STARCS has a wide conseption of energy efficiency.
Aerodynamics is strongly related to energy efficiency, particularly for ground based vessels like road vehicles, trains and ships. Better aerodynamics can improve performance and reduce energy cost and emissions at the same time.
For wind turbines well optimized aerodynamics is vital for good efficiency but the aerodynamic loads can also be critical for the design and operation of the facility.
Energy related applications
  • Wind Energy
  • Trains
  • Road vehicles
  • Marine vessels
  • Installations (antennas, masts etc.) 
  • Architecture
  • Landscapes/Cityscapes
  • Athletes (skiers, bikers etc.) and sports equipment
The energy in wind is also critical in the design of non-moving objects like buildings, antennas, off-shore rigs etc. In contrast to Aeronautics and Space, where flight mechanics is of major importance, energy is here related to the strain exerted on structures that are subject to strong winds.
STARCS experience in advanced aerodynamics and our state-of-the art resources benefit our customers and the performance of their products.

Wind Energy

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Wind energy related testing includes not only the development of the wind turbines but also their interaction between themselves and with the surrounding landscape. STARCS has experience of studying a very wide variety of problems related to wind turbines.
Tests are usually performed in the wind tunnel or in the field with instrumentation attached on an existing wind turbine. We are also capable of managing large scale in-situ testing of landscape aerodynamics for optimal geographical positioning of wind turbines.
STARCS experimental capability, in the wind tunnel as well as in-situ, include both measurement of various properties like forces and pressures and visualization of flow field. 

Capabilities within wind energy
  • Wind tunnel scale model testing
    • Turbine blades, 2D and 3D
    • Wind turbine interference
    • Landscape
  • In-situ testing
    • Aerodynamics
    • Deflection
    • Icing
    • Landscape aerodynamics

In-situ measurement at the Alsvik wind turbine farm in Gotland, Sweden.

In-situ measurement at the Alsvik wind turbine farm in Gotland, Sweden.


Trains often travel at high speeds over long distances and are also exceptionally heavy. Hence, weight and aerodynamic resistance are the two most important energy consumers in trains. The combination of decreasing weight and increasing speeds leads to higher sensitivity to cross winds and greater relative importance of aerodynamic resistance. 
At STARCS, experiments on trains are mainly conducted on scale models in our large low speed model wind tunnel LT1. Interesting characteristics are typically over-all air resistance, rolling and yawing moments, side force and aerodynamic interaction with the embankment. Detailed measurements of pantographs or bogies can also be made.

Typical testing
  • Complete train sets
  • Train-embankment interaction
  • Pantographs 
  • Bogies

Testing of the Bombardier X2000 high-speed train in STARCS low speed wind tunnel LT1.

Wind tunnel testing of the Bombardier X2000 high-speed train.

Road Vehicles

Air resistance is one of the greatest contributions to the fuel consumed to drive a road vehicle forward. At high-way speeds aerodynamic drag is the absolute dominating factor. As such, it is also one of the main contributors to the emission of the green-house gas carbon dioxide.

Typical applications
  • Wind tunnel scale model testing
    • Half scale car models
    • 1/4 scale truck and buss models 
    • Full-scale motorcycles 
  • In-situ testing
    • Engine air intake efficiency 
    • Engine bay air flow 
    • Effectiveness of add-ons for downforce or other purposes
    • Pressure distribution on exterior

Investigation of the causes of a wind gust related buss accident conducted in STARCS wind tunnel LT1.

Investigation of the causes of a wind gust related buss accident.


Marine Vessels

STARCS has a long history in testing of marine vessels, resently particularly high-speed boats. Aerodynamic optimization is often of different interest for large and small ships respectively.
For large ships wind loads on superstructure and the flow field of exhaust gases are examples of interests. Superstructure and rigs and cranes located on deck must be designed to withstand great wind loads. Aerodynamic drag caused by these parts can also have a major influence on fuel consumption and related emissions. The exhaust gases must not reach the fresh air intakes and the design and positioning of engine air intakes can be critical to the performance.
For smaller high-speed watercraft, in addition to drag, characteristics like aerodynamic lift force and stability is of major importance. Already at speed of about 50 knots, the aerodynamic forces has a considerable effect on the handling of the boat. At even higher speeds an unfortunate aerodynamic design can lead to fatal flips or turn-overs. High-speed catamarans, being practically a wing sections flying over a sea surface, are exceptionally sensitive to aerodynamic stability characteristics.

Typical applications for larger ships
  • Testing of air intake to turbine engines
  • Exhaust flow
  • Wind loads on superstructure

Typical applications for high-speed watercraft
  • Aerodynamic stability
  • Aerodynamic drag
  • Engine air intake efficiency 
  • Aerodynamic performance of stepped hulls

Oil tanker being tested in STARCS low speed wind tunnel LT1.

Oil tanker being tested in STARCS low speed wind tunnel LT1.


Smoke visualization of the XB-03 race boat in STARCS low speed wind tunnel LT1.

Smoke visualization of the XB-03 race boat in STARCS low speed wind tunnel LT1.



Installation like large antennas mounted on tall masts are often made to be as tall as possible for performance reasons which means that they are generally exposed to strong winds. On the other hand they should also be as light as possible for cost and handling reasons. This means that, rather than making them thicker to increase strength, they need to be aerodynamically optimized to reduce wind loads.

Typical applications
  • Antennas
  • Parabolas
  • Masts
  • Cranes
  • Oil rigs

An off-shore oil rig under preparation for testing in STARCS low speed wind tunnel LT1.

An off-shore oil rig under preparation for wind tunnel testing.



Aerodynamics of buildings is mostly related to analysing wind loads  but can also be related to contamination or snow packing. An aerodynamically unfortunate design of a building can lead to very large wind loads and have even been known, in numerous cases, to lead to structural failure. Structural members must be designed to avoid resonance frequencies in the range of possible aerodynamic phenomena. Strong flow field structures like large oscillating vortices can lead to structural fatigue and ultimately collapse of the building.
In a cityscape perspective buildings should be located relative to one another so that unnecessary accelerations of wind gusts around corners does not generate unpleasant conditions in the near environment.

Capabilities within buildings
  • Sky scrapers
  • Towers
  • Bridges
  • Cityscapes

Snow deposition study on a model of a school in Tromsö, Norway, conducted in STARCS LT5 wind tunnel.

Snow deposition study on a model of a school in Tromsö, Norway, conducted in STARCS LT5 wind tunnel.

STARCS adapts to the needs of the customer. Focus is on solving the problem rather than the task. Please, fill in the form below and we will contact you for further discussion to find a solution to your particular problem.



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T1500 - Transonic Wind Tunnel

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LT1 - Low Speed Wind Tunnel
STARCS low speed wind tunnel is a multipurpose aerodynamic wind tunnel, capable of testing not only all sorts of aircraft models but also almost any type of transportation, large buildings and wind turbines.