Date Approved

1-23-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

College

Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

First Advisor

Constans, Eric

Subject(s)

Automobiles--Power trains;Mechanical engineering--Study and teaching

Disciplines

Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

The project, a bench-scale hybrid electric powertrain system, is designed, analyzed and fabricated by students in six modules, starting in their sophomore year and culminating in their final semester as seniors. This complex project has been selected in order to integrate the core mechanical engineering courses: Mechanical Design, Thermodynamics, System Dynamics and Control, and Fluid Mechanics. A bench-scale hybrid-electric vehicle powertrain has sufficient complexity to involve all Mechanical Engineering disciplines and the simplicity to be built by students over the course of five semesters. The work is designed to test two hypotheses: 1) A long-term design project that integrates knowledge from multiple courses strengthens student knowledge retention; 2) A large-scale design project requiring tools from many courses improves student problem-solving and design skills. By integrating five semesters of the mechanical engineering curriculum into a cohesive whole, this project has the potential to transform the way undergraduate education is delivered. Before and after testing is being conducted to assess: a) Change in retention between courses and b) Change in student problem-solving and design skills. Students at Rowan University have built all of the hardware for the HPT (air engine, planetary gearset, tachometer, etc.) in earlier semesters. The control system is the "capstone" for the five-semester design project, which has been described in an earlier publication [1]. This thesis describes the development of the "faculty prototype" of the control system, and gives preliminary results of implementing the control system design project in the classroom. Also, it includes the mathematical behavior of each of the components for better understanding of the reader.

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