Title page for ETD etd-05162011-220140

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gantt, Lynn Rupert
Author's Email Address lrgantt@vt.edu
URN etd-05162011-220140
Title Energy Losses for Propelling and Braking Conditions of an Electric Vehicle
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Nelson, Douglas J. Committee Chair
Ellis, Michael W. Committee Member
West, Robert L. Jr. Committee Member
  • Extended Range Electric Vehicle
  • Hybrid Vehicles
  • Energy Flow
  • Powertrain Losses
  • Electric Vehicle
  • Modeling
Date of Defense 2011-05-03
Availability unrestricted
The market segment of hybrid-electric and full function electric vehicles is growing within the automotive transportation sector. While many papers exist concerning fuel economy or fuel consumption and the limitations of conventional powertrains, little published work is available for vehicles which use grid electricity as an energy source for propulsion. Generally, the emphasis is put solely on the average drive cycle efficiency for the vehicle with very little thought given to propelling and braking powertrain losses for individual components. The modeling section of this paper will take basic energy loss equations for vehicle speed and acceleration, along with component efficiency information to predict the grid energy consumption in AC Wh/km for a given drive cycle.

This paper explains how to calculate the forces experienced by a vehicle while completing a drive cycle in three different ways: using vehicle characteristics, United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Dynamometer ‘target’ coefficients, and an adaptation of the Sovran parameters. Once the vehicle forces are determined, power and energy demands at the wheels are determined. The vehicle power demands are split into propelling, braking, and idle to aide in the understanding of what it takes to move a vehicle and to identify possible areas for improvement. Then, using component efficiency data for various parameters of interest, the energy consumption of the vehicle as a pure EV is supplied in both DC (at the battery terminals) and AC (from the electric grid) Wh/km. The energy that flows into and out of each component while the vehicle is driving along with the losses at each step along the way of the energy path are detailed and explained. The final goal is to make the results of the model match the vehicle for any driving schedule. Validation work is performed in order to take the model estimates for efficiencies and correlate them against real world data. By using the Virginia Tech Range Extended Crossover (VTREX) and collecting data from testing, the parameters that the model is based on will be correlated with real world test data. The paper presents a propelling, braking, and net energy weighted drive cycle averaged efficiency that can be used to calculate the losses for a given cycle. In understanding the losses at each component, not just the individual efficiency, areas for future vehicle improvement can be identified to reduce petroleum energy use and greenhouse gases. The electric range of the vehicle factors heavily into the Utility Weighted fuel economy of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which will also be addressed.

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