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TdS Report #22: Team Profile: ParaDyne

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TdS Report #22: Team Profile: ParaDyne

Matthew Olson has just graduated as an Electrical Engineer from the University
of Tulsa, going on to graduate school. I asked him about ParaDyne, which has
been at the Tour since 1998. "The major modification this year is we converted
it to run on E85 ethanol." That's 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline. That change
required changing the compression ratio. "More software for the control system
should detect more situations to improve our fuel economy overall. In the past
we just looked at miles-per-hour to decide which power plant to use. This year
we've added code to do more blending of the power plants by implementing a
power curve. We read in gas pedal position, vehicle speed, brakes, plus inputs
from both power plants. From those we try to find a position on the curve and
then determine where to get our power from; the motor or the engine." I
commented that those sorts of multi-variable functions can be tricky. "Yes.
It is turning into quite the beast of a function, especially since we cannot do
long division. It's only a 16-bit real time embedded processor. We're limited
on how much computing power we have for complex mathematical functions."

"In addition to trying to fitting the car to the power curve we try to look at
what the car has been doing over the past 5 minutes. If you are clearly in
stop-and-go traffic, it retards the time that it turns the engine on and off.
If we see the car in hard, continuous acceleration we assume you are getting
onto an on-ramp (or the like) and turn both power plants on. We try to match
the peak efficiency performance with the least driver input."

"We replaced the batteries. Concord came out new batteries with a few more
Amp-hours per block. It all helps!"

ParaDyne is a front-wheel drive parallel hybrid. Either motor or engine or
both can drive the front wheels.

"We have also spent a lot of time on the Proxima, our next generation car. We
almost brought it this year. It does drive under its own power, but it is not
quite finished, thought."

Vehicle Name ParaDyne
Vehicle Number 17
vehicle type category Hybrid electric
Team Name University of Tulsa
Organization University of Tulsa
City Tulsa
State OK
Who Built class
part of school curriculum? Yes
Vehicle Manufacturer Geo
Vehicle Model Year 1992
Vehicle Reg Car/Truck
Vehicle Type Class Light Duty (car, truck, van)
Vehicle Type Division Prototype
Vehicle Type Model Metro
motor manufacturer Solectria
motor type AC Induction
Energy Storage Manufacturer Concord
Energy Storage System PbA
Battery Concord/PbA
Battery 12 blocks/ / $600
Battery 6000 Whrs/ 144 V/ 480 lbs
battery voltage 144 V
battery blocks 12 blocks
battery watt hrs 6000 Whrs
battery weight 480 lbs
battery cost $600
control system manufacturer Univ of Tulsa
control system type HPCM
regenerative braking? Regen
charger capacity 1.8 kW
charger current 19 A
charger input voltage 230 V
charger manufacturer Zivan
charger on board? On board
charger type Trans/rectif
Plug Type 6-30P
PV cell type Monocrystalline
PV manufacturer Uni Solar
PV watts 10 W
Conversion Conversion
body material Steel body
frame material Steel frame
Length both L: 12 ft/ 3 in
Width both W: 5 ft/ 2 in
Height both H: 4 ft/ 4 in
# seats 4
Weight pounds 2400 lbs
Mfg GVW 2447 lbs
lbs of persons 150
lbs of cargo 88
brake front type Front Disc
brake rear type Rear Drum
Hybrid Architecture parallel
engine size 1 liter
fuel effeciency 50 mpg
fuel tank capacity 10 gal
fuel tank type Steel
Fuel Type E85
number of tires 4
tire manufacturer Goodyear
tire model P175 R14
tire type Low roll resist
Range miles 500 miles
Program blurb Veteran of four Tours, this hybrid vehicle
finished first in 1999 and second in 98, 00, and
01. A converted Geo Metro, ParaDyne is a
parallel hybrid with a 20 kW, 144 V Solectria
motor with lead-acid batteries and a 1 liter
engine. For 2002, ParaDyne has been converted to
run on E85.

- - - -
The complete set of Tour de Sol Reports for 2002 can be found at:
The complete set of past Tour de Sol Reports can be found at:
- - - -
The above is Copyright 2002 by Michael H. Bianchi.
Permission to copy is granted provided the entire article is presented
without modification and this notice remains attached.
For other arrangements, contact me at +1-973-822-2024 .
- - - -
For more on the NESEA Tour de Sol, see the web page at
- - - -
Official NESEA Tour de Sol information is available from the sponsor,
the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) at
413 774-6051 , and 50 Miles Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 , and
[email protected] . All media enquiries should be addressed to ...
Jack Groh
Groh Associates
[email protected] email
401 732-1551 telephone
401 732-0547 fax
401 952-0886 cell/pager
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