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How Do I Choose the Best Dynamometer Software?

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  • Written By: Bobby R. Goldsmith
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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Choosing the best dynamometer software requires that you consider several factors carefully. First, you will need to know what types of engines that you will be testing the most frequently. The most suitable dynamometer software for an automobile engine dynamometer is insufficient for properly testing the engines of race cars, towing vehicles, or heavy industrial equipment. You will then need to consider the type of dynamometer that you have, the computer that you will connect to the test equipment, and the how frequently you will the dynamometer software. The level of accuracy that your dynamometer application requires will also factor into your choice for the best dynamometer software.

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Not all engines are created equal, so a dynamometer program that measures the torque and horsepower output of a stock engine from a consumer automobile can be fairly basic. If you only plan to test the engine of a single vehicle over a period of time, base level software that offers a torque measurement range of between zero and 200 will be sufficient. On the other end of the power curve, a base level dynamometer software package will only need to measure between zero and 300 horsepower and only needs to handle a vehicle running between 4,000 and 6,000 revolutions per minute at the peak of the engine's power curve. For high-performance racing engines or for heavy industrial engines that require large torque loads at the low end of the power curve, you will need to choose a dynamometer program that can accommodate the increased analytical demands of these types of engines.

Another factor that you must consider is what type of dynamometer you are using. There are two broad categories of dynamometers available — engine-only and in-the-vehicle. If your dynamometer is an engine-only system, you will need to use software that can analyze torque and horsepower data from the engine's flywheel and then extrapolate that data to estimate rear-wheel performance. For a dynamometer system that is in-vehicle, you can usually use base-level software that displays raw data and basic analysis of the vehicle's power curve. This is due to the fact that torque and horsepower statistics are always higher when measured at an engine's flywheel, because energy is dissipated through the transmission and drive train when the engine is tested in the vehicle.

You must also consider the level of accuracy that you require from your dynamometer. Generally, if you are not regularly testing high-performance racing engines, you do not need a comprehensive software package that gives you advanced analysis of every possible metric and that measures torque or horsepower to several decimal points. Most consumer or industrial applications only require a basic dynamometer software package that provides torque, horsepower, and power curve data in relation to the revolutions per minute (RPMs) of the engine.

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