Ideal for student experiments, laboratory demonstrations or project work,TecQuipment’s Engine Cycle Analyser enables students to investigate a variety of engine performance characteristics.
The versatile equipment consists of both hardware and software specially designed for educational use. It enables students to investigate the relationship between crank angle or volume and the cylinder pressure in an internal combustion engine. The equipment is primarily for use with TecQuipment engine test sets and engines (TD200 and TD300 series) but it can also be used with other engines fitted with compatible cylinder head transducers and crank angle encoders.
The equipment consists of a hardware unit with connectors and leads, plus data acquisition and analysis software. The hardware consists of a microprocessor-based signal conditioning unit with highspeed PC interface, housed in a rugged, protective enclosure. It accepts and conditions signals from the Cylinder Head Pressure Transducer (ECA101) and Crank Angle Encoder (ECA102), available separately. The cylinder pressure input includes a precision charge amplifier with a digital thumb-wheel for calibration. As well as crank angle position, the signal from the Crank Angle Encoder is also used to determine engine speed.
Note: Although interchangeable between engines, TecQuipment recommend that you buy and fit one ECA101 and one ECA102 to each of your test engines. This will reduce setting up time and any chance of damage. The output from the hardware unit connects to a computer (computer not included) running the Engine Cycle Analyser software. The hardware unit includes LED indicators to show the processor readiness, encoder top dead-centre position and PC communication status. The software provides real-time display of pressure versus crank angle (p-θ)and pressure versus volume (p-V) plots. It performs calculations on the data to accurately display indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) and indicated power for comparison with brake mean effective pressure (BMEP), and brake power to determine the mechanical efficiency of the test engine.
The software has useful snap-shot, replay and animation functions to help students visualise and better understand the engine cycle. The snap-shot and replay allow students to capture several engine cycles and study them using an animation showing the relative position of the crank, piston, inlet and exhaust valves. The software also allows students to create and recall engine configuration files for convenient entry of test engine data needed for calculations such as crank radius and engine swept volume. Data can also be exported to other software for further analysis.
When used with suitable test engines, the analyser allows investigations into a variety of internal combustion engine characteristics, including:
- The thermodynamic cycle of an internal combustion engine
- Calculation of indicated mean effective pressure and indicated power
- Comparison of indicated mean effective pressure and brake mean effective pressure
- Mechanical efficiency of the test engine
- Further work using exported data such as combustion analysis
East Tennessee State University, which has a history of teaching engineering technology dating back to the 1930s, made the decision to expand the course offering in 2015 to include a BSc in General Engineering which combines courses from mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. To teach the course they needed an engineering laboratory that had equipment to practically teach the principles of civil and mechanical engineering. There were existing electrical engineering laboratories, to serve the BSc, in the electrical engineering technology programme. After going out to bid, TecQuipment won, based on a balance between price and functionality of equipment.