Travis Brown

Andrew Balhoff

Pneumatic Hybrid Vehicles

In many ways internal combustion engines are poorly suited for typical driving conditions. However, most of their shortcomings can be mitigated with the addition of a secondary (hybrid) power system. Unfortunately, most automotive hybrid systems to date have been battery-electric hybrids which are extremely expensive and contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment. These problems make current hybrid vehicles a particularly bad choice for meeting the growing automotive demands of the developing world.

In partnership with GM, a new pneumatic hybrid system has been developed and tested at Notre Dame. This system uses an innovative mechanical design to allow a controlled amount of energy to be captured or returned to the vehicles drivetrain over a range of tank pressures while maintaining modest efficiency. It has been shown that this system can potentially result in a 46% improvement in urban fuel economy as measured by the UDDS driving cycle.

Active Dynamometer

The active dynamometer was used for evaluating a compressed air hybrid prototype

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