June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Energy Conversion and Conservation
12.841.1 - 12.841.9
Implementing an Integrated Learning Environment for Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology
Given heightened concerns over the environmental and limited fossil fuels, a clear trend toward hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) is emerging. Hybrid electric vehicles are different from traditional automobiles in that an HEV utilizes two propulsion systems in its powertrain and involves high electrical voltage. Automotive engineers and technicians must possess HEV- specialized knowledge acquired through additional training in order to develop and maintain these vehicles. This training includes propulsion systems, control systems, regulations and safety. Currently automobile manufacturers are training their HEV engineers and technicians entirely “in-house,” which limits the number of engineers and technicians available for the growing hybrid market. There is a clear need for a systematic training program on HEV. This paper describes a funded project whose goal is to fill this need by developing an integrated learning environment for HEV technology. This project targets engineering/engineering technology students in 4-year universities, automotive technology students in community colleges, automotive engineers and technicians in industries, and K-12 technology teachers.
The U.S. spends about $2 billion a week on oil imports, mostly for transportation fuel 1. This need for oil affects our national security. Also, vehicle emissions are the leading source of U.S. air pollution, which jeopardizes the health of citizens. In the era of rising environmental sensibility and limited, even depleting supplies of fossil fuel, the development of a new environmentally friendly generation of vehicle becomes a necessity. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), which combine an electric drive-train with an internal combustion engine (ICE) or fuel cell, are one means of increasing propulsion system efficiency and decreasing pollutant emissions 2 – 5. The expected marginal return of each additional mile per gallon in terms of fuel efficiency will significantly reduce the level of greenhouse gasses emitted via automobiles, thus slowing the rate of global warming and reducing the rate of world pollution.
The hybrid vehicle first reached the market in 1999 and has become increasingly popular, with more than 200,000 sold in the United States in 2005. At present eleven hybrid vehicle models are on the road in the U.S. and sales are projected to increase as the range of choices grows: 44 hybrids are expected to be on sale by 2012, according to J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting 6. The development of power sources for hybrid vehicles has rapidly increased in recent years, the configuration of which is distinctly different from traditional vehicles. According to the J. D. Power and Associates 2003 Hybrid Vehicle Outlook, HEV sales are expected to exceed 500,000 units annually by 2008, and 872,000 units by 2013 7. The steadily increasing production of HEVs by the automotive industry coupled with the specialized set of skills required to accommodate the vehicles’ hybrid power configuration, has created a demand for more knowledgeable hybrid powertrain engineers and technicians.
Liao, G., & Yeh, C., & Sawyer, J. (2007, June), Implementing An Integrated Learning Environment For Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1638
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