Wind Tunnel Facility

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PWR was founded on the concept that cooling plays a far larger part in a vehicle than just keeping running temperatures right. PWR has run a small wind tunnel since the early days to test product developments and get the hard data to validate results. Plus being able to benchmark one cooler against another is vital in quantifying the improvements we can make through applying our technology and manufacturing.

In 2011, PWR decided that a full size wind tunnel testing facility was needed to maintain our leading edge developments. The size and scope is impressive –it is 30 metres long, 2 metres wide at the widest point, can test coolers up to 1 metre square in face area, can test for virtually all cooling systems from water radiators, to engine oil coolers, to transmission oil coolers, to intercoolers and more.

PWR designed and built the full facility itself, helped by some of the leading race teams around the world in the design features. It took a year to build it and get it up and running. And it is right in the middle of the PWR factory, so manufacturing new cores to test in the wind tunnel happens right outside the door.

The wind tunnel test facility allows different core configurations to be tested, giving PWR a distinct competitive advantage in product development. The facility allows for rapid prototyping to be tested, and provides the adaptability required to service PWR our customers.

Wind Tunnel Facility 1
Wind Tunnel Facility 2

PWR’s engineers are able to fine tune the performance characteristics of each product for their exact purpose for a customer, using the wind tunnel facility to vary:

  • Air velocity and pressure
  • Air, water and oil temperatures
  • Coolant flow rate

The wind tunnel allows real world conditions in terms of heat transfer, coolant pressure drop and airside pressure drop to be simulated and monitored, ensuring nothing is left to chance in achieving the optimal result for the required circumstances.

Producing data is essential in product development for both validation of performance characteristics and also to benchmark against previous and alternate products. PWR can produce a wide range of data including Heat Rejection and Dissipation Coefficients, Air and Liquid side pressure drops for a wide range of data points for each sample test. Mass flows of all fluids are accurately adjusted and monitored to provide test conditions for each desired data point, while ambient conditions of temperature, pressure and relative humidity are all logged. PWR has 2 water, 2 oil and a single Charge Air circuit for system testing, and can adjust the ambient air temperature to a desired level for a range of test requirements, simulating potentially worst case environments for cooling systems.

PWR Wind Tunnel Data

Importantly the wind tunnel also allows for ‘in series’ testing of multiple cooling components (e.g. the testing of an oil cooler in front of a radiator) in order to best replicate real world scenarios.

A number of race teams from around the world have already used the wind tunnel to test existing cores and use PWR technology to build and test better cores in their quest for the winning edge.

We know that not everyone can afford to use the wind tunnel to test their cores, but the developments driven out of our wind tunnel testing do often end up in our stock and custom cores used by everyday drivers.