Updated test cells online in ANAD's turbine engine value stream
James David Estes, an engine technician, removes tubing from the first AGT1500 engine to be checked by Anniston Army Depot's turbine engine value stream's new test cells following testing.

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - A project more than two years in the making came to fruition on July 14 when the first AGT1500 engine, which powers the M1 family of vehicles, rolled out of the new dynamometer test cells in the depot's turbine engine value stream.

The five new test cells, which cost approximately $9 million to build, replaced out-of-date facilities that first came on line in 1983. The old test cells required frequent maintenance, which increased the time required to test engines.

"With these new cells, there will be less maintenance involved on cells, so our production throughput should increase," said Warren Turner, turbine engine value stream manager.

Turner said the two biggest differences between the old and new test cells lie in the updated testing equipment and the noise suppression.

Since the new modular cells were constructed specifically for assessing engines, they are insulated well enough to quell the noise of the running engine, something the old cells lacked.

Each of the five new cells use a water brake absorption dynamometer, which uses water to hold the engine at a stable number of repetitions per minute in order to check the power output of the engine. That power output must be between 1,425 to 1,525 shaft horsepower, according to Turner.

Additional testing on each engine, according to Leroy Steele, engineering technician for the Directorate of Engineering and Quality, ensures each engine is build to performance requirements necessary for proper operation and longevity for the Soldier in the field.

Steele said the test cells are currently set up specifically for the AGT1500, "but they could be modified to work with other turbine engines if the need arose."

Page last updated Thu August 5th, 2010 at 14:14