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The PurdueTracer: An Energy-Efficient Human-Powered Hydraulic Bicycle with Flexible Operation and Software Aids

Author

Listed:
  • Gianluca Marinaro

    (Department of Industrial Engineering, University Federico II, 80100 Naples, Italy)

  • Zhuangying Xu

    (School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA)

  • Zhengpu Chen

    (Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA)

  • Chenxi Li

    (Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA)

  • Yizhou Mao

    (School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA)

  • Andrea Vacca

    (School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA
    Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47906, USA)

Abstract

Hydrostatic transmissions (HT) are widely applied to heavy-duty mobile applications because of the advantages of layout flexibility, power to weight ratio, and ease of control. Though applications of fluid power in light-duty vehicles face challenges, including the unavailability of off-the-shelf components suitable to the power scale, there are potential advantages for HTs in human-powered vehicles, such as bicycles, the most important one being the energy-saving advantage achievable through regenerative braking in a hybrid HT. This paper describes an innovative design for a hydraulic hybrid bicycle, i.e., the PurdueTracer. The PurdueTracer is an energy-efficient human-powered hydraulic bicycle with flexible operation and software aids. An open-circuit hydraulic hybrid transmission allows PurdueTracer to operate in four modes: Pedaling, Charging, Boost, and Regeneration, to satisfy users’ need for different riding occasions. An aluminum chassis that also functions as a system reservoir was customized for the PurdueTracer to optimize the durability, riding comfort, and space for components. The selection of the hydraulic components was performed by creating a model of the bicycle in AMESim simulation software and conducting a numerical optimization based on the model. The electronic system equipped users with informative feedback showing the bicycle performance, intuitive execution of functions, and comprehensive guidance for operation. This paper describes the design approach and the main results of the PurdueTracer, which also won the 2017 National Fluid Power Association Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge. This championship serves to prove the excellence of this vehicle in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, durability, and novelty.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianluca Marinaro & Zhuangying Xu & Zhengpu Chen & Chenxi Li & Yizhou Mao & Andrea Vacca, 2018. "The PurdueTracer: An Energy-Efficient Human-Powered Hydraulic Bicycle with Flexible Operation and Software Aids," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:2:p:305-:d:129578
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jia-Shiun Chen, 2015. "Energy Efficiency Comparison between Hydraulic Hybrid and Hybrid Electric Vehicles," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-27, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Esther Salmeron-Manzano & Francisco Manzano-Agugliaro, 2018. "The Electric Bicycle: Worldwide Research Trends," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-16, July.

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