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Control Strategy for a Benchtop Hybrid Powertrain

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.319.1 - 24.319.9



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Paper Authors

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Eric Constans Rowan University

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Mariaeugenia Salas Acosta

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Jennifer Kadlowec Rowan University


Bonnie L. Angelone Rowan University, Department of Psychology

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I am a cognitive psychologist by training. My primary area of interest is people’s inability to detect changes to visual stimuli, a phenomenon known as change blindness. Through this research I can make inferences about the visual attention system. On this current project I assisted in the assessment of students' knowledge.

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Development and Implementation of a Control Strategy for a Hybrid Power Train System in a Classroom SettingThe XXXXX University Mechanical Engineering program is studying the use of a long-term(five semester) design project on student learning and concept retention. The project, a bench-scale hybrid powertrain system, will be designed, analyzed and fabricated by students starting intheir sophomore year and culminating in their final semester as seniors (see prior ASEEpublication “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”). The Hybrid Power Train (HPT) uses an air motorand electric motor as the two motive power sources which engage depending on the drivingconditions. It is a small-scale replica of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) but adapted to aclassroom setting. The air motor is the “prime mover” for the hybrid system and was designedand fabricated by students in their first semester as juniors; this system was described in anearlier ASEE publication[xx].The system is electronically controlled by a microcontroller (Arduino MEGA 2560) in order toachieve a variable transmission. It changes to adapt itself to different driving conditions with theaim of working at its most efficient range of operation. At the same time, a microcontroller-based speed cruise control system was developed and implemented for the system.The hybrid power train was built using sensing, actuating and control instruments. A tachometer(the first module built by the students) is used to read the speed of the motors, and at the sametime a set point is provided by the user. The microcontroller processes the inputs variables andregulates in the case of the electric motor the current using a motor driver; or in the case of theair motor the flow of air by controlling six solenoid valves. The valves are installed to six fittingsinto an aluminum block, each one with different diameter size holes; the air flow variesdepending on the holes size. In consequence, by combining the flow of air through the differentdiameter size holes a range of sixty four different combinations can be obtained.This paper describes the control strategy of the project and provides details for successfullyimplementing the above control system in a classroom setting, and describes our experience indelivering the module to the first group of students. Further details on each module are beingmade available on an interactive website, which is also described in the paper.

Constans, E., & Salas Acosta, M., & Kadlowec, J., & Angelone, B. L. (2014, June), Control Strategy for a Benchtop Hybrid Powertrain Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20210

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