The wind tunnel at DICCA is a closed loop subsonic circuit, and is located within the experimental laboratory of the Department, in the historical site of the Faculty of Engineering. The wind is generatedby a 1,8 m diameter axial fanpowered by a 132kw engine. The rotational speed ofthe fan, and consequently the wind speed in the test section, can be varied using a frequency control. The flow velocity in the working section reaches about 32 m/s. The working section is 8.8 m long, with a cross-section of 1.70 (width) x1.35 (height) m. The working section is relatively long, with respect to the overall dimensions of the facility (20 x 8m). This could be possible due to expansive corner areas, the realization of a high contraction coefficient and a proper conditioning of the flow by straighteners and turbulence control screens before the contraction section. The wind tunnel features two different test sections.
The former test section is located immediately after the contraction cone, at the beginning of the working section, and it is mainly used for aerodynamic and aeroelastic testing of sectional models as portions of bridge decks and structural elements. In such a test section the velocity is uniform within ± 1%, and the wall boundary layer has a thickness of the order of 2 cm. The level of turbulence is less than 0,25% at any wind speed, and it can be increased inserting suitable grids. The latter test section is placed at the end of the working section. It is equipped with a turning table and is mainly used to evaluate the action of wind on buildings and their portions, the pedestrian comfort and to analyze the wind fields in topographically complex terrain.
The naturally developed boundary layer can be increased and modeled by means of artificial roughness blocks and spires up to 45 configurations corresponding to different atmospheric boundary layers. The entire working section can also be adjusted depending on customers’ demands and needs. The Wind Tunnel has been realized with the main sponsorships of Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Carige, Trametal, Elah Dufour and MIUR. The sponsorships of Vittorio Malacalza, Camera di Commercio di Genova, Regione Liguria and Industriali Liguria are greatly acknowledged.