emobility – production
WHERE THE ELECTRIC VEHICLES WILL GET REALLY HOT
he new solar simulation chamber extends the existing equipment that the GQ – Quality Management department has been operating for many years in the C17 lab building. While the existing workplace is used for working with combustion engine cars, the new test area, located in the U65 building in the main production plant, will be used mainly for electric cars. It is one of the most modern devices of its kind in the world. “Audi is the only brand in the entire VW Group to use an e-car testing solar chamber, but ours is a bit more modern”, says Petr Sobotka, head of GQM-2 – Material Technology and Special Measurements, regarding the condition of the new workplace.
Desert conditions in Hall U65
The device of a carefully insulated room equipped with a set of 28 light emitters with an output of 2.5 or 4 kW. It is next to the engine room with special air conditioning and the “brain” for power control. The chamber can simulate different temperature, humidity and sunlight conditions. “We are able to simulate, for example, a desert climate, but also frosty mountain nights. During the test, we gradually switch between a hot Arizona day with an air temperature in the shade of 42°C and a solar radiation intensity of 1,000 W/m2 and a cold alpine night with a temperature of -10°C”, describes Dalibor Kopáč, a coordinator from GQM-2/1 – Material Engineering – Polymers. The test lasts 25 days and simulates about four years of exposing the car to the conditions of the Central European climate.
With extreme temperatures tests, where the car’s interior heats up to 110°C in some places, safety has to be taken into account, as the risk of fire is almost constant. Thermo-cameras in front of the chamber are constantly monitoring cars that the workers are preparing for the test or those that have already passed the test. Each car is equipped with up to 60 sensors that measure temperatures at individual spots and can also warn of sudden fluctuations via a special datalogger (device for collecting and storing analogue or binary information – ed.).
Of course, sensors in the chamber are also monitoring ambient temperature and warning about gas leaks when the electric vehicle batteries overheat. A special “black box” monitors the temperature of the e-car’s battery. In case there is a problem, the security system ends the test and calls in the firefighters. In the event of a real fire, there is a distinctive red container in front of the U65 building. The car is pulled into it from the solar chamber with a winch, the container closes, and the firefighters cover the e-car with water. Luděk Vokáč
NEW CENTRAL PILOT HALL
TOP FACILITIES FOR CONSTRUCTION AND TESTING OF PRE-SERIES HYBRIDS AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES
KODA AUTO started constructing the new Central Pilot Hall (CPH) because of the growing number of new model launches and the expansion of the product range, given the BEV and PHEV cars in the brand’s portfolio. In the CPH, pre-production cars will be manufactured and put into operation, real and virtual installation tests will be carried out, 3D printing will be done, and control measurements, including analyses, will be performed. Thus, the PA – Launch Management department will have a multifunctional basis for future projects. “The preparation of the project itself was a big task for the project team and me. We turned the long-term vision into a reality by convincing investment committee members of the CPH’s fundamental contribution in the pre-series process”, says Josef Václavík, head of the PAP – Central Pilot Hall department.
From 2021, the CPH will be providing top facilities not only to all employees participating in the construction of pre-production cars but also to visitors. All of them will have enough parking spaces available, including e-car charging stations, as well as practical and educationally designed representation spaces and a ViKo room with access to the audit workplace, including a light tunnel to present the pre-production cars. ”We designed the CPH concept in cooperation with the company’s SO – Security department so that the space where secret pre-production cars are located is as secure as possible. The Virtual Reality Studio will play an integral role in performing construction analyses in accordance with the virtual reality strategy and using three-dimensional LED wall technology”, adds Václavík. The last step will be to manage the relocation of production technologies and staff during full-scale operation so that the CPH team will be able to operate inside it from 2021. ED