Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools have been widely used in the design of automotive components and systems. Methods, procedures and measurables for analyses involving Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) components are well-defined and well developed. Comparatively, significantly less attention has been paid to the design and analysis of test cells. Better designed test cells will lead to increased test cell availability and thus also increases engine performance test opportunities.

This trend was observed in Cummins Inc. where CAE-guided test cell designs improved test-cell availability and rate of engine development. Here, improved conversion efficiencies in test cell Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) modules were predicted using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools, and validated against data collected from the test cells. The resultant improvements resulted in dramatic increases in test cell up-time.

This paper documents how CAE tools commonly used in engine design were successfully expanded to aid the design of Cummins Inc. test cells. It presents the CFD methods that were used in this analysis, compares CFD predictions to actual conversion efficiencies in the SCR module, and also proposes a set of analysis tasks and methods that can be applied to improve test cell design and performance in the future.

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