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Automotive Testing Track Uses Boilers and Burners for Snowmelt

Supplier: Hurll Nu-Way
03 July, 2018

Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds (SHPG) hosts an award-winning winter testing facility for international automotive, component and tyre manufacturers located in New Zealand.

Their $50 million complex is used to tests prototype cars or tires in various winter road conditions such as ice, flats, gradients, circles and more.

The Problem:

One of the internationally reputed companies is renting a track at SHPG. They would like to compare their new factory vehicles performance between a normal, icy and snowy road conditions. They need to simulate a 150m long race track to imitate a normal road condition. The track should not freeze or accumulate snow. It should be kept in an ideal condition for ABS braking development, cold fiction evaluation, μ testing, motor control and tyre testing.

The Challenge:

Keeping the mountain track in controlled condition during winter is a big challenge; especially when the average temperature is -10° C and average snow accumulation are 40cm. The temperature of the track should not be too hot as it may damage the road. Any cancellation of testing due to unmet road conditions may cost thousands of dollars.

Additionally, any solution proposed should not consume the time that may be utilised for automotive testing. The testing schedule is back-to-back with limited intervals.

The Solution:

It is very important to maintain a consistent track temperature throughout the duration as to not cause any damage (such as cracks) on the tracks. An efficient and cost-effective method must be utilised, especially, if the Snow-melt system must continuously run for 3 months. 

Miles of tubing is installed beneath the surface of the track. St. Roch Commodore Boiler used to heat the polypropylene glycerol mixture that circulates through the tubing, keeping the track at the desired temperature. The St. Roch Commodore Boiler is built with a tough hypo-eutectic cast iron combustion chamber and comes with anti-corrosion guarantee. It is paired with Bentone gas burner because of its energy saving capabilities and its adherence to the environment-friendly requirements. It also helps that this burner operates quietly.

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