Honda Plans to Improve Future Vehicle Aerodynamics and Acoustics with New Wind Tunnel in Ohio

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Wind tunnel testing will play key role as Honda prepares for its own electrified future.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – March 21, 2022

    2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid undergoing Aeroacoustic Testing


    This morning, Honda opened its brand new $124 million wind tunnel facility, ushering in a new era of development testing capabilities for Honda and Acura products. The new Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (HALO) facility, located at the independent Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) in Central Ohio, is the world's most advanced wind tunnel, with three separate state-of-the art testing functions — aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, and racing — in one location.

    Honda created the HALO facility to reinforce its commitment to developing fuel-efficient 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 mph.

    HALO Main Fan


    The wind tunnel can also enable a sophisticated acoustic test system for an aeroacoustic testing that utilizes a powerful 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.

    As Honda continues to move toward its electrified future, 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 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, supporting Honda's efforts to continually advance its current position as America's most fuel efficient and lowest CO2 full-line automaker.

    Acura TLX undergoing std. Aerodynamic Testing


    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 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 = 155 mph
    • 18 square meters = 192 mph

    Heat exchanger temperature range

    • 50-122 degrees Fahrenheit while 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 kph
    • Electric motor: 5-megawatt, 6700 HP

    Max Wind Speed

    • 192.63 mph

    Acoustic Test System

    • Acoustic environment: ˂ 57 dBA @140 kph (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 detection)


    • 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 193 mph

    Acoustic cover

    • Module changeover takes approx. 4 hours

    Balance (scale): Measures Aerodynamic Load

    • 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
    EdwinTheMagnificent and BillLin like this.
  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    You can put lipstick on a barn in a wind tunnel , but it's still a barn.
    I'm glad Honda still makes cars.
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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Edwin:

    I was thinking the same thing. I have not had any decent news out of Honda in forever when this popped up. I almost let it go as a Honda forum post but you never know what people like to read and what they do not?

  4. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Had Honda been using other companies’ wind tunnels? I guess people still want to drive 80+MPH on the freeways & Honda vehicles will be served well by some solid work in the Honda wind tunnel. But, good aerodynamics in the 80+MPH range might sacrifice aerodynamics in the 55–65MPH range. We’ll see.
    With high gas prices, I’m seeing minimal reduction of speeds on the freeways to gain MPG. Yeah, its a sure bet that I’ve never seen Wayne on our freeways.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2022
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  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I actually passed a 4th gen Prius on I-88 the other day.
    My usual speed is 55-56 in a 60 PSL.
    I was amazed.
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  6. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    How would that work?
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  7. litesong

    litesong litesong

    Simple question to complex aerodynamics. Possibly, Honda might concentrate on higher speed energized vortices which sometimes adhere better to exterior surfaces(reducing drag), while forgetting about slower velocity aerodynamics which might be best approached with laminar flows. Like I said, aerodynamics gets very persnickety(an aerodynamic term used in many equations of motion-o_O ).
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
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  8. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Huh. The easiest way for Honda to improve their aero would be to sell more cars and fewer SUVs, but I guess consumers are deciding.

    Sure, Honda could disincentivize people from SUVs by charging more for them than for cars, but ... oh wait, every automaker already does that, and SUVs still outsell cars. What are you gonna do? Charge $5 for a gallon of gas? Oh, that's already happening?
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  9. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Yes , but today , an SUV IS a "car".
    My friend who owns a 2020 GMC pickup calls it his "car".
    BillLin likes this.
  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    True, and the distinction really is blurring anyway, now that many smaller SUVs get similar mpg (though maybe not quite, on the highway) to the sedans they've replaced. Not really much difference between today's subcompact and compact SUVs, versus the 1980s tall wagons I used to favor.
    BillLin likes this.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    In other words , the SUV that replaces the car gets less MPG.
    BillLin likes this.
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    I had a 2.5L 2016 Camry. If it were replaced with a Rav4 of today, I might see a 1 mpg drop on the highway with the AWD. The other EPA ratings of the non hybrids match or best the Camry's.

    Of course the current Camry is better, but fuel economy is not the top priority of most buyers. They see the Rav4, and think they can get all the advantages of a tall wagon, maybe even AWD, without having to pay more at the pump than they do now.
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