Safety management in various fields is an interest of mine. The industrial field tends to have more accidents than most other types of job sites, so I’ve spent a lot of time learning about industrial accidents. How do they happen? Why do they happen? How do they affect employees, business owners, and clients? How do they impact the overall success of an industrial business? Some of the answers to these questions can be found in this blog. I started it to share the information that I’ve been collecting with people that are in my field of interest. If you work or own a business in the industrial field, knowing how to prevent accidents at work should be important to you. The information here can help you learn how to be more proactive in preventing them.
Water brake dynamometers have been around for a few decades now, but the durability and affordable cost for these units keep them popular today for engine testing. Truck repair centers and race car performance shops alike invest in these units before realizing the complexity of the water system required for the braking. Make sure you design your water brake dynamometer correctly from the ground up by considering these important requirements prior to picking specific equipment.
Filtration is Necessary
The quality of the water going into the dynamometer directly impacts the amount of maintenance needed and how long the equipment lasts before a catastrophic breakdown. Using water with a high mineral content cuts into the lifespan of the equipment by increasing wear and tear in the rotors and other parts that must maintain precise tolerances for accurate readings. Choose a filtration unit for the incoming or recycled water that is capable of
In addition to filtering the water, you may also want to add anti-freeze to increase the lubricant effect of the moisture and reduce corrosion inside the unit.
Holding Tanks are Better
You can't simply run a water line from your usual municipal supply to a sensitive piece of equipment like a water brake dynamometer. Small fluctuations in the amount of water pressure make all your engine tests inaccurate. You'll either need a dedicated water line installed that is capable of holding a steady pressure, or you can install a tank that holds a few hundred gallons of water and install a recirculating loop system instead.
The closed loop system is less expensive because even after installation and maintenance it eliminates the cost of paying for a dedicated water line and the gallons you pump through it. Water tanks are easier to treat and filter to keep the mineral levels and pH under control as well. You'll need a pump to keep the water moving under the right amount of pressure.
A closed loop system also helps you track the temperature of the water as it exits the dynamometer to determine if it's operating properly or if it needs calibration. When the water temperature rises above 175 degrees F as it is exiting the brake rotors, this leads to issues with the remaining minerals and other material expanding to block some of the open space inside each chamber. Improper readings arise from overheated water, so it's essential to adjust the flow of fresh water through the system until you can reliably keep the exit temperature under the 175 degree mark.
Inertia is Lower
Water brake models are worth all the extra expense of adding and maintaining a closed loop water supply because of the low inertia levels that build up during the testing process. This is essential when you're testing finely tuned engines that need the slightest changes tracked as accurately as possible. Low inertia allows the dynamometer to register the exact power level of an engine from start to finish in the test because the dynamometer is not continuing to run under its own power due to inertia accumulation.
Maintenance is Standard
Finally, don't forget that water brake dynos still require all the usual maintenance any rotor based equipment needs. Maintaining proper oil levels at all times and replacing the gaskets on a regular schedule is the best way to keep the device as accurate as possible. Make sure to re-calibrate after every major maintenance chore to make sure the fresh oil or higher gasket pressure isn't throwing off the readings.