CCEFP 2019 REU Projects
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Faculty AdvisorProposed REU Project TitleREU Project Description
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Chase, ThomasHigh Efficiency Hydraulic Pump-Motors Employing Partial Stroke Piston PressurizationThis project focuses on translating a discovery on how to vary the power of hydraulic pumps and motors in a simple and effective manner to fill the need for high efficiency hydraulics in a variety of applications. The new technology is called “partial stroke piston pressurization (PSPP)”. Hydraulic pumps and motors are often run at a small fraction of their maximum power, and they are typically inefficient when run there. PSPP is important because it saves energy at low power, thereby reducing global energy consumption. Power will be saved in a large variety of applications where hydraulics are employed, including: off-road vehicles (e.g., construction equipment), stationary equipment (e.g., hydraulic elevators and industrial presses), and aircraft (e.g., landing gear and wing articulation). Furthermore, reduced power consumption by pumps and motors enables dramatic systems-level savings; for example, engines and cooling systems can also be down-sized. The project will also have economic impact by expanding the domain of products where hydraulics provide optimal solutions; for example, PSPP pumps and motors may make hydraulic hybrid on-road vehicles competitive with electric hybrids, and they may facilitate the capture and storage of renewable energies, such as wind and wave energy. The project will result in a working prototype of a PSPP pump to be demonstrated on a skid-steer loader. We are seeking a student with interest in mechanical engineering to assist in the testing and development of prototype PSPP pump-motors. The student may assist in the set-up of an experimental test stand for prototypes. The student may assist a graduate or Honors student in operating prototypes to collect experimental performance data. The student may be involved in the design and implementation of mechanical and electronic hardware improvements. The student may also assist in general lab maintenance. While previous experience in hydraulics or mechanical or electrical fabrication is desirable, it is not required.
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Li, PerryDigital Fluid PowerA current trend in modern fluid power is the move towards discrete digital control - i.e. the control is exerted with only a finite number of states instead of continuously. This brings component robustness, cost-effective and in some cases improved efficiency. This project will develop models, both mathematical dynamic models and 3-D printed hardware models for several possible applications of this principle .
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Li, PerryHydromechanical Continuously Variable TransmssionThis project will experimentally test and develop mathematical and 3D models for a new design of compact and efficient continuously variable hydro-mechanical transmission that can be used for efficient propulsion for vehicles.
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Li, PerryHuman Scale Fluid Power ComponentsFluid power typically are large and used for large applications (such as an excavator). This project will examine miniature scale hydraulic components suited for human scale applications (such as exoskeleton, humanoid robots, assistive devices).
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Stelson, KimHydrostatic Transmission for Wind Power ApplicationsThe purpose of the research is to consider an attractive alternative to a mechanical gearbox, its hydraulic equivalent, a hydrostatic transmission. The purpose of the wind power research is the critically evaluate each possible advantage of a hydrostatic transmission over a mechanical gearbox. If the anticipated advantages can be validated, the research team will connect and work with appropriate industrial partners to move the technology forward. The REU student will be assisting with hands-on experiments on the hydrostatic transmission wind test cell.
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Sun, ZongxuanSimulation and Experimental Research of a Hydraulic Free Piston EngineThis REU project complements CCEFP Project 16MO1, which is aimed to provide an efficient, clean and flexible fluid power sources for off-road vehicles. A hydraulic free piston engine (HFPE) is considered as the solution due to its compact architecture, smaller inertia, high power density and ultimate freedom on its piston motion. A prototype HFPE has already been developed in the University of Minnesota since 2010. Extensive simulation and experimental study have been conducted accordingly. However, in order to further investigate the performance of the HFPE as the fluid power source, the function of the prototype HFPE test bed has to be improved via installing additional sensors and updating the existing hydraulic actuation system. The undergraduate researcher will first understand the structure and the working principle of the HFPE. An existing simulation model representing the HFPE’s dynamics behavior will be provided to the researcher to facilitate his/her understanding of the hardware. Based on the simulation results, the researcher will cooperate with the graduate student mentor to determine the necessary sensors as well as their specification. Afterward, the undergraduate researcher will work in the test cell to integrate the acquired sensors in the HFPE test bed and replace the previous hydraulic actuation system. This REU project is well suited to an undergraduate student who is interested in fluid power systems, dynamics system and control. The student will also gain lots of hands-on experience in the test cell during the project. Previous experience with Matlab/Simulink is desirable.
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Sun, ZongxuanResearch and Experiments of Connected Vehicle TestbedsThis REU project complements the US Federal Highway (FHWA) Eco-Drive project and the off-road connected vehicle (CV) project. The Eco-Drive project objective is to conduct experiments by utilizing an existing hardware-in-the-loop testbed and assess fuel and emissions benefits of connected-vehicle applications related to eco-driving. The testbed, which consist of a real gasoline engine, an engine loading device and a virtual powertrain model, will communicate with an on-road vehicle and receive road information to emulate a vehicle performing eco-driving, while actual fuel consumption and emissions are measured by precise laboratory equipment. The off-road CV project aims to develop a similar testbed to evaluate the energy savings of fluid power based powertrain system for connected and autonomous off-road vehicles. The testbed will consist of a real engine & an engine loading device to emulate an off-road vehicle, a virtual worksite to simulate the interactions between off-road vehicles & the environment, fuel & emissions measurement devices and telematics devices to facilitate communications between components. The undergraduate researcher will first be assisted to understand the architecture and working principles of the hardware-in-the-loop testbed and its components. The undergraduate researcher will then assist in conducting a series of eco-driving experiments to develop familiarity with the hardwares and dynamic simulation tools. Next, the undergraduate researcher will assist with off-road testbed development in the laboratory, which includes parts fabrications and assemblies, selecting/purchasing/assembling sensors & actuators, developing off-road vehicle powertrain simulation models and integrating testbed components via local/networked communications. This REU project is suited for an undergraduate student interested in connected/autonomous vehicles, fluid power systems and dynamics system & controls. Familiarities with Matlab/Simulink, C-programing and hardwares fabrications/integrations are welcomed.
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Van de Ven, JamesSoft Hydraulic RobotThe MEPS lab is seeking an undergraduate researcher to assist in developing high force, soft hydraulic robotic burrowing technology for aiding in the installation of underground utilities. The student would be responsible for modeling and testing high force, soft robotic actuators, building experimental test beds for collecting data, calibrating sensors, designing mechanical connections for multi-segment actuation, and analyzing data collected from experiments. The student may also play a role in writing technical papers and/or developing figures and graphs to communicate experimental outcomes. The student should be familiar with the equipment in a machine shop and be willing to learn new things.
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