Lab Description

The Off-Highway Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer Laboratory (Dyno Lab) offers capabilities for developmental vehicle testing and research.  The lab is located between Ames and Boone, Iowa just south of US-30 at the BioCentury Research Farm.   The Dyno lab is administered by Iowa State University’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ISU ABE) and was built with generous support from Danfoss.

The state-of-the-art dynamometer will enable controlled, dynamic testing of complete off-highway vehicles. The facility is designed to test vehicles up to 450 kW (600 Hp) per corner at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50 mph), and offers independent monitoring and loading of the traction system at each vehicle corner. The chassis dynamometer will be one of the few public facilities capable of testing large construction and farm machinery.

Benefits to industry

The Dyno Lab has capability to offer testing and research to industry partners who have needs throughout the vehicle life cycle.  Some benefits include:

  • Evaluation of vehicle performance and energy efficiency of off-highway vehicles under controlled test conditions
  • Investigating interactions between vehicle components and control systems
  • Total vehicle performance, under both dynamic and steady state loads
  • Collection of accurate, precise, repeatable data for complete machines difficult to obtain in outdoor environments
  • Teaching environment for developing a talent pipeline of off-highway vehicle testing expertise.

Possible tests

The Dyno lab equipment was designed with flexibility in mind to support a wide range of test goals and scenarios including:

  • Fuel-to-wheel energy efficiency
  • Drawbar power test
  • High speed test
  • Dynamic braking test
  • Simulation of uphill/downhill driving and braking
  • Hill cresting test
  • Startup torque test

Dyno Lab capabilities

The Dyno Lab capabilities are centered about the four corner vehicle chassis dyno design to test the propulsion systems of a wide-range of vehicles.  The chassis dyno accommodates vehicles with either tires or rubber tracks using four independently controlled regenerative AC dynamometers. These dynamometers can both absorb power from vehicles putting that energy back onto the electrical grid or motor the vehicle by putting energy back into the vehicle system through the wheels.

The lab also includes a PTO dynamometer which will absorb power from the PTO connection at the rear of tractors.   Lab has capability to simultaneous load the a vehicle through the PTO dynamometer and the chassis dynamometer.  A hydraulic dynamometer is also available for loading the vehicle hydraulic system.

A vehicle emissions measurement system is available for measuring common vehicle emission gases.   

Flexible for a wide range of vehicles

The system will accommodate a wide range of vehicle platforms and sizes including the following among others:

  • Skid-steer loaders
  • Compact-utility tractors
  • Row-crop tractors
  • Four wheel drive tractors
  • Quad-track tractors
  • Two-track tractors
  • Sprayers
  • Combines
  • Front end loaders
  • Autonomous vehicle platforms

Commissioning of the facility is taking place in early fall of 2022 with availability for commercial testing soon afterwards. For more information, please email or telephone Lab Manager, Ario Kordestani at 507-841-8185.

Iowa State University gratefully acknowledges Danfoss Power Solutions for their donation to make this facility possible.

The Off-Highway Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer Laboratory is administered by the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering which is a part of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering at Iowa State University.

Iowa State University gratefully acknowledges Danfoss Power Solutions for their donation to make this facility possible.