Environmental Flow (EnFLo) Research Centre

Our Environmental Flow Research Centre, was opened in 1993 as a focus for UK research activities based on laboratory scale simulation of atmospheric flow and pollutant dispersion.

Our Centre's unique capabilities are recognised by its status as a NERC-NCAS (National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences) facility.

NERC Centres for Atmospheric Science logo

EnFlo was established by the donation of two major facilities, a wind tunnel and a towing tank, by National Power plc to the University. Financial support was also provided by EPSRC and the Meteorological Office.

The wind tunnel can be operated in a density stratified mode and the towing tank is designed for the study of local buoyance effects. This gives the laboratory a unique experimental capability and also permits a very wide range of environmental conditions to be modelled.

The wind tunnel has a 20 m long working section, 3.5x1.5 m in cross section, and is stratified by differential heating of the incoming air, together with heating and cooling of the tunnel floor. The 12m long towing tank has a 1x1 m cross-section and is fitted with a carriage that runs at towing speeds up to 0.02 m/s.

Our main objectives

  • Provide Wind Tunnel and Towing Tank facilities in support of research on fluid flow and dispersion which, through their unique capabilities, will enhance the competitiveness of UK environmental scientists in both academic and industrial spheres
  • Undertake research on flow and pollutant dispersion processes in the earth's atmosphere, oceans, lakes and rivers, which will lead to improved modelling and assessment procedures
  • Provide training and promote good practice in the use of laboratory modelling techniques in environmental fluid mechanics

To achieve these objectives we will

  • Provide appropriate access to researchers throughout academia and industry
  • Maintain and develop all major facilities and associated instrumentation capabilities
  • Disseminate information to the wider scientific community through publications, conference presentations, short courses and workshops
  • Develop an awareness of users' priorities and requirements
  • Build a balanced research portfolio from a broad funding base.

Institutions and other organisations

  • CONCAWE (Brussels)
  • FFI (Norway)
  • FOI (Sweden)
  • DGA (France)
  • INERIS (France)
  • ECL (France)
  • EU (Marie Curie)
  • Sandia National Labs (USA)
  • Sellafield, HPA (PHE) and NHS
  • CERC
  • Shell Global Solutions
  • Golder Associates (UK)
  • Selex-Galileo
  • Owlstone

Find us

University of Surrey