Free Windmill DAQ Software Speeds Diesel Engine Research

From: Windmill Software
Published: Wed Nov 02 2005

Diesel particulate emissions need to be reduced to produce a cleaner environment. A recent draft package from the EU proposes that such emissions be slashed by 80%. Researcher Edward Winward at Loughborough University is investigating how compression ratio and fuel composition affect engine emissions. To save time and reduce errors he used the free Windmill data acquisition and control software.

To control the research engine and eddy current dynamometer (AG150HS) he uses a Froude Consine Texcel V4. This indicates the current engine speed and torque at its front panel. Until recently these figures had been recorded manually. Due to the long duration of the tests this became laborious and prone to error. Rather than developing an application from scratch to communicate with the controller, he did some research on the subject on the internet and found the free Windmill software.

Using the Windmill software Winward established that he could command the controller to send data packets with the engine speed, torque and configuration settings to the PC's COM port. He could then parse these to extract the required information.

"I found the process of configuring Windmill to do this relatively straightforward and soon had a total of ten separate channels recording the current state of the engine and dynamometer." said Edward Winward, Loughborough University

He then used the Windmill Logger application to automatically collect data for later processing. Windmill stores the data in a text file which can be imported into almost any Windows analysis software including Excel.

Ultimately the researchers plan to fully control the engine and dynamometer via a PC and therefore precisely control a test from beginning to end.

Eventually, the Windmill set-up will be used outside the project for research and teaching purposes in the Loughborough Powertrains Laboratory.

The free Windmill data acquisition software is available from the company's web site at

For more information visit or contact:
Windmill Software Ltd,
PO Box 58,
North District Office,
M8 8QR,
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782
Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190
Company: Windmill Software
Contact Name: Graham Collins
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: +44 161 833 2782

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