Automotive Centre of Excellence celebrates anniversary
By Design Engineering StaffGeneral Automotive Automotive Centre of Excellence product development University of Ontario Institute of Technology
UOIT’s $100-million climactic wind tunnel and research facility
Oshawa, ON – The University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) recently celebrated its one year anniversary. The $100-million, 16,300-square-metre facility located on the university’s Oshawa campus is equipped with a range of test chambers, including one of the largest and most sophisticated climatic wind tunnels in the world.
“ACE is the first testing and research facility of its kind in Canada, and in many respects, the world,” said John Komar, director, Engineering and Operations, ACE. “As a result, we are generating interest from a broad range of sectors, including automotive, aerospace, transit, national defence, green energy, competitive athletes and the movie industry.”
In the past year, the facility has seen a number of film crews use its test chambers for various projects. The National Geographic Channel, for example, filmed part of a documentary on severe weather in ACE’s climatic wind tunnel and the multi-axis simulation table chamber. Similarly, a crew from the Discovery Channel used the climatic wind tunnel to simulate hurricane conditions for a documentary that aired in November 2011. Most recently, the CBC’s Rick Mercer used the climatic four-poster shaker chamber and the climatic wind tunnel for the Rick Mercer Report.
ACE’s testing facilities include a multi-axis simulation table, climatic four-poster shaker and two climate chambers, but most of the building is dedicated to its climatic wind tunnel. The tunnel can generate wind speeds up to 240 kilometres per hour, and replicate a temperatures range from -40 to +60°C and relative humidity ranges from 5 to 95 per cent. It also has a readily reconfigurable solar array that will replicate the effects of the sun.
ACE was developed in partnership with UOIT, General Motors of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada and the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE).