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Human-powered Energy-efficient Vehicle Design

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Innovative Energy Projects

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.704.1 - 25.704.11



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Paper Authors


Alamgir A. Choudhury Western Michigan University

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Alamgir A. Choudhury is an Associate Professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from BUET (Dhaka), and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from NMSU (Las Cruces). His interest includes computer applications in curriculum, mechanics, MCAE, instrumentation and control, and fluid power. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio and affiliated with ASME, ASEE, SME, and TAP.

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Jorge Rodriguez P.E. Western Michigan University


Jian Peng He Western Michigan University

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Jian (Ben) He will have earned a bachelor's of science degree in graphics and design technology at the Western Michigan University by 2012. He is currently serving as a vice president Tau Alpha Pi, an engineering honors society. He is also working part time as a Fire Extinguisher Assistant, a fire equipment restoration job to which he thoroughly enjoys. He has been a distinguished student in the WMU Physics and Engineering Design Technology Department as an elected physics student of the semester in 2010 and an outstanding student in 2012. In the late 1999, he immigrated to the United States for better education, and has always appreciated his parents and sister ever since. He embraces free-thinking philosophy and astronomy.

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Ryan Kamm

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Saleem Hason Hinton

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Brandon De Young

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Human powered energy efficient vehicle designRecent awareness in energy consumption and environment has generated interest in ecofriendlytransportation system in both developed and developing regions of the world. Government andprivate sectors are encouraging innovative development and use of energy efficient vehicles fortransportation of people and goods. Design and development of such systems is a popular designissue in both academia and industry. In this paper, an industry sponsored student project fordesign and development of a human powered transportation system is presented. It allows asingle rider to move in all types of terrain by transferring power to the drive train through the useof a biodegradable hydraulic fluid. Besides the design criteria specified by the project sponsor,functionality, safety and reliability, manufacturability, and cost effectiveness are focus of thisdesign process. Overall design objective is to minimize the weight and maximize energyefficiency of the low power hydraulic drive train. Among the innovative human poweredtransportation ideas, a system utilizing a three wheeled recumbent style tubular aluminum frameis adapted. It optimizes rider comfort, weight and provides support of all hydraulic componentsand drive train. The pedal power of the rider runs a modified bent axis fixed displacementindustrial pump and transfers pressurized fluid to a hydraulic motor of similar classification. Apressure sensing hydraulic circuit allows storage of the pressurized fluid in a hydraulicaccumulator and releases the fluid on demand such as during the uphill motion. A light weightmechanical drive train provides appropriate torque to drive the pump and driving wheel under alldriving conditions. In the spring of 2012 the system will participate in a national designcompetition among twelve engineering schools. The designs will be evaluated based onestablished design objectives and performance of the system in a 100 m sprint race and 12 mileendurance race. 

Choudhury, A. A., & Rodriguez, J., & He, J. P., & Kamm, R., & Hinton, S. H., & De Young, B. (2012, June), Human-powered Energy-efficient Vehicle Design Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21461

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