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Technical Paper

The Development of a Fourth Generation Hybrid Electric Vehicle at West Virginia University

As a part of the FutureTruck 2000 advanced technology student vehicle competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy and General Motors, West Virginia University has converted a full-size sport utility vehicle into a high fuel efficiency, low emissions vehicle. The environmental impact of the Chevrolet Suburban SUV, in terms of both greenhouse gas emissions and exhaust emissions, was reduced through hybridization without losing any of the functionality and utility of the base vehicle. The approach taken was one of using a high efficiency, state-of-the-art direct injection, turbocharged diesel engine coupled to a high output electric traction motor for power assist and to recover regenerative braking energy. The vehicle employs a state-of-the-art combination lean NOx catalyst, oxidation catalyst and particulate filter to ensure low exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Braking of a 2015 LMP1-H Racing Car

Regenerative braking coupled to small high power density engines are becoming more and more popular in motorsport applications delivering improved performances while increasing similarities and synergies in between road and track applications. Computer aided engineering (CAE) tools integrated with the telemetry data of the car are an important component of the product development. This paper presents the CAE model developed to describe the race track operation of a LMP1-H racing car covering one lap of the Le Mans circuit. The friction and regenerative braking is discussed.
Technical Paper

Study on the Use of Springs in a Dual Free Piston Engine Alternator

The free piston engine combined with a linear electric alternator has the potential to be a highly efficient converter from fossil fuel energy to electrical power. With only a single major moving part (the translating rod), mechanical friction is reduced compared to conventional crankshaft technology. Instead of crankshaft linkages, the motion of the translator is driven by the force balance between the engine cylinder, alternator, damping losses, and springs. Focusing primarily on mechanical springs, this paper explores the use of springs to increase engine speed and reduce cyclic variability. A numeric model has been constructed in MATLAB®/Simulink to represent the various subsystems, including the engine, alternator, and springs. Within the simulation is a controller that forces the engine to operate at a constant compression ratio by affecting the alternator load.
Technical Paper

E-KERS Energy Management Crucial to Improved Fuel Economy

The operation of a conventional passenger car is characterised by increasing or maintaining the kinetic energy, when accelerating or cruising the vehicle, and reducing the kinetic energy by using the brakes. While the energy taken by the friction brakes to slow the vehicle is dissipated into heat, the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) has permitted the recovery of part of the braking energy. This reduces the amount of energy needed from the internal combustion engine (ICE). The contribution reviews the latest developments in electric KERS (E-KERS), with emphasis to round trip efficiency wheels to wheels and electrification of the powertrain. The contribution considers the opportunity to connect the E-KERS traction battery to other electric machines, such as an electrically assisted turbocharger (E-TC) connected to a motor/generator unit, or an electric water pump (EWP), to further optimise the vehicle operation.
Technical Paper

Speed and Power Regressions for Quality Control of Heavy Duty Vehicle Chassis Dynamometer Research

When performing a transient test on a heavy-duty engine as outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), defined regression values of engine speed, torque and power must meet specific tolerances for the test to be considered valid. Regression of actual engine feedback data against target points from a schedule defined from an engine map is performed using the method of least squares to determine the slope, intercept, coefficient of regression and standard error of the estimate. To minimize the biasing effects of time lag between actual and schedule data, shifting of the data in the time domain prior to analysis and certain point deletions are permitted. There are presently no regression criteria available for heavy duty chassis testing. This leaves facilities performing these chassis tests with no suitable guidelines to validate individual tests. This study applies the regression analysis used in engine testing to chassis testing and examines the difficulties encountered.
Technical Paper

Celebrating the Exclaim!

