EcoCAR Teams Experience Dynamometer Testing at the Spring Workshop
EcoCAR teams and their vehicles have returned to their respected universities after attending a two-week long Spring Workshop held at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
During the workshop, each EcoCAR team had the opportunity to pass a rigorous 300-point safety tech inspection that tested multiple aspects of the vehicle, including brakes, high voltage, airbags, exhaust leaks and more. In total, twelve EcoCAR vehicles passed safety tech inspection that was performed by staff from Argonne National Laboratory, General Motors (GM), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Upon passing safety tech, teams were allowed to take part in two four-hour chassis dynamometer sessions, evaluating emission and fuel energy consumption on the 4WD and 2WD dynos at EPA NVFEL. The first session evaluated the team's powertrain according to its test plan. The second session included a cold test Federal Test Procedure followed by two highway drive cycles.
At the end of the workshop, ten EcoCAR teams completed the dyno testing. Most of these teams performed engine tuning optimizations, baseline testing and testing of various exhaust after-treatment systems that reduce emissions.
Some teams were able to complete Full-Charge Test sets of repeating UDDS cycles for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to generate research data for EPA and the DOE. Other teams, like Virginia Tech and University of Ontario Institute of Technology's vehicle, was able to perform battery depletion tests.
When not taking part in dyno testing at EPA, students had the opportunity to take tours of GM's Milford Proving Grounds and A123 Systems laboratory facilities in Livonia, MI. Students also enjoyed a weekend workshop to learn about the upcoming Year Three Competition finals and give updated outreach presentations and present to judges on their sponsor success story.