The Climatic Wind Tunnel of Volkswagenwerk AG 680120
Volkswagenwerk AG is constructing a major research center at its main plant in Wolfsburg. A climatic wind tunnel, the most modern of its kind in Europe, has already been completed. With VW exports going to almost every country in the world, the tunnel has been designed to simulate all sorts of climatic conditions, including the atmospheric temperatures and humidities of all main climatic zones. Together with an infinite variation of those conditions, the tunnel can develop wind speeds up to 150 km/h (93 mph). The size of the working section permits tests to be carried out on full-size car models. Functional tests can be performed with a program-controlled dynamometer test bench. They include testing of engines under actual road loads and cooling conditions and the testing of heating and air conditioning systems. Aerodynamic forces to which a car is subjected can be measured with a mechanical rotating six-component balance. The operation of the entire installation, data logging and data processing, is carried out automatically by means of a computer.