For The Torque Formula Where Is The Distance Measured From What is a Chassis Dynamometer?

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What is a Chassis Dynamometer?

This article is the second in a series of three articles highlighting the basics of dynamometer testing. In this first article, “What is an Engine Dynamometer,” we reviewed the basic components of a water brake engine dynamometer and how they work. In this article we will look at the principle components of a chassis dynamometer (also known as a dyno).

A chassis dyno is a tool that allows the operator to safely place a controlled load on a vehicle. Using a dyno, a vehicle’s primary power train components, including the engine, transmission, and differential, as well as vehicle components such as braking, cooling, and electrical systems, can be properly operated throughout the vehicle’s power and speed range. Deficiencies or defects in engine assembly can be detected before the vehicle is driven and the engine’s operating condition can be fully assessed. Generally a dynamometer is the final test of quality before a vehicle is put into service.

Construction of chassis dynamometer

A chassis dynamometer consists of three major components: a roll set, an absorption unit, and a torque signaling system.

Chassis dyno roll sets come in a variety of diameters depending on the application. An automotive chassis dynamometer typically has a small roll set, while a large truck dyno has a large set. These dyno roll sets are placed on a specially designed frame and are attached either directly to the dynamometer absorption unit or to a belt drive system. Dyno roll sets are available in fixed and adjustable width versions to accommodate a variety of wheelbases for testing multiple vehicles on a single machine.

When used on a chassis dynamometer the characteristics of water brake absorbers are similar to those of an engine dynamometer. In addition to water brake absorbers, chassis dynos can also be equipped with AD current and AC regenerative absorption units. An eddy current absorber uses an electric current to produce a load. Eddy current dynamometers require an electrically conductive core, shaft or disk, to produce resistance to movement across a magnetic field. Available in both air cooled and liquid cooled applications, eddy current chassis dynamometers offer fast response rates. Most eddy current absorbers use cast iron discs, similar to vehicle disc brake rotors, and use variable electromagnets to change the magnetic field strength to control the amount of braking.

Like most water brake absorbers, the housing of an eddy current absorber is restrained by a torque arm within the chassis dyno assembly attached to a load cell. AC regenerative chassis dynamometers use an electric motor/generator that is not only capable of powering the vehicle’s drive wheels and acting as a motoring chassis dyno, but is capable of putting the power absorbed by the generator function back into the electrical grid. which powers the dynamometer.

In all cases, the absorption unit is stopped using a torque arm that is attached to the load cell. The force exerted by the stators to rotate is measured by a load cell. By measuring the distance from the torque arm to the axis of the absorber, the amount of torque can be measured.

Torque = force x distance

So if we measure speed, the amount of horsepower can be found with this formula:

HP = (torque x rpm)/5252

Chassis dynamometer operation

A vehicle or chassis is run on a chassis dynamometer and the vehicle is secured using straps or chains that are usually provided with the dynamometer system. The vehicle then undergoes a series of tests that simulate the operating conditions that the vehicle will encounter during its intended use. These tests can be performed by an operator either inside or outside the vehicle, or through automated testing based on the control system supplied with the chassis dyno.

What makes a chassis dynamometer system?

A chassis dynamometer is only one element of an overall chassis dyno system. Typically, a dyno system consists of a chassis dynamometer plus a fuel measurement system, a room exhaust system, and a data acquisition and control system.

Fuel metering system

Fuel metering systems are designed to monitor engine efficiency during power runs. A typical chassis dynamometer fuel measurement system works by measuring the total amount of fuel inside the storage tank before the test run. During a test run, the system automatically calculates the amount of fuel being used and displays the monitored information on the dynamometer’s data acquisition system.

Room exhaust system

The two most common types of room exhaust systems are hoods and pipe systems. Hood systems are preferred because direct connection to the engine or exhaust system is not required. Hood fans draw makeup air into the room containing the dynamometer and remove both engine and room exhaust. Pipe systems can be operated by fans to remove engine exhaust. When using a piped system, a separate fan-driven room exhaust system is required to draw makeup air into the room and expel heat, smoke, and fumes.

Data acquisition and control systems

Typically the dyno controller consists of the temperature and pressure sensors of the dynamometer system. These sensors are contained within an industrial cabinet and are provided with quick connections. Data is collected from temperature and pressure sensors, and in many cases an ECM, and merged with speed, torque and power measurements from the dyno and sent to the dynamometer system’s computer.

A computer in the data acquisition and dynamometer control system interfaces with the controller and dyno and executes all embedded control functions. This is where new tests are run and reports are created, printed, and stored.

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