The Ilmenau barrel - a large-scale device for the investigation of turbulent convection flows

The greenhouse effect is warming the earth. What will our climate be like tomorrow? A reliable answer to this question is not yet possible today: we know too little about turbulent flows that control the transport of heat and pollutants in the atmosphere as well as in the oceans. The "Ilmenau Barrel" is a globally unique large-scale scientific device that provides fascinating insights into the still unexplored fine structure of turbulent flows. In the barrel, air is set into turbulent motion between a heating plate and a freely suspended cooling plate - similar to air over a hot asphalt road or water in a cooking pot. The large dimensions and high precision of the Ilmenau barrel make it possible to measure even the smallest eddies with millimetre precision. This is done using ultra-modern laser techniques and newly developed miniature flow sensors. In this way, the "tempest in a teapot" helps us to better understand our environment. Funded by the European Union, the German Research Foundation, the State of Thuringia and the German Academic Exchange Service.

Sabine Scherge


Priv.-Doz. Dr.-Ing. habil Ronald du Puits

Visiting address office:Weimarer Straße 28 98693 Ilmenau

Visitoraddress Ilmenauer Fass Schortestraße 57 (direction Restaurant Zur Schortemühle) 98693 Ilmenau

Postal address: TU Ilmenau Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

PO Box 10 05 65 98684 Ilmenau

Ronald du Puits

+49 (0) 3677 69-1353