The same water brakes featured on our complete DYNOmite dynamometers, but available as separate components - for customers building their own systems. These toroidal-flow absorbers offer an affordable way to build your own, state-of-the-art, industrial-duty dynamometer.
MAX – How Water Brakes Work - Animated look at how water-brake absorbers create load (MAX narrated).DYNOmite Water-Brake Absorbers are the first choice when low cost, low inertia, high rpm limits, and race engine horsepower capacity are all requirements. These have been the favorite of professional automotive engine builders for decades. Water brakes are similar to centrifugal water pumps. They typically have one or more vaned rotors spinning in between pocketed stator housings. Load is controlled by varying the volume of water recirculating within the brake with adjustable inlet and/or outlet valves and orifices. Raising this water level increases the rotational drag of the pump's rotor, applying more resistance to the engine turning it. Interestingly the water brake is, by design, a very inefficient pump. It uses up your engine's horsepower output by making "instant hot water"! Since the discharged hot water is clean, it can often be allowed to just run off, or air cooled and recirculated.
Power capacity versus size of water brakes is impressive. An 8 pound water brake can handles over 65 continuous Hp at 12,000 rpm! By comparison a 300 pound air-cooled eddy-current absorber with the same continuous power rating is only good to 7,000 rpm. It is no wonder that water brakes are virtually the only choice for testing 2,000+ horsepower drag car engines. Modern water brakes (like the one pictured at left) boast low enough weight and inertia that they can be directly mounted on the kart engine's output shaft. Direct mounting eliminates the inertia and parasitic drag of driveshafts, u-joints, pillow block bearing, etc.
Manual or automatic control options allow RPM and load adjustment via either an operator twisting a valve knob or a computer with an electronic PID servo. While manual-valve control is not as quick or precise as the electronic option, it is an inexpensive place to start - and is easy to upgrade and needs or budgets allow. We even offer do-it-yourself plans to help you build everything from the test stand to a whole dyanmometer cell.
Custom hybrid configurations can can also be designed using a combination of both an electronic, typically AC, absorber (for fast torque control) and a large water brake (for inexpensively adding very-high test power capacity). Control of the pair is handled via DYNO-MAX “Pro.” While their complexity is typically only justified for some sophisticated high-output applications, hybrids make it possible to cost effectively build lower inertia and faster response dynamometers, (with motoring capabilities) than can be had using any single braking technology alone.
High speed spindle bearings and matching grease seals are targeted to testing high-RPM performance engines. Our absorbers feature Zerk grease fittings for easier maintenance, and we even offer an auto-lube kit for extended duration testing. Most replacement bearings and their seals are available locally, and they are engineered for convenient field replacement. These features are combined into a design which minimizes the number of moving wear parts, rendering expensive downtime a non-issue.
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