Northumbria University Automotive Test Facility - Case Study
Northumbria University commissioned Sierra CP to undertake the design, build and commissioning of two test cells to further support their Mechanical Engineering undergraduate and Ph.D. courses. The facility is operated by students and engineering staff and is a platform to support the engine and vehicle innovators of the future.
The project was awarded to Sierra CP not only due to our extensive experience in a turnkey facility build but also our flexible approach which would be required as the project develops. Sierra CP worked closely with the customer to determine the Critical Success Factors. Feedback included excellent noise attenuation, package constraints, ease of use and of equal importance, maintenance accessibility. Concept designs were shared with Northumbria University.
Upon agreement on the general layout the structural design phase commenced, this structure consists of concrete block-built construction with engine test cells at either end with a shared operator room. To capitalize on available space and reduce noise breakout, a poured reinforced concrete roof was utilized. This roof in conjunction with the concrete block construction provides excellent noise attenuating qualities as well as providing a stable structure for placement of the ventilation system as well as the regenerative drives. The project was managed as a CDM (Construction Design Management) project with Sierra CP as the prime contractor.
One of our experienced project managers coordinated the multi-disciplined workforce throughout the build and fit-out phases. The facility is now fully commissioned and dedicated to a Ricardo HYDRA single-cylinder research engine and a second cell for a six-cylinder JCB 165kW diesel max engine. The facility is a reliable and repeatable platform for biofuel development.
Key Performance Features:
- AC Drives and motor technology for transient testing
- Self-sufficient in electrical power requirements during testing
- Future proofed control system
- Four differing fuels piped into each test cell
Sierra CP Services
- Full structural concept and detail design
- Construction Design Management and project control
- Management of civil contractors
- Manufacture and fit-out of test facility hardware
Sierra Equipment Used: