AMES, Iowa – Danfoss Power Solutions and Iowa State University have announced the completion of the Off-Highway Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer Laboratory. The facility, developed and administered by Iowa State with technical and financial support from Danfoss, enables controlled, dynamic testing of construction, agriculture, material handling, mining, and other machinery. It is the only facility of its kind at a public institution in the U.S. and one of a few capable of testing power control and transmission capabilities of large machinery. The organizations celebrated the facility’s opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 17.
The dynamometer laboratory offers vehicle performance and energy efficiency testing, as well as evaluation of vehicle component and control system interactions. Designed for off-highway vehicles with tracks or tires, the dynamometer runs at up to 450 kilowatts (600 horsepower) per corner at speeds of up to 80 kph (50 mph). It offers independent monitoring and loading of the traction system at each vehicle corner. The equipment can conduct tests such as fuel-to-wheel energy efficiency, drawbar power, dynamic braking, simulation of uphill/downhill driving and braking, hill cresting, and start-up torque.
Partnering with Iowa State to build the facility enables Danfoss to expand its research and development capabilities and enhance customer application support. The dynamometer laboratory complements the field-testing capabilities of Danfoss’ application development center (ADC) in Ames by collecting accurate, repeatable data that can be difficult to obtain outdoors. Together, the facilities provide a holistic testing environment for original equipment manufacturers and distributors.
“We are excited to see how the new dynamometer fosters breakthroughs in off-highway vehicle technology,” said Jeff Herrin, senior vice president of research and development, Danfoss Power Solutions. “Comprehensive testing can reduce design cycles and speed up research and development, enabling us and our customers to implement industry-leading solutions at a faster rate.”
Faculty and staff at Iowa State’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) led the multi-year effort to develop the lab. Danfoss donated $1.8 million towards its development. Iowa State and Danfoss broke ground on the facility in October 2018. Following delays due to the pandemic, commissioning took place in fall 2022. The facility, located at Iowa State’s BioCentury Research Farm in Boone, Iowa, is now open and available for commercial use.