Completion of Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Technology Laboratory

Project Title: Completion of Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Technology Laboratory

Project Lead: Mark Scott


Phone: (513) 529-0745

Affiliation: CEC

Other Team Member Names: Donald Ucci,

Project Details: Transportation is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas production. In 2013, it accounted for 27 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions produce in the U.S. [1]. To reduce the carbon footprint created by fossil fuel based transportation, research is being performed worldwide in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and electric vehicle (EV) technology. Miami University students wishing to pursue a career path in this area are at a disadvantage when compared to students at other leading institutions due to a lack of sufficient curricula. Realizing this issue, Professor Donald R. Ucci of the ECE Department, sought and received a 2015 Tech Fee Award to establish a new course to be titled Electric Vehicle Technology (EVT). The funding was used to develop a rigorous laboratory component to provide Miami students with sufficient experiential learning. Since joining the ECE Department in August 2015, I have worked closely with Prof. Ucci to realize his vision. This proposal seeks support to purchase all remaining equipment to furnish the laboratory with the necessary apparatus to ensure that the course is offered in 2017. The previous project, supported by a 2015 Tech Fee Award to Prof. Ucci, provided $23,294 to purchase a portion of the equipment needed for the laboratory. This included three motors, their corresponding electric controls and power converters, batteries, and associated wiring. One motor drive setup is used to emulate the powertrain in an EV and the other two emulate a HEV drivetrain (one for the gasoline engine and one for the electric engine). Please note: to accommodate the maximum number of students, this equipment is used simultaneously by two separate experimenting groups. The test setup is incomplete and it requires additional equipment before the EVT course can be offered. Most importantly, it is missing three dynometers needed to simulate the physical inertia of the automobile and are used to emulate road terrain and simulate regenerative braking, which is where the car recharges the batteries when it slows down. The motivation for this proposal is to acquire the remaining financial support to purchase all of the outstanding items necessary to complete the installation of laboratory equipment for a successful launch of the course in 2017. A detailed list of the remaining equipment is contained in the spreadsheet attached to this document. To summarize, we are asking for an additional $25,329.21 to purchase the following: three dynometers [vendor: Minarik]; three mechanical fixtures to securely mount the motors (needed for safe operation of the equipment and to protect the students, staff, and faculty using the equipment from injury) and dynometer mounting tables [vendor: Vere, INC]; two computers [vendor: In-house]; two test benches [vendor: Bench Pro]; measurement equipment [vendor: Newark]; modifications to electrical wiring in EGB 275 [vendor: TBD]; polycarbonate safety enclosures for the motors and attached dynometers [vendor: In-house]; and finances for setup by the technician. It should be mentioned that over $43,000 in funding external to the previous grant has been obtained in the last six months. This includes gift-in-kind support from Texas Instruments, software acquisitions from a capital equipment grant, funding from the ECE Department for building enhancements, and monies from my own start-up account. These are outlined in the gifts-in-kind support tab in the attached spreadsheet. Additionally, we are working closely with colleagues at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), in Chicago, IL, which has a world-renowned program in electrical power and energy. IIT already has a similar EVT course that was offered for the first time in Spring 2014. It will also be offered again this summer and is open to Miami University students should they decide to enroll in it. Moreover, IIT is submitting a proposal for an NSF grant to fund education in this area (IIT's ECE Department has already received an initial grant for this work). The new proposal will enlist the help of five other universities across the nation dedicated and devoted to the development, establishment, and success of curriculum in the area of electrified transportation. The Principal Investigator at IIT has designated Miami University as one of the partners to be a major player in the next generation grant working with Prof. Ucci and myself. With their collaborative support and the remaining funding acquired, the EVT course will be offered in 2017. [1] United State Environmental Protection Agency, "Sources of greenhouse gas emissions." Internet: Revised: 2/23/1016.

