Tech Accessories

A ‘wind tunnel for all’? – The €225,000 Aero-Optim could possibly be a gamechanger

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It’s day one at Eurobike and, as standard, there’s a huge array of bikes and tech on present. However, as massive because the present is, one factor I didn’t anticipate to see was a wind tunnel. And but that’s precisely what Japan Wind Tunnel Manufacturing (JWTM) had on show with its Aero-Optim Cell.

Wind tunnels are costly to construct or lease, they’re inherently fastened in place, they usually require huge quantities of area. But JWTM says its aim is “to develop new sorts of wind tunnels” and claims the “Aero Optim collection wind tunnel, is simple to put in, low-cost, and compact.”

The fundamental unit prices $55,000 and requires a degree of experience to function and interpret, in order that declare of “low-cost” is fully relative. But the Aero-Optim is undoubtedly extra compact and moveable than a conventional wind tunnel and will supply producers and main groups or federations new ranges of wind tunnel entry. 

The Aero-Optim unit is definitely a lot smaller than a wind tunnel.

The Aero-Optim is a wind tunnel unit measuring in at 1.5 metres lengthy, 68 cm tall, and 69 cm huge. Within every unit sits a 7.5 kilowatt IPM (inside everlasting magnet) motor axial fan, diffuser, circulate straightener, and information vanes. Mounted on a wheeled body, the unit is well moved on-site or from location to location. A single Aero-Optim unit has a wind velocity vary of 1-15 m/s (3.6-54 km/h) with a claimed air motion distribution of +/- 8%. 

The Japanese firm claims a single unit is ample for testing parts and equipment akin to helmets, whereas a number of models stacked facet by facet and/or on prime of one another affords elevated wind speeds, circulate high quality, and circulate space for testing bikes and riders. 

Only a touchscreen management unit is required along with the Aero-Optim wind tunnel unit, however JWTM additionally has a variety of “optimum parts”, together with an anemometer (sizzling wire probes and pitot tubes), Aero-Optim software program, extra models, and a bicycle measuring desk. This bicycle measuring desk options 4 weight sensors and permits for bike and rider drag pressure calculations.

The devoted software program then collects dwell knowledge. A ten-second common for static objects – or a 20-second common for riders pedalling – is used to calculate and show ends in both newtons or a CdA calculation.

Rider place assessments require three stacked Aero-Optim models, a controller, an anemometer, a bicycle measuring desk, and related software program. All in, such a system is available in at a cool €225,000 (roughly US$270,000 / AU$360,000). At this worth, the Aero-Optim definitely isn’t the “wind tunnel for all” JWTM’s tagline suggests, however for producers, a single unit and even the whole system would shortly pay for itself in saved wind tunnel time. 


The Aero-Optim definitely requires a lot much less area than a conventional wind tunnel and related constructing. JWTM recommends an area of 5 m or larger in entrance of the unit for the examined rider or equipment to take a seat. The unit then requires 3 m of clear area on both facet, and a ceiling top of at the very least 4 m to make sure unobstructed or channel airflow. Unfortunately, these area necessities rule out my new storage construct as a house for an Aero-Optim, however JWTM additionally claims the moveable wind tunnel can be utilized open air, and such area necessities are rather more possible for producers with giant warehouses or manufacturing amenities. 

But does it work?

This newest model of the Aero-Optim system, the Cell, is within the closing phases of growth and as such JWTM could be very guarded about its testing and accuracy knowledge. The model did say outcomes from its system pattern very intently to wind tunnel testing outcomes. 

While JWTM is understandably assured in its outcomes, some questions stay for me. Not least: how does the system keep accuracy with the variable circumstances and environments of a number of indoor and open out of doors settings?

This is undoubtedly not a “wind tunnel for all”, but when my accuracy worries are unfounded, it may definitely show to be a wind tunnel for all producers, or at the very least a variety of them. That may finally result in sooner bikes and parts for us all. 

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