Using Torque Transducers on a Test Rig for Powertrains

Sensor Technology Ltd offers wireless rotary torque transducers that form the core of a test rig to design next-generation technologies for powertrains of electric and hybrid vehicles. AVID Technology combines the exclusive expertise in electronics and electric motors used across important powertrain technologies, and it is dependent on the novel torque transducers in the context of an automated strategy for motor characterization.

Measures to Ensure More Sustainable Transport and Safe Air

Urban air quality, climate change, and the increasing cost of energy have turned out to be the main concerns of the 21st century. Since these issues are predominantly caused by energy consumption and exhaust emissions from transport and vehicles, governments around the world have been putting forward certain measures to ensure more sustainable transport and safer air.

In this context, the UK government has introduced the draft clean air policy, together with the announcement that sales of diesel-only and petrol-only vehicles will be banned from 2040. This brings forward the role of electric and hybrid vehicles. In evolutionary terms, these technologies are still in their early years of inception, and this is where AVID Technology has a role to play.

AVID Technology is headquartered in North East England—currently a world-renowned center for automotive development—and is a pioneer in the design and manufacture of electrified powertrain and sophisticated thermal management systems for high-performance and heavy-duty hybrid and electric vehicles. Moreover, its technology enhances the efficiency of traditional internal combustion engines through efficient thermal management, parasitic loss reduction, lubrication, waste heat recovery, and electrified ancillary systems.

Powertrain Optimization Solutions from AVID Technology

The company designs powertrain optimization solutions for an extensive range of hybrid and electric vehicle applications such as heavy-duty trucks and buses, high-performance passenger cars, as well as off-highway machinery and motorsport vehicles. The highly efficient power electronics and electric motor technology from AVID technology offer world-class electrified powertrains and propulsion systems.

AVID Technology has designed and developed a specialized test rig for testing and characterizing the high-performance electric motors employed in hybrid and electric powertrains. The key to the test rig design is Sensor Technology’s novel wireless rotary torque measurement device. When compared to magnetic torque sensors, strain gauges, and optical devices that might be equipped in a traditional dynamometer, these non-contact surface wave acoustic (SAW) transducers provide major benefits when used for motor characterization.

Benefits to AVID’s Test Rig from Sensor Technology’s TorqSense

SAW-based devices from Sensor Technology are highly accurate, robust, and non-contact. TorqSense torque sensors are equipped with two small SAW devices that consist of frequency resonating combs and are made of ceramic piezoelectric material. These are attached to the drive shaft at an angle of 90° to each other. An increase in torque makes the combs to expand or contract proportionally to the applied torque. As a result, the combs function just like strain gauges but measure variations in resonant frequency.

The radio waves emitted by the adjacent RF pickup toward the SAWs are then reflected back. Current torque is identified by observing the change in frequency of the reflected waves. This configuration eliminates the need to supply power to the SAWs, making the sensor wireless and non-contact.

Thanks to these properties, the TorqSense transducers are perfect for use in the stepper-drive test rig.

The TorqSense transducer was chosen as it allowed us to use a fixed pedestal load motor and eliminate frictional losses and parallax errors from the load installation in the measurements. This allows AVID to produce very accurate performance characterisation results compared to a conventional motor dynamometer.

Jordan Taylor, Sales Director, AVID Technology

The sensor has provided more accurate and excellent characterization results,  while it has also allowed AVID to design a simpler test rig.


AVID Technology has reported that the device has delivered a flawless performance in the application and believes that its test rig will play an important role in ensuring more advanced powertrain electrification, in keeping with its vision of a cleaner, greener planet.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Sensor Technology.

For more information on this source, please visit Sensor Technology.


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