Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Energy Conversion and Conservation
This research project investigated a novel method of harvesting drag energy in electric automobiles for conversion into supplemental electric power for the vehicles. The main focus of the project was on capturing drag energy in the vehicle’s compartment, where some airflow is needed for cooling purposes but most is wasted as drag. The project entails estimating the potential of mounting a rotating fan blade attached to a generator in the vehicle’s engine compartment, which would spin as the vehicle is in motion and generate extra power for the vehicle’s battery. To evaluate this potential, an anemometer and logger were mounted in the compartment of a Ford C-Max Plug-In Hybrid to estimate how much electrical power could be generated at various speed limits. Data were collected from a sample trip that included local roads and highway travel. From the data collected, an equation was generated to show the correlation between driving speed and power generated. The results showed that the drag-energy-capturing system would generate enough power to increase the vehicle’s battery life by an average of 0.1% at full capacity. We identified multiple areas for improvement including a refined experimentation and measurement process and system designs that can increase the system’s power-generating capability and ultimately reduce emissions from vehicles.
The paper is a result of a yearlong honor’s course. The student and faculty that conducted the research created methods of investigation that enabled them to generate data and analyze it. The methods will be presented as a reference point for future research.
Luthra, A., & Lawrence, T., & Mativo, J. M. (2020, June), Harnessing Drag Energy in Electric Automobiles Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34721
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