Taking the High Road

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HORIBA UK supplies MAHLE Powertrain with a 4WD rolling road for use in a vehicle test chamber capable of simulating at-altitude driving conditions.

Northampton, United Kingdom – HORIBA Automotive Test Services - a leading supplier in the fields of engine test systems, driveline test systems, brake test systems, wind tunnel balances and emissions test systems - has supplied MAHLE Powertrain with a four-wheel drive (4WD) chassis dynamometer (a.k.a. ‘rolling road’) for its new Real Driving Emissions Centre (RDEC). The chassis dynamometer, a HORIBA VULCAN II 4WD ExtraCold unit, will be used in a variable control temperature and humidity test chamber that can be partially evacuated of atmospheric air to simulate driving at altitudes of up to 5,000 metres.

The VULCAN II ExtraCold has a traversing wheelbase (to accommodate vehicles with different front-to-rear wheel spacings), a speed range of up to 190km/h, a power rating of 450kW and an operating temperature range of -40 to 60oC. The dynamometer provides a resistive load to each of a vehicle’s rotating road wheels to simulate various driving conditions, such as driving up hill, and can be used to test front-, rear- and four-wheel drive vehicles. The dynamometer can also drive a vehicle’s wheels to simulate descending gradients for evaluating the effectiveness of a vehicle’s brakes and, in the case of a hybrid or (pure) electric vehicle, its regenerative braking system.

Derek Wise, chief engineer, build and test, at MAHLE Powertrain, comments: “The chamber is soon to be fitted with a suite of exhaust emissions testing equipment to satisfy the requirements of the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure. Though hill climbing is not part of the WLTP, vehicle manufacturers are keen to optimise their vehicles for real-life driving conditions, which means either taking prototype vehicles fitted with sensors out onto a variety of roads and in different conditions or using a test chamber that can replicate conditions and apply realistic loads.”

Wise goes on to say the test chamber is the first of its kind in the UK and MAHLE Powertrain has already received expressions of interest from existing as well as potential new customers.

Ana Anyaeji, HORIBA UK Sales Manager, comments: “We are honoured to be continuing our long-standing partnership with MAHLE in such an innovative and challenging project. We have been working closely with MAHLE for the last two decades and this commitment by both companies to advancing real driving emission testing capability will see that relationship grow and strengthen over the coming years. This will be the first application within the UK of the VULCAN II ExtraCold in a variable barometric environment and will showcase the full performance capabilities and accuracy of the VULCAN product line.”

HORIBA emissions equipment is scheduled for installation in April and the test chamber is likely to be fully operational by mid-2018.

VULCAN II - 3D model
HORIBA UK has supplied MAHLE Powertrain with a VULCAN II ExtraCold 4WD rolling road for use in a vehicle test chamber capable of simulating at-altitude driving conditions