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Design and Fabrication of a Planetary Gearset as Part of a Hybrid Powertrain

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.450.1 - 26.450.12



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Paper Authors


Eric Constans Rowan University

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Eric Constans is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. His research interests include engineering education, mechanical design and acoustics and vibration.

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Shivakumar I Ranganathan Rowan University

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Dr. Shivakumar Ranganathan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. He earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was then a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Prior to starting his PhD, he worked as a mechanical engineer at General Electric (GE) Global Research. He has won several awards, including the University Gold Medal during his undergraduate studies, the Hats-Off Award and Management Award for outstanding research contributions at GE, and more recently the certificate of recognition awarded by Shell for for exceptional work in the design, fabrication and testing of the Eco-Stallion prototype vehicle. His research interests span a variety of topics in multiscale computational mechanics, mesoscale heat conduction, engineering education, biomechanics and biomaterials.

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Wei Xue Rowan University

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Dr. Wei Xue is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Shandong University, China, and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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Design and Fabrication of a Planetary Gearset as Part of a Hybrid PowertrainConcept retention between courses is a recurring problem for engineering educators – a problemexacerbated by the disjointed nature of the engineering curriculum. One possible solution to theproblem, a multi-year design/build/test project, is currently being studied by the authors. Theproject discussed in this paper – the design and fabrication of a planetary gearset – is the “heart”of a bench-scale hybrid powertrain completed by our students over the course of five semesters.This is the latest installment in a series of papers discussing the project; see [1-4] for a fulldescription.Most gearsets have a single input and a single output; e.g. the speed reducing gears in a foodprocessor or window opener. Planetary gearsets, in contrast, have two inputs and one output.This makes them very useful where motion from two sources must be integrated, as in a hybridpowertrain where power from an electric motor and an internal combustion engine is combinedto produce the desired speed at the wheels. For this project, mechanical engineering juniors in aMachine Design course were given the task of designing and fabricating a planetary gearset tocombine input from an electric motor (the same for every team, with a speed range of 0-1000rpm) with input from the student-constructed air motor (speed range dependent on theteam’s design) to produce an output speed that can be regulated to 500rpm (by varying the speedof the electric motor).To begin, the students were presented with SolidWorks models of twelve possible planetarygearset configurations. To help the students to visualize the counterintuitive behavior ofplanetary gearsets, three faculty prototypes were constructed, and will be described in the fullpaper. Each student team was given a $20 budget to purchase gears, bearings and otheressentials. An extensive website describing planetary gearsets and their design has beendeveloped by the authors, and is freely available to instructors at other institutions. This websiteand the results of conducting this project on two cohorts will be discussed in the final paper.[1] M. Acosta, K. Bhatia, E. Constans, J. Kadlowec, T. Merrill, H. Zhang, B. Angelone 2014 “Integrating the Curriculum using a Bench-Scale Hybrid Power Train”, SAE 2014 World Congress & Exhibition[2] M. Acosta, K. Bhatia, H. Zhang, J. Kadlowec 2014 “Development and Implementation of a Control Strategy for a Hybrid Power Train System in a Classroom Setting”, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2014[3] E. Constans, J. Kadlowec, H. Zhang and B. Angelone 2012 “Integrating the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Using a Long-Term Green Design Project”, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition – NSF Grantees Poster Session, 2012[4] E. Constans, J. Kadlowec, K. Bhatia, H. Zhang, T. Merrill, B. Angelone 2012 “Integrating the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Using a Long-term Green Design Project Part 1: The Hybrid Powertrain”, ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2012

Constans, E., & Ranganathan, S. I., & Xue, W. (2015, June), Design and Fabrication of a Planetary Gearset as Part of a Hybrid Powertrain Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23788

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