Date of Award

3-2014

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Sandra K. Boetcher, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Patrick N. Currier, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Eduardo A. Divo, Ph.D.

Abstract

This paper presents the challenges seen by current automotive manufacturers in their investigation of more fuel efficient vehicles. The two main areas for improvement are aerodynamics and passive cooling of electrical systems. Aerodynamics of an Ahmed body is investigated with a drag reduction system proposed utilizing slot jets at the rear of the bluff body . Two separate systems show a decrease in drag of 16 and 25%. The paper also investigates the use of a phase change material for a hybrid electric vehicles energy storage system cooling. Phase change materials take advantage of the latent heat of fusion to absorb large quantities of energy with minimal changes in temperature. This is an effective device to use for electronics cooling as it would allow temperatures to be maintained in a small window for extended periods of time.

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