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A Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle Simulation Program To Enhance Understanding Of Engineering Fundamentals

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Novel Energy Applications in Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.50.1 - 13.50.16



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Paper Authors


Mark Schumack University of Detroit Mercy

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Mark Schumack is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches courses in heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and energy systems. His ongoing pedagogical interests include developing ways to teach energy conservation and sustainability principles. He has held several leadership positions in the Energy Conversion and Conservation Division of ASEE. His research interests include thermal/fluid modeling using computational techniques, with applications in the automotive, manufacturing, and energy fields. Dr. Schumack earned his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Mohammad Elahinia University of Toledo

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Mohammad H. Elahinia is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Toledo, where he also serves as the Co-Director for the Dynamic and Smart Systems Laboratory. His main research interest is application of smart materials. Currently he is investigating smart material applications for alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.

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Christopher Schroeder University of Toledo

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Christopher C. Schroeder is a graduate mechanical engineering student at The University of Toledo. He is working with Dr. Mohammad Elahinia on a project to develop "Multipurpose Educational Modules to Teach Hybrid Vehicle Technologies". Specifically Christopher says I am "working with colleagues to make hydraulic hybrid vehicles more suitable for commercialization…. I am excited and thrilled to be part of a university and a project which have the potential to make big changes in the automotive industry."

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Walter Olson University of Toledo

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Walter Olson is a professor of Mechanical Engineering specializing in dynamics in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Toledo. His research on Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles is sponsored by the US EPA as well as MIOH UTC.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle Simulation Program to Enhance Understanding of Engineering Fundamentals Introduction

Fueled by the interest in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, the hybrid vehicle market has seen significant growth over the last few years. Most passenger car hybrids have been electric/internal combustion engine models, but other hybrid technologies using hydraulic pump/motors, flywheels, and ultracapacitors are also in various stages of development. One advantage of the hydraulic over the electric hybrid is the high power density associated with recharge and discharge of the accumulators compared to the more limited power density of batteries. This advantage is particularly pronounced for heavy vehicles such as delivery trucks that require high braking power and undergo frequent starts and stops.

The hydraulic hybrid is an excellent context for teaching the fundamentals of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and vehicle dynamics. A MATLAB/Simulink program has been written to simulate hydraulic hybrid and conventional vehicle performance. Students can input parameters such as vehicle drive schedule, mass, tire size, accumulator volume, pump/motor displacement, and drag coefficients to see the effects on fuel economy, power distribution, and recovered braking energy. The audience for the current work includes students enrolled in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics courses. This paper will elaborate on the objectives of the project, describe model details, present student exercises classified according to level and course, and provide an assessment of how effective the simulation tool and associated assignments were in improving student learning.

Project objectives and outcomes

The project entails the development of learning materials to achieve the following objectives:

1) demonstrate how hydraulic hybrids can improve fuel economy

2) promote understanding of the thermodynamic principles behind accumulator design and IC engine performance

3) highlight the fundamental relationships governing vehicle dynamics

4) promote understanding of the fluid mechanics associated with hydraulic pump/motor units and associated piping

5) enhance the ability to critically evaluate the outputs and understand the limitations of a computer simulation

6) provide experience with the use of MATLAB/Simulink as an engineering tool

In order to meet these objectives, topical exercises were developed. To date, two exercises have been delivered to students in the classes of Thermodynamics I and Fluid Mechanics. Students in

Schumack, M., & Elahinia, M., & Schroeder, C., & Olson, W. (2008, June), A Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle Simulation Program To Enhance Understanding Of Engineering Fundamentals Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3666

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