The Proventia Test Unit is a one-of-a-kind engine and powertrain test laboratory, built in a compact, transportable shape and structure. Both passenger car and commercial vehicle P/T test benches can be implemented in the design. The modular PTU test cells are optimised according to the power range, thermal dynamics and customer needs. The test bed design, mechatronics and measurement devices are selected according to the requirements from the widest range of test system suppliers. When the technical solution follows the operational use, costs are lower and the investment is in balance with the test objectives. The Proventia Test Unit accommodates complete powertrain setups, even hybrid (HEV) ones, including internal combustion engine (ICE), e-motor, battery simulator, gear box, driveshafts, differentials, etc.
The PTU operator has a control room in the main module which allows direct access to the test cell and gives the operator the ability to make quick changes with the test specimen. Outside normal working hours, the PTU operator can monitor the test cycles and the test bench remotely using PC, tablet or smartphone. In case of interruption, modern test automation systems notify the powertrain laboratory operator about the situation in the test cell by sending text messages. The integrated control room is quieter than a typical operators' corridor, supporting tasks that require the highest concentration or extra R&D privacy.
The modular PTU engine & powertrain test laboratory serves the needs of the automotive drivetrain and associated component manufacturers, research and development 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, even more sophisticated hybrid passenger car and commercial vehicle solutions in and around the powertrain package requires a significant amount of testing in the laboratories; the need for trained people and additional test capacity is growing significantly. The PTU can make this transition easier and faster, thanks to the modular and complete cell design which can be deployed in a matter of a few days.
Before the delivery, the engine and powertrain test cells are manufactured, tested and pre-commissioned at the factory (FAT). This means shorter lead times, higher quality and better productivity. After the pre-commissioning, the PTU modules are separated from each other for ordinary road & sea transport. When the shipment arrives at the final destination, the PTU modules are simply assembled back in place, connected to the infrastructure and tested (CAT) one more time before the customer can start operating the new engine and powertrain laboratory. The modular concept keeps it a straightforward solution which saves valuable time and money. Compared to the conventional alternatives, the PTU production does not disturb the customer's daily operations in their current test laboratories or require support of any kind. In addition, the PTU remains mobile in case the capacity requirements change, operations are relocated and the drivetrain test cells need to be shipped elsewhere.
Engine powertrain test laboratories use active dynamometers that are able to drive the specimen in addition to braking. This feature allows the simulation of real-life torque conditions on the road, e.g. wheel slip, up-hill and down-hill gravitational forces, affecting the vehicle. The operational power range of the AC dyno is extremely wide, as is the torque measuring accuracy, allowing the analysis of the powertrain performance characteristics in great detail. Active drivetrain test dynamometers with modern automation systems allow the largest possible selection of test cycles both steady-state and dynamic including combinations of ICE internal combustion engine R&D activities with hybrid features and battery simulation (HEV).
The Proventia Test Unit's test automation system controls all operations but concentrates directly on the engine, transmission, optional hybrid DC source and the dynamometer control. The automation system uses the Proventia BMS building management system to operate all the infrastructural components, such as the main power, closed-circuit specimen cooling system, test cell ventilation and air conditioning. The Proventia BMS also controls the safety systems, such as doors, emergency switches and the fire suppression system, as well as HC, CO, CO2, NO2 gas and fluid detectors. The BMS alerts the test automation system when further actions are needed. Task partitioning between the test automation system and Proventia BMS simplifies the process of integrating the PTU with various automation systems. From the user's point of view, a familiar system is always the quickest way to put new drivetrain test laboratories into full operational use.
The amount, capacity and size of Proventia Test Unit modules would be determined according to the customer's space requirements, especially the test rig and the drive cabins in question. The PTU transforms into various test configurations (ICE engine, hybrid, e-motor, e-powertrain, and battery tests). Each PTU module, key component and the test bed can be replaced, improving the lab features during the whole operational lifecycle. In other words, the crucial investment remains productive also in the long run. Even when the extent of the changes is significant, a trip back to the factory would be ridiculously simple to arrange; it is almost like changing cassettes in slots, with the smallest possible inconvenience to the user's daily operations.
Director, Test Solutions
harri [dot] kervinen [at] proventia [dot] com
isto [dot] oinas [at] proventia [dot] com