Customized thermal management test bench solutions
Development of new cooling systems
Our IPEtec test bench engineering business unit plans and provides customized test bench solutions for the development and validation of automotive AC components. We offer a full range of test benches and media-supply modules for the automotive developer’s thermal management needs. Moreover, we support the development of new cooling systems for hybrid power trains, for battery and engine cooling. New hybrid power trains are opening up additional fields of heat-pump technology development aimed at optimizing the energy balance of automotive air conditioning.
System test benches for AC and cooling systems
Our thermal management test benches allow the testing of complete automotive AC circuits, with their components and the various refrigerants, under real environmental conditions. Our modular design makes it possible to flexibly adapt test benches to different air conditioning systems, reducing set-up times. The media-supply modules required for air conditioning and salt-water (brine) circuits can be individually customized for operation according to our customer’s specific needs. Temperature, humidity, and air-mass flow are set with very high control quality and precision, ensuring repeatable test results.
Compact compressor load units
Our IPEload is a patented, innovative solution, designed to shorten development times and reduce the energy consumption involved in validating refrigerant compressors. By creating the thermodynamic conditions for testing each compressor, our extremely compact unit saves you setting up a complete refrigerant circuit. Being able, during the test procedure, to quickly set different load and operating points results in enormous time savings. The device reduces the energy costs of endurance trials. Depending on the requirements, we offer purely mechanical or fully automatic devices with integrated, programmable logic control. The mechanically operated units are particularly suited for performing EMC measurements in HF chambers, as they will not influence themeasured EMC results. For programming automatic test runs, PLC-controlled load units are recommended, in conjunction with the IPEmotion test- and measurement software required for configuration. These load units are also able to control mechanical compressors in full, partial, and low-load operation, by means of PWM signals. Electrical driven refrigerant compressors can be controlled via CAN and LIN bus. Our IPEload versions specifically designed for the performance of noise, vibration, and harshness tests are particularly suited due to their own low noise emission. Depending on the version provided, our automatic IPEload can be controlled either via the built-in touch panel or via the separate manual operation terminal (with touchscreen).
Remote control of the load unit via the manual operation terminal is particularly suitable for engine test benches where the operator is confined to a protected measurement booth. The test runs are automated using our data acquisition software IPEmotion. Signals are transmitted to the PLC via Ethernet. The unit also supports communication with various customer test bench infrastructures – e.g. via Ethernet, PROFIBUS, and CAN bus. For applications with no supply of cold water or salt water as cooling media, we also supply system solutions equipped with integrated air cooler. These units, as well as the water-cooled versions with integrated chiller, offer the benefit of easy compressor change. The integrated refrigerant recovery solution includes a vacuum pump, so no external service equipment is required. All the systems support the standard refrigerants R134a and R744 (CO2). For the use of HFO-1234yf in the R134a version, the on-site infrastructure must meet the security guidelines.
Compressor test benches
The combined expertise of IPEtec goes into the construction, building, and operation of compressor test benches. These highly complex systems are being used around the globe for the development, testing, and validating of compressors. They are available for either electrical driven refrigerant compressors or mechanical driven refrigerant compressors, or for both compressor types. The test benches allow repeatable test cycles to be run with high control quality and stability, and support all the standard refrigerants. The compressor is mounted on a seismic mass, which is mechanically uncoupled from the test bench. This design makes it possible to measure compressors also for such NVH-relevant data as vibration and pressure pulsation. The integrated, regulated air circuit allows the simulation of both wind speed and ambient temperature inside the test chamber – within a range of -30°C to 120°C. The chamber is constructed of robust stainless-steel panels, fully welded and equipped with a heated, bulletproof glass window, making it suitable for use with R744 (CO2). As an option, we offer the integration of gas detectors with floating output. For the use of HFO-1234yf in the R134a version, the on-site infrastructure must meet the security guidelines. The touch-panel equipped test bench computer runs IPEmotion, our central measurement and test bench software.
The design allows the acquisition and evaluation of both thermodynamic and acoustic data, simultanously. Automation of the test runs is programmed with IPEmotion with an interface the test bench PLC. An Internet connection supports remote maintenance and worldwide technical support. All the current standard test specifications can be applied by the test bench. These include:
- Raffer testing of endurance and material fatigue
- Matrix testing, across a broad range of load and operating pointsTest procedures for evaluating vibration force, and gas pulsation in the pipe system
- Test procedures for evaluating vibration force, and gas pulsation in the pipe system
- Performance and efficiency tests, e.g. for determining the Coefficient of Performance (COP)
- Oil management testing, for evaluating the Oil Circulation Ratio (OCR), under different operating conditions
- Flexible design of customized test routines
Flushing equipment for clean measurements
In refrigeration systems, the inherent oil ejection causes oil retention throughout the circuit. This has a significant effect on the thermodynamic characteristics and, thus on the efficiency of heat exchanger, evaporator, and condenser. Developed especially for thermodynamic test bench operation, IPEflush cleans the entire range of fluid circuits. Our system uses a multi-stage flushing process to separate out – virtually residue-free – all the oil, dirt particles, and other contaminants retained throughout the various refrigeration circuits. Maintaining clean components and pipe systems provides for uniform starting conditions for all test runs with IPEload units or on compressor test benches, thus ensuring comparable measurement results.
Especially when determining Oil Circulation Ratio (OCR) characteristics, total removal of residual oil from the cooling unit is essential for determining the correct OCR value. The integrated vacuum pump prevents foreign gases from entering the refrigeration circuit prior to flushing. Operation is extremely user-friendly. Once the flushing program has been started, by means of simple operating keys, the system’s integrated PLC controls and carries out autonomously the flushing procedure. To optimize cleaning effectiveness for our customers, customized flushing programs can also be added to the PLC.