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Title: Studies in engine test bed automation
Author: Comfort, John V.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3561 0413
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1970
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The work described In this then is was initiated in response to motivation from the needs of industry, the desire to investigate the performance of a process control computer in a relatively novel application as well as to provide training in methods of research. Ever-increasing labour costs have caused the automotive and petroleum industries to seek new means of maintaining the throughput of engine testing work. Their task has been made more difficult by the stringent test regulations that have been introduced with the very commendable intention of reducing atmospheric pollution. In consequence, any means by which the efficiency of testing could be improved and the throughput of work increased were deemed worthy of investigation. Engine testing involves a diversity of simple repetitive operations. These include the collection and processing of data and the execution of logical operations. The digital computer has proved itself to be ideally suited to performing such tasks, but the problem of integrating a computer with such an activity remains only partially solved. It is hoped that the work described in this thesis will go some way towards solving this problem. A description of the instrumentation and interfacing used on the test rig is included together with a description of the program structure and functions. These are not regarded as exemplary but it is hoped that they will aid the identification of the requirements for similar systems. A linearised mathematical model is developed to represent both the static and dynamic behaviour of the engine and dynamometer. This aspect of the study has provided useful insight into the problems associated with the control of engine test rigs. As a result it has been shown that effective control can be made available without recourse to highly sophisticated techniques. Optimisation systems as applied to the control of spark timing and mixture strength are considered. The limitations imposed on their operation by the inherent nature of combustion are outlined. Finally some computer controlled tests that were implemented are described as a means of illustrating the very extensive capabilities of such a system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery