According to current worldwide trends for homologation vehicles in real driving conditions, is forced to test the engines in altitude and in highly dynamic driving cycles in order to approach nowadays and next future emissions standard. Up to now, there were two main options to perform this type of tests: round-robin tests of the whole vehicle or hypobaric chambers, both with high costs and low repeatability.
In this paper a new device is described, which can emulate ambient conditions at whatever altitude between sea level and 5000m high. Even it can be used to emulate ambient conditions at sea level when test bench is placed up to 2000 m high. The main advantages of the altitude simulation equipment are: dynamic emulation of all the psychrometric variables affecting the vehicles during round-robin tests; lower space usage and low energy consumption.
The altitude simulator has been validated comparing with results from a hypobaric chamber at different altitudes. Previously a research about the dispersion in the measurements of both testing devices has been done for assessing the results of the comparison experiment. Final conclusion resulted in the same operating performance and emissions of the studied engine with both types of testing equipments for altitude simulation.