Andrea's Teaching

Human Powered Hydraulic Vehicle

The goal of this research was to formulate a viable and economically feasible solution for the next generation of human powered green energy vehicles. In particular, the study considers the typical configuration of a bicycle, considering a hydrostatic transmission instead of the typical chain system used for power transmission. The choice of a hydraulic system offers capabilities for more comfortable pedaling as well as for energy recovery in passive phases, such as braking.

The hydraulic layout and implementation of the transmission system represents the element of novelty of the proposed vehicle. The paper details the choice and sizing of the hydraulic elements for an open circuit hydraulic system, which permits an optimal operation during normal pedaling, accelerating and breaking phase. A relatively simple concept based on a pump, a motor (both units being positive displacement machines, fixed displacement), electro-hydraulic components and hydraulic accumulators permits the optimal flow of energy within the hydraulic system in all operating phases, with energy storage in normal (no emergency) breaking phase. The paper also describes the details of the controller utilized in the system (based on the IQAN software) and on the simulations performed for design validation purposes in the AMESim multi domain simulation software. An efficient and feasible prototype was realized at Purdue University to compete at the Parker Chainless Challenge competition in California, April 2012. Although the system was designed for competition specific events, it provides base for a general economically feasible system design in future.

Water Hydraulic Test Rig

The focus of this project was the completion of the construction of the Water Hydraulic Test Rig, and the development of a LabVIEW program used to collect data for a lab within the fluid mechanics course (ME 309) at Purdue University. Water was used as the working fluid in the test rig, which allowed for a safe environment for students to learn and to experience fluid power in a lab setting. In order to work in a lab setting with the test rig, a LabVIEW interface and data acquisition system was written to operate and control the test rig. LabVIEW was also utilized to collect data so the students can perform further analysis on their own in order to increase their exposure to the core concepts of the fluid power discipline. With this test rig and corresponding LabVIEW interface, students are able to perform pump and throttle valve characterization, hydrostatic transmission and energy storage via an accumulator. Pump and throttle valve characterization demonstrates the different operating points of the test rig for students, while hydrostatic transmission shows the transfer of fluid power from a hydraulic pump to a hydraulic motor. The construction of this Water Hydraulic Test Rig and supplemental use in the fluid mechanics course (ME 309) at Purdue University will allow students to learn more about the core concepts of fluid power. This knowledge is vital for students to have since fluid power is how most machinery lift heavy objects.

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