Problem Project Attempts to Solve: Hybrid electric vehicle and electric vehicle technology is crucial for reducing the human population's carbon footprint. In fact, "Ford considers powertrain electrification to be one of the core strategies for (their) product lines to achieve government mandated requirements on fuel efficiency around the world, including the U.S. (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) CAFE target of 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025 [2]." Moreover, "Toyota Motor Corporation currently regards hybrid (electric) vehicles as the most practical and effective means of improving fuel efficiency," and they estimated "in 2010 that (hybrid vehicle) sales helped to reduce CO2 emission by approximately 5 million tons/year [3]." Our students, who want to pursue a career in this area, will face stiff competition and great difficulties (either or both) competing for these job opportunities or enrolling at Ph. D. granting institutions due to a lack of coverage of HEV and EV technology in Miami's current engineering curriculum. Currently, there exists no comprehensive means for undergraduate and graduate students to gain exposure to the field of electrified transportation. This proposal ensures the establishment of a course to provide our students with said opportunity. The EVT course contains the technical aspects for developing the equipment used in EVs and HEVs, and the laboratory will provide students with a practical facility to learn the intricacies of real world problems associated with the technology. This will be accomplished not only through in house technical acumen but also with on going support from IIT. Additionally, I will seek support from my colleagues at The Ohio State University, Oregon State University, and Ford Motor Company. [2] M. Su, et al., "Performance and Cost Considerations for SiC-based HEV Traction Inverter Systems", in IEEE 3rd Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA), 2015, Blacksburg, VA, Nov. 2-4, 2015, pp. 347-350. [3] K. Hamada, et al., "SiC - Emerging Power Device Tachnology for Next-Generation Electrically Powered Environmentally Friendly Vehicles." in IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 278-285, Feb. 2015.

Does this project focus on Graduate Studies?: No

Does it meet tech fee criteria?: The students would benefit by performing hands on experiments in the field of electrified transportation. In this way, they would be able to understand the intricacies in implementing actual systems that they do not and cannot currently receive in their education. The practical aspects of the "hands-on" experiments and projects augment their abilities in this important and significant area of technology and enhance their opportunities for employment.

How will you assess the project?: Several metrics will be used for assessment. First and foremost, student enrollment and course evaluations will be used to measure the relevance of the coursework towards their future career goals. Second, the laboratory will have a project component and the students will be required to provide a deliverable product. One such example includes programming a microcontroller to realize closed loop control of a motor drive system. These products will be presented at various undergraduate and graduate project display events (such as Engineering Week) and competitions at Miami like the one held annually by CEC Student Advisory Council in April or by others sometimes held by the ECE department. Feedback from these events in the form of rating sheets will serve as another metric for the course curriculum. In addition, we will showcase the projects at the CEC/ECE Annual Advisory Council Meeting in the fall and the Annual Joint CSE/ECE Alumni Conference held each spring during, during which highly technically qualified individuals from institutions (universities, companies, government laboratories) visit our department and college to view and comment on our students' work. Moreover, student groups with particularly strong demonstrations will be encouraged to present their work at IEEE's Cincinnati Chapter meetings and publish any finding to relevant conferences. They will also be used as recruiting tools during campus visits such as Make-It-Miami.

Have you received tech fee funding in the past?: No

What results were achieved?: No, I have not. However, Prof. Ucci has applied for funding to support the development of this course as was already mentioned. Prof. Ucci's Tech Fee award from last year allowed for the initial purchase of a portion of the key components needed for the laboratory. (The final report has not been submitted because this equipment has not yet arrived nor been installed; it is scheduled to arrive on March 5th after which Prof. Ucci will file a report.)

Did you submit a final report?: No

What happens to this project in year two?: The laboratory will be offered once per year in conjunction with the theoretical classroom component. The complete purchase constitutes the necessary equipment to offer this course for the foreseeable future. The total acquisitions include the equipment from the previous TECH FEE Award, this current proposed project, and over $43,000 of external support comprised of (see Excel spreadsheet): * software, PSIM, purchased via a Capital Equipment requisition; * hardware and software donated from Texas Instruments; * upgrades to the electrical capabilities of EGB 275 via the ECE department's expense; * hardware purchased (e.g., high voltage power supply, Toyota Prius motordrives) with my start-up expenses. The course, as designed, is set to accommodate approximately eight students per laboratory section. A group of four students will work on the HEV test setup, and another group of four students will work on the EV test setup, simultaneously. The current plan is to have two laboratories per course offering, accommodating up to 16 students per offering. More sections may be needed to satisfy increased demand in the future but no more equipment is needed to meet the learning outcomes of this course. In subsequent years, more equipment may be purchased to handle higher enrollment but the funding for those needs will be addressed at that time.

Hardware: Dynometer - Minarik; Tables - Bench Pro, Mounting Fixtures - VERE; Measurement Equipment - Newark (Typical); Computers - DELL, $18,829.20

Contracts: Need electricians to install (qty 3) 20 A - 208 VAC electrical circuits in EGB 275; Safety shields to be fabricated by MU facilities; Travel and lodging for external installer, $6,500

Total Budget: $25,329.20