Volkswagen has inaugurated its new, state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility in Wolfsburg, Germany. Construction for the center, which has a floor area of 8,800m², began in 2014.
The facility is said to be one of the most modern and efficient in the industry and is certified to conduct measurements in accordance with the WLTP. It houses an aerodynamics and an acoustics wind tunnel each equipped with a flat belt balance. The balance, with integrated camera system, aligns each model fully automatically in less than five minutes. The previous system required approximately 30 minutes.
Inside the facility vehicles can be tested in wind speeds of up to 250km/h and in temperatures between -30°C and +60°C.
The special acoustic insulation inside the acoustic tunnel makes it one of the quietest automotive wind tunnels in the world. At a wind speed of 160km/h, the tunnel only reaches a sound pressure level of 65dB.
The thermal wind tunnel, equipped with an all-wheel-drive roller dynamometer, will be able to simulate snow in addition to rain and sunlight following a pilot phase, enabling much more realistic testing compared to the previous system.
Thanks to the new center, VW will be able to reduce the cost of tests, which were previously carried out in remote areas. In addition, departments such as vehicle safety, design, acoustics and comfort are now in closer proximity and will be able to work closer together.
Works Council Gerardo Scarpino said, “Technical development at Wolfsburg is the heart of Volkswagen. More than 10,000 colleagues are working on the technology of the future here.
“With the new Wind Tunnel Efficiency Center, we will be safeguarding the future of many jobs in Wolfsburg. In order to use the new technology efficiently, we need highly qualified, experienced employees. We have precisely these colleagues here at Volkswagen.”
November 15, 2017