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Ford’s New Weather Factory Can Simulate Tornadoes, Hurricane and More [Video]

Made with an investment of €70 million, the now fully operational facility can put to work up to ten different vehicles simultaneously.

News18.com

Updated:May 21, 2018, 3:47 PM IST
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Ford’s New Weather Factory Can Simulate Tornadoes, Hurricane and More [Video]
Ford Weather Facility. (Image: Ford YouTube Screengrab)
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The air is shimmering like in the desert, while just a few metres away, it’s so cold you can build a snowman. And there’s a category 5 hurricane in the next room. That’s not a movie set but the new “Weather Factory” from Ford Motor Company. The new state-of-the-art Environmental Test Centre puts all the world’s weather under one roof, enabling engineers to test forthcoming Ford vehicles, without traveling to various parts of the world for the weather testing.

On an area the size of a football pitch, engineers can now replicate weather from Mont Blanc with speeds more than 250 kmph or the desert heat of the Sahara, to the arctic cold of Siberia and the heavy humidity of Costa Rica, with just a push of a button in Europe’s most advanced automotive environmental test centre.



Made with an investment of €70 million, the now fully operational facility can put to work up to ten different vehicles simultaneously. Testing covers comfort, safety and durability, as well as electrical performance, braking, air conditioning, trailer towing, cabin heating and traffic jam situations.

All Ford vehicles will be tested in the facility, which features three climate wind tunnels, including a high-altitude lab, and four temperature-controlled test chambers, one of which will also facilitate humidity testing.

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Wind Tunnel 1 is set up for hot and cold immersion testing with 28 spotlights and 4,000 watt bulbs to help simulate the powerful sun beams. Wind Tunnel 2 is also set up for hot and cold immersion testing. Wind Tunnel 3 is the altitude lab, where engineers can test vehicles at wind speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) at up to 5,200 metres.

Overall, the facility requires 11 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a small town of 2,400 inhabitants that comes from a fully renewable, environmentally-friendly source. The test centre complements testing facilities that include Ford Lommel Proving Ground, in Belgium, home to a specific pothole-testing track, side-wind tests, and saltwater and mud baths.

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| Edited by: Arjit Garg
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