• Research,

The engine test benches are back in gear

Like the other test facilities at Centrale Nantes, the engine test benches had to put their testing on hold in March 2020.

on June 12, 2020

The engine test benches are managed by the TSM (Thermodynamics of internal combustion engines) group, whose research focus is the modelling and experimental characterization of complex energy systems with the aim of reducing fossil fuel consumption and polluting emissions.

Testing has resumed gradually since mid-May. Within the framework of the ISPHY industrial chair (with partners Renault and Siemens), an experimental device is currently being set up to simulate particular atmospheric conditions such as altitude and cold. The objective is to "make the engine believe" that it is operating at high altitude (about 1300 metres) in order to characterise its operation and measure emissions under these conditions.

A climate test bench - a very costly test facility - is usually required to simulate particular atmospheric conditions for engines. The team is working to develop a simpler solution that is as close as possible to real conditions.

Three devices are thus currently in place:

> An exchanger connected to a water network at -10°C, combined with a fan to supply the engine with air at 0°C, and to cool the air filter to simulate cold operations. Thus far, its performance is somewhat limited, but in the long term, the addition of insulating materials and a casing will make it easier to reach 0°C.

> A fan which puts the exhaust line under negative pressure to simulate altitude (target 1300m). This fan rotates at 15,000 rpm and is coupled with a throttle that opens and closes more or less to regulate the pressure.

> A throttle valve at the intake, before the air filter, which can be opened and closed to generate intake pressure. 

At the end of 2019, part of the team travelled to the Pyrenees with a Mégane 4 in order to collect reference measurements to provide elements of comparison for bench-testing.

Research activities are therefore back on track in testing! Good luck to the whole team!
Published on June 17, 2020 Updated on June 18, 2020