1995-02-01

Influence of Plenum Dimensions on Drag Measurements in 3/4-Open-Jet Automotive Wind Tunnels 951000

The size of the room surrounding the wind tunnel test section, the so called wind tunnel plenum, is always seen as an important parameter of the wind tunnel building, but has rarely been the subject of systematic investigation regarding minimal requirements to meet quality objectives for aerodynamic testing.
Experimental investigations of this object were made in a quarter-scale wind tunnel (nozzle area 1.4m2). The plenum dimensions were changeable by combinations of different side wall and ceiling positions.
The results have shown, that the plenum can have a significant effect on the flow around the vehicle and therefore on the measured forces. Drag coefficient is under prediced if the wind tunnel plenum is too small.
Recommendations are provided for the geometric dimensions of a wind tunnel plenum. The data obtained are a valuable tool for the layout of wind tunnel design concepts and for the evaluation of interference free wind tunnel simulation.

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