Achieving ultra-accurate engine and emission test results

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With engine and emission testing being among the most critical aspects of the automotive development process, the consequences of poor testing can be deadly. Here, Peters explains how to obtain accurate measurements and achieve ultra-accurate engine and emission test results

Engine and emission testing are two of the most critical aspects of the automotive development process. The results of poor testing can be deadly, especially as the measurements become incrementally smaller. Fortunately, obtaining accurate measurements comes down to a basic understanding of techniques and technology.

Although the industry has generally been shifting away from torque arms to in-line measurement techniques, it’s key to continue the quest for better performance and lower emissions. Torque arms are fine for engine development, but a higher-performance tool is crucial for emissions testing. To get the highest quality measurements, testing professionals should use a non-bearing, telemetry-style torque measurement to eliminate the influence of mass and friction on the final test results.

Having extraneous influences can drastically impact the validity of the measurement. For example, say someone takes a bike wheel and tries to measure bearing friction. If that person uses a sensor that has bearings itself, that measurement will have extremely low accuracy – especially since a bike wheel is so small. Telemetry torque measurements provide accurate system level power generation numbers where precision is absolutely critical. The load unit and its control systems are able to replicate the same work load for the engine as it would during a real-world operation, ensuring that performance of the engine is reliable.

However, measurement becomes a little more challenging when it comes to low viscosity fluids. These fluids require ultra-high accuracy load and friction profiles, and because there’s so little to work with, a high-resolution telemetry solution is essential. This can detect extremely small differences in the lubricant properties – something that’s especially critical given the long test cycles these fluids generally experience.

When it comes to selecting the right telemetry torque measurement, high performance and accuracy ratings should top the list of considerations. Although there are several quality options, Interface’s AxialTQ consistently ranks above others in these categories, in addition to offering more flexibility of stator and output module mounting. It can also be configured in a nearly infinite number of ways to meet any application need.

To achieve the highest accuracy fuel, power, viscosity, exhaust and emissions measurements, it ultimately comes down to the type of torque sensor used in testing. By implementing a telemetry solution that yields the highest accuracy measurements, engine and emission testing results will dramatically improve.

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