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Advanced Energy Vehicle

Lab 07: System Analysis 3 (Wind Tunnel Testing)

AEV Project Objective
(Problem Definition)



(Programming) (System Analysis)


PT 1
PT 4



Present AEV Design

Lab Objectives/Goals
 The objectives of this lab are:
• Become familiar with propulsion system efficiency (  sys )
• Become familiar with wind tunnel testing equipment
 How to relate AEV to real-life objects
 How to link wind tunnel testing to the AEV
Piaggio Avanti!
Fun Fact: The P.180 Piaggio Avanti’s wings, canard and propeller were
designed and tested at The Ohio State University helping make this plane
one of the world’s most efficiency propeller driven planes in the world!
These tests were similar to the ones that will be conducted in today’s lab!
Recap – System Analysis 1 & 2
 System Analysis 1:  System Analysis 2:
• Time • Distance & Position
• Current • Velocity
• Voltage • Kinetic Energy
• Input Power • Propeller RPM
• Incremental Energy • The Advance Ratio
• Total Energy • Propulsion Efficiency
System Analysis 3
 The propulsion characteristics can vary from vehicle to vehicle
from the difference between the motors and the type of
propellers used:
 This lab will demonstrate how to measure propulsion
efficiency from taking a closer look at:
• How to measure propeller RPM
• Computing the advance ratio (𝐽)
• How to measure the propulsion system efficiency ( sys )
Propulsion Efficiency
 In system analysis 2 the propulsion efficiency was defined as
a function (𝑓) of the AEVs velocity (𝑣) and the propeller speed
(𝑅𝑃𝑀) which we simplified into one input, the advance ratio:
 sys  f (v, RPM )  f ( J )

 Let’s take a step back and redefine the propulsion efficiency

as the ratio of the power output and the power input.
 sys  *100 (%)
Propulsion Efficiency
 Input power (𝑷𝒊𝒏 )
 Power supplied to the vehicle’s propulsion system. (𝑃𝑖𝑛 = 𝑉 ∗ 𝐼)
 Input Power is an Electrical System (units are Watts).

 Output (available) power (𝑷𝒐𝒖𝒕 )

 Power generated by the electric motors and propellers.
 Output Power is a Mechanical System.
 An example of a typical unit for power in a mechanical system is
Propulsion Efficiency
 For a propeller driven vehicle, the output power is the thrust (𝑇,
force created by the propeller & motor combination) multiplied by
the vehicle velocity (𝑣).
Pout  T * v

 Wind tunnel testing can be used to measure these two parameters.

• This is a common testing procedure used in mechanical &
aerospace engineering for testing the propulsion power &
efficiency of aircraft engines.
Wind Tunnel Testing

Air drawn through Duct

Simulating Thrust Direction

Configuration Selection

Thrust Line Thrust Line

Puller (Tractor) Configuration Pusher Configuration

Proper Propeller Orientation
 Visual confirmation of propeller orientation

Counter-clockwise rotation

Propeller number designation

 For either Puller or Pusher Configuration -

 When looking at the propeller (i.e. AEV) from the front:

• The propeller number designation should be visible
• The propeller should be rotating counter-clockwise
System Analysis 3 Summary
 1). Perform wind tunnel testing:



[A] [C]
Select Table 1
System Analysis 3 Summary
 1). Perform wind tunnel testing:
• We’ll vary the motor speed from 60% power to 10% power
in 5% increments and record the following parameters:
 Current supplied to the motor controller
 RPM measured by RPM sensor
 Thrust (in grams) measured by the wind tunnel scale.
 Remember, thrust is a force (i.e., Force = mass*acceleration). We’ll need to
keep this in mind when analyzing the wind tunnel data.
System Analysis 3 Summary
 2). Analyze wind tunnel results by calculating the following:
• Input Power (𝑃𝑖𝑛 = 𝑉 ∗ 𝐼)

• Output Power (𝑃𝑜𝑢𝑡 = 𝑇 ∗ 𝑣)

• Propulsion System Efficiency 𝜂𝑠𝑦𝑠 =


• The Advance Ratio 𝐽 = 𝑅𝑃𝑀


System Analysis 3 Summary
 3). How does this relate to the AEV?
Increasing % Power
 How does power
affect the
 𝐽= 𝑅𝑃𝑀

 RPM is directly
proportional to
Questions to consider . . .
 Things to think about during the Lab:
• What is the advance ratio needed to obtain the highest
efficiency and how does that relate to power needed?
• Do all propellers have the same performance for all