Scania wind tunnel nearing completion

Scania’s new state-of-the-art climatic wind tunnel at its research and development centre in Sweden is well underway.

The facility, which is the only one of its kind in Europe, will test comfort, road safety and performance of heavy vehicles in different climates.

As testing trucks and buses in different climates is time-consuming and requires large resources in terms of planning and vehicle transport, the new wind tunnel will allow the manufacturer to perform these tests in-house.

It will be able to simulate realistic environments, ranging from dry Arctic cold to humid tropical heat, as well as various wind conditions.

“This is the only climatic wind tunnel in Europe designed specifically for testing heavy vehicles,” said Project Manager at Scania Laboratory Technology, Lars Hult.

The new wind tunnel, located at the Scania Technical Centre in Södertälje, Sweden, is housed in a 4300 square metre multi-storey building. Key to its design is the enormous 13 square metre nozzle. “This enables us to create a realistic air flow along all vehicles, including buses, with wind speeds of up to 100 km/h,” explained Lars.

In addition to the nozzle size, the wind tunnel has a possible temperature range of -35 to +50 degrees Celsius. Air humidity can vary between 10 and 95 per cent; and the power output of the dynamometer is 800 kW.

The fact that both front and rear wheels can rotate makes it possible to simulate conditions that are similar to on-road driving.

The climatic wind tunnel will be equipped with a complete set of instruments for measuring emissions, with almost the same possibilities to analyse exhaust gases as in an engine test cell.

Emissions can then be measured on complete vehicles under road-like conditions and in varying climates. The fuel supply system will also include most of the different fuel types that are used in Scania’s engine test cells.

A combined system for simulating rain and snow simulation will make it possible to track how rain and dirt are distributed on the surface of the vehicle.
The presence of a solar simulation panel means that it will also be possible to recreate a large variety of climatic conditions in the cab.

Construction of the tunnel is almost finalised. It will be ready for inauguration in March 2013.

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