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Honda opens new $124M wind tunnel in Ohio

Honda opened its new $124-million wind tunnel facility in Ohio, ushering in a new era of development testing capabilities for Honda and Acura products, as well as the company’s race vehicles. The new Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (HALO) facility, located at the independent Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) in Central Ohio, supports three separate state-of-the art testing functions—aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, and racing—in one location.

HALO Wind Tunnel Main Fan with Associate

HALO Wind Tunnel Main Fan. The main fan is a total of 8 meters in diameter with 12 hollow carbon fiber fixed-pitch blades and driven by a five-megawatt, 6700 horsepower electric motor.

Honda created the multifunctional HALO facility to reinforce its commitment to developing fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles. One of the most advanced of its kind anywhere, the wind tunnel uses a unique interchangeable modular ground plane system capable of aerodynamic vehicle testing of production vehicles and race machines.

With a five-belt rolling road system designed for production vehicle development and a second single wide-belt system for testing both high-performance sports cars and purpose-built race vehicles, the tunnel can generate wind speeds of more than 190 miles per hour.

Acura MDX Type S Aerodynamics Testing - Control Room

5-Belt Aerodynamics Testing. The 5-belt module consists of belts under each wheel and one belt running underneath the vehicle; it’s used to test the aerodynamic performance of passenger vehicles and light trucks.

The wind tunnel can also quickly enable a sophisticated acoustic test system for an aeroacoustic testing mode that utilizes a system of acoustic arrays, made up of microphones and cameras, able to collect real-time data and precision measurement. This becomes even more important as an element of vehicle design as Honda moves toward its electrified future.

Honda CR-V Hybrid Aeroacoustics Testing - Front

Advanced Aeroacoustics Testing. The acoustic test system is made up of a series of acoustic arrays—top, front, side, and interior—with 502 external microphones, 54 internal microphones, and cameras to pinpoint sound sources.

With electrification, noise reduction becomes an even more important element in vehicle design. Absent engine and exhaust sounds, wind noise will be more noticeable inside the cabin of an electric vehicle. Using the acoustic test system, Honda engineers will be able to identify the precise locations of both interior and exterior noise issues more quickly than ever before.

The new wind tunnel, coupled with the company’s advanced safety research center, provides Honda’s R&D engineers with two world-class facilities in Ohio; both supporting the design and development of products built in America using domestic and globally sourced parts. This also is an opportunity for Honda engineers to build relationships with other companies interested in aerodynamic and aeroacoustic research, support STEM activities, and sustain the general aerodynamic community’s testing needs.

Additionally, the wind tunnel’s aerodynamic test capabilities will help increase the range and performance of the company’s future full-electric vehicles.

The HALO wind tunnel is Honda’s latest major investment in Ohio, where the company has been advancing its ability to develop and build products for over 40 years—now totaling $14 billion.

Wind Tunnel Fact Sheet

Investment $124 million
Facility size • 110,000 square feet
• 1/8-mile wind tunnel circuit
3/4 Open Test Section • 3 meters x 5 meters x 15 meters
Test Capabilities • Aerodynamic
• Aeroacoustic
• Motorsports/Racing
Less than one hour to change to acoustic mode
Variable Nozzle Area • 25 square meters = 250 km/h (155 mph)
• 18 square meters = 310 km/h (192 mph)
Heat exchanger temperature range • 10-50 degrees Celsius
   (50-122 degrees Fahrenheit)
   Maintaining constant temperature
Fan Specifications • Diameter: 8 meters
• Blades: 12 hollow carbon fiber fixed-pitch blades
• Max rpm ≈ 250 rpm at max air speed 310 km/h
• Electric motor: 5-megawatt, 6700 HP
Max Wind Speed • 192.63 mph (310 km/h)
Acoustic Test System • Acoustic environment: < 57 dBA @140 km/h (87 mph)
• Series of acoustic arrays: top, front, sides, and interior
• 502 external directional microphones and cameras
• 54 internal microphones (inside cabin for sound source    
Turntable • Diameter: 12 meters
• 180-degree rotation
   (Most wind tunnels rotate only ± 15 degrees)
Modular ground plane system • Two 40-ton belt modules

  • 5-belt: one belt under each vehicle tire and one larger belt under vehicle center
  • Wide belt: one large belt under vehicle
    • Max speed of 310 km/h (193 mph)
  • Acoustic cover

• Module changeover takes approx. 4 hours

Balance (scale):
Measures Aerodynamic Load
• 3-Axis Load Cell in Tower
• Drag Force Sensitivity = ±2.5 Newtons (2.5 N) (about the
   weight of one standard D battery)
Traverse System
Diagnostic Robotic Arm
• Weight: 80 tons (160,000 lbs.)
• Dimensions: 45 feet long x 16 feet tall x 8 feet wide
• Stopping Position Accuracy = ± 0.5mm
• Moving Path Accuracy = 1.0 mm
• Max Deflection Under Max Load = < 1.0 mm
Third-party Customer Workspace • Four secure customer bays



Perfect for making EV's more aerodynamic than clunky ICE SUVs....

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