Braunschweig: State Minister for Science and Culture inaugurates climatic AWD dynamometer Large-scale system for automotive testing in operation at NFF
The new climatic dynamometer at the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen (NFF) was inaugurated by Björn Thümler, Science Minister of Lower Saxony, on 28 April 2022. Using this large-scale system costing €4.9 million, researchers can analyse the performance of a vehicle under realistic conditions; for example, how an electric car responds to exposure to particularly low temperatures.
“The analysis of current vehicles and drive systems being undertaken here will contribute to the development of innovative transport technologies. Research into more efficient and low-emission vehicles is one of the most important aspects of the mobility revolution. Part of TU Braunschweig, the work of the NFF in this context, being one of the most technologically advanced centres for mobility research of the research hub of Lower Saxony, becomes all the more important. I am therefor pleased to state that with the inauguration of this test stand we are extending the capabilities of the technology centre even further,” announces Björn Thümler.
“I would like to thank Minister Thümler for inaugurating the test stand and I am glad that it is now officially available for use. Most of all, I am impressed by the range of potential applications and the fact that it will allow realistic testing of conventional, hybrid and electric drives alike. As a research centre of TU Braunschweig, the NFF is thus taking on a pioneering role in the field of mobility research and the design of future vehicle concepts,” adds Prof. Peter Hecker, Vice President for Research and Early Career Scientists.
About the climatic dynamometer
Dynamometers are used to test the drive performance of vehicles under various reproducible conditions. The vehicle is therefore mounted on the test rig and drives on rollers which are integrated in the test stand floor. This type of test rig is also used in vehicle homologation in order to determine legal specifications for emissions and fuel consumption.
In contrast to commonly used dynamometers, the air temperature in the NFF’s test stand can be set at any level between -30° and +40° Celsius, allowing researchers to investigate the behaviour of vehicles under polar- to desert-like environmental conditions. In addition to the effect of realistic airflow generated by a set of fans, this makes it possible to study warm-up and cold-start behaviour, as well as interior air-conditioning at extremely cold and hot temperatures.
Synergy of the facilities and a look into the future
“The climatic AWD dynamometer perfectly complements the equipment of the NFF technology centre where seven large-scale test rigs and 16 engine dynamometers are already being used to test vehicles and their components,” explains NFF Board Spokesman Prof. Thomas Vietor. He adds: “In the future, we would like to extend our research in the field of fuel cells for propulsion and hydrogen as an energy source, which will require further additions to our infrastructure. We will also need to build more experimental vehicles and prototypes.”
Research into zero-emission mobility
“It is importantly, that this new climatic AWD dynamometer now provides all NFF affiliates with access to a major feature of the infrastructure portfolio of NFF. Our research colleagues working in the field of “emission-free vehicle drive systems and charging infrastructure” in particular will benefit greatly from this facility,” points out Prof. Roman Henze, Head of the Institute of Automotive Engineering (IfF) in charge of NFF infrastructure planning.
Half of the €4.9 million cost of the test stand was provided by the German Research Foundation (DFG); the other half was borne by TU Braunschweig. The financing amounting to some €2.46 million was made available to TU Braunschweig for this purpose from the „NFF Ausstattungsressort“ top level VW fund.