Combustion Engine Test Laboratory


The Proventia Test Unit is a one-of-a-kind combustion engine test laboratory, built in a compact, transportable shape and structure. The PTU test cells are optimised according to the engine range in question and the customer needs. When the technical solution more closely matches the use, costs are lower and the investment is in balance with the test objectives. The Proventia Test Unit is ideal for ageing and durability testing of engines, components, exhaust aftertreatment systems, fuels and lubricants around the clock.

The PTU operator has a control room in the main module which allows direct access to the engine room and gives him the ability to make quick changes with the test configuration. Outside normal office hours, the PTU operator can monitor the test cycles remotely using PC, tablet or smartphone. In case of interruption, the modern test automation system keeps the engine laboratory operator on top of the situation in the test cell by sending text messages.

Modular Proventia Test Unit
Proventia Test Unit operator monitoring and controlling
Proventia Test Unit with active dynamometer
Proventia Test Unit is scalable for various engine sizes

The modular PTU engine test laboratory serves the needs of automotive engine and component manufacturers, emission technology developers, and research and test service providers. In addition, modern test cells are necessary for educational purposes in the automotive universities and polytechnics training new engineers for the industry. The pressure to develop better and even more sophisticated solutions in and around the engine simply requires significant testing in the laboratory; the need for trained people and additional test capacity is constantly growing. The automotive industry has many traditional test cells in operation. The shift to active test bench dynamometers with smart automation systems and measurement instrumentation allowing numerous test scenarios and possibilities is still on going. The PTU can make this transition easier and faster, thanks to the modular and complete cell design which can deployed in a matter of days.

Before the delivery, the PTU engine test cells are manufactured, tested and pre-commissioned in Finland. This means shorter lead times, higher quality and better productivity. After the pre-commissioning, the PTU modules are separated from each other for ordinary transport. When the shipment arrives at the final destination, the PTU modules are simply assembled back in place, connected to the facility infrastructure and tested one more time before the customer can start operating the new PTU engine test laboratory. The modular concept keeps it a straight forward solution which saves valuable time and money. Compared to conventional alternatives, the PTU production does not disturb the customer`s daily operations in their engine test laboratory or require support of any kind. In addition, the PTU remains mobile in case the capacity requirements change, operations are relocated and the engine test cells need to be shipped elsewhere.

Active Engine Test Dynamometer

Engine test laboratories are replacing traditional brakes such as Eddy Currents with active dynamometers that are able to drive the engines in addition to brake. This feature allows the simulation of real life torque conditions on the road, e.g. up-hill and down-hill gravitational forces effecting the vehicle. The operational power range of the AC dyno is extremely wide, as is the torque measuring accuracy, allowing to analyze the engine performance characteristics in great detail. In addition, dynos generate electricity while braking the engine.  Especially in 24/7 durability testing, power generation can be significant thanks to a high operating efficiency and advanced drive cabin technology (+90% of dynamometers braking force). Active engine test dynamometers with modern automation systems allow the largest possible selection of test cycles – both steady state and dynamic – including ICE internal combustion engine R&D activities such as:

  • international WHSC world harmonized stationary cycle (emissions)
  • international WHTC world harmonized transient cycle (emissions)
  • international NRTC non-road transient cycle (emissions)
  • international ISO 8178 several steady state cycles ()
  • European heavy duty ECE R49 steady state cycle (emissions)
  • European heavy duty ESC steady state cycle OICA (emissions)
  • European heavy duty ELR smoke opacity test (emissions)
  • European heavy duty ETC transient test cycle FIGE (emissions)
  • US heavy duty FTP transient freeway and urban cycles (emissions)
  • US heavy duty SET supplementary steady state test (emissions)
  • US heavy duty NTE not to exceed test (emissions)
  • US heavy duty AVL 8 Mode steady state test (emissions)
  • US heavy duty CSVL constant speed variable load transient cycles (emissions)
  • US heavy duty CTA Chicago transit authority test cycle (emissions)
  • US light duty SRC standard road cycle (emissions)
  • US light duty SBC standard bench cycle (emissions durability)
  • Japanese heavy duty 13 Mode steady state cycles (emissions)
  • Japanese heavy duty JE05 transient test cycle ED12 (emissions)
  • Unique OEM engine R&D test cycles (fuel efficiency, durability, mapping)
  • NRSC

Engine test automation systems

The Proventia Test Unit`s main automation system controls all operations, but concentrates directly on engine and dynamometer control. The main system uses Proventia Programmable Logic Control (PLC) to operate all the infrastructural components, such as the main power, integral cooling system, ventilation and air conditioning. The PLC also controls the safety systems, such as doors, emergency switches and the fire suppression system as well as HC, CO and fluid detectors. The PLC alerts the main automation system when further actions are needed. Task partitioning between the main automation system and Proventia PLC simplifies the process of integrating the Proventia Test Unit with various automation systems, meaning that, for the main, any system defined by the customer can be used for automation. A familiar system also enables the cell operators to quickly put the new test laboratory into full operational use.

Scalability through modular concept

The modular Proventia Test Unit concept offers two significant advantages, optimized test laboratory configurations and operational flexibility in the long run. Each PTU is an independent test unit and equipped with an optimal combination of key components. These features support operational efficiency, saving both time and money. The modular PTU concept scales within each cell into different kinds of testing purposes and sizes of test benches, but the concept also expands from one PTU to large test centers with numerous test labs. Each PTU can be upgraded or renewed without disturbing operations in other cells. Test center expansions can be made in phases, following the company growth and capacity demand. Proventia Test Units can be utilized also as a centralized measurement device unit supporting several test labs around it. The modularity simply streamlines the creation of new test capacity and increases the ability to respond to rapid technical development.

 

The amount, capacity and size of Proventia Test Unit modules would be determined according to the customer's space requirements and the dyno & inverter package in question. The PTU transforms into various test configurations, e.g., engine, powertrain and modern hybrid tests. The space offering of a single container module can be easily doubled in size, supporting a wide range of testing, bigger test benches and additional instrumentation in the laboratory. Each PTU module and key component can be replaced and the lab features improved during the operational lifecycle, keeping the valuable asset productive in the long run. Even when the extent of the changes is significant, a trip back to the PTU producer would be easy to arrange; it is almost like changing cassettes in slots, with the smallest possible inconvenience to the user`s daily operations.

Key features

  • AC dynamometer system capable of variable RPM and torque conditions
  • Independent, high-quality test automation system with variable governor possibilities
  • Ready for running 24/7 unmanned  automated cycles
  • Possibility for remote monitoring
  • Fully CAN –capable
  • Compact container shape and size with standard corner locking features
  • Control room, can be used as a measurement device space if operated from in-house control station

From Test Units to Test Centres

Several test units can be connected through service corridors and buildings into larger test centres.  This new kind expandable test centre concept offers cost-efficiency and optimisation to various testing needs in the future as it allows the test centre to grow through phases over several years adapting to changing requirements. Building a Test Centre by using Proventia Test Units does not require heavy investments in facilities. The costs of various test units can be spread over several years as the test centre grows as needed. The Proventia Test Centre can also be deployed quickly, as the single units are always manufactured elsewhere and transported assembly-ready to the site; each unit can also be easily replaced.