Machine Design

Wind tunnel tests the big rigs

A wind tunnel at the Valeo Engine Cooling Truck facility in Jamestown, N.Y., was recently upgraded to handle trucks with engines developing up to 1,500 hp and 3,500 lb-ft of torque. A water-brake dynamometer connects through a truck's drive shaft for testing.

The tunnel handles everything from passenger cars to Class 8 trucks. It replicates a wide variety of wind and road conditions, varying temperatures from –40 to 120°F. Thermocouples and various transducers record temperatures and other parameters, sending data to an on-site computer for real-time display, analysis, and evaluation.

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