Engine dynamometers, or engine dynos, measure torque or revolutions per minute (RPMs) directly from an engine’s crankshaft or flywheel.
This data gives information about the engine’s horsepower. Because engine dynamometers can be used to test engines separately from vehicles, they are widely used by automobile manufacturers, engine rebuilders and producers of high-performance vehicles such as race cars.
Engine dynamometers, because they measure force generation directly, are not subject to measurement inefficiencies in the same way that chassis dynamometers are.
Engine dynamometer tests also tend to produce more accurate and repeatable results. While the concept of engine dynamometry is fairly simple, a good engine dynamometer is the end result of a great deal of sophisticated engineering.
An engine dynamometer must be able to withstand high-frequency vibrations, produce accurate and repeatable results and be simple to use. Also, because engine dynamometers are used to measure the performance of machines on which people’s lives depend, they must produce reliable results. They must also be safe to use; engines are powerful tools, and they can be dangerous when improperly handled.
All dynamometers, which are also known as dynomometers, dynometers or simply dynos, are force measurement tools. They are very widely used in the context of automotive diagnostics and design, but they are also used to measure the force generated by other things.
They can be used to measure the force generated by the grip of a human hand as well as a wide array of industrial utilities, commercial equipment and consumer products. In the context of automotive diagnostics, dynamometers must be relied on to produce reliable results with high repeatability and a small margin of error.
Motor testers can tell automotive engineers, hobbyists and automotive repair professionals about the performance of an engine. Understanding an engine’s performance allows its user to make predictions about the cost of the engine’s operation as well as its safety.
In addition to measuring engine performance, automotive diagnostic dynamometers can be used to measure the performance of brakes, as is the case with brake testers, as well as other components.
For example, PTO dynamometers can measure the power generated in an engine that is used for secondary engine functions. These dynamometers are important in vehicles, particularly agricultural equipment, that make use of power take off systems.
Power take off systems allow mechanical components to “take off” some of the power generated in an engine for their own special purposes. Engine dynamometers make the use of engines safer and more effective.
Engine Dynamometers Informational Video