Roadshow at the large wind tunnel in Bremerhaven
On March 15th, 2023, approximately 20 members of AVIASPACE Bremen travelled to Deutsche WindGuard Engineering GmbH in Bremerhaven to visit the acoustically optimised large wind tunnel and learn more about the company.
The wind tunnel tour
The wind tunnel consists of a 120-metre-long rectangular concrete structure, inside the WindGuard building. Although the experimental facility is connected to the conventional power grid, it has so far covered all its energy consumption from its own wind turbine. * Fortunately, the participants wore warm and windproof clothes as they moved between the more than 2,000 square metres of sound absorbers and toured the settling chamber. The chamber ensures a low-turbulence, homogeneous air flow by means of large metallic screens and a honeycomb flow-straightener. A total of six large, 160 hp fans can generate a flow speed of up to 100 metres per second, which corresponds to a wind speed of 360 kilometres per hour. “However, the ducts for the fans still leave room for another six fans,” explains Nicholas Balaresque, Managing Director Deutsche WindGuard Engineering GmbH
Live-Demonstration: Propeller Aeroacoustic and Bandwidth Test
The main reason for building the wind tunnel in 2007 was to support the optimization of rotor blades for wind turbines with the help of extensive aerodynamic and acoustic measurements. Nowadays, it is also used for tests in the context of propeller development and the optimization of aircraft wings and airfoils. The sound emission of UAVs can also be measured in the wind tunnel, which will play a
significant role in the near future with regard to the current developments in the field of drones/UAVs.
In the wind tunnel, not only acoustic tests can be performed, but also mechanical loads of components can be tested in static and dynamic tests.
In the bandwidth test, for example, the performance of actuators for flight attitude control is analysed. Here, the dynamic behaviour of these actuator components is tested under real conditions in the wind tunnel. More precisely, the test looks at how well the motor/propeller can follow an increasingly rapid change in the target RPM. The data obtained will later be used to parameterize the position control capability of the aircraft (UAV). In addition, acoustic data is also recorded in order to optimize noise emissions.
The participants were allowed to witness a Bandwidth demonstration and can confirm that even a low wind speed is sufficient to test the wind resistance of their jackets. “Normally, all tests are simulated beforehand, but especially when many configurations have to be made, computer simulations are even more complex and expensive than direct tests in the wind tunnel,” Balaresque concludes.
Take a look behind the scenes at Deutsche WindGuard’s Bremerhaven site in this film:
About the Deutsche WindGuard
Deutsche WindGuard was founded in 2000 and operates its own wind tunnel centre with a total of eight wind tunnels. In addition to the large wind tunnel in Bremerhaven, this also includes the calibration laboratory at the Varel site, which is accredited by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS). In addition to a climatic and an icing wind tunnel, it operates a total of five calibration wind tunnels in which more than 20,000 wind sensors are calibrated annually. One of these wind tunnels is used by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany’s national metrology institute, as a reference wind tunnel for its own calibration of flow sensors.
Deutsche WindGuard is one of the most comprehensive independent service providers in the wind energy industry. In addition to the wind tunnel centre, its main activities include consulting, site assessments, measurements on wind turbines, technical inspections and management, offshore and certification services. Besides the wind tunnel centre, the safety training division has also established special expertise for the aviation industry.
The medium-sized company has its headquarters in Varel as well as locations in Germany, the USA, China and India and employs over 190 experienced experts.
Strong Networking Partner: AVIASPACE BREMEN e.V.
AVIASPACE BREMEN is an association of dedicated companies and application-oriented research institutes in and around the federal state of Bremen. This network implements the federal state of Bremen’s strategy for the aeronautics and space industries.
The association’s objective is to improve cooperation and develop innovative projects in and around the federal state of Bremen as a business and science centre. Its scope covers the aeronautics and space industries and other technologies related to this area whose members have specific competences. AVIASPACE BREMEN connects companies, scientific institutions and authorities. It focuses on topics such as networking, technology transfer, and economic growth through promotion of start-ups and young entrepreneurs. The purpose is to develop a technical and organizational
network of producers of end-products, suppliers and service providers, and scientific institutions in the fields of materials science, high-lift systems, engineering, manufacturing technology, earth observation, and robotics.
More than fifty of the companies and institutes working in the aeronautics and space industries in Bremen have already joined AVIASPACE BREMEN.
*Office building and wind tunnel have separate electrical circuits