In order to strengthen strategically the profile areas “Mobility and Transport Engineering” as well as “Energy, Chemical and Process Engineering” of RWTH Aachen University, the chassis dynamometer of the Institute for Combustion Engines was rebuild in 2014. This was intended to accommodate the scientific and legal requirements for research infrastructure in the development process of modern passenger car powertrain concepts.
At the moment 4-wheel drive vehicles account for a constant share of 7 % of the registered vehicles. However, new powertrain concepts, e.g. hybrid vehicles, will lead to an increasing share and to a greater diversification of possible powertrain concepts.
Consequently, there are powertrain concepts which cannot be investigated with a conventional single axle test bench. In order to meet the future technical requirements, the old single axle dynamometer was replaced by a brand new 4-wheel drive chassis dynamometer. This 4-wheel drive dynamometer consists of two driven and independently operable axles. The front axle is installed fix, while the rear axle is arranged slidable/variable and a wheelbase between 1.800 mm and 4.400 mm can be realized.
The new 4-wheel chassis dynamometer provides a unique research facility, which features an outstanding and trend-setting combination of properties for both R&D tasks and certification tasks.
All the requirements of the different national and international legislations, i.e. for Europe EG70/220 and EG 80/1268, 715/2007 ECE R83, for the USA 40 CFR 86, 1065, for Japan LEV 2000, article 31, Trias 60-4, Trias 5-9, attachment 42, are met with VKA´s new 4-wheel dynamometer. Therefore the new chassis dynamometer allows test cycles for either conventional, 4-wheel drive, hybrid and electric vehicles (e.g. SOC tests) as well as for motorcycles. Besides, vehicle testing with different alternative fuels, like ethanol, methanol, LPG and CNG is possible. Up to a vehicle speed of 250 km/h full load tests, performance measurements and freely configurable test cycles can be realized.