development of new products for Shanghai GM
SHANGHAI – The first
climate wind tunnel operated by a Chinese joint venture automotive
partner opened today at the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC),
GM’s automotive engineering and design joint venture with SAIC in
Shanghai. The facility will support the development of conventional and
new energy vehicles by PATAC and Shanghai GM.
The facility covers an
area of about 3,400 square meters and represents an investment of nearly
RMB 180 million ($28.5 million). It features advanced technologies and
equipment, including the test cabin, wind turbines, cooling/heating
systems, chassis dynamometers, a sunshine/rain/snow simulation system, a
data acquisition system and a sophisticated road simulation rotating hub
It features several industry firsts in
It is the first climate wind tunnel in
China that can provide rain and snow simulations.
It has a wind-speed deviation of less
than 1 percent and a maximum wind speed of 250 kilometers (155 mph)
It has the widest temperature
simulation range of -40 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees
Fahrenheit), the fastest temperature conversion rate of 0.6 degrees
Celsius per minute and the largest humidity simulation range of 5
percent to 95 percent.
It has the most technologically
advanced, controllable full-spectrum sunshine simulation system,
with sunshine intensity of 1,200 watts per square meter, similar to
some of the harshest warm-weather climates like the Gobi desert.
The climate wind tunnel can simulate a
range of weather and road conditions for the development of products for
different countries and regions. The facility can also simulate extreme
weather conditions for on-site road tests. Breaking seasonal and
regional restrictions, it can replace around 80 percent of climate road
tests, improve the efficiency of vehicle development and speed the
Users can precisely adjust the automatic
air-conditioning controls for the development of comfortable vehicles
and the integration of vehicle climate systems.
The tunnel is equipped to test New Energy
Vehicles – including full electric and hybrid models – to optimize
electric range performance which is highly dependent on the efficient
integration of passenger HVAC and propulsion cooling systems. The
climate wind tunnel is a key tool to helping improve the fuel efficiency
of conventional vehicles and the range performance of New Energy
The new facility is environmentally
friendly. It has about 500 cubic meters (17,657 cubic feet) of
insulating materials to minimize heat loss. In addition, paint and
materials used in its construction are not harmful to the environment,
and its wind turbines and refrigeration facilities are laid out to
reduce oscillation and noise.
PATAC is a 50-50 joint venture between GM
and SAIC. It provides automotive engineering services, including design,
development, testing and validation of components and vehicles. It is
one of GM’s six global research and development centers. Among PATAC’s
achievements are the development of the Chevrolet New Sail and Buick GL8
luxury MPV, and the reengineering of the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac SLS
and other products for Shanghai GM.