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Title: Hybrid Performance Golf Cart: Examining the Feasibility of Low-Budget Hybrid Engines
Authors: Kryczka, Spencer
Roettig, Connor
Teves, Joshua
Veronneau, Max
Advisors: Littman, Michael
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Certificate Program: Robotics & Intelligent Systems Program
Class Year: 2019
Abstract: This thesis project is on the design and performance of a hybrid engine created for a golf cart. The design is for a prototype golf cart and has not yet been refined to be reproducible in a commercial production-focused setting. Our idea is to improve upon a former project completed by Steve Slovenski and George Thalheim under the guidance of Glenn Northey. This improved concept would create a golf cart with range and performance that exceeds both electric and gaspowered golf carts, all while being able to keep the efficiency of the cart high and overall environmental impact low. Doing so requires the addition of a combustion engine to an electric golf cart. This combustion engine will be used to charge the batteries of the cart at all times, with charging more prevalent while idling and speed increased while driving. This increased performance results in a far greater range and, efficiency for the cart. Throughout the project we have encountered many obstacles including, but not limited to, location on the cart for the petroleum engine and the connection of both engines to the hybrid transmission. Luckily, there was room to work with at the back of the golf cart where golf clubs are usually stored, which allowed us to implement our design after minor changes to the cart shell. Upon completion of this project we have been able to create a machine that can have increased range and better overall performance than both an electric and gas-powered engine would have on their own, barring future iterations and experimenting with gearing and power balance between electric and gas motors. Our initial tests of our electric powered golf cart showed that the top horsepower output was 9 HP, it had a top speed of 14.2mph and a battery range of 6.4 hours while running on full speed the entire time. The final product displayed a top horsepower of 6HP. The decrease in horsepower is due to friction losses, gearing, and the improper balance of power caused by the alternator draining battery from our cart. It had an increased top speed of 14.5mph. The estimated battery range after running the golf cart at top speed has decreased, but this is due to the alternator being stopped and the field current using the charge from the batteries. However, since our design recharges the battery, the battery life increased drastically. Our tests have determined that our design successfully increased the performance of the golf cart at both low and high speeds however, we encountered unforeseen battery issues at high speeds which can be eliminated with modifications to this initial prototype.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2019

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