Photo: Thomas Sjørup

Inauguration of the new National Wind Tunnel

Friday 13 Apr 18
The new National Wind Tunnel at DTU was inaugurated on Tuesday, 10 April by His Royal Highness Prince Joachim of Denmark.

Quoting Bob Dylan during his comments, the Prince said:

‘The answer is blowin’ in the wind—no, the answer is the wind’, said the prince in his speech before cutting the red ribbon which marked the official inauguration of the Poul La Cour Wind Tunnel at DTU Risø Campus.

In his address, DTU President Anders Bjarklev mentioned, among other things, how special the new wind tunnel is. Not only because it is one of the biggest university-owned tunnels in the world, or because the combination of test options makes the wind tunnel one of a kind. Its name, too, makes it very special.

“Generally, DTU doesn’t name or number its buildings. However, Poul la Cour was an exceptional man. He was a pioneer. That’s why the name Poul la Cour Tunnel is such a fitting tribute to Denmark’s first wind turbine pioneer,” Anders Bjarklev explained in his speech.

In use by September
Although the wind tunnel has already been inaugurated, it will be a few months yet before the wind tunnel can be put to serious use. A few more tests need to be run before the industry can really start using the wind tunnel.  

The wind tunnel has been in the works for a number of years, at a cost of EUR 11,5 million (DKK 85 million). Contributions were received from the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education (UFM) in the amount of EUR 5,3 million, with EUR 537,000 from Region Zealand, while DTU paid EUR 5,5 million.


The Poul la Cour Tunnel

“The wind tunnel is a state-of-the-art and one-of-a-kind facility. The fact that it will be possible to expose a big part of the turbine blade to wind speeds of up to 105 metres per second and also measure noise makes the tunnel unique. The wind speed corresponds to three times a Category 1 hurricane,” says Christian Bak from DTU Wind Energy.

The Category 5 hurricane Katrina that struck New Orleans back in 2005 had wind speeds of about 78 metres per second. And even though New Orleans experienced a great deal of damage, the wind speed was not even close to the wind speed that can be reached in the new Poul la Cour Tunnel.