The development of future vehicles calls for solutions where new tests and validations can be designed and where controllable climatic conditions securing repeatability can be offered 24/7 - 365 days per year.
The demand for efficient testing possibilities increases continuously due to increased volumes, as well as the automotive industry’s need to shorten lead times in the process of model development.
This is the background to why Star Lake Holding, active in the field of climate tests for over 35 years, developed the Vehidome concept; to provide the industry with indoor facilities that can eliminate some of the problems mentioned above.
Combining experience, lessons learned and hours of discussions with customers from the automotive industry has showed that one of the big challenges is repeatable test conditions and how to construct suitable facilities big enough at a reasonable cost.
New patent for indoor vehicle test with controllable climate conditions
It is clear to all test providers that the solution is climate halls, and a few have been built foremost in northern Europe.
These halls are built in a traditional way, using steel and metal sheet which results in size limitation, GPS-interference, and safety issues with supporting poles in the testing areas.
Star Lake Holding has together with the Norwegian company Scandihall developed a totally new method for production of indoor climate halls for vehicle testing. The new method, based on using a tent with a pressure above atmospheric pressure - the well-known and proven air-dome technology, offers several advantages compared to traditional methods both technical as well as economical.
The method/concept is called... VehiDome – just imagine the time and cost that can be saved
Since the concept was released in Stuttgart in May 2019, the feedback and the interest from the automotive industry have been massive. The advantages compared to conventionally built halls are obvious.
One game changer is that tests can be performed realistically with speed and handling as if they were done outdoor, since there are no structures in the dome posing a risk for damages or injuries.
First - if one loses control over the vehicle and goes off the test track, the patented fender system will absorb the kinetic energy of the vehicle.
Second - if the vehicle should pass the fender and hits the dome membrane, the only thing that will happen is “a hole in the wall”. No serious damages to driver or the car. There will be some repair work needed fixing the membrane fabric – but that is it.
What also makes the tests “realistic” is of course the size. As an example, setting up a VehiDome with the size 100 meters width and 1000 meters in length does not represent a technical problem.
Just imagine this size along with the fact that you can control the climatic conditions inside the dome exactly according to your needs and demands.
And change them when you need to!
Star Lake Holding AB
942 95 Vidsel