WEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – On Friday, Florida International University’s International Hurricane Research Center showcased upgrades to its Wall of Wind, which can simulate a category five hurricane with wind-driven rain.
The Wall of Wind, the largest and most powerful university research facility of its kind, was unveiled in 2012.
The improvements include a flow management system, which employs spires and floor roughness elements to manipulate the wind created by the Wall of Wind. The system can also develop more realistic hurricane characteristics with turbulence, wind gusts and atmospheric boundary layer conditions.
A simulation in August, 2012 showed the tremendous progress made in the 20 years after Hurricane Andrew’s path of destruction.
Andrew was the inspiration for the $8 million Wall of Wind project, which is aimed at hurricane resilience through research.
The laboratory is a 12-fan wind wall with 8,400 horsepower. Each fan is about six feet in diameter and altogether can generate winds of up to 160 miles per hour.