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From summer to winter in seconds

Natalie Thomas, reporter

June 17, 2011 — Have you ever been in a room where the temperature goes from -40C, all the way to +60C? The Automotive Centre of Excellence at UOIT can do that.

The climatic wind tunnel can create snow, rain, wind and sunshine
The climatic wind tunnel can create snow, rain, wind and sunshine

The Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is the first research, development and innovation centre of its kind in Canada. And inside the facility, different climates can be created in only a matter of minutes. You can step from summer to winter in seconds by going from room to room.

This is a wind tunnel, but it's a very different kind of wind tunnel. It's a climatic wind tunnel, says John Komar, Director of Engineering and Operations at ACE. This tunnel can go from -40C, all the way to +60C. And up above we can actually give you sunshine as hot and bright as the equator. We can also throw snow, rain, wind, sleet.

The chambers allow vehicles to be tested in not only winter conditions, but many different climates.

We can get really heavy humidity, jungle hot here. We can get nice, beautiful, dry Arizona hot here, explains Komar. So the climate chamber makes a difference.

Automobiles are tested at UOIT
Automobiles are tested at UOIT

This world class facility can be used for more than just the car industry.

We've been approached by people in the aerospace industry, people in the green-energy industry, anything that is affected by severe climate can be tested, developed and validated in this facility, says Dan Miles, Communications Strategist at ACE.

The Automotive Centre of Excellence at UOIT is located in Oshawa, Ontario.

With files from Lyndsay Morrison

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