For the past two years, Embry-Riddle has participated in the SAE Formula Hybrid competition. As part of the competition, a team of students analyze, design, and build a fully functional hybrid-electric race car. As an academic competition, the event is designed to allow a wide variety of system configurations and fuel choices. In order to optimize the vehicle characteristics, simulate vehicle performance, and build control laws, the design team created a Simulink model of the race car. As a recently created design competition, the SAE Formula Hybrid event offers an opportunity for both design innovation and system engineering. To develop a concept for the competition, the ERAU team developed detailed simulations of the vehicle in Simulink. Since the competition allows a variety of energy storage devices, engines, fuels, driveline configurations, and control systems, the development of a system dynamics model was not straight-forward. Further, system components for this project are constrained by some rules and practical constraints. The vehicle configuration was selected to be a parallel hybrid using a 250cc gasoline engine and 7.2kW DC motor with 1500F ultra-capacitor energy storage, with an unusual control strategy. The results of the Simulink model were used to predict how this vehicle configuration compares to other design choices including alternative fuels, energy storage devices and control strategies. The performance of the actual vehicle at the 2008 SAE Formula Hybrid competition, which occurs May 2008, will be presented at the conference.

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