They
showed him into the boss' office, thinking it was like a joke-o-gram.  They
guy takes off his mask, shakes the boss' hand, and asks him for a job.  The
boss was so impressed at how audacious the guy was, he offered him a sales
job right there.  He became director of sales eventaully, and wasn't afraid
to walk in anywhere and make a fool of himself.  They tell this story at
work over and over.


OK, I think I overestimated the physical scale of the project.  You are
probably talking about maybe a 12" square tube, I was thinking bigger.  But
at any rate, you'll need to find a fan that you can obtain fan curves and
performance data on.  Go to http://www.grainger.com and search on fans.  They are
relatively cheap and they usually have good engineering data on thier stuff.
If you can't find what you are looking for, CALL THEM.  There is no
substitute for person-to-person communications.

-- Lawrence Lile

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2001\10\04@105537 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 08:43 AM 10/4/01 -0500, you wrote:

>It takes guts and persistence.  You just call them up, keep asking for the
>boss, and when you finally get him, tell him enthusiastically how cool your
>project is and how desperately you need money and what a good thing it is to
>support students.

<good stuff snipped>

Don't forget to tell them that you don't care what it looks like, etc.
Most companies have odd bits of their product sitting around that have been
sent out for evaluation and returned, and can't be sold as new, that have
been used as demos and are scratched up, that have been cosmetically damaged,
etc. etc.   It doesn't always work (when I was a student I tried it with
IBM and got a snarky response, but that's IBM for you).

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
     /.-.\
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     //\\\
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2001\10\04@114307 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 10:57 AM 10/4/01 -0400, you wrote:

I just got a CD in with the entire collection of _Amateur Scientist_
columns from
the previous century. Here's the results of a search for "wind tunnel"

I'd suggest looking at the May 1955 and April 1953 issue, and maybe the
Schlieren
Photography issue if you are interested in that. Don't be put off by the
age of these, the
best "Do it yourself" stuff was published before 1970. Concerns about
liability
and a lack of interest in the general public have almost completely eliminated
such classic subjects as "build an atom-smasher in your basement" (yes,
they did
have such a column). Naturally the instrumentation and electronics is
antediluvian
but the rest (glassblowing, wind tunnels, high vacuum, optics) holds up
quite well.

The May '55 issue describes a smoke tunnel with chain-smoking smoke
generator that
uses regular cigarettes to generate the smoke!


November 1997 Caught in a Wind Tunnel
  54% estimated relevance

March 1993 Flight-Testing Fruit Flies
  51% estimated relevance

July 1972 An Amateur Makes a Wind Tunnel to Study the Vortexes That Form
Around a Cylinder
  45% estimated relevance

October 1966 How to Build a Wind Tunnel That Achieves Supersonic Speeds
with a Vacuum System
  43% estimated relevance

April 1953 About a Small Wind Tunnel, Cloud Chambers and "Primitive"
Techniques of Measurements
  34% estimated relevance

May 1955 How to Make an Aerodynamic Smoke Tunnel and More about the Puzzle
of the 12 Balls
  29% estimated relevance

October 1955 Some Simple Apparatus for Studying the Dynamics Airflow and
Waterflow
  29% estimated relevance

April 1969 The Lore and Aerodynamics of Making Flying Kites
  28% estimated relevance

Supplement: Measuring the Wind with Hot Metal
  28% estimated relevance

October 1971 Experiments with Wind: a Pendulum Anemometer and Miniature
Tornadoes
  27% estimated relevance

Feburary 1978 Introducing the Musha, the Double Lozenge and a Number of
Other Kits to Build and Fly
  26% estimated relevance

August 1965 How to Measure Raindrops, Make Snowflakes, and Simulate
Subatomic Particle Scattering
  19% estimated relevance

April 1957 On Testing Boat Designs Without a Towing Tank, and Skipping
Stones on the Beach
  19% estimated relevance

May 1971 Schlieren Photography Is Used to Study the Flow of Air Around
Small Objects
  19% estimated relevance

August 1975 Graphs That Predict When Planets Will Line Up with Another
Planet or the Sun
  15% estimated relevance

April 1954 On a Well-Made Refracting Telescope and Testing Airplanes in the
Bathtub
  13% estimated relevance

September 1953 About Sundials and the Cyclotron, the Latter Built By a
Group of Bold High School Boys
  12% estimated relevance

Feburary 1988 The Feathery Wake of a Moving Boat Is a Complex Interference
Pattern
  12% estimated relevance

August 1967 A Gauge to Measure Tiny Changes in Gas Pressure; Growth
Substances in Plants
  11% estimated relevance

Feburary 1964 How to Photograph Air Currents in Color and Build an Accurate
Foucault Pendulum
  10% estimated relevance

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
     /.-.\
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     //\\\
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2001\10\04@193017 by Tony Goetz

picon face
Good thinking. Cosmetic damages are definitely not a problem - just as long
as the fan or blower puts out (or pulls in) good wind without much vibration.
Companies like Chicago Blower or Grangier seem more likely to agree to give
up units than huge, IBM-like companies. Hope that's true.

-Tony


<< >It takes guts and persistence.  You just call them up, keep asking for the
>boss, and when you finally get him, tell him enthusiastically how cool your
>project is and how desperately you need money and what a good thing it is to
>support students.

<good stuff snipped>

Don't forget to tell them that you don't care what it looks like, etc.
Most companies have odd bits of their product sitting around that have been
sent out for evaluation and returned, and can't be sold as new, that have
been used as demos and are scratched up, that have been cosmetically damaged,
etc. etc.   It doesn't always work (when I was a student I tried it with
IBM and got a snarky response, but that's IBM for you).

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spamBeGonespeffspamBeGonespaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
      /.-.\
     (( * ))
      \\ //     Please help if you can:
       \\\      dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/US/Emergency_Information/
      //\\\
     /// \\\
     \/   \/ >>

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2001\10\04@195510 by Tony Goetz

picon face
Wow. That's a heck of an archive, and that's a heck of a magazine. I wish we
had more magazines like that nowadays. A shame, really. I guess they're
afraid of the liability. That's what the Internet's for...dangerous
experiments! If possible I'll get my hands on some of those issues. Thanks
for your time getting those to me

-Tony


<< I just got a CD in with the entire collection of _Amateur Scientist_
columns from
the previous century. >>

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2001\10\08@114548 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>The May '55 issue describes a smoke tunnel with chain-smoking smoke
>generator that uses regular cigarettes to generate the smoke!

Sounds like the best use for them yet :)

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