SAN ANTONIO – A newly opened high-horsepower dynamometer facility allows Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to research and evaluate engines up to 7,000 hp for applications in transportation, pipelines, and power generation.
SwRI engineers can perform large-engine services including alternative fuel evaluations, emissions research, control system development, engine performance improvement, engine and component design services, fuel injection system development, standardized testing, modeling, and noise evaluation.
“This new facility, with two 7,000-hp test cells, makes SwRI one of very few independent laboratories with 10 test cells capable of absorbing 4,000 hp or more,” says Thomas Boberg, program manager in SwRI’s Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division.
The facility’s centerpiece is a Froude Hofmann model F63RE dynamometer rated to 6,700 kW (9,000 hp) and a maximum speed of 2,500 rpm. The test cell’s support equipment (conditioned combustion air, cooling system, fuel mass flow measurement, and exhaust system) was designed to comfortably support 7,000-hp engines. The first cell was completed in September and the second cell will be available in early 2015. In addition to the two test cells, there is an engine preparation and staging area within the same building.