A dynamometer measures engine and/or drivetrain performance to assist in improving efficient power transfer.
A dynamometer is a machine that measures the torque and power produced by an engine. It applies various loads to an engine and is usually connected to a computer that can analyze and calculate all the aspects of engine operation measured.
Dynamometers are particularly useful in designing and refining engine technology. They can help identify how an engine or its drive train need to be modified or tuned to achieve more efficient power transfer.
There are two types of dynamometer:
- Engine Dynamometer:
This type measures engine performance only and usually when the engine is removed from the vehicle and mounted onto a special frame. It is coupled directly to the engine flywheel and measures performance independent of the vehicle's drive train – such as its gearbox, transmission, or differential.
- Chassis Dynamometer:
This type measures the power from the engine through a vehicle's driven wheels. The whole vehicle is mounted on rollers and fixed to the ground to prevent it jumping when it is driven during testing. The vehicle is driven in gear and turns the rollers without moving, while its power output is measured.