If you're looking to maximize your engine testing environment, you may be surprised to know that your dynamometer is just one piece of the puzzle. If you want to be sure that your dyno is giving you completely accurate, timely and quality results, you need to optimize all of the components. For those who are fairly new to this type of testing, you may not fully understand the elements that can affect your testing. Here's a look at some tips to help you ensure consistency and accuracy in your testing.

Deal With Exhaust Accumulation

The testing process requires that you run the motor and the dynamometer inside the enclosed test cell. This generates exhaust in the cell, and the residue in that exhaust can be damaging to the motor and your health. For that reason, the test cell needs a reliable exhaust system to draw the exhaust out of the cell and direct it somewhere safe, like an air filtration unit.

Choosing the right exhaust system isn't necessarily an exact science. You'll need to consider the back pressure that the exhaust system can generate. Back pressure can affect the way that the engine operates, which will alter your test results. To avoid this, you need to be sure that you choose a system that doesn't create excess pressure. Working with a specialist who understands dynamometer design and test cell construction is key, because they can determine the pressure development based on the size and structure of the test cell.

Establish Effective Cooling Systems

The temperature of the motor and dynamometer can also influence the test results. Every engine test cell relies on water flow, which depends on proper pressure levels. If the water isn't flowing correctly or the pressure in the system is off, you could either overheat the motor or potentially damage the entire structure. When you're working through your designs for the test cell, make sure you talk to a specialist about the liquid cooling requirements and methods to ensure pressure regulation.

In addition to the fluid pressure in the system, you also need sufficient air handling. An air handling system works to keep fresh, cool air flowing into the test cell, which keeps components cool and also reduces any byproducts, blow-by or contaminants in the air. It works in conjunction with the exhaust system, because the exhaust system filters the actual system exhaust while the air handlers cycle the remaining air in the cell.

Maintain Consistent Fuel Supplies

Before you finalize your test cell plans, you need to be sure that you'll have sufficient fuel access to meet future growth. While small fuel cells may be sufficient to deal with small engine tests over brief periods, you may find that you need more fuel storage for longer testing cycles and larger motors. In fact, industrial engines are often large and powerful, because they are designed for large, heavy machinery. You'll want to be sure that you have safe, sufficient storage and access for large fuel reserves if you should need them.

Protect Your Employees from Noise

Any time you're doing engine testing, you're going to deal with noise. What many people don't realize is that there's as much noise from the external components required for the equipment as there is from the test cell itself. You'll want to be proactive about noise mitigation so that you don't damage your employee's hearing. Not only should you recommend the use of hearing protection at all times, but you should incorporate some noise reduction into the system. Consider installing noise-dampening ceiling materials in the testing room. In addition, for the noisiest equipment, work with a specialist to create noise dampening cases to cover them.

The more you understand about how to optimize your engine testing, the greater your chances are of successful test results. If you have any questions about the quality of your testing or you're getting ready to build a new test cell, these tips can help. Talk with a company like Power Test Inc. to ensure that you get exactly what you need.