Dyno Cell No. 2 Progress Report

A 2021 Duramax L5P has been wheeled into Banks Dyno Cell No. 2. 

When testing engines or engine components it isn’t a matter of “flogging” the engine until you see something break, and then like a coroner, call the time of death. That might make for great YouTube or TikTok videos, but it does little for diagnosing the problem or learning what actually failed first. When failure occurs, you’ll find a cascade of damage and it’s difficult to pinpoint the point of origin. Banks testing calls for more refined control and data collection than just a guy at the throttle “keeping an eye on the gauges.” This week we take a look at the control systems that will ensure accuracy and repeatability.

The previous control system in Dyno Cell No. 2’s was from SuperFlo, and while it was good for what it was, more control was needed as testing now includes precision military power plants and emissions systems in addition to Banks bevy of aftermarket performance parts.

We opted to go with AVL’s BOBCAT system for supreme accuracy and control. The BOBCAT Workstation is a dedicated engine testbed and automation system that includes an integrated engine/dynamometer controller. Automation plays a key role in Cell No. 2’s emissions and NATO testing as perfect repeatability is mandatory. The engines must be taken through specific ranges and conditions for prolonged time periods and these tests must be repeated over and over for as many as 800 hours. The BOBCAT Operating Panel provides manual control of the test cell when not running an automatic testing routine. It allows easy access to the most frequently performed tasks such as changing the control mode or turning on/off digital bits. The panel features a touch screen display, two knobs for precisely adjusting the setpoints, and eight physical push button programmable switches. 

Having this exacting automation and precision-manual capability, along with accurate sensors and data collection, will provide Banks engineers unrivaled testing ability, information, and repeatability.

This week Banks engineers are joined by AVL technicians. Together, they’ll put the finishing touches on the new system, which should be functional by the time you’re reading this.