THOMAS E. MURPHY ENGINE RESEARCH LAB
University of Minnesota
The Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory is in an existing warehouse building off Como Avenue and 29th Avenue S.E. The lab promotes collaboration between engine experts and industry leaders for research and development. Explosion control, air intake, and exhaust requirements mandate that the test cells be located along an exterior wall and required significant infrastructure. Explosion vent panels provide daylight into the test cells and associated control rooms.
Energy produced by the engines is transferred back to the electrical grid by the engine AC dynamometers. Other energy efficiency strategies include run-around energy recovery in the test cell exhaust system, variable air volume test cell exhaust system, and high U-value exterior wall design to control heat gain and heat loss.
FUEL DELIVERY SYSTEM
Fuel tanks and fuel storage building transfer fuel from 500 gallon tanks to both test cells
TEST CELL SUPPLY VENTILATION
A supply fan located in each cell modulates temperature by controlling the amount of outside air supplied to the cell.
TEST CELL EXHAUST VENTILATION
An exhaust fan located in each cell removes radiated heat
Each Test Cell has an engine exhaust system with a sound attenuating silencer
ENGINE LABORATORY HVAC
Heating and cooling ducts will regulate temperature throughout the engine laboratory. An exhaust fan will exhaust the bottle gas room, the flow bench room, instrument room, kitchen, and toilet room
TEST CELL SCAVENGE EXHAUST
Ceiling and floor level exhaust points remove hazardous vapors/gaseous fuels from the Test Cell to prevent potential fire/explosion/harm and exhausts them outside the building
Highly calibrated, pedigreed gases used for calibration and spanning of sophisticated emission exhaust testing and sampling equipment in Control Room. Gases are piped through 1/4″ stainless tube to prevent contamination of gases
Explosion control is required by code in spaces occupied for purposes involving explosion hazards. Explosion venting is located on the exterior wall and is designed to remain attached to the building when relieving internal pressure. This translucent system also provides daylighting into the Engine Cells and thereby reduces the use of artificial lighting
Five 4’-0” diameter skylights provide daylighting into the engine build area and is a sustainable technique to reduce the use of artificial lighting
COOLING WATER SYSTEM
A cooling tower and pumps will circulate water to cool Test Cell components. System permits use of water cooled by dynamometers and allows discharged water to return to the cooling tower for reuse
Floor drains in the Test Cell will be drained to a flammable waste trap. This waste trap will contain fuel/oils from being drained to sanitary waste. Trapped fuels/oils will then be pumped out and disposed of by specialized companies.
The electrical power generated by the dynamometer will be returned to utility or load banks.
OBSERVATION AND CONTROLS
Windows into the Test Cell allow viewing and monitoring of engine test while control benches inside the Control Room allow operation of engines from the safety of the Control Room.
A foundation block that prevents and isolates vibration and rotational forces from being transferred to the rest of the building.