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An Innovative Hybrid Electric Drivetrain Concept And Student Project

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Project-Based Education in Energy Conversion

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.212.1 - 12.212.13



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Paper Authors

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Darris White Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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J. E. McKisson Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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William Barott Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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

An Innovative Hybrid-Electric Drivetrain Concept and Student Project


Over the past three years, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University has developed several new engineering degree programs including Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Developing new programs allows a university the opportunity to address current issues important to society, among those, energy independence and environmental concerns are pervasive topics that can be directly related to the new programs. Through several years of progressively complex design projects, the Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics degree programs have developed and implemented a capstone senior design project related to hybrid electric vehicles.

The design goal of this project was to analyze, design and build a functioning parallel hybrid-electric race car. The car will compete against other similar cars at an event sponsored by SAE International and IEEE, called the SAE Formula Hybrid Competition on May 1st-3rd 2007. This project was selected as a multi-disciplinary project because it has sufficient technical challenges in each of the three degree areas. The notion of the program as targeting a high performance vehicle design (i.e. a race vehicle rather than a passenger vehicle) elevated certain elements of the competition. The primary challenges presented by this design project are:

• High-Power Electronics (electric motors, actuators) • Mechanical system design (suspension, chassis, drivetrain) • Energy storage and management (energy storage device and control) • Digital control systems • Data acquisition • Project management

The majority of the student team members are enrolled in either the senior design capstone project for their respective degree or a newly created minor of study in High Performance Vehicles. A significant number of volunteers also participated in the program, including a number of juniors that are likely to take the project for senior design next year. The implementation of a complex multi-disciplinary senior project was a significant challenge but was a very positive experience for the students and faculty and establishes a precedent for additional cooperative senior projects.


Hybrid electric vehicles have been utilized for most of the past century. Locomotives began using hybrid diesel-electric drive systems as early as the 1920s and these were commonly used by the 1950s. While almost all modern locomotives use hybrid diesel- electric drives, these systems are series hybrids, which differs from the parallel hybrid- electric systems used in modern passenger car applications. Figures 1-3 highlight the different options for hybrid electric vehicles.

White, D., & McKisson, J. E., & Barott, W. (2007, June), An Innovative Hybrid Electric Drivetrain Concept And Student Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1708

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