Turboprop Engine Altitude Testing Application

Design and build of a specialist Torquemeter and coupling solution for demanding environmental conditions at altitude.

This project was initiated as an engine test facility within an altitude chamber and a requirement to test high-speed engines. Further discussion with the customer revealed that the “altitude chamber” was actually an outdoor test facility in the Himalayas at 5000m elevation. With no physical protection from the environment, the design of the torquemeter had to withstand extremes of temperature and precipitation whilst continuing to maintain high levels of accuracy.

Torquemeters designed a solution incorporating a dynamometer and a pedestal-mounted torquemeter manufactured in stainless steel with a carbon seal arrangement and a Torquemeters designed & manufactured coupling.

With a demanding specification required, the final system had the following performance envelope:

  • Pedestal mounted torquemeter
  • Testing continuous speed: 21,000 RPM
  • Maximum testing power: 1,500KW
  • Minimum operating temperature: -40°C
  • Maximum operating temperature: 40°C
  • Removable cartridge for faster servicing
  • Localised insulation for the torquemeter and lubrication systems
  • A stand-alone lubrication system for the dynamometer and torquemeter with heaters to handle the low temperature application

Using Torquemeters previous experience, a torquemeter capable of surviving the extremes of both weather and altitude was designed & commissioned. Key features of the installation include;

  • Ability to quickly replace the shaft cartridge reducing downtime and the need to return the unit for repair
  • Design and management of the whole drive train
  • Unit designed for long-term operation despite the environmental conditions
  • Ability to test multiple engines
  • Repeatability/accuracy of test