A dynamometer, often referred to as a “dyno,” is a device used to measure force, torque, or power. For example, in the automotive industry, dynamometers are commonly used to measure the power output of a vehicle’s engine, transmission, and other driveline components. This device provides essential data that helps in evaluating a vehicle’s performance and ensuring its systems are operating correctly.

Types of Dynamometers

Dynamometers come in various types, each designed for specific applications. The two primary categories are engine dynamometers and chassis dynamometers.

  1. Engine Dynamometer:
    • This type measures power directly from the engine’s output before it reaches the drivetrain. It’s commonly used in engine testing facilities to conduct performance tests and calibrations without the need for a full vehicle setup.
  2. Chassis Dynamometer:
    • Also known as a rolling road, a chassis dynamometer measures the power output at the wheels. This makes it suitable for testing actual road-going vehicles. It’s particularly useful for compliance with emissions standards and performance tuning.

Working Principle

The basic working principle of a dynamometer involves converting mechanical energy into another form of energy (usually heat) that can be measured and quantified. It typically includes mechanisms like hydraulic absorbers or electromagnetic brakes to provide resistance or load against which the engine or vehicle operates.


Beyond the automotive industry, dynamometers are widely used in:

  • Aerospace: Testing aircraft engines and components.
  • Marine: Assessing performance of marine engines and propulsion systems.
  • Industrial: Evaluating the performance of motors, turbines, and other machinery.


Using a dynamometer provides several benefits:

  • Performance Evaluation: It accurately measures aspects like torque and power output, essential for tuning and enhancements.
  • Diagnostic Tool: It helps identify potential issues with the engine or driveline components.
  • Quality Control: Ensures that engines and vehicles meet the required specifications and standards before leaving the factory.

Future and Innovations

The future of dynamometers looks toward integration with more advanced technologies such as real-time data analytics, enhanced simulation capabilities, and better adaptability to various types of machinery and test scenarios. Innovations might also focus on reducing the environmental impact of testing and improving the efficiency of data collection and analysis.

In conclusion, dynamometers play a crucial role in various industries by providing vital data needed for performance testing, regulatory compliance, and engineering research and development. Their ability to accurately measure mechanical outputs makes them indispensable in the continuous effort to enhance machine and vehicle performance.