West Virginia University redesigned a 2002 Ford Explorer and created a diesel electric hybrid vehicle to satisfy the goals of the 2002 FutureTruck competition. These goals were to demonstrate a 25% improvement in fuel economy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to achieve California ULEV emissions, to demonstrate 1/8-mile acceleration of 11.5 seconds or less, and to maintain vehicular comforts and performance. West Virginia University's 2002 hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Exclaim!, meets or exceeds these goals. Using a post-transmission parallel configuration, WVU integrated a 2.5L Detroit Diesel Corporation engine along with a Unique Mobility 75kW electric motor to replace the stock drivetrain. With an emphasis on maintaining performance, WVU strived to improve areas where SUVs have traditionally performed poorly: fuel economy and emissions. Using regenerative braking, fuel economy has been significantly improved.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Energy Pathways and Gas Exchange of a Small Port Injection SI Two-Stroke Natural Gas Engine Operating on Different Exhaust Configurations

This paper examines the energy pathways of a 29cc air-cooled two-stroke engine operating on natural gas with different exhaust geometries. The engine was operated at wide-open-throttle at a constant speed of 5400 RPM with ignition adjusted to yield maximum brake torque while the fueling was adjusted to examine both rich and lean combustion. The exhaust configurations examined included an off-the-shelf (OTS) model and two other custom models designed on Helmholtz resonance theory. The custom designs included both single and multi-cone features. Out of the three exhaust systems tested, the model with maximum trapping efficiency showed a higher overall efficiency due to lower fuel short-circuiting and heat transfer. The heat transfer rate was shown to be 10% lower on the new designs relative to OTS model.
Journal Article

Resonance of a Spring Opposed Free Piston Engine Device

Recent free piston engine research reported in the literature has included development efforts for single and dual cylinder devices through both simulation and prototype operation. A single cylinder, spring opposed, oscillating linear engine and alternator (OLEA) is a suitable architecture for application as a steady state generator. Such a device could be tuned and optimized for peak efficiency and nominal power at unthrottled operation. One of the significant challenges facing researchers is startup of the engine. It could be achieved by operating the alternator in a motoring mode according to the natural system resonant frequency, effectively bouncing the translator between the spring and cylinder, increasing stroke until sufficient compression is reached to allow introduction of fuel and initiation of combustion. To study the natural resonance of the OLEA, a numeric model has been built to simulate multiple cycles of operation.
Journal Article

Fundamental Analysis of Spring-Varied, Free Piston, Otto Engine Device

Conventional crank-based engines are limited by mechanical, thermal, and combustion inefficiencies. The free piston of a linear engine generator reduces frictional losses by avoiding the rotational motion and crankshaft linkages. Instead, electrical power is generated by the oscillation of a translator through a linear stator. Because the free piston is not geometrically constrained, dead center positions are not specifically known. This results in a struggle against adverse events like misfire, stall, over-fueling, or rapid load changes. It is the belief that incorporating springs will have the dual benefit of increasing frequency and providing a restoring force to aid in greater cycle to cycle stability. For dual free piston linear engines the addition of springs has not been fully explored, despite growing interest and literature.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Windage and Vibrational Losses in Flexure Springs of a One kW Two-Stroke Free Piston Linear Engine Alternator

Methods to quantify the energy losses within linear motion devices incorporating flexural springs as the main suspension component has been investigated. The methods were applied to a two-stroke free-piston linear engine alternator (LEA) as a case study that incorporated flexure springs to add stiffness to the mass-spring system. Use of flexure springs is an enabling mechanism for improving the efficiency and lifespan in linear applications e.g. linear engines and generators, cryocoolers, and Stirling engines. The energy loss due to vibrations and windage effects of flexure springs in a free piston LEA was investigated to quantify possible energy losses. A transient finite element solver was used to determine the effects of higher modes of vibration frequencies of the flexure arms at an operational frequency of 65 Hz. Also, a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) solver was used to determine the effects of drag force on the moving surfaces of flexures at high frequencies.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity Analysis and Control Methodology for Linear Engine Alternator

Linear engine alternator (LEA) design optimization traditionally has been difficult because each independent variable alters the motion with respect to time, and therefore alters the engine and alternator response to other governing variables. An analogy is drawn to a conventional engine with a very light flywheel, where the rotational speed effectively is not constant. However, when springs are used in conjunction with an LEA, the motion becomes more consistent and more sinusoidal with increasing spring stiffness. This avoids some attractive features, such as variable compression ratio HCCI operation, but aids in reducing cycle-to-cycle variation for conventional combustion modes. To understand the cycle-to-cycle variations, we have developed a comprehensive model of an LEA with a 1kW target power in MATLAB®/Simulink, and an LEA corresponding to that model has been operated in the laboratory.