The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) is a student team that has been participating in Advanced Vehicle Technical Competitions (AVTC) since 1996. As a part of the current competition (EcoCAR 2), UWAFT is required to modify a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu to improve fuel economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without compromising safety and consumer acceptability of the stock vehicle. During the first year of the competition, UWAFT selected the power train architecture and completed preliminary designs to integrate the architecture into the stock vehicle. The architecture UWAFT selected is an all-wheel drive series plug in hybrid electric vehicle that uses ethanol for range extension.
This architecture requires a large battery pack with a plug-in charger; an ethanol compatible engine coupled to a generator, along with a fuel tank and exhaust system to recharge the battery; and two electric motors coupled to transmissions to drive all 4 wheels. Due to volumetric constraints it was decided to mount most of these additional components such as the dc/dc converter in the trunk, near the wheel wells. However, the trunk hinges of the stock vehicle are rather large and restrict the space available to mount these components along the rear wheel wells. As a result, the team needed to redesign the trunk hinge system to maximize the space available to mount these additional components. Faris Zahid a 4th year Mechanical engineering student, took on the task of redesigning the hinge as his 4th year design project, supervised by Professor Roydon Fraser.
The teaching objective of this case is to illustrate design synthesis with a realistic set of constraints and a challenging technical goal. Emphasis is placed on the effective use of engineering analysis, including kinematic analysis, to verify the design. At the end of the case, students should be able to apply the design process to redesign a kinematic linkage, and to verify this design using Adams. The case is proposed to be used in Kinematics and Dynamics of Machines (ME 321).