A variable speed fan dynamometer

Karl D. Wood
Dec 1920

Fan brakes used as absorption dynamometers in testing internal combustion engines have the disadvantage that a given fan will run only at one speed when the engine is delivering full power. In order to be able to vary the speed at which a given power will be absorbed, English manufacturers have for some time been using a cylindrical housing around the fan with one or two variable openings in the periphery. Here, results are given of tests conducted to determine how great a range of speed can be obtained from such a device. The tests show that a power ratio of five to 1 can be obtained, the power ratio being defined as the ratio of the power absorbed by the fan at a given speed with the outlet open to the power absorbed at the same speed with the second outlet closed. Data show that improvements in the design of the fan brake can make the speed ratio approach but not exceed a value of two to one. Also given here are a brief outline of previous work on fan brakes, a description of the experimental apparatus and methods used in the tests, and a more detailed statement of test results.

An Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file of the entire report: