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The University of Southampton
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Engines Laboratory

The University of Southampton Engines Laboratory provides engine test facilities, both for teaching and for research. We are proud to maintain a beautiful Crossley gas engine from 1897 - which provides undergraduates with an ideal introduction to later engine developments - in addition to our modern fully-automated test and measurement facilities. 

Strip and rebuild, Formula student, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle engines,Emission measurement

Crossley Gas Engine

The Crossley engine is a historic 8.9 litre single cylinder spark ignition engine from 1897. It runs on natural gas, although originally it used coal ("town") gas. Such engine would have been used to drive industrial machinery.

This engine has been used for teaching since it was first installed in the Hartley Institute (the forerunner of the University of Southampton) in 1897. Today it is still used for undergraduate teaching as it provides an excellent demonstration of how an internal combustion engine works. Its slow and open design allows all of the components to be seen in action.

Ricardo E6 Engine

The Ricardo E6 is a single cylinder four stroke water cooled research engine of 507cc swept volume. Compression ratio is continuously variable during operation from 4.5 to 22 and the engine can be operated in either spark ignition ("petrol") mode or compression ignition ("diesel") modes. The engine is mated to an A.C. dynamometer so that the engine speed and power can be set independently. The flexibility and simplicity of the engine make it highly suitable for investigating the effects of fuel properties on the combustion process.

Engine test cell

Our engine test cell is equipped with a computer controlled eddy-current type dynamometer, rated up to 80 horse power. The control system facilitates automatic engine mapping, and evaluation of engines across specified operating/drive cycles. The system is therefore suitable for testing small automotive engines - including the engines used by Southampton University Formula Student Team - and larger engines operating at part load.

The test cell is currently being upgraded with additional dynamometers for development of specialised engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Emission measurement system

The emission measurement system is supplied by Signal and can sample emissions from to the Ricardo E6, the engine test cell, and a further combustion rig simultaneously.

9000MGA Multi-gas analyser: Measures exhaust composition (CH4, O2, CO, CO2, NO) by the infra-red gas filter correlation technique, and measures O2 concentration using a dumb-bell paramagnetic sensor.

4000VM Heated vacuum NOx analyser.

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