Chassis Dynamometer Test Cell Upgrade for Class 8 Truck Engines Testing

November 28, 2023

Project Features:
Custom-Built Chassis Dynamometer Test Cell, Air Speed and Temperature Range, Axle Cooling System, Articulated Engine Exhaust, Custom Fabricated Air Flow Nozzle, Class 8 Truck Engines, Truck Dynamometer

Chassis dynamometer test cell upgrade for class 8 truck engines testing

The Challenge

Our client, a major international vehicle and equipment manufacturer, was using an obsolete chassis dynamometer test cell combined with over-the-road testing for its class 8 truck engines testing program. This combination did not give the company sufficient control over test conditions or testing repeatability. They engaged ACS to address the following deficiencies:

  • Outdated infrastructure and limited testing range: The outdated air simulation and chassis dyno systems limited the air temperature and speed ranges. The manufacturer wanted to modernize its building and its utility infrastructure to support a new chassis dyno and air simulation system.
  • Inadequate axle cooling system: The existing approach offered no control over cooling rates or fluid temperatures. The client sought a system to precisely regulate the oil temperature inside the differential.
  • Test automation data compatibility: The client’s test data from their US center was not aligned with the software program used in test facility headquarters in Europe. Test data from the U.S. facility required extensive post-processing to integrate with the headquarters’ system. The client wanted the U.S. test data to be aligned for direct integration into the main system. This integration allowed them to easily share tests and analysis of test data across all facilities.

The Solution

The ACS solution involved a comprehensive design-build expansion of the existing testing facility to house the new customized chassis truck dynamometer test cell and provide the condition control the manufacturer wanted.

  • Facility overhaul: We gutted and reconstructed the facilities to accommodate a new air circuit. We entirely revamped the mechanical and electrical systems to ensure delivery of the power and control needed to meet the new test stand and evolving test condition requirements.
  • Air flow and control systems: Our engineers designed an adjustable nozzle to blow air in front of the truck on the chassis. The client required the air blowing from the nozzle to have temperature and velocity uniformity, allowing only a narrow range of acceptable deviation. We built a mixing flow conditioner inside the temperature-controlled air circuit that blended the air to achieve temperature and velocity uniformity.
  • Axle cooling improvement: We replaced the obsolete system with a custom-designed oil cooling system that facilitated lower axle oil temperatures and tighter temperature control than previously achievable.

In addition, our software engineers built the PLC (software and hardware) and its two-way integration into the manufacturer’s test automation software, which aligns with the software at their European facility. The PLC provides centralized control over industrial facilities to meet test conditions set by the testing automation system.

The Outcome

ACS renovated the existing building and its utilities to accommodate the customized chassis dynamometer.

With a new air handling unit and custom air flow nozzle, the company increased its test air temperature range while providing temperature uniformity.

The upgrades notably improved testing capabilities, offering the company enhanced control, reliable repeatability, and improved accuracy in test results. Consequently, the client now possesses an improved ability to conduct rigorous and dependable testing for their heavy-duty truck development programs.

Key Features

  • Revamped the testing facility, introducing a custom-built chassis truck dynamometer test cell, upgrading mechanical and electrical systems, and replacing the air circuit.
  • Expanded class 8 truck engines testing parameters with a significantly increased air speed range and an extended temperature range.
  • Attained precise air speed and temperature including a custom-fabricated nozzle, meeting rigorous uniformity standards for heightened testing accuracy.
  • Designed a PLC system compatible with the test software used in the client’s main lab facilities.

ACS Services

  • Designed and built new mechanical and electrical systems.
  • Renovated existing space for a new test lab and added office space.
  • Procured and commissioned the new chassis dyno.
  • Designed and built an axle cooling system, articulated engine exhaust, custom fabricated air flow nozzle, and Air Handling Unit (AHU).
  • Designed PLC hardware and software, and integration with test system software.
  • Conducted site acceptance testing (SAT)