What is 'absorption dynamometer' πŸ§‘β€πŸ”§

What is an Absorption Dynamometer?

A device for measuring mechanical forces or power in which the mechanical energy input is absorbed by friction or electrical resistance.

An absorption dynamometer is a device used in engineering to measure the power output of engines, motors, and other power sources. Unlike other dynamometers that transfer power to another application, such as driving wheels in a vehicle, the primary function of an absorption dynamometer is to absorb and measure the power produced by the engine it is testing.

How Does an Absorption Dynamometer Work?

An absorption dynamometer operates by creating a load against which the engine or motor works. There are different types of absorption dynamometers, each generating a load in a unique way:

1. Frictional Dynamometers:

These dynamometers use frictional resistance, often through brake drums or bands, to create a load. The force exerted by the engine is measured against this resistance.

2. Hydraulic Dynamometers:

Hydraulic dynamometers use water or hydraulic fluid to create resistance. The engine drives a rotor that moves fluid in a housing, creating resistance. The power is calculated based on the fluid flow and resistance.

3. Eddy Current Dynamometers:

Eddy current dynamometers utilize electromagnetic fields to create resistance. Eddy currents are induced in a rotor by a magnetic field, creating a load against which the engine works.

Applications of Absorption Dynamometers

Absorption dynamometers find applications in various fields, including:

1. Engine Testing:

They are widely used in the automotive industry to test engine performance, including power output, fuel efficiency, and emissions.

2. Motor Testing:

In industrial settings, absorption dynamometers are used to test electric motors and other mechanical power sources.

3. Research and Development:

Engineers use absorption dynamometers to test new engine designs, modifications, and to conduct endurance testing.

Advantages and Limitations of Absorption Dynamometers


1. Precision: Absorption dynamometers provide accurate measurements of power output, ensuring reliable data for analysis.

2. Versatility: They are suitable for different types of engines and motors, making them adaptable to various testing scenarios.

3. Control: Absorption dynamometers allow for controlled testing environments, enabling engineers to replicate real-world conditions and evaluate performance accurately.


1. Cost: Absorption dynamometers can be expensive to purchase and maintain, making them less accessible for smaller-scale operations.

2. Complexity: Operating and interpreting the results of absorption dynamometers require technical expertise, limiting their usability to trained professionals.

3. Specificity: Some absorption dynamometers are designed for specific types of engines or power ranges, which may restrict their applicability in certain testing scenarios.

In Conclusion

Absorption dynamometers are essential tools in engineering, providing precise and controlled means to measure the power output of various engines and motors. Their use spans across research, development, and quality control in the automotive, aerospace, and industrial sectors. Despite their complexity and cost, they are invaluable for ensuring the performance and efficiency of power-generating machines.

FAQ: Absorption Dynamometers in Engineering

What is an absorption dynamometer, and how does it function in measuring power in engineering applications?

An absorption dynamometer is a device used to measure the power output of engines or motors. It works by absorbing the power produced and converting it to heat, which is then dissipated. The device typically consists of a brake assembly that applies a load to the engine or motor, allowing for the measurement of power output under different loads and conditions.

What distinguishes an absorption dynamometer from other types of dynamometers, such as inertial or transmission dynamometers?

Absorption dynamometers are characterized by their ability to apply a constant load and absorb the power output of the test subject. This differs from inertial dynamometers, which measure power based on the rate of acceleration of a known inertia, and transmission dynamometers, which measure power through the drive train. The key distinction lies in the method of power absorption and measurement.

How is an absorption dynamometer typically used in engineering settings, and what types of machinery or systems is it most commonly applied to?

Absorption dynamometers are widely used in engine testing and development. They are crucial for measuring engine performance, fuel efficiency, and emission levels. These dynamometers are commonly found in automotive, aerospace, and industrial machinery applications, where precise power measurement is essential for performance tuning and regulatory compliance.

What are the key technical specifications and design considerations when using an absorption dynamometer?

When using an absorption dynamometer, key specifications include its power and torque measurement range, accuracy, thermal capacity (for heat dissipation), and the range of speeds it can accommodate. Design considerations involve ensuring compatibility with the engine or motor being tested, adequate cooling systems to handle the heat generated, and the integration with data acquisition systems for accurate monitoring and analysis.

Can you discuss any recent advancements or innovations in absorption dynamometer technology and their implications for engineering practice?

Recent advancements in absorption dynamometer technology include the integration of advanced control systems for more precise load application and measurement. Developments in materials and cooling systems have improved their efficiency and reliability. These innovations enable more accurate and efficient testing of next-generation engines, including electric and hybrid systems, playing a crucial role in the development of environmentally friendly and high-efficiency engines.


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Materials: What is 'absorption dynamometer' πŸ§‘β€πŸ”§
What is 'absorption dynamometer' πŸ§‘β€πŸ”§
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