Superchargers…Aussie Style!

From our friends “down unda” comes the First High Performance Supercharger R&D Facility in the Southern Hemisphere!

With contributions by Aleksandar Subic – Associate Professor at RMIT University

RMIT University and Forced Air Technologies Pty Ltd have launched a new High Performance Supercharger Testing Facility in March 2002, offering specialized research and commercial services that will propel Australia into becoming a hub for supercharger technology in the Southern Hemisphere. The facility is located at the RMIT School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Bundoora East campus in Melbourne’s north. The new Engine and Supercharger Test Facility is home to research and independent testing for the automotive industry relating to supercharger technology, as well as a facility for undergraduate teaching in mechanical and automotive engineering research.

Let’s Get Technical

The facility hosts a twin 450 kW Eddie Current Retarder Engine Dynamometer capable of measuring a total peak power of over 900 kW and up to speeds above 10,000 RPM. This is a transient programmable road load simulation dynamometer complimented with a Bosch Emission Test Bench offering part volume sampling of emission gases on a broad range of configurations. The facility also consists of a comprehensive Supercharger Test Cell capable of testing superchargers in a stand alone mode or “in-situ” configuration with internal combustion engines selected for optimal integration with this technology.

A look at the Dyno Testing Machine with an engine and supercharger undergoing extensive experimentation.
A tour group gets first-hand exposure to the sheer magnitude of the machine inside the RMIT Dyno Test Cell.
A view from outside of the RMIT Dyno Test Cell. Some classroom, huh?!?

The Project

A research team of leading experts in supercharging technologies including RMIT academics, researchers and specialist engineers, under the supervision of Professor Subic is currently undertaking a range of strategic research and development projects at the centre in collaboration with national and international industries.

The RMIT team is involved in:

  • establishing independently reliable base-performance parameters and mapping the performance of existing supercharger technology for a range of manufacturers;
  • optimal system design (e.g. design of a novel unloading system, optimally matching existing supercharger technology to current internal combustion engines to boost engine power at all motoring regimes at reduced emissions levels, etc.);
  • investigating and optimizing design parameters of existing superchargers (e.g. rotor profile design, manifold design, alternative materials, etc.) and testing the effects of those changes on performance;
  • the development of new supercharger technologies for high performance vehicles and engines of the future.

The Conclusion

The facility has resulted from a partnership between Forced Air Technologies, an Australian company specializing in supercharger applications, and RMIT University. The projects described above are conducted in cooperation with industry partners from Australia and worldwide.

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