Wind Tunnel Testing

Wind Tunnel Testing

BMT operates large in-house wind tunnel facilities to help designers assess wind loads, current loads, and the helideck wind environment.

Wind tunnel testing sub 1Aerodynamics is an important aspect of the safe and reliable design of an offshore installation. 

Wind tunnel testing is widely used in the offshore industry to provide reliable high quality data for design as well as providing a method to quickly investigate remedial and mitigating measures should problems be identified. BMT own and operate a boundary layer wind tunnel that has a test section 4.8 m wide by 2.4 m high and reproduces wind-shear profiles to match the variation in full-scale wind speed with height over the open sea. The wind tunnel can accommodate models of any type of vessel from relatively small supply vessels to 50,000 tonne drilling platforms and 400m plus FPSOs.

Key Services:

  • Wind Loads
  • Current Loads
  • Helideck Wind Environment
  • Pilot Workload Assessment
  • Wind Pressures
  • Stability and mooring load assessment
  • Passenger and Crew Wind Comfort
  • Desk-top reviews of platform/vessel concept design

Key benefits:

  • Assessment of complex vessel arrangements
  • Early prediction of limitations on helideck availability
  • Interactive working to solve problems quickly
  • Identification of hazardous environmental condition for helicopter operators and pilots
  • Reduce conservatism of mooring loads and hence price
  • Optimisation of tug requirements
  • Minimise helideck downtime
  • Experienced staff to advise on aerodynamics 

Wind and Current Loads

Wind and current loads are fundamental design parameters necessary for the stability and structural design of an offshore facility as well as the mooring design. BMT provides consultancy services to accurately determine wind and current loads in support of all stages of the design. Physical and numerical modeling techniques are used to provide vital input to the design process that is accurate and timely.

Employing these methods helps to ensure that conservatism of load estimates that may be derived from analytical methods is reduced and therefore, the cost of the design is reduced. BMT have experience in providing load data for stability, mooring, towing and dynamic positioning.

Helideck Wind Environment

It is inevitable that helidecks installed on the cramped decks of offshore production platforms and vessels will suffer to some degree from their proximity to tall and bulky structures and to gas turbine exhausts and flares.

The environmental effects produced will often result in restrictions to helicopter operations, either in terms of payload, or perhaps completely prohibiting operations under certain meteorological conditions, Pilots undertaking critical landing and take-off manoeuvres are faced with the potential of highly disturbed airflow just above the flight deck which can include severe wind-shear, down draughts and high levels of turbulence.

Pilots are also required to negotiate increased ambient temperatures due to hot exhaust gases particularly from gas turbine generators where release temperatures can be several hundred degrees above ambient.

BMT has been responsible for assessing the helideck wind environment for many offshore platforms and vessels over the last 20 years. Our experience was called on to play a key role in CAA and HSE research to enhance the safety of offshore helicopter operations and this has led to the development of the turbulence criterion for helideck wind flows.

Our world-class wind tunnel facilities are perfectly suited to carrying out helideck wind environment assessments to help designers identify and mitigate hazardous conditions for helicopter operations and to also assess pilot workload.

Wind tunnel helideck assessments are aimed at minimizing helideck downtime and increasing the safety of helicopter operations.

Wind Tunnels

BMT operates its own large in-house wind tunnel facilities that are supported through state-of-the-art instrumentation and data acquisition systems.

The facilities are used to carry out comprehensive studies of steady and unsteady aerodynamic effects on large scale engineering structures. 

BOUNDARY LAYER WIND TUNNEL TESTING

Technical Specification
Type Closed Circuit
Operational Wind Speed Range 0.2 m/s – 45 m/s
Test Section Dimensions 4.8m wide x 2.4m high x 15m long
Turntable Automated multiple plate 2.4m / 3m / 4.5m
Traversing Gear Automated 3 axis

 

Dedicated Instrumentation 

  • Multiple adjustable range 6-component dynamic force balance systems for unsteady high frequency force balance measurements
  • 1152 channel low-range simultaneous pressure scanning system for fluctuating pressure measurements
  • Multi-channel non-contacting displacement transducers and accelerometers for aeroelastic response measurements
  • Multi-channel hot-wire and hot film anemometry systems for fluctuating wind speed and turbulence measurements
  • Multiple channel differential pressure probes for unsteady wind speed measurements
  • Flow visualisation facilities including smoke generators
  • Gas concentration sensors
  • Digital video recording / editing facilities

 

AERONAUTICAL WIND TUNNEL TESTING

Technical Specification
Type Closed Circuit
Operational Wind Speed Range 0.2 m/s – 65 m/s
Test Section Dimensions Octagonal 2.7 m wide × 2.1 m high
Turntable Automated multiple plate 2.4m / 3m / 4.5m
Traversing Gear Various variable geometry

 

Dedicated Instrumentation

  • Variable range 3 and 6-component dynamic force balances for unsteady load measurements
  • 1152 channel low-range simultaneous pressure scanning system for fluctuating pressure measurements
  • Multi-channel non-contacting displacement transducers and accelerometers for aeroelastic response measurements
  • Flow visualisation facilities including smoke generators
  • Digital video recording / editing facilities
  • Dynamic spring / mass / eddy current damper rig for aeroelastic response measurements

 

Wind tunnel testing

Wind Tunnel Testing

BMT operates large in-house wind tunnel facilities to help designers assess wind loads, current loads, and the helideck wind environment.

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