Real-world emissions and fuel economy measurement will become an increasingly high priority requirement within European vehicle legislation over the coming decade, involving monitoring of engines and vehicles, which will increase research, development, and certification requirements.
To help meet this need, the U.K.’s Millbrook Proving Ground, north of London, which has a comprehensive range of laboratories and test cells, plus a network of test tracks, has introduced a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS), designed to gather extensive emissions data during use of an internal-combustion engine vehicle or its equipment in regular daily operation, in a similar manner to laboratory testing on a chassis dynamometer.
Phil Stones, Manager of Emissions and Fuel Economy at Millbrook’s Technology Center, explains that PEMS is a de facto outdoor laboratory: “Repeatability, accuracy, and traceability are essential to the research and development of PEMS testing. We can benchmark a problem in the field—in a vehicle’s normal working environment—and then bring it back to the proving ground to investigate and resolve the issue in a highly secure, safe, and repeatable manner. Essentially, PEMS is used to test mobile source emissions for the purposes of compliance, regulation, and decision making. It can reliably and consistently obtain information that may not always be possible to replicate elsewhere.”
Millbrook’s PEMS system was officially launched at the U.K. Cenex low-carbon event, LCV2013.
Stones explained that the PEMS equipment can measure a variety of pollutants, which meets U.S. EPA CFR 40 Part 1065 compliance requests for in-use and test cell applications, and will meet European emissions legislation, embracing HC, CO, NOx, NO, NO2, O2, and CO2: “The equipment also caters for a wide variety of engine sizes and fuels including gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and other alternative fuels. With vehicles becoming ever more sophisticated with varying hybrid and plug-in capability, the equipment allows us to test for an extended period of time and measure over an actual duty cycle.”
Suitable for use with vehicles ranging from small cars to trucks, buses, and military types, the system used by Millbrook is manufactured by Sensors Inc. PEMS is specifically designed for on-vehicle, on-road, off-highway exhaust emissions and fuel consumption measurement.
Millbrook has two NOx modules, allowing it to evaluate NOx (NO, NO2) pre and post after-treatment. The equipment has a vehicle CAN interface which includes various protocols including SAE-J1708 and SAE-J1587.
The system is correlated to Millbrook’s ISO 17025 approved and VCA certified Vehicles Emissions Laboratory.
Emissions testing at Millbrook started some 40 years ago, and PEMS is allowing it to expand the repertoire of vehicles and locations that it can test both nationally and internationally.
Future investment and activity will embrace PEMS and its applications as Millbrook aims to further advance its testing capability, added Stones.
Millbrook has recently been acquired by Rutland Partners. It employs more than 400 people, many of them specialists, and the site covers 290 ha (717 acre) with 70 km (43 mi) of tracks.