Asee peer logo

Educational Tool Development of an Electric Drivetrain Bench Unit

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

ELOS Best Paper Nominations

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.526.1 - 22.526.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Gene Liao Wayne State University

visit author page

Y. Gene Liao received the B.S.M.E. from National Central University, Taiwan, Mechanical Engineer from Columbia University, and Doctor of Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently an Associate Professor at Wayne State University. He has over 15 years of industrial practices in the automotive sector prior to becoming a faculty member. Dr. Liao has research and teaching interests in the areas of multi-body dynamics, hybrid vehicle powertrain, and CAE applications in products development and manufacturing.

visit author page

author page

D. Fu Wayne State University

Download Paper |


Title of the Paper: Educational Tool Development of an Electric Drivetrain Bench UnitAbstractWorld competition and stringent United States fuel economy goals and emission regulations forthe 21st Century vehicle have pressured the automotive industry to design and evaluate advancedautomobiles at an accelerated rate. The industry consensus is that the vehicle electrification is thecurrently available technology for increasing propulsion system efficiency and decreasingpollutant emissions. The vehicle electrification involves electric drivetrain and electricallypowered automotive subsystems that are at the heart of Electric Vehicle (EV) and HybridElectric Vehicle (HEV). However, the electric drivetrain operates much differently thanconventional vehicle powertrain. Therefore, existing design and maintenance techniques andguidelines developed for conventional powertrains do not apply well to electric drive vehicles.There is a need for training automotive engineers and technicians as well as educating students inthis new and emergent technology of electric drivetrains.Recently, several universities and colleges have developed courses and degree programs fortraining students and automotive technicians in electric drive vehicle technology. However, nointegrated electric drivetrain laboratory has yet been established for educational purposes. Thetremendous capital investment, tedious and time-consuming tasks required to establish a fullyfunction of electric drivetrain laboratory are convincing evidence that the colleges and secondaryschools are in need of a low-cost, industrial-functionality electric drivetrain lab. The motivationof this project is to develop an interactive, industrial-component-based bench unit for twodifferent configurations of electric drivetrains (battery-electric and series-hybrid). The developedbench unit is capable of simulating, illustrating and displaying (on the digital screens) themultiple energy flows in the electric drive vehicle based on its configuration and drivingconditions. The integrated unit serves as a hands-on experience workstation for multidisciplinestudents enrolled in the electric drive vehicle technology courses. The developed bench unit notonly enhances the vehicle electrification training and education, but also inspires students’interest in the green movement of transportation.Figure 1 shows the schematic diagram and picture of the battery-electric/series-hybridpowertrain system that was implemented. It is a state-of-the-art 5 kW combination of battery-electric and series-hybrid vehicle demonstration unit. A three-phase AC generator is operated byan engine in the system. A battery controller (or a battery management system) is applied tomanage the charging and discharging process of the battery pack. A DC motor controller drivesthe motor to achieve the desired torque-speed characteristic curve. The motor shaft connects to atire contacting with a rotating drum. The load applied to the tire from the drum simulates theroad load. 1 Switch Tire Clutch 3 phases Uncontrolled DC motor DC Engine generator rectifier controller motor Road load Battery controller SOC signal to turn On/Off the engine 12 V DC/DC accessory converter load Battery 48 VFigure 1. Schematic diagram and picture of the developed battery-electric/series-hybrid powertrain system 2

Liao, G., & Fu, D. (2011, June), Educational Tool Development of an Electric Drivetrain Bench Unit Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17807

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015