VW opens emissions test centre
Following a construction period of just ten months, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has begun operation of its new emissions test centre at its Hannover site. The facility, which covers around 1,000 square metres, has two test beds on which vehicles will be tested in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).
The new test centre has been built because type approval for every one of the company's vehicles now requires emission and fuel consumption figures recorded using the new standardised WLTP measurement procedure applicable across Europe. As a result of this, vehicles in full production also need to be continually put through checks run in accordance with the new procedure. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has invested six million euros in the new facility.
Metin Karsak, Emissions Test Centre Manager: “The new building and the cutting-edge equipment installed in it enable us to reproduce the required test cycles with outstanding precision.” There are 15 staff working in the new test centre on a two-shift basis.
In addition to the rolling road test beds a key component of the new building is the master control station, via which all tests and cycle phases are monitored. Inside a special clean room the particulate output of the vehicle being tested is weighed on vibration-free precision scales (precise to 0.001 milligram). In order to keep any vibrations at bay, they sit on a cast-iron, 500 kilogram base filled with concrete and a spring-cushioned granite slab 20 centimetres thick. Pressure of three hectopascals in this room also prevents the penetration of any foreign particles, such as dust. The prescribed temperature in the room is a constant 22 degrees with air humidity of 45 per cent.
In order to enable the emissions tests as a whole to be run under consistently identical conditions, a new air-conditioning system keeps the temperature in the main hall at the prescribed 23 degrees.