July 20, 2017

Advancing Motor Performance with Accurate Torque Measurement

Last year the Edinburgh University Formula Student (EUFS) Team took part in the Class 1 of Formula Student, the world’s largest student engineering competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and received the “Spirit of the Formula Student Award”.

In preparation for this year’s competition, the EUFS team were aiming to improve their performance at Silverstone with a new, and a better-designed formula racing car. They have been working on improving vehicle dynamics, optimising its wheels, and desperately needed an incredibly accurate torque and horsepower data, which they lacked last year.

One of the team members was tasked to design a state-of-art dynamometer to measure engine torque and horsepower. When the engine is turning the shaft to pump hydraulic mineral oil through the chamber, the M425 torque sensor accurately acquires torque readings from the shaft. This data is shown in real-time on the display of the Datum Universal Interface (DUI) module, which is incredibly beneficial in gaining an immediate understanding of loads, that the shaft is under during test runs, and illustrates how the system is performing.

Dynamometer Built In House With Dynamic Torque Sensor Couplings

Competition rules demand that engines have a single air intake a mere 20mm in diameter, significantly reducing the torque and horsepower, which the engine can achieve, making it all the more critical for the team to test and understand the response of the engine to implement changes in their drive strategy. Using the new-built dynamometer with an accurate inline torque transducer to test the engine gave the team a better understanding of its mechanical performance and determined the measures that could be taken to improve its performance.

Edinburgh Formula Student Team Photo