Today kicks off the EcoCAR 3 Emissions Testing Event (ETE) at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) facility in East Liberty Ohio. Over the course of two weeks, EcoCAR 3 teams will attend the ETE in three separate waves. Teams will have the opportunity to utilize TRC’s dynamometer equipment and facility to conduct a variety of tests and collect valuable data on their Camaros.
Before teams have a chance to participate in dynamometer testing they will undergo a Safety and Technical Inspection. Safety Tech includes a variety of key checks on vehicle hardware, electrical systems, safety systems and controls functionality performed by EcoCAR 3 organizers from Argonne National Laboratory and General Motors. Once they pass through Safety Tech, teams will be able to conduct a series of tests on TRC’s dynamometer.
Students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) will be among the first wave of students attending ETE. UTK Engineering GRA and Controls Lead, Aubrey Casey, is looking forward to participating in live emissions collection and evaluation.
“Since Team Tennessee has a post-transmission parallel hybrid architecture, and we’re not a plug in, energy recovery is of utmost importance in our controls strategy,” Casey said. “We’re going to test a more aggressive regenerative braking strategy, specifically a brake pedal activated regen, so we’re mainly looking for the impact on state of charge (SOC) and fuel consumption. We’re also going to test on a UTK specific drive cycle we’ve developed that is essentially a route from The University of Tennessee towards the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) in Knoxville. We’re wanting to compare our very simplified emissions collection equipment data to the TRC equipment and hopefully yield insight and calibration in our data collection and analysis process.”
Each team will have the opportunity to utilize TRC’s state of the art equipment to run tests on their vehicles and gather useful information for improving their design before the Year Four Competition. The Penn State team will be among the group of teams attending ETE in the third wave.
According to PSU Electrical Lead, Aizat Mohammad, “We can’t wait to test our Camaro on TRC’s dynamometer with some highway drive cycles. It will be interesting to see how much we have reduced emissions while being able to potentially improve our hybrid strategies!”
Now that the event is officially underway, excitement is beaming from the facility by not only EcoCAR 3 teams, but also from Joanna Pinkerton, TRC’s Chief Operating Officer. “At TRC we are thrilled to be a multi-year sponsor of the EcoCAR program, and are pleased each of the teams will be hosted at TRC for this event,” She said. “This work being performed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and many other companies and suppliers is a tremendous example of how they leverage incredible talent and resources in academic programs across the nation. We welcome everyone to Ohio where incredible innovations take place every day!”