If you’ve ever watched an automobile TV commercial set in a laboratory, the tires of a motionless vehicle spinning endlessly on a platform of rollers, you’ve seen a chassis dynamometer in action. And with the completion in fall 2021 of a $2.9 million dynamometer facility at the Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy Farm just outside Ames, Iowa State’s will be one of the few publicly available chassis dynamometers in the world capable of testing large construction and farm machinery, including tractors and combines.
Danfoss Power Solutions of Ames contributed $1.8 million to the project during the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, which aims to heighten Iowa State’s land-grant mission to become an even greater presence within the state and throughout the world.
Danfoss is a global leader of mobile hydraulics and electrification products and solutions for an array of heavy equipment manufacturers. So using Iowa State’s dynamometer will be beneficial for the company as it continues to develop new and innovative solutions for its OEM customers and distribution partners.
The dynamometer will also benefit Iowa State students – better preparing them for future careers with companies like Danfoss that want to hire agricultural and biosystems engineering students who will work on research projects using the facility.
The off-road vehicle chassis dynamometer also advances Iowa State’s expertise in developing and evaluating off-road and agricultural vehicle sensing and control systems. Students will learn sophisticated traction, power train and vehicle chassis performance testing, while university researchers will be able to investigate new power train concepts and complement field tests in a more controlled test platform – resulting in solutions that are applicable on a much broader scale, sharing Iowa State’s expertise around the world.