Initial Engine Run and Results Part 1

By Sam Proctor, Smart Solutions Research & Development


We are now moving to testing the data capture board away from the lab. This means finding a suitable machine of some kind and measuring its vibration. Once accomplished we can then plot the results and explore what this means for Equipment Health Management in the context of this R&D Project.

Piston Engine Powered Electrical Generator

Common on many farms, ships and other installations where reliable grid power is either expensive or un-available the generator presents a good machine on which to test the data capture and analysis board.

This particular machine is a converted generator, it was originally a high frequency generator for aircraft. It is now fitted with a 240V generator.

Generator Front View

Generator Front View

Given that the casing is removed we can have full access to the engine as shown below.

Generator Engine

Generator Engine

Finding a suitable spot to mount the vibration sensor is a little difficult since we are not looking to install studs to which we can screw the board onto. In the end we settled on the exhaust manifold which provided enough access to connect up the Arduino board and laptop. The setup is shown in the images below.


Sensor Mounted On Engine

Data Analysis Station

Data Analysis Station

In order to obtain useful data, ran the engine though a number of tests, each with a different running profile. To summarize the running a video of one such engine run is available at the link below.


In order to get a good profile of data the was then taken though another run with a profile description:

  • Startup
  • Shut down
  • Startup and left to settle
  • Cycle through throttle up and down.

After we had terminated this engine run, it was time to look at the data and do some analysis and comparison. The these findings are covered in the next post.


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