November 5, 2021

Official opening of the wind tunnel with the participation of the Lublin slag riders

The largest wind tunnel in eastern Poland has been erected in the building of the Center for Innovation and Advanced Technologies of Lublin University of Technology. It covers an area of 160 m² and weighs 40 tons. It is the most advanced research equipment related to aviation, automotive industry, wind energy, construction and sports.

- The tunnel is an example of an investment in our research equipment. It cost PLN 4.6 million, of which almost 80% came from the university's own funds. In order to maintain a high scientific position, we must possess the most modern research equipment. I hope that this facility will contribute to the creation of excellent scientific studies, enable cooperation with the industry and will be used in teaching - said Prof. Zbigniew Pater, rector of Lublin University of Technology.

The tunnel is a unique design on a national scale with two independent measurement spaces operating within the same, closed air circulation. The first one, with dimensions of 1.275 x 1.415 m, allows for a maximum speed of 60 m/s, the second one with dimensions of 1.8 x 2 m allows for the maximum speed of 30 m/s. Each chamber provides for weight and pressure tests of models. The experiments carried out in them help in the development of new structures as well as the optimization of the existing ones.

- The wind tunnel is a great place to test the key characteristics for sports success - in disciplines such as ski jumping, skiing, bobsleighing, motorsports and cycling, where aerodynamic forces act in a special way on competitors. The aerodynamic analysis can be performed on the competitors' equipment and on the correct body posture during the competition - said Prof. Mirosław Wendeker, head of the Department of Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Aviation Propulsion Systems.

During the event in the wind tunnel, the competitors of Motor Lublin - Jarosław Hampel and Mateusz Cierniak - underwent special tests: their position, equipment and its influence on air resistance were checked. All this to optimize the silhouette of the rider and the aerodynamic parameters that determine the speed and the success at the finish line.

This is what Jarosław Hampel said after the tests: - The air momentum in the tunnel is very large and I tried to find the optimal body position. When we race, we don't think about it, although this is very important. I am curious about the results.

Piotr Więckowski, vice president of Speedway Motor Lublin, mentioned the contribution of Lublin University of Technology to the high achievements of the Lublin speedway riders. – The scientists tried to optimize the work of our motorcyclists, and also took part in the preparation of the race track. Today, we are once again reaching for the support of the university to optimize certain solutions that we will use during training and competitions.

- Objects generating aerodynamic drag, such as residential and public buildings, bridges and industrial structures, can also be tested in the tunnel. In the case of buildings and structures over 200 m high and bridges with span lengths over 200 m, additional tests are necessary to determine the actual wind action. In Poland and abroad, the industry demand for this type of research is growing - said Prof. Tomasz Lipecki from the Department of Structural Mechanics, specialist in the field of wind engineering.

Dr. Mariusz Sagan, director of the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Department of the Lublin City Office, who was present at the event, emphasized that Lublin is proud of Lublin University of Technology. – Lublin University of Technology not only has great scientific results, but it is also a leader in cooperation with industry and business. The today's example, where LUT used the tunnel to support sport, is for us the result of such cooperation between various communities. Within 10 years, we want to consolidate the potential of hi-tech with the participation of Lublin University of Technology.

Fot. T. Maślona