Thesis (M.S., Mechanical Engineering)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | The energy storage limitations that currently hinder the marketability of fully-electric vehicles could be overcome with on-board range extenders that consume conventional fuels to generate additional electrical power when needed. This paper presents two simplified tools intended to streamline the initial design of range extender engines.
The first is a simple physics-based model capable of accurately identifying the peak range extender output requirements for highway-capable electric vehicles. The use of this model is demonstrated for three common vehicle types.
The second is a flexible array-based modeling approach capable of performing in-depth simulations of steady-state engine operation. This approach is used to construct a detailed spark-ignition engine model, and this model is used to evaluate the effect of general engine configuration attributes on operation in a range extender. Finally, the design decisions made during the development of existing range extenders are studied, and compared against the results from the engine model.