UOttawa Team welcomes Phase 2 of the International Valeo Innovation Challenge

Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014

Valeo Challenge Team

The Faculty of Engineering is proud to announce that five of its Mechanical Engineering students recently entered the International Valeo Innovation Challenge Student Competition. These students were selected among 20 worldwide teams to compete for phase 2 of this event due to their outstanding "High Performance Motor Drive System for Hybrid Vehicle Drivetrain" project.

The team supervised by professor Riadh Habash is composed of team leader Eric Vierich and his colleagues Cedric Eveleigh, Jeremie Gratton, Mitchell Geis, and Francis Lefebvre. They have received  5000 euros fund to further develop their project and build a prototype by the end of the month of August. If selected again, they will be entered phase 3 of the competition where they will fly to Paris to present their refined mock-up prototype in October 2014.

The Valeo Innovation Challenge Competition is an international student contest, which gathers more than 500 worldwide students’ teams from 55 countries and 455 universities around the idea of designing and building the product or system that will make the cars of 2030 smarter and more intuitive. The winning team will be awarded  a 100 000 euros prize.

The effort of UOttawa team was made possible through the support of the Brunsfield Engineering Student Projects and Entrepreneurship Centre which was inaugurated in 2010. The Brunsfield Centre provides engineering students with the space and resources to design, build and test complex prototypes all thanks to a generous donation from alumnus Dato’ Ir Gan Thian Leong.

Claude Laguë, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, acknowledged the importance of this donation:

"As you can see, Dear Dato Gan, your generous donation in support of our Brunsfield Centre is allowing uOttawa Engineering to offer outstanding experiential learning experiences to our students and to stand out on the international scene!”

As a bonus, uOttawa team supervisor professor Habash has agreed to give us a sneak peek of the proposed prototype that might revolutionize cars at the dawn of 2030.

 ‘’In this project, a high performance hybrid/electric vehicle drive system with a robust and low cost electric induction motor will be developed. An off the shelf three-phase induction machine will be modified based on a novel passive technique which demonstrates a significant enhancement of operating performance. The new motor employs an auxiliary winding, which is only magnetically coupled to the stator main winding. The initial simulation and lab results show that the operating performance of the new motor with the novel proposed technique is significantly enhanced in terms of suppressed signal distortion and harmonics, severity of resistive losses and overheating, power factor, and preventing high inrush current at starting. The use of three-phase squirrel cage induction motor requires implementing of voltage source inverter supplied by DC voltage from vehicle battery system. A digital signal processor (DSP) based voltage inverter will be designed for the proposed drive. The proposed drive does not require speed sensor, which make the solution sensorless and reliable on speed sensor faults. Motor speed will be computed by using an observer. Due to its high improved characteristics, this integrated system can enhance the performance of the vehicle drivetrain’’.

Way to go uOttawa team!

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