University of Western Ontario

February 28, 2011 08:30 ET

Media Advisory for March 1, 2011-Model Testing for World's First Wind Dome

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2011) - The University of Western Ontario is home to some of the most advanced wind research facilities in the world. Western Engineering's newest facility, the Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment Dome (WindEEE Dome) ( will be the world's first large, hexagonal wind dome - a solution to previous limitations in wind tunnel design and research.

Led by engineering professor Horia Hangan, the WindEEE Dome will physically simulate high-intensity wind systems, including tornadoes, downbursts and gust fronts that cannot be created in any of the world's existing wind tunnels. It will also help researchers understand how to harness the power of wind as a clean, sustainable new energy source.

The $23.6-million facility, funded in part through the Canada Foundation for Innovation ($9.5 million) and the Ontario Research Fund ($9.5 million), will be located in London, Ontario's Advanced Manufacturing Park and is expected to be operational in the summer of 2012.

In the meantime, for testing purposes, Hangan and his team have built a "mini-dome", which at one tonne and four metres in diameter is about one-tenth full-scale size.

Media is invited to watch and film some of the first tests in the "mini-dome" on Tuesday, March 1. Time slots can be booked by contacting Keith Marnoch at 519-661-2111 ext. 85468 or

The full-scale WindEEE Dome will be 40 metres across and will contain 106 fans, each one approximately metre in diameter. The concept was developed numerically, so Hangan needs to turn the numbers into a physical reality to prove the equations work.

"These tests will confirm that the type of flows we said will generate are there," says Hangan. "They will benchmark what we have numerically simulated and help us ensure the installation works the way it was designed to. They will also help us understand how to best control the fans to create different wind flows."

More information at:

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    University of Western Ontario
    Keith Marnoch
    Communications & Public Affairs
    519-661-2111 ext. 85468 (office) or 226-927-3471 (cell)