In a novel entrepreneurial enterprise, Dr. Pauliah and his sister Ms. Pauliah of the Sunrise Orphanage in Bobbili, India, are seeking a product that can be manufactured and sold to help support the orphanage and add a low-cost medical clinic to the existing facility.
The product they are seeking is an electric tricycle, which is in high demand in India and around the world. Typically, electric vehicles are powered through the use of a costly DC motor. To combat this problem, ECE 480 Team 9 utilized an inexpensive automotive alternator that replaced the DC motor, providing high efficiency and increased torque at wider ranges of speed.
The design makes use of a high-speed sensor that measures the magnetic field produced by a uniquely polarized magnet mounted on the rotor shaft of the alternator. This sensor sends precise angle information to a microprocessor. With this data, the microprocessor increases the efficiency of the electric motor by applying precise power pulses at optimal angles within the motor as it rotates. Efficiency is further maximized by automatically controlling the magnetic field in the rotor. Having the ability to control the rotor field made it possible to significantly improve stopping performance with the use of regenerative braking.
After running several design tests, it was proven that the use of the automotive alternator and the motor controller circuit did in fact increase efficiency, provide wide ranges of speed, and apply regenerative braking to improve stopping performance.
Not only will this design be used to power an electric vehicle, it also has the potential for use in other applications that require electric motors. These applications include but are not limited to electric wheelchairs, industrial forklifts, and numerous other industrial applications.