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Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • English, German

Resource Description

Instruction file

Mobile wind canal(Resource ID: 208)

Using a portable wind canal it is possible to study air current structures and their effects (e.g. erosion) within a model. Using a few simple measuring devices the currents can be qualified and visually displayed (e.g. erosion photos).

Wind canals serve to physically illustrate and quantify the effects of wind currents on natural and artificial objects in our environment.

In this building block a portable wind canal is used, allowing the user to direct air currents toward specific objects and then quantify the results (e.g. currents acting on a hedge or a building; wind erosion etc.)

The canal’s dimensions are 0.6 x 0.4 x 0.5 m (long version) and 1.5 m (short version). The canal weighs around 30 kg. The canal’s size makes it is easily transportable and can also be used in a lecture hall. The wind is created using a ventilator in a portable case around 0.6 x 0.5 x 0.5 m. Energy is supplied using a voltage of 230 V. The speed is seamlessly adjustable between 0-20m/s.

The canal is constructed out of Plexiglas and a wooden bottom. The individual components are around 1m long and are therefore portable. The length used is also flexible.

The quantitative assessment of wind velocity can be measured by hand with a wind-measuring device, thereby allowing a rough description of wind velocity along the entire wind canal. When using the particles (e.g. grain kernels when documenting erosion phenomena), a time loop camera can capture the movement of the particles, which can subsequently be documented and analyzed. The phenomena can be carried out in a lecture hall in front of a large number of students with the help of a small video camera. Didactically speaking, it is better to let students conduct the research themselves.

A box of wooden building blocks is available for experiments. Using this, simple objects from our environment can be constructed as models.

A short instructional guide makes conducting the experiment simple.

Aha effect

Using clear techniques, it is possible to create and understand complex wind current structures (e.g. lee effect on buildings, soil erosion by wind, etc.)

Contact details for borrowing physical devices
Email to author
Learning Outcomes
Understanding the effects of wind erosion in relation to structures on the ground surface.
Relevance for Sustainability
Human activities cause lasting changes to the environment in which we live. Wind is an environmental factor with diverse effects. The changes due to wind may have positive or negative consequences. Planned measures for wind and air flow conditions can only be evaluated for sustainability when the effects are recognized and understood from a physical perspective.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Low
Access
Free
Sources and Links

Bagnold, R.A., 2005: The Physics of Blowing Sand and Desert Dunes. Dover.

Oke, T.R.: 2001: Boundary Layer Climates. 2ed, Cambride Univ.

Funded by
Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT-Massenfächer" (2011/12)

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Author

Erich Mursch-Radlgruber

Contact

Erich Mursch-Radlgruber
erich.mursch-radlgruber(at)boku.ac.at
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Institution:
Institute of Meteorology (BOKU Vienna)
Date:

License

Creative Commons
BY-NC-ND

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Mini-project
  • Reflection
  • formteaching_experiment