Rhoden wind tunnel


Large scale, low speed, open circuit wind tunnel capable of high mass flowrate

The Rhoden wind tunnel is a low-speed, open-loop and multi-purpose facility. The airflow is driven by a centrifugal fan positioned at the entrance of the tunnel. A mechanical throttle at the fan inlet allows for flow rate adjustment at a fixed fan speed. Downstream of the fan, the tunnel bifurcates and a mechanical seal gate is used to direct the airstream into either arm of the Y-junction. The airstream then passes through a series of honeycomb meshes and flow straighteners designed to remove flow non-uniformities. The exit area of each working section is approximately 0.35 square meters with an aspect ratio of approximately 2.8. The Reynolds number, based on the exit velocity and test section hydraulic diameter, can be varied across the range of approximately 400,000<Re<1,000,000.

Rhoden wind tunnel

Photograph of the duplex tunnel with two different test sections attached.

For each measurement campaign, a bespoke wind-tunnel contraction and test section is designed and built in-house. A number of working sections have been built for use Rhoden tunnel and include:

  • linear compressor cascade (Reynolds number based on chord, Rec~500,000),
  • linear high pressure turbine cascade (Rec ~870,000),
  • linear low pressure turbine cascade (Rec ~330,000),
  • harmonic inlet generator for tidal turbine studies (Rec~425,000), and
  • flat-plate boundary-layer under high-levels of free-stream turbulence (Rec~600,000).

Key facts & applications

Low-speed, large scale

Key facts

  • Low speed, Ma ~ 0.2
  • Open circuit
  • Duplex exit


  • Turbine cascades
  • Compressor cascades
  • Tidal airfoil testing
  • Flat plate boundary layers

Research topics

Come and visit the Laboratory and our facilities on our open days.

View upcoming open days