Intake flow measurement instrumentation for dynamometers

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Labcell’s extensive range includes instrumentation for measuring engine air intake flows in virtually every conceivable dynamometer application. Based around a family of Meriam Laminar Flow Elements (LFEs), Labcell’s offering ensures that dynamometer operators can select the size of LFE and type of signal output to match their precise requirements.

Each LFE is supplied complete with an upstream filter to protect the sensitive LFE matrix from airborne contaminants, plus a calibrated differential pressure sensor. The family extends from small-scale 2-inch (50mm) LFEs for small engines – such as for motorcycles – up to 8-inch (200mm) versions for large commercial marine engine applications with flow rates of up to 64,000 LPM. For many years Labcell has supplied LFEs with calibrated 0-5V proportional analogue outputs giving a high accuracy of +/-1.0% of reading. More recently the product range has been enhanced so customers can opt for an analogue-to-digital converter where a CAN-compatible digital output is required. The instrumentation is therefore easy to integrate with dynamometer controllers, various software platforms or computerised data acquisition and control systems.

Depending on the application scenario and the LFE size, attachment to the engine under test is via flexible hosing, 150# ANSI flanges or NPT tapered threads, making the physical connection as straightforward as the electrical connection.

The LFE works by generating a differential pressure that is near-linear to flow rate, and the differential pressure (DP) is measured using a DP transmitter. Each LFE is calibrated and supplied with co-efficients that enable the flow rate to be determined directly from the differential pressure. Dynamometer operators can specify whether they want the signal as a 0-5V DC voltage, RS-232 serial signal or a CAN-compatible digital signal.

Labcell’s LFEs are characterised by excellent accuracy, repeatability and turndown. Typical dynamometer applications include tests for performance and/or emissions where there is a need for reliable measurements of air flow.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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