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Portable Engine Dynamometer

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum Development in MET

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.922.1 - 7.922.8



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Paper Authors

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Timothy Cooley

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Design of a Portable Engine Dynamometer for Multiple Classroom Experiments

Timothy R. Cooley, PE Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Purdue University at New Albany New Albany, IN 47150


Five compact, portable engine dynamometers were designed and built for use by interested Mechanical Engineering Technology locations within the Purdue University School of Technology system. The purpose of the dynamometer is to provide a versatile, compact experimental platform around which numerous laboratory exercises could be designed. Each dynamometer consists of a 14 HP air-cooled gasoline engine providing mechanical shaft power, coupled to a simple hydraulic system acting as the power absorption and measurement system. A compact water/oil heat exchanger is also included to augment energy removal, if needed. Laboratory experiments for Fluid Power, Heat Power, Instrumentation, and Internal Combustion Engine courses are now being implemented using this system.

I. Introduction

Like most universities, the Purdue University School of Technology must balance the need for equipment suitable for laboratory exercises against many other factors, including limitations in funding and space. After initial trials with a smaller prototype unit, it was determined that the fundamental design could be refined and mass-produced to serve multiple classes and locations for a very reasonable cost. Through optimization of performance, design, and project constraints the resulting system proved to be a safe, compact, and versatile experimental platform around which a variety of laboratory exercises could be built.

The goal of the project was creation of an experimental platform that could be used to teach multiple concepts in fluid power, thermodynamics, and instrumentation in a laboratory-type setting to students at the Associates and Bachelors degree levels. To achieve this goal the system needed to demonstrate fluid mechanics concepts such as design elements of portable hydraulic units, and the role of power plants in hydraulic system performance. Relevant thermodynamics concepts would include elementary combustion principles, energy conversion mechanisms and principles, and thermodynamic cycle efficiency. Instrumentation assignments would include dynamic P-V curve measurement, effective real-time speed and fuel flow-rate measurement, and computer data-acquisition equipment and methodologies.

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Cooley, T. (2002, June), Portable Engine Dynamometer Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11176

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