With more than 45 years of experience in engine development and testing, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) applies its expertise to research and development programs for large engines such as:
Internationally recognized for its locomotive engine research, SwRI operates the world's largest independent large-engine research facility. The Institute's array of comprehensive services addresses industry needs in:
Alternative Fuel Evaluation
SwRI performs experimental studies on many types of alternative fuels for large-bore engines, including:
SwRI engineers also have extensive experience in designing and developing engine configurations such as:
Using advanced computer models, SwRI staff members determine optimum mixing techniques of the fuel and air in the main chamber for improved emissions and efficiency. These models also provide keys to successful design of prechamber and fuel injection parameters.
Recent and pending state, federal, and international regulations lend increased importance to exhaust emissions in large-bore engine design. Using state-of-the-art equipment and development tools, SwRI staff members routinely develop and perform emission reduction programs for large-engine manufacturers and end users worldwide. Institute services for large-bore engines include:
Control System Development
SwRI engineers have designed and assembled the Rapid Prototyping Electronic Control System (RPECS), an engine control system to rapidly evaluate complex control and diagnostic algorithms. Using this flexible system, staff members can evaluate all fuels and a variety of cylinder, ignition, and fuel delivery configurations. RPECS provides engineers with an effective tool to replace original equipment manufacturer and off-the-shelf control systems in the evaluation of components and operations of engines under development.
Engine Performance Improvement
Emphasis on performance and fuel economy has led SwRI to develop procedures that accurately assess engine performance changes caused by engine and system modifications. These procedures enable engineers to measure changes of less than 0.5 percent in power and fuel economy.
Engine and Component Design Services
Institute engineers and scientists provide engine design services ranging from component redesign to a complete new engine design. SwRI aids engine manufacturers and end users in:
Supported by computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems and full analytical and finite element analysis modeling capabilities, SwRI engineers design projects include fabrication of single-cylinder research projects, testing, and performance improvement. Engine design deliverables include:
SwRI engineers perform testing and support pilot production at client facilities and welcome client engineer participation in studies performed at the Institute.
Fuel Injection System Development
SwRI has developed, assembled, and tested different fuel injection systems for large-bore engines. These injection systems include:
Standardized Testing and Services
The Institute offers a variety of standardized testing programs and services for large-engine systems and components. Combining industry-recognized and Institute-developed tests, SwRI staff members evaluate and validate aftermarket components, lubricating additives, and fuel enhancers. The SwRI standardized testing programs and services include:
Association of American Railroads Recommended Practice (RP) No. 503
The RP-503 procedure evaluates the effect of a fuel or lubricant additive on the durability, performance, and emissions of locomotive engines.
EMD Lubricating Oil Evaluation
The EMD lubricating oil evaluation, also described as a 25-hour silver lubricity test, is used to qualify test oils for locomotive engine applications.
Fuel Injection System Evaluation
SwRI engineers design and assemble fuel injection test benches (liquid and gaseous) for measuring injector performance parameters such as motion, pressure, rate, timing, and flow and fuel spray characteristics, including penetration, cone angle, droplet size, and droplet size distribution.
Durability and Reliability Testing
The Institute routinely conducts durability and reliability testing on diesel, gasoline, and natural gas-fueled engines of every size, type, and application. SwRI's modern facilities include more than 200 test stands with capacities ranging from 3 to 6,000 horsepower.
This brochure was published in August 1997. For more information about large engine technology, contact Tom E. Boberg, Principal Engineer, Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-6267, Fax (210) 522-2019.