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Force II

Dynamometers Accelerometers

Dynamometers
A dynamometer is an instrument for measuring the power exerted by a source or the amount of power consumed by a load. The following two types of dynamometers are considered: 1 Absorption type This type of dynamometer measures torque (and power) by dissipating mechanical energy and are suitable for power measurement of engines (such as internal combustion and gas turbine engines) and electrical motors (ac and dc motors). A Prony brake, water brake, and cradled electric motor are of this type. Driving type This type of dynamometer measures torque (and power) and energy to operate the device being tested. This is convenient for such devices as pumps and compressors, which require a source. A rotating electric machine can be used as a dynamometer.
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supply testing driving driving

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

Dynamometer Absorption Type


Prony Friction Brake (Absorption Type) Historically, a device called a Prony brake was used to measure shaft power. Consider, for example, an engine. The Prony brake serves to provide a well-defined load for the engine, with the output power of the engine dissipated as thermal energy in the braking material. By adjusting the load, the output power over a range of speeds and throttle settings can be realized. The power P is measured by recording the torque FL acting on the torque arm and the angular speed R of the engine which can be measured by using a tachometer. Hence, P=2RFL.

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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Dynamometer Absorption Type


The dry friction induced between the surfaces in contact will tend to rotate the arm in the same direction as the shaft rotation. The entire driving power of the shaft is expended in producing the friction at R rps (revolution per second, or Hz). This driving power is equal to the mechanical effect of the shaft when running at the same R rps in the performance of useful work. The engine torque is equal to the friction (or brake) torque, , at this rps, which in turn is equal to the balancing torque FL (when arm is not rotating). Thus the engine torque is given by
T = F L (Nm, ft - lbf)
Load adjusting nuts Arm length: L

The power at this rps is given by


P = 2R T
=

Fr

r
Stationary arm F Load cell

(W = Nm/s, HP = 550 ft.lbf/s = 745.70W)

Rotating wheel (connected to driver) Angular speed: R rps (Hz)

Brake material

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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Dynamometer Absorption Type


Water-brake dynamometer is similar to a Prony brake but employs fluid friction (rather than dry friction) to dissipate energy. When testing engines using a water-brake dynamometer, the braking action (or load) is developed by the principle of direct momentum exchange between the rotor(s) and stator(s) of the dynamometer. The dynamometer rotor(s) directs the water against the water-brake housing or stator. The stator in turn, redirects the water back against the rotor so that it opposes the movement of the rotor(s). It is this turbulence and back pressure which causes the braking action or load. The greater the flow of water through the dynamometer, the greater the braking action or load. The stator is held in position by a strain gauge (torque link) which will measure the force acting on the stator. With proper calibration, this force is a measure for the torque produced by the engine when it moves the rotor in the water.

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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Cradled Dynamometers
Cradled Dynamometers A cradled dynamometer is supported in bearings with a moment arm connected to a force measurement device. 1. Absorption Type When a source (motor, engine, etc.) is connected, this dynamometer acts as a generator and dissipates the power in the form of thermal energy in a resistive load connected to it. The mechanical power generated by the source can be found by measuring the rotational speed of the shaft using an RPM sensor (to be discussed later in the course) and the steady-state force required to prevent rotation of the dynamometer.

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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Cradled Dynamometers
2. Driving Type The torque and power of a dc motor can be measured by itself, by supplying the electrical power to the motor, in which case a separate load is required to dissipate the power and adjust the rotational speed.

Cradled dynamometer (generator or motor) Shaft supported by bearings

r F

To a resistive load or a power source F

Moment arm

Base

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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Accelerometers
Vibrations and shocks are often measured using an accelerometer. Although a variety of accelerometers are available, strain gage and piezoelectric transducers are the most widely used devices for such measurements. 1. Strain Gage Accelerometer In many strain gage accelerometers, SGs are bonded on a flexible member which supports a mass and senses the strain which results from an acceleration of the mass. This device can be calibrated easily, but has relatively low sensitivity, compared with the piezoelectric accelerometer.
Viscous fluid (D) Mass (M) Strain gages Cantilever spring (K) Small displacement (x)

Mounting base

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Accelerometers
If the accelerometer frame is accelerated upward at a constant rate, the mass will deflect the cantilever spring down, until the spring exert a force large enough to accelerate the mass at the same rate as the frame. At such a condition, Newtons law of motion gives ma = Kx (ignoring the viscous fluid damping), so we get,
a = K x M

where K is the spring constant (N/m) and x the displacement (m), M the mass (kg) and a the acceleration (m/s2), of the mass. (The displacement is proportional to the acceleration, when a is constant; i.e., x is constant.) Most accelerometers are used to measure changing acceleration, and the accuracy of this device depends on the frequency of acceleration changes.

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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Piezoelectric Accelerometer
A piezoelectric accelerometer uses a piezoelectric element (a certain crystal), which produces voltage across the crystal when stressed. (Piezoelectric elements will be covered later in the course.) Up- or downward motion of the housing changes the compressive forces to the piezoelectric element, causing a stress in the piezoelectric material and, thus, voltage. This instrument can be used to measure only varying measurands (0.03 to 10kHz) and not steady accelerations. The advantages of this instruments are high sensitivity (1mV/g to 100mV/g), and small size.
Viscous fluid Tightening Nut Mass Piezoelectric element with electrodes Post Mounting base

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Calibration of Accelerometers
One of the ways to calibrate accelerometers is the free-fall method, where a 1g stepped acceleration can be created by suspending an accelerometer with a string which is suddenly cut. For high g case, an impact pulse can be applied to the accelerometer using a ballistic pendulum or drop tester. Using the output voltage of the accelerometer and the velocity change measured using a velocity sensor, the sensitivity (in V/g) can be found as follows:
A b a l l is t ic p e n d u l u m

A c c e l e r o m e te r

The velocity change V2 V1 is related to the acceleration a by V2 V1 = t a dt. and the sensitivity K of the accelerometer is its output voltage e over the applied acceleration, ie. K = e/a
1

t2

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Calibration of Accelerometers
Therefore, the sensitivity of the accelerometer can be found from
K=
t2

(V2 V1 ) edt
t1

t2

where edt is obtained from the accelerometer output data (by t integrating e numerically or graphically) and V2-V1 is obtained from the velocity measurement.
1

http://bits.me.berkeley.edu/beam/acc_10.html

Measurement Lab 21 Feb 2003

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