Dynamometers - A Brief Overview

Jun 8, 2008

Dynamometers can be used to determine virtual road loading of engines and full power train and are capable of testing for a variety of engine development activities, including:

  • Calibration of engine management controllers
  • Detailed investigations into combustion behavior
  • Power and torque measurements

Dynamometers: Functionality

Each dynamometer is designed to measure the following characteristics:

  • Torque
  • Rotational speed
  • Power output of a combustion engine, electric motor or other power source.

A myriad of companies provide various solutions to measure these characteristics, but the commonality is that all dynamometers function in a similar fashion......

Dynamometers: Two Types

In addition to classification as absorption, motoring or universal, most dynamometers are classified in one of two categories:

  • Engine dynamometers are designed for coupling directly to the driveshaft of an engine under test.
  • Chassis dynamometers measure the power output of a drive train by using rollers turned by the tires of a vehicle under test.

In addition to the two traditional dynamometer, select companies offer portable dynamometers that attach directly to the flywheel of an engine. This allows accurate measurement of engine output without removal of an engine from its drive train.

Dynamometer Designs

From simple power display systems with manual control to completely automated testing solutions, there is an electronic motor testing system to meet your testing requirements.

  • Eddy current dynamometers: harness the magnetic flux between fixed and rotating electromagnets spun by the engine under test.
  • Powder dynamometers: create flux through the application of a fine magnetic powder between the rotor and coil.
  • Electric Motor Testing Systems: Electric Motor Testing Systems are designed to provide maximum reliability, excellent durability and performance; available for testing electric motors from 5 to 4,250 hp.
  • Fan, hydraulic and water brakes: use air, water or hydraulic fluid to provide an indication of the power applied to the system

Chassis Dynamometers

Chassis dynamometers serve to quickly identify service issues such as low horsepower, overheating, emissions compliance and speedometer accuracy. Once identified and repaired, the chassis dynamometer will verify the problem is corrected and can be used to perform engine break-in after rebuild.


  • Exhaust Systems
  • Guard Rail Stone
  • Guard Wheel
  • Chocks Cooling Fan
  • Calibration Weights

Engine Dynamometers - The Complete Diagnostic System

Engine dynamometers offer the most innovative engine diagnostic tools today, supplying solutions to troubleshoot problems such as low horsepower, insufficient torque, and leaks. Engine dynamometers are also capable of indicating and verifying:

  • Repair is complete
  • Engine is operating according to specifications
  • Ready to break-in engines before installation

Engine dynamometer product lines include: Water Brake Style Engine Dynamometers, Portable Dynamometers, Eddy Current Dynamometers, and AC Dynamometers.

Towing Dynamometers

From light passenger cars to heavy commercial truck vehicles, power is transmitted through a drive shaft to a two speed transfer case with a neutral clutch. Four electric brake retarders are attached to the output shaft of the transfer case which is controlled by in-cab instrumentation inside of the testing environment. Power on the retarders is converted into a DC voltage through the power controllers located in the control cabinet.

Water Recirculating System

It can be used with any style engine dynamometer or chassis dynamometer. One system can serve several engine dynamometer or chassis dynamometer systems if sufficient capacity is designed into the system. Water Recirculating Systems are custom engineered for moderate to high volume engine dynamometer or chassis dynamometer users, and require a below grade sump or an above ground tank.

Benefits of Using a Water Recirculating System with your Dynamometer:

  • Reduced dynamometer operating costs through water conservation
  • Reduced dynamometer maintenance costs with controlled, high-quality water supply
  • Easier clean-up: materials discharged by evaporation as opposed to drainage
  • Ensure proper dynamometer performance by maintaining water pressure, volume, and cooling
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Author: We wish to provide as much information as we can for you. Please browse our onlineresources at http://www.taylordyno.com - including our free and immediate downloads including brochures on our dynamometer systems and various accessories, or our interactive questionnaire to assist you in choosing the dynamometer that is right for your unique situation.

Dynamometers - A Brief Overview