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Climatic wind tunnel

Mother Nature isn't reliable...but ACE is. 

The ACE climatic wind tunnel (CWT) is one of the most sophisticated of its kind in the world. It is designed to provide a multitude of industries with world-class and independent testing capabilities to validate prototype products under a wide range of climatic conditions. Climatic simulation systems include solar capabilities, rain, freezing rain, light snow and blizzards - all with wind speeds capable of 300 km/h at temperatures ranging from -40˚C to +60˚C. The ACE CWT is unique due its seven to 14.5 m² variable nozzle, which enables testing of subjects ranging from very small to extremely large, in a wide variety of wind and climatic combinations. This CWT is also the only one of its kind to have a turntable with a full-scale chassis dynamometer to enable product tests at yaw.

Sectors: 

The breadth of ACE’s CWT applications are endless. They include:

  • aerospace
  • architectural
  • athletics
  • automotive
  • energy and fuels
  • human performance
  • motorsport
  • truck and transit
  • unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)/drones

Cyclist in Wind Tunnel   Human Trial in Wind Tunnel   UAV Testing in Wind Tunnel

Testing examples: 

  • aerodynamic testing
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) testing in vehicles
  • physiological/cognitive tests (human trials)
  • product quality control
  • snow mitigation (architectural)
  • thermodynamic testing
  • wind turbines

Key features: 

  • Adjustable nozzle (7to 13m2) and long test section to accommodate a wide range of vehicle sizes and types, from small cars to Class 8 trucks and buses, with wind speeds in excess of 240 kph.
  • Temperature from -40oC to +60oC and relative humidity (RH) from five per cent to 95 per cent.
  • Exceptional flow quality for advanced aerodynamic simulation in thermodynamic testing.
  • Low background noise level (64 dBA at 50 kph) for the detection of vehicle drive-away anomalies such as misfires, transmission hesitation, etc.
  • Unique independently-powered rolls chassis dynamometer in a turntable to enable cross-wind testing.
  • Solar simulation system up to 1,100 W/m2  intensity with sunrise-sunset simulation capabilities.
  • Blowing rain, falling and blowing snow simulation.
  • Complete suite of ancillary systems for customer vehicle operation, including hydrogen and electric vehicle compatibility.

Nissan testing in climatic wind tunnel    Nissan testing in CWT reverse

Wind tunnel circuit: 

Wind Tunnel Circuit

Test section features: 

Overall dimensions

  • Length: 20.1 metres
  • Width: 13.5 metres
  • Height: 7.5 metres

Useable length

  • 14.3 metres for cars and trucks
  • 19.1 metres for trucks and buses

Vehicle entry clearance

  • Width: 3.93 metres
  • Height: 4.49 metres (Corner No.1 turning vane set open)

Adjustable nozzle

  • 7 to 13.0 m2:
    • Height: 2.9 metres
    • Width: 2.4 to 4.5 metres
  • 14.5 m2:
    • Height: 2.9 metres x 5 metres (slightly diverging)

Canopy for buses

22 m2:

  • Height: 4.4 meters
  • Width: 5 metres (used with 13 or 14.5 m2 nozzle)

Turntable diameter

11.7 metres

Boundary layer removal

  • Width: 5.25 metres main suction system
  • Provision for secondary suction

Vehicle exhaust extraction system

  • Dual or single exhaust pipes.
  • Open or closed mode with back pressure regulation.
  • Maximum flow rate: 0.62kg/second (8.5 litre, 400 horse-power engine).
  • Maximum inlet exhaust temperature: 650oC.

In-chamber fuelling

  • Station for regular, Reid vapour pressure (RVP) and diesel.
  • Plumbed in for hydrogen.

In-chamber power

Outlets for plug-in vehicles.

Test Section Features

Wind speed and thermal performance:

Full thermal control wind speed: 7 to 9.3 m2 nozzle settings.

Full Thermal Control Wind Speed

Increased maximum wind speed: ambient conditions

Nozzle (m2)

Wind speed (kph)

Temperature (oC)

7.0

280

25

9.3

250

25

13.0

225

25

Humidity – temperature performance

Humidity Temperature Control

Thermal performance and flow quality: 

Cooling system

  • R507 primary loop with Dynalene HC-50 secondary loop.
  • Total heat capacity: 500 kW at -40oC , 2100 kW at ambient.

