Penn State hosts first U.S. Horiba conference aimed at emissions

Michael Casper
November 29, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State recently hosted the first U.S. Conference for Combustion Emissions Particulates and Testing (CONCEPT) at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, University Park, sponsored by Horiba Automotive Tests Systems Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The conference, held Sept. 8-9, was the fourth in the International CONCEPT series.

The intent of this conference was to provide a platform for discussing the direction of current research and policy with experts from industry and science. Conference participants discussed the impact of new technology and vehicle emission mandates on the design and validation process, and advanced conversations on a wide variety of testing and regulation challenges.

“This two-day cooperative event builds on a 25-year relationship between Horiba and Penn State,” said Suresh Iyer, a senior research associate at the University’s Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute and Penn State’s point person for this conference.

The conference’s three sessions were designed to address real driving emissions and future trends in measurement technology, integration of testing and simulation, and validation of safety-critical vehicle functions. Attendees also toured the Larson Institute’s vehicle research facilities.

Eric Donnell, Penn State professor of civil engineering and director of the Larson Institute, opened the conference by noting several close parallels between current safety and emissions research at the institute and the aims and topics of the CONCEPT series.

“The measurement of tailpipe emissions collected during real-life driving of a vehicle on the road has become extremely relevant in today’s world,” said Donnell. “Portable emissions measuring systems are increasingly being used for these measurements, and some features of these measuring techniques will be discussed in this conference.

“We know that simulation can reduce prototype development and testing times, but we also know that simulation needs to be integrated with testing at different stages throughout prototype development, to optimize the development process. We have papers on this subject as well in this conference.

“And, finally, safety is always critical in vehicle design. This is particularly true today with the rapid advancement of technology. While a car can drive itself on autopilot, it is vital to ensure not only that the autopilot is error-free, but also that it can account for possible errors from other road users.”

Additional topics covered at the conference included emissions legislation and implications, emission reduction techniques, compliance testing, uncertainties in measurements, hydrogen and methane mixtures, predictive simulation techniques, and an overview of the emission testing facilities at the Larson Institute.

The Larson Institute’s collaboration with Horiba began in the 1990s when the institute’s Bus Research and Testing Center obtained emissions analysis instruments to perform early testing on buses using a mobile exhaust sampling system. In 2004 the institute built the Vehicle Testing Laboratory with the primary intent that it would house a state-of-the-art, chassis-based vehicle emissions system. The centerpiece of the new building was a large-roll chassis dynamometer. Once the building was completed, plans were finalized for the purchase of a full-scale dilution tunnel, constant-volume sampling system, with the capacity to capture the full exhaust flow of a large bus and dilute the raw exhaust for sampling purposes.

“We considered several manufacturers,” said David Klinikowski, director of the center, “and selected Horiba as the supplier for the CVS and exhaust analysis instruments.” The system was commissioned in 2009.

The Bus Research and Testing Center conducts emissions research and analysis for a wide range of heavy-duty vehicles, including transit buses and over-the-road trucks. The center is authorized by the Federal Transit Administration to conduct comparative tests on new model transit bus models before they are made available for purchase by local transit administrations. Undergraduate and graduate students at the center pursue research in tail pipe emissions, powertrain characteristics, and alternate fuels relating to medium and heavy-duty vehicles. Recent student participation has resulted in three SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) publications.

  • Eric Donnell speaking at CONCEPT conference, Nov. 2016

    Eric Donnell, Penn State professor of civil engineering and director of the Larson Institute, opened the first U.S. Conference for Combustion Emissions Particulates and Testing, held at Penn State in September.

    IMAGE: Michael Casper / Larson Institute
  • Suresh Iyer, vehicle emissions research at Penn State Larson Transportation Institute

    Suresh Iyer, senior research associate at Penn State’s Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, monitors data during vehicle emissions research.

    IMAGE: Michael Casper / Larson Institute
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Last Updated December 01, 2016