Department of Technology has purchased a used Dune Buggy years ago. It had a 6.8 horsepower Honda G65 engine with a centrifugal clutch to move the vehicle. Students in EDTE 341-Transportation Technologies course have tried, twice, to fix the engine, but they were not successful. As a student design project in ETME 475-Mechanical Systems Design course, during spring semester of 2009, three Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) students, with the help of one Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology (EET) student, have converted the vehicle to a hybrid vehicle. The purpose of the design project was to convert an internal combustion engine (ICE) driven Dune Buggy to a hybrid vehicle. ICE and Electric motor (EM) sizes were kept at about 6HP and cost was limited to no more than $3000. ETME 475 is a three credit-hour course with two credit hours for lecture and one credit hour (two lab contact hours) for laboratory. Laboratory time is used to discuss the project(s) and cover basic knowledge needed for the specific project(s). Along with regular textbook homework sets, students are assigned to turn in project related assignments. Most weeks, both homework and project assignments were due. First half of the semester was spent on designing the hybrid vehicle. Second half of the semester was spent constructing it. There were three students enrolled in the course. One EET student worked on the project to do electrical/instrumentations systems design and wiring. At the end of the semester, Dune Buggy was able to move with the EM. However ICE stalled as soon as the magnetic clutch was engaged. The following semester, fall semester of 2009, another MET student worked on the project to modify wiring and replace the magnetic clutch with a centrifugal clutch. This work was done under two credit-hour, ETME 499-Independent Research in Mechanical Engineering course. At the end of the semester, the Dune Buggy was fully operational with EM and ICE, one at a time, or both at the same time. Two additional MET students worked on the vehicle during the spring semester of 2011 as one of their low-tech projects to improve safety by covering cover exposed areas of the dune buggy and paint it. This paper discusses the details and coordination of the project as a design project for senior level Mechanical Systems Design course.

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