Cold Cell Testing

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Cold Cell Testing

KBi Cold Cell Engine To aid in the development and testing of ether starting systems for unique or new applications, KBi offers the industry its own Cold Cell facility, where starting tests can be conducted at temperatures as low as -50F (-46C). KBi engineers have developed practical ether starting systems for engines ranging from hand crank 14 CID (229 ml), to engines over 3,000 CID (49 l).


Whenever possible, it is recommended that engines or machines be tested with the loads or accessories that affect cold starting in the real world. This may include alternators, hydraulic pumps, automatic transmissions, etc..

Normal testing procedures include a thorough preparation of the test engine or machine for cold temperature operations, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. This may include draining and refilling of the crankcase, fuel system and coolant. Batteries are selected in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation or as supplied by the customer. Before engines or machines are moved into the Cold Cell, they are started and operated at warm temperatures to assure that all components are functioning properly.

Test Procedure

Starting tests are normally conducted at 24-hour intervals to assure thorough cold soaking before each test. Batteries are cold soaked with the engine. Before each test, Cold Cell air temperatures and engine fluid temperatures are recorded. Each start is monitored on a recording oscillograph with channels showing starter current draw, engine speed, engine oil pressure, and etceteras.

Data is also collected on a data acquisition system. With 30 channel data recording capabilities at a frequency up to 130 microseconds, accurate and complete collection of essential test data is assured. Recorded data may include any combination of temperature measurements, smoke opacity, pressure measurements, DC voltages, Rpm's, etc.. The data acquisition system is "interactive" with eight-channel analog output capability, and may be programmed to automatically control items under test.

Data collected during tests is collected on a RAM DISC and may be reviewed on a personal computer screen, printed or permanently recorded on CD's disc. Test data can be sent to remote locations equipped with IBM compatible terminals via modem for off-site evaluation or review. Data from any channels can be conveniently summarized in graphic form.

Various engines are available for instrumentation and application of a clients products and/or requirements.

Normal Test Series

Each series of tests is discussed and reviewed in advance with the customer. Tests are conducted to determine the following:

1. The lowest temperature at which an engine will start and run without starting aids.
2. The effectiveness of built-in or manufacturer recommended starting aids in lowering the starting threshold. These may include manifold pre-heaters, glow plugs, block heaters, or various other types of ether starting systems.
3. The effectiveness of various KBi DIESELMATIC, DIESELMATIC NVT, or DIESELMATIC EC systems.

Depending upon test results, testing at particular temperatures may be repeated, varying the crankcase lubricant, battery capacity, etc., to study their effects on cold starting.