I agree, the video is well worth watching. It is an amazing facility and I thought it very interesting that NASA owns a percentages of Shasta Dam to supply its power needs - that is good financial management. It would be neat to see some video of it in action with actual test conditions...
I, too, was intrigued by the power usage, Bob. Our tour guide told us that they draw energy off the grid, not only from California, but from Oregon, Washington and Idaho, too. They also own 5.5% of the energy coming from Shasta Dam in northern California.
Very interesting. The power useage is impressive and makes me wonder how much excess capacity is built into the power grid to permit occasional use of that and similar power hungry industries and how many there are. I had wondered how they manage to move such a dramatic amount of air without ingesting the local flora and fauna. Nice article: Thanks.
I think of it in exactly the same way, naperlou. The Byron nuclear station, which serves more than two million homes in northern Illinois, has two reactors and a capacity of 2.3 GW. If you assume that the wind tunnel is using abouth 5% of that huge plant's capacity, it's a stunning figure.
Another way to look at the power consumption is to compare it to the standard nuclear power plant. In Illinois the individual reactors run between 875 and 1,165MW. So that would put the wind tunnel at a tenth of a nuclear reactor.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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