PHEV Project Description for Fall 2010/Spring 2011 Capstone Design

During Fall/Spring 10/11 Capstone Design, a base platform was constructed for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which uses Prof. Dean Edwards high power lead acid batteries.  By the end of summer, the vehicle will function as an electric vehicle only.  An auxiliary power unit was coupled and mounted to the vehicle, and made to run by manual operation.  A logic and information flow diagram was also created to specify how the APU would function autonomously, but no further work was done.  A new senior design team should complete the integration of the APU by working to make it fully autonomous, and solving several safety problems concerning possible over-voltage of the APU to the battery pack.  In this case, fully autonomous means that once the batteries reach a low state of charge, the generator should automatically turn on and charge the batteries on the fly, with the engine rpm controlled to provide constant power output.  In addition, the user control panel/dashboard, which includes the microprocessor responsible for controlling the APU and monitoring several other functions, should be redesigned to properly integrate with the rest of the PHEV.  

This project presents the opportunity for a senior design team to solve several electro-mechanical issues as well as the design of a user interface.  A team with at least two mechanical engineers, one electrical engineer, and one computer science student to program the microprocessor is recommended.