To give visitors an idea of PCRL's location and the surrounding area, below is an aerial photograph of Madison, Wisconsin. The isthmus and the downtown area (left) are bounded by Lake Menona (top) and Lake Mendota (bottom). Some of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is shown on the right, and Lake Wabesa can be seen in the distance.
PCRL has relocated both the SimLab and the DynoLab into the newly rennovated Mechanical Engineering Building, and designed new facilities that are targeted specifically for this research group. As you enter the DynoLab you will see the Build Area for this laboratory (shown below). Most of the hardware fabrication and modification for the laboratory takes place in this area, and there are good facilities to support this work.
To the left of the Build Area as you enter the DynoLab you will see the Instrumentation Room which is shown below. This facility provides a controlled space for the researchers where they can build or repair specialized electronic hardware for the laboratory. There are also computer facilities in this room for computational purposes.
Within the DynoLab there are three individual test cells, two of which can be seen in the photo of the Build Area. Each test cell includes overhead gantry cranes, cooling water, compressed air, ventilation, gas detection, electrical supply and other facilities. The test cell shown below holds a 2.7L Jaguar V-6 diesel engine which is being set up. Variations of this engine are sold in both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in the European Union. One can see the trenches that were designed into each of the the test cells to house piping for cooling water and hydraulic power, as well as electrical connections to and from the test hardware. These trenches also manage any spills that may occur during the course of set up or testing of the transient test system.
The test cell shown below holds a 3.0L Ford V-6 gasoline engine, which is typically found on the Ford Taurus and 500. This is a fully transient, high bandwidth test cell which also includes a hardware-in-the-loop virtual powertrain. With this entire system many standardized transient tests, such as the FTP or any other transient test, can be run to measure representative emissions from the engine. The second photograph below shows the hydraulic connections that provide fluid power to the transient dynamometer. These very low inertia dynamometers have been designed and built by PCRL members, and represent the cutting edge of transient test systems, in terms of very high bandwidth combined with extremely low inertia. The inertias of these systems are an order of magnitude below the best transient electric dynamometers currently on the market.
The test cell shown below holds a very unique version of a transient single cylinder engine test system. The current system is being set up with a new single-cylinder engine that represents the 3.0L Ford engine in operation. The overall goals of this device are to be able to accurately replicate the operation of a multi-cylinder engine using a single-cylinder engine and hardware-in-the-loop test systems. Today single-cylinder engines are rarely used in automotive engine development because they do not operate in the same manner as a multi-cylinder engine, and many of the developments made on the single-cylinder engine need to be reworked prior to adaption in the multi-cylinder engine. However, the single-cylinder engine has many attributes, including low cost set-up and modification, as well as ease of access for instrumentation. This new device in PCRL is attempting to keep these attributes, but to eliminate the problems that cause this engine to operate differently than multi-cylinder engines. These problems include issues related to rotational dynamics and lack of transient performance, gas dynamics and lack of transient performance, and heat transfer dynamics and lack of transient performance. Currently these engine are used principally for steady-state tests in research laboratories. If PCRL's unique system is successful, we should see much wider use of this device in engine development, as it has the potential for significantly shortening the engine development process. The second photo below shows the hydraulic power connections to the test cell. This transient test system is also a hardware-in-the-loop design that represents a virtual multi-cylinder engine in its operation, and can perform very rapid transients (i.e., slew rates in excess of 10,000 rpm/sec), including the ability to run the FTP and other transient test cycles.
Power for the three high-bandwidth transient test systems is provided from an adjacent power supply room in the DynoLab. The two photos below show both the electrical power supplies that run the hydraulic pumps, and the two hydraulic power supplies that provide fluid power to the transient test systems. Hydraulic power, as well as return lines, are part of a common rail that is shown in the second photograph. This stainless steel piping route the hydraulic fluid to any selective test cell and its related transient test system by means of valve systems. A total of 275hp of motoring power is currently available for the test systems, and absorbing power for each system can go much higher. Fluid cooling and filtration systems are also shown. Also visible at the top of the photos is the (black) vacuum pump that is part of the transient intake gas dynamic simulator for the single-cylinder engine pictured above.
A great deal of planning and work has gone into the design and construction of these hydraulic-powered transient test systems, as well as the powertrain laboratory that houses them, and details of some of the hydraulic and other piping are shown in the photos below.
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