Thermal performance

Parameter

Set point change

Rate

Test condition

Temperature

<12°C

0.8°C/minute

70 to 105 kph; 32°C to 50°C

<6°C

0.6°C/minute

<115 kph

>6°C

0.08°C/min

<115 kph

Humidity

20% RH

1% RH/minute

38°C dry bulb

Flow quality 

Parameter

Uniformity (σ)

Stability

Wind speed

1% of set point

±0.5 kph

Flow angularity

0.5°

Temperature

0.3°C

±0.2°C at velocity > 48 kph

Humidity

0.5°C (dew point)

±0.5°C (dew point)

Boundary layer displacement thickness

  • δ* less than 5 mm at 0.9 m ahead of the front chassis dynamometer roll set at 90 kph, 25oC air temperature.

Background noise level: 9.3 m2 nozzle

Wind speed (kph)

Out-of-flow sound pressure level (SPL) (dBA)

50

64

  100

81

140

90

250

107

 
 

Chassis dynamometer specifications: 

Manufacturer and model

Burke E. Porter (custom design)

Vehicle types

Passenger car, light and medium duty trucks, buses

Axle configurations

  • front-wheel drive
  • rear-wheel drive
  • four-wheel drive
  • all-wheel drive (four independent rolls)

Roll width

812 mm (four identical)

Roll diameter

1219 mm (four identical)

Roll surface

Tungsten carbide, aggressive finish (0.8µ)

Clear space between rolls

1,067 mm (identical front and rear)

Wheelbase range

1,600 to 5,842 mm

Location of front fixed axle from nozzle exit plane (0o yaw)

3,000 mm

Location of rear fixed axle from nozzle exit plane (180o yaw)

9,200 mm

Normal maximum yaw angle range

±30o

Floor features

  • Automatic floor track and side roll cover system.
  • Moveable central inspection port with infrared camera.

Total inertial simulation range

907 to 9,072 kg

Maximum axle load

5,000 kg

Maximum vehicle weight

9,072 kg

Maximum speed

250 kph

Motor type

AC (vector drive duty)

Nominal maximum power

187 kW per roll, motoring and absorbing; 92 to 250 kph

Base speed

92 kph

Continuous tractive force rating

7,301 N per roll ; 0 to 92 kph

Tractive force overload

150 per cent for 60 seconds; 0 to 92 kph

Features

  • robot driver
  • customer specified drive cycles

Configuration

Elevator and air bearings permit removal from test section.

Dynamometer & Basement

Solar simulation system specifications: 

  • Full diurnal function with azimuth and altitude.
  • Full-spectrum capability with vertical and bi-axial movement.

Manufacturer

KHS Steuernagel

Target size

  • Length: 6.5 metres
  • Width: 2.5 metres
  • 1.5 metres above test section floor

Intensity range

600 to 1,200 kW/m2

Intensity incidence

0 to 52.5o

Spectrum

ASTM Std E-892

Intensity quality

  • Uniformity ±10 per cent
  • Stability ±2 per cent

Lamps

  • Metal halide
  • 21 total
Solar Simulation

Rain and snow system specifications: 

Rain simulation system

Frontal rain simulation system located at the nozzle exit.

  • Up to 12 nozzles of  various sizes as needed to provide adequate coverage of a given vehicle.
  • Designed for 150 kph at 20°C but will operate as low as -5°C to perform freezing rain tests.

Blowing rain test on a bus    Bus in rain test

Snow simulation systems

There are two possible snow simulation configurations: frontal (blizzard) and overhead. In both cases, snow guns are used to create the snow.

Car in blizzard test   Truck in Snow Test

Ancillary equipment

Vehicle starting power

200 amp 12 vDC and 24 vDC

Pressure radiator fill

System capable of charging from a pressurized vessel.

Gas tank and differential cooling

Cooling water system to provide cooling during high-load tests.

Refrigerant charging system

  • Two charging systems: one for R134A or equivalent; the other for alternative refrigerants.
  • Capability to pull a vacuum once refrigerant has been reclaimed.

Garage bays 

Three garage bays are available for use throughout testing. Garage bays come equiped with a hoist and tools. 

Garage Bay   ACE Hallway

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