Design and Construction of a University-Based Hybrid Electric Powertrain Test Cell

With the increased commercialization of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV's), it is important to gain a fundamental understanding of how different motive sources can be combined and used to meet powertrain requirements. It is also necessary to expose the next generation of automotive engineers to the added level of complexity that goes into HEV powertrain design and operation. To this end, Bucknell University has undertaken the construction of a HEV powertrain test cell that is capable of measuring the performance of different control strategies. This paper will describe the design decisions, implementation, and the proof of the design. The first design decision made was the selection of a parallel combination of torques as the most suitable configuration for this test bed. Published sizing equations were utilized, along with a Department of Energy simulation package, to specify the powertrain components. The electrical prime mover is a 30 kW alternating current (AC) induction motor with an industrial flux vector drive and an in-line torque transducer providing accurate control. The auxiliary power unit (APU) is a 42 kW diesel coupled to the drive train via an overrunning clutch, with a toothed belt drive combining its torque with that of the motor's. An existing microprocessor controlled 110 kW DC dynamometer provides the variable load. A computer program and graphical user interface were written to provide supervisory control and data acquisition. This combination of mechanical equipment and power electronics offers a cross-disciplinary opportunity for research and undergraduate education. The hybrid powertrain was designed, constructed, and tested. Current tests indicate that this system will be capable of following a pre-determined drive cycle with sufficient accuracy and repeatability in multiple control modes. With these results, the authors are confident that this facility will serve as an important tool in undergraduate education and research at Bucknell University.


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  • Accession Number: 01768615
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: SAE International
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 2000-01-3106
  • Files: TRIS, SAE
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2021 4:44PM