Engine and vehicle test benches

Centrale Nantes has three means of engine testing, used both in academic research and for contractual applications.

These test facilities allow experimental characterization and numerical modeling of complex energy systems. This research is accompanied by a societal challenge: reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and polluting emissions; and thus the implementation of techniques and tools to meet new standards (for example European standards on reducing consumption).


The equipment, managed by the TSM research group attached to the LHEEA, comprises:

4 Eddy Current test benches


These systems are designed to run on stationary motors, the engine speed remains constant. Engines with capacities of between 130 kW (e.g. engine of a compact car) and 400 kW (e.g. heavy goods vehicle). These test benches have specific instrumentation such as engine speed, pressure, temperature and cylinder pressure sensors, but also fuel scales and emission measurement bays, in order to quantify engine emissions and the quality of combustion.

3 dynamic brake test benches:


These benches are used to test and to characterize turbochargers in a controlled environment which is close to normal on-road behavior. Engine movements and speed can be adjusted. The platform uses 1.5 litre engines, similar to those of a petrol- or diesel-engine Renault Clio or Megane. The power of the engines studied motors can be up to 250 kW. Sensors installed directly on the engine provide data readings. This equipment, thanks to its versatility, provides the research team with a very powerful testing platform in the academic community.

1 Vehicle test bench


This test bench provides the capacity to test a whole 4-wheel drive vehicle in dynamic operation. It can be used to replace road tests with reproducible tests in a controlled environment. It can test vehicles with a power output of 260 kW per axle.
The engine test benches were allocated CPER* funding between 2007 et 2013 to renovate the premises and purchase new equipment. The test area, the test bench workshop area and the instrumentation area were all renovated with this funding.

* Contrat de Plan État Région (pluriannual French state/regional infrastructure planning and investment programmes).
Publié le March 21, 2017 Mis à jour le March 29, 2017