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Development of an Inertia Dynamometer for a Continuously Variable Transmission
The Ohio Northern University SAE Baja Team designs, manufactures and races an off-road vehicle at three sanctioned SAE competitions every year. A key component in the drivetrain of these vehicles is the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Testing and tuning the CVT is crucial for achieving maximum vehicle performance during various racing events. Currently, the team evaluates performance on a “guess and check” basis and has no means of collecting and comparing results from different CVT setups. As a result, the Baja Team has requested that Max Power Technologies design and implement a CVT dynamometer that will allow for accurate and controllable year round testing. With this dynamometer, the team will have a competitive advantage over other schools by being able to conduct testing and improvements on the CVT without having a fully constructed vehicle.
The Baja Team has provided a general list of considerations that they would find preferable in a CVT dynamometer.
• Measure Engine Speed • Measure CVT Output Speed & Torque • Adjustable CVT Center-to-Center Distance • Easy to Move (Mobility) • Quick Set-up/Tear-Down Time • High Repeatability of Data *Note, this is not a complete list of constraints/demands but represents the overall scope of the project.
Max Power Technologies has not found a direct solution to the specific needs of the Baja Team. Commercially available units do not fit within reasonable financial limitations as outlined by the university, nor do they offer exactly what is desired in terms of CVT testing and development. Additionally, modifying the current dynamometer owned by the College of Engineering has been deemed unfeasible due to an incompatibility with the power rating of the Baja vehicle’s engine. Therefore, Max Power Technologies has designed an inertia dynamometer that meets the Baja team’s specific requests. The dyno consists of a flywheel modeling the equivalent inertia of the Baja team’s car, a state of the art data acquisition system, and a rigid frame for stability and safety during operation.