REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
The objective of this Major Research Instrumentation (MRI-R2) award is to develop 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 hydrostatic dynamometer is utilized to experimentally mimic the drive train, vehicle load, and the alternative 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, the 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 developed instrument will also 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.