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BRAKE DYNAMOMETER DEVELOPMENT FOR DREXEL UNIVERSITY FSAE RACE TEAM. MEM-01 Dr. Tein-Min Tan Frank DiMentoAlfredo Vitale Anthony TofaniJohn Henry. What is a Brake Dynamometer?.

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Brake dynamometer development for drexel university fsae race team l.jpg



Dr. Tein-Min Tan

Frank DiMentoAlfredo Vitale

Anthony TofaniJohn Henry

What is a brake dynamometer l.jpg

What is a Brake Dynamometer?

  • A system used to duplicate track braking scenarios in order to analyze a brake system design before the components are implemented on a race vehicle.

  • This piece of machinery can be utilized by all Drexel University race teams, including Formula SAE, Sonic Cricket, and Mini Baja.

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Benefits of a Dynamometer

  • Prototype costs lowered

  • Flexible testing schedule

  • No risk to driver or vehicle

  • Quantified performance data

  • Example:

    • 2005 Sinusoidal Rotor Design

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Previous Work

  • 2005 FSAE Brake Team Designed a Brake Dynamometer that was not completed.

  • 2006 FSAE Brake Team added a power controller to obtain necessary three phase power.

  • The dynamometer has never ran properly and lacks a data acquisition system.

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Current Drexel Dynamometer

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Problem Statement

  • Drexel SAE lacks the ability to perform in-house testing on its braking system design; Prototypes must be complete systems tested on completed car.

  • Data from test runs of actual system components would be useful for design, including:

    • Braking horsepower

    • Thermal loads

    • Rotor and pad coefficient of friction

    • Actual hydraulic operating pressure

  • Drexel SAE has a dynamometer that is incomplete and not operational.

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Available Dynamometers

  • Extremely expensive

  • Requires large work area

  • Hard to relocate

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Methods of Solution

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Constraints and Challenges

Existing Parts

  • We must integrate existing dyno parts.


  • Funding must be allocated to produce product.


  • Must be completed within the requirements of Senior Design.


  • Must be safe for operator and environment.


  • Able to test a wide variety of component designs.

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Old Rig Orientation

Hydraulic Actuator

New Rig Orientation

Initial Design

  • Lower Center of Mass

  • Effective Tensioning

  • Contained Hydraulic Actuator

  • Single Chain

  • Secured/Cushioned Feet

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Dynamometer Systems

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Dynamometer Systems

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  • Determine correct sprocket sizes for desired flywheel, motor, and rotor speeds

  • Complete Finite Element Analysis of Frame

  • Calibrate LabView based on comparison of measured data and theoretical values

    • Line Pressure

    • Coefficient of Friction

    • Braking Torque and HP

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  • Team will require outside resources:

    • Machining operations

    • Tools

  • Single-unit production does not require mass-production methods

  • Team covers all necessary skills, including welding.

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Calibration and Testing

  • Dynamometer will need to be calibrated and tested to ensure accuracy

  • As-measured data will be compared to hand-calculated values and data published by component manufacturers (Wilwood, etc.)

    • Coefficient of Friction

    • Line Pressure

    • Net System HP

  • Calibration to be done by tuning values in LabView simulation

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Environmental & Societal Impacts

  • Brake Fluid Containment

    • System pressures will be kept within the limits recommended by component manufacturers to prevent leakage.

  • Operator Safety

    • Rotating components will spin in excess of 3000 RPM and will be well balanced to prevent vibration and fatigue. Safety guards will be installed to protect operator and area workers.

    • We will measure noise levels during machine operation to verify that hearing damage will not be a concern.

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Project Deliverables

  • An operating Brake Dynamometer System that will be used to determine the following data:

    • System Braking Horsepower

    • Operating and Maximum Temperatures and Pressures

    • Pad-Rotor Coefficient of Friction

  • Documentation that includes:

    • Standard Operating Procedures

    • Maintenance Instructions and Schedule

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Economic Analysis

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Cost Effectiveness

  • The current dynamometer has already exhausted the following funding:

    • $500 – MEM Department Donation to Install Power Supply

    • $350 – ABB Power Controller Donation

    • $839 – DR-06 Design Team Dyno Development Cost

    • $1400 – DR-05 Design Team Dyno Development Cost

      Thus $3,089 has been ineffectively spent for a machine that is inoperable to date. Granting our funding request will allow us to validate previous funding by creating a working device for future SAE teams to use.

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  • A Brake Dynamometer is a valuable tool in brake system development.

  • We will deliver a complete and operational brake dynamometer within our projected timeline.

  • Our dynamometer will be safe for operators and other area workers.

  • We will include documentation explaining operation and maintenance so that the dyno may be used for years to come.

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