Diving Inside NC State’s PHEV Design

The North Carolina State University EcoCAR2 team chose a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) architecture for its 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. This means that the primary source of energy for the GM-donated vehicle will be from a battery pack that is able to be charged from the electric grid. The NCSU team will remove the stock combustion engine and transmission, replacing it with an engine-generator set and electric motor transaxle, the latter of which is provided by competition sponsor Magna. The Magna motor gearbox will provide the motive power for the Malibu. The NCSU team’s architecture is a true series hybrid with no direct connection between the combustion engine and the road. The engine will only power the generator.

The NCSU EcoCAR2 team will be using a small industrial Compression Ignition (CI) engine of 1.5 liter displacement, which will run on B20 diesel fuel. This engine is nominally rated at 33 kW at 3000 rpm. To meet the requirements of the competition, the team’s vehicle will need more output from the engine. Team members will increase the output of the engine and optimize it’s configuration for use as a power source for the generator. The engine will first be tested in its original configuration in the new dynamometer test cell in NCSU’s Engineering Building III, on Centennial Campus. Once the engine’s performance map has been evaluated, a 1D model of the engine will be built using RICARDO WAVE.

RICARDO WAVE 1D Engine Model

Modifications will be tested using the WAVE model. The modifications will include: the addition of an air to air charge cooler, an increase in boost, modifications to the inlet and exhaust manifolds, an electric water pump and possibly a reconfigured turbocharger. The goal will be to increase the peak power to 39 kW, while maintaining engine durability.