Optimization for Plug-In Vehicles - Waste Heat Recovery from the Electric Traction Motor
The Wayne State University (WSU) EcoCAR2 student team is investigating powertrain optimizations as a part of their participation in the EcoCAR2 design competition for the conversion of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu into a plug-in hybrid. EcoCAR2 is the current three-year Department of Energy (DoE) Advanced Vehicle Technical Competition (AVTC) for 15 select university student teams competing on designing, building, and then optimizing their Plug-In Hybrid conversions of GM donated vehicles. WSU's powertrain design provides for approximately 56-64 km (35-40 miles) of electric driving before the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) powertrain is needed. When the ICE is started, the ICE traditionally goes through a cold start with the engine, transmission, and final drive all at ambient temperature. The ICE powertrain components are most efficient when warmed up to their normal operating temperature, typically around 90-100 °C.