Introductory Vehicle Energy Systems Instruction
Initial Experiences and Development
There is a clear and relevant need for the development of vehicle energy systems instruction. This need is based upon on-going development in the electric and hybrid systems in all sectors of vehicle systems including cars, trucks, ships, and even construction equipment.
The paper will describe the goal and progress of a undergraduate junior – senior level course in vehicle energy systems for computer, electrical, and mechanical majors. The course is specifically required for students who have elected the vehicle systems concentration within mechanical engineering. The mechanical students also take a sophomore digital signal processing course that introduces discrete signals systems and digital filters for signal systems. Computer and electrical students also elect to take the course within the Energy Systems option.
The course involves typical classroom instruction and a laboratory component. The laboratory uses the three major resources. A vehicle dyno and test vehicle with access to performance indicators using external instrumentation as well as access to the vehicle CAN bus. The course also introduces some electrical machine systems as well as multi-phase systems and energy transfer systems. This introductory course also relies on computer simulation of energy systems via MATLAB-Simulink SimPowerSystems modeling.
The paper will be of interest to instructors and leadership who value the need to enhance student skill-sets in energy conversion systems to prepare for future opportunities in industry and graduate school in the energy systems area.
The author is a seasoned engineering professor who also has recent and relevant industrial hands-on consulting engineering experience in the design and development of hybrid/electric vehicle testing systems, and has also taught prior courses on energy conversion systems and vehicle instrumentation systems.
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