Zongxuan Sun, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
The objective of this instrument development project is to build a state-of-the-art, precise, and highly flexible instrument for testing and measuring the fuel efficiency, emissions, and performance of automotive propulsion systems. The centerpiece of the instrument is a precise and high-speed hydrostatic dynamometer, which "absorbs" (or "provides") torques from (or to) the engine/powertrain so that the engine or powertrain can follow any desired rotational speed and acceleration profile. The proposed hydrostatic dynamometer is utilized to experimentally mimic the drive train, vehicle load, and the hybrid power sources in coordination with an engine control system and a hardware-in-the-loop vehicle driveline emulator. This instrument will allow all aspects of the vehicle propulsion system such as the engine, transmission, hybrid power sources, energy storage systems, emission control systems and driveline system to be tested or simulated in a real-world driving scenario without actually building the complete physical system. As a shared research infrastructure, this instrument will encourage the interaction and research collaboration of users from multiple departments at the University of Minnesota. Furthermore, it will help to prepare the next generation instrumentalists, researchers, and engineers to design and build clean and efficient automotive propulsion systems. The proposed instrument will be integrated into core mechanical engineering curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate education. It will also enhance collaborations with industrial partners and help to disseminate research results to communities at large.