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Conversion of a Prime Mover: One-third Scale Model-T from Gasoline to Electric Power

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


John M. Mativo University of Georgia

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Dr. John Mativo is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia. His research interest lies in two fields. The first is research focusing on best and effective ways to teaching and learning in STEM K-16. He is currently researching on best practices in learning Dynamics, a sophomore engineering core course. The second research focus of Dr. Mativo is energy harvesting in particular the design and use of flexible thermoelectric generators. His investigation is both for the high-tech and low tech applications. In addition to teaching courses such as energy systems, mechanics, mechatronics, and production, he investigates best ways to expand cutting edge technologies to the workforce.

Daniel Plant is a senior in Mechanical Engineering graduating in May 2019

Daniel Wallon is a senior in Mechanical Engineering graduating in May 2019

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Daniel Plant University of Georgia

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Daniel Ethan Wallon University of Georgia

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The ultimate objective of any academic program is for students to gain the ability to transfer classroom learning to practice, for which they will be required to construct and apply knowledge towards problem solving. Students gain skills and disciplinary habits of thought through the practice of doing things in a discipline. Challenges experienced become some of the best learning moments. In a challenge given to students to convert a gasoline powered one-third scale model T vehicle to an electric powered vehicle without reduction in its prime moving capabilities was posed as a special project. Students studied the list of requirements and undertook the prime mover conversion. Among the requirements were vehicle safety, performance, and cost. In additional to the technical challenge, environmental responsibility seemed to be a motivation to as well.

The conversion process was expected to be completed in one semester, but it ended up taking three semesters. This paper provides the motivation to undertaking the problem, problems incurred in both technical and logistical settings, and the resilience of all parties to ensure a satisfactory completion.

Mativo, J. M., & Plant, D., & Wallon, D. E. (2019, June), Conversion of a Prime Mover: One-third Scale Model-T from Gasoline to Electric Power Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32549

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