Introduction

Xtrac are one of the best known manufacturers of high performance gearboxes in the world.  They provide transmission solutions for hypercars, race and rally teams and more recently the luxury performance car market. In line with the shift from fossil fuel, Xtrac can offer transmissions for hybrid and electric vehicles as well as conventional IC power systems.

With upscaling in production and demands for future products Xtrac invested in two new test rigs. The first of these was aimed at meeting their EOL (End Of Line) testing needs for production sign off. The second was primarily aimed at research and development requirements, although the adaptable design can be utilised for alternative test set ups.  Both rigs were designed to support multiple dynamometers with the capability of running up to 3 or 4 dynamometers simultaneously. Using integrated multi-drives (several inverter drives electrically linked) enables efficient operation with power being recirculated through the dynamometers and drives local to the test rig.

There is an option to add battery emulation in the future as this was designed into the system from the outset, to cover future testing needs.

Each test rig was supplied with a Sierra CP CADETv14 control and datalogging automation system. This provided the customer with a range of datalogging options from ‘real’ sensor inputs, CAN messages and 3rd party interface channels from other devices. Test sequencing and safety functions are all covered by the CADETv14 system.

The two test enclosure structures were provided by Xtrac, Sierra CP designed and installed a controllable ventilation system to each of these.

One of the key features of the R&D dyno solution was an in-line pair of dyno’s to allow small pitch input and output shaft testing. The output shaft passes by the input dyno to the rear of the input dyno’s and connects to the output dyno.

Key Performance Features

  • CADET Dyno automation and datalogging system in each test cell
  • EOL cell has 3off AC transient dynos and drives
  • R&D cell has 4off AC transient dynos and drives
    • Unique small pitch dyno solution for input and output shafts
    • Option to add battery emulator in the future
  • Flexible mounting solution for test pieces
  • Conditioning control of process fluids
  • Variable speed ventilation solution
    • Multiple modes for performance and maintenance and comfort
  • Integration of plant services, chiller installed outside facility in service area

Capability

  • Transient capable
  • Drive-cycle simulation
  • Powertrain controls development, including hybrids
  • Transmission controls development
  • Driveline dynamics/vibration
  • EV/HEV testing
    • Battery simulation – upgrade option

Sierra CP Services

Sierra held a single-source contract for:

  • Facility design and layout
  • Equipment specification and manufacture
  • Equipment installation
  • Integration of equipment and facilities systems
  • Commissioning and training
  • Longer-term maintenance and support

Partnering with Sierra CP allowed us to develop two highly flexible transmission test systems designed to evaluate our innovative powertrain solutions. Future customisation of the rigs was key for us, and continual evolution of the test facility has provided a variety of new testing capabilities. The equipment and service supplied by Sierra CP has been fantastic and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Oliver Grant MEng CEng, Head of R&D