Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-01-1446
2010-05-05

Road to Lab to Math: A Student-Designed B20 Power-Split Extended Range Electric Vehicle for the EcoCAR Challenge 2010-01-1446

EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge is a three-year collegiate advanced vehicle technology competition (AVTC) established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM). Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has managed the AVTC series for 20 years.
The competition challenges 17 North American universities to reduce the environmental impact of a captured GM fleet vehicle by minimizing its fuel consumption and reducing emissions while retaining the vehicle's performance, safety and consumer appeal. The competition requires teams to use GM's Global Development Process (GDP) to design a vehicle in a real-world atmosphere. Sponsors of the competition provide teams with the engineering tools and equipment needed to create a realistic vehicle design project. Using these tools the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) team, the EcoEagles, have devised a Power-Split Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) propulsion system.
The team designed around a 25-mile city/highway combined electric range, which would provide a significant benefit for most consumers. The average commuter (50%) drives less than 28 miles per day [ 1 ]. This means that a consumer using the EcoEagles vehicle almost never has to use the diesel engine, resulting in a reduction in total petroleum energy use by 40-50%.
The first year of competition is entirely done virtually, with all testing and analysis being done using software tools, including: PSAT, Matlab and Simulink, NX, and LabVIEW. This allowed the team to design, test, and optimize their powertrain and control system, without any vehicle hardware components. The designs of the teams are currently being implemented in Year Two of the competition, which will ultimately test these “virtual vehicles” against their real-world counterparts. This paper will also address some of the challenges associated with a soft design versus a hard design, including software approximation limitations.

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