The vehicle engineering facility provides a clear span, high clearance height, and sufficient area for performing a wide variety of vehicle engineering activities on practically any conceivable wheeled vehicle platform. Land directly behind the facility has been utilized to develop numerous different types of non-road vehicles, including tractors, bulldozers, backhoes, front wheel loaders, scrapers, rollers, and compactors.
- Custom Engine Installation
- Aftertreatment on-vehicle research
- Class 8 trucks, buses, medium duty vehicles
- ECM communication interface
- Off-Road Development Track
On-Vehicle Emissions Measurement
AEI has led and cooperatively worked on numerous different types of on-vehicle programs. The engineering and technician personnel at AEI have developed and installed engines, aftertreatment systems, emissions measurement systems, computer acquisition, and computer controls onto vehicle platforms ranging from class 8 trucks to bulldozers.
SPOT Simple Portable On-Vehicle Testing
The SPOT system was initially designed and developed by AEI, under contract from the US EPA, to obtain real-world data on non-road vehicles. These ruggedized SPOT units were utilized to collect over 6000 hours of vehicle emissions and duty cycle data on more than fifty different vehicles, which currently comprises the largest database of its kind in the world. Engine duty cycle, NOx, exhaust flow rate, and fuel consumption were collected, in addition to several engine parameters acquired from the ECM.
The next generation SPOT III system was limited to AEI in-house projects. This tool was not offered for commercial sale, but has provided useful information on vehicle related programs at AEI. Real-time, redundant measurements were acquired for engine total exhaust mass flow rate, NOx, hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and oxygen. Additional measurements included ECM communications (1587, 1939 CAN bus), ambient conditions, and GPS data for vehicle speed, location, and acceleration.
The exhaust probe designed for the SPOT system contains AEI’s proprietary exhaust mass flow rate device, which functions well in both diesel and gasoline exhaust. This patented exhaust mass flow measurement device is easy to install and allows the engine to maintain its normal exhaust backpressure characteristics, thus not changing the way that the engine operates.
Mobile Emissions Laboratory
The US Environmental Protection Agency contracted with AEI to design, develop, and build a mobile emissions laboratory on a medium duty vehicle. This integrated system included a Cummins ISB engine, aftertreatment system, and a computer control and data acquisition system. The main purpose of this mobile emissions laboratory was to obtain a better understand of aftertreatment systems in a real-world environment. A Freightliner FL60 truck was procured and upfit with a Cummins ISB engine at AEI. Modifications were made to the truck chassis to increase the GVW, to achieve highly loaded engine conditions. A custom cab and box were designed to house the computer and exhaust emissions analysis equipment. Consoles and computer controls were designed and added to accommodate 6 computer screens for viewing real-time data streaming.
This project utilized the technical skills of several personnel at AEI, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer controls, and fabrication. The overall result was a highly functional mobile lab, where system parameters could be modified and the resultant emissions data could be studied.
Exhaust Aftertreatment on an Urban Bus
A manufacturer enlisted AEI’s assistance with an urban bus project. This bus was driven from California to the AEI facility. This project was completed in one of AEI’s indoor vehicle bays. An exhaust aftertreatment system was installed and integrated with emissions monitoring and an on-board computer control system. This development platform has demonstrated 2010 emissions compliance for the private industry customer who contracted the work.