Using Slip Rings and Electronics to Make Temperature Measurements

Last week, we wrote about using Michigan Scientific slip ring assemblies to make torque measurements on various equipment, such as car engines. Another crucial component of having a safe and reliable engine, is being assured that the engine operates within the proper temperature range. The versatile end of shaft slip ring assemblies are a great tool for these types of tests.

Engine Dyno Testing

The image above shows a typical application, using a Michigan Scientific slip ring assembly. The assembly is mounted on an engine dynamometer and thermocouple wires are routed from the crankshaft to the slip ring. As the dyno operates, the slip ring is able to transfer the signal from the rotating thermocouple sensors. These sensors may be used to measure bearing temperature while the engine is under high stress, in order to monitor whether the bearings overheat. This could cause a catastrophic failure if the bearings were to overheat. Using a dyno is a great example of how slip ring assemblies are commonly used in laboratory tests.

A/C Compressor Testing

Another common use for the end of shaft slip ring, is making rotating temperature measurements in an air conditioning compressor, as seen in the picture above. Most modern vehicles are outfitted with air conditioning. An A/C compressor is used to compress the refrigerant in the refrigeration system. The compressor is often coupled into the car’s engine. Whenever the air conditioning in a car is turned on, the engine experiences an increase in load.

Adding thermocouples to the compressor and routing the wires to the slip ring, allows for rotating temperature measurements while the engine is in operation. Again, a slip ring can be used to take measurements on a dyno, or it can be used while the car is under normal operation. The slip ring is connected directly to the thermocouple wires, or the wires can be first passed through an amplifier. Michigan Scientific has many options for amplifying thermocouple signals and passing them directly to the slip ring.

Michigan Scientific slip ring assemblies are a common, reliable way to make rotating thermocouple measurements in engine testing. The S-Series and SR-Series slip ring assemblies have many options for number of channels, while the Short S-Series are a great option in applications where space is limited. They are simple to install and easy to use, with no maintenance needed. Contact a Michigan Scientific representative today to start discussing your temperature measurement application.