ABOUT THE ASSIGNMENT

Vehicle engines are equipped with flywheels. These flywheels provide the rotational energy and inertia to achieve a low and stable idle RPM. The PAL-V is a flying car, this means that all designs must be as light as possible. PAL-V is always looking for solutions to arrive at a lightweight design. At this moment, the total weight related to the engine flywheel is approximately 8 kg.

The PAL-V engine is equipped with a 6kW, 3-phase, brushless, permanent magnet, generator which provides power to several on-board systems. The research topic is to replace the engine flywheel by supercapacitors using the generator in combination with fast control strategies.

The generator can be connected to a capacitor bank with at least the same energy storage capacity as the flywheel at 1000 RPM. The idea is that the (slow) engine idle control system, which controls the engine idle air valve, is now used to stabilize the capacitor bank voltage while the generator (/motor) quickly adds or takes energy to/from the engine system to stabilize engine RPM. So, in case the on-board vehicle systems do not require power from the generator, the average power/energy taken from the engine for idle control will be zero.

Note that the power provided by an engine cylinder is not constant, Also, especially when the engine is cold, misfires occur. Without flywheel, the system must then react immediately.

The optimum control strategy minimizes average absolute transfer power and allows for some crankshaft rotational speed variation.

Vehicle drivetrains are higher order systems with distributed stiffness and inertia, comparable to electric L-C circuits. This complex loading may affect the control strategy. The engine and the drivetrain are fairly stable systems with predictable behavior. For example, engine firing moment is known from crankshaft phase. This means that the optimal control strategy may use these known properties to minimize power transfer and transfer losses.

This idle control strategy should not interfere with the generator’s role to provide power to several vehicle systems. When the throttle pedal is pressed, the generator control system will move to a different mode to (roughly) stabilize the 80 Volt capacitor bank voltage. This can be regarded as a conventional, fairly slow, AC-DC power supply PID control system function. The engine’s idle control system will not be active anymore. This transition must be smooth, within a range of driver behavior.

The principles of this system are also applicable to normal cars, trucks, and boats, but the benefit for the PAL-V vehicle is high due to the importance of low weight.

The goal of the assignment is to investigate the viability of the proposed solution, and preferably make it work. Clearly this will require analysis but also experimentation. Hardware is available for these experiments in our facilities in Raamsdonksveer.

Capture

The optimum control strategy minimizes average absolute transfer power and allows for some crankshaft rotational speed variation.

Vehicle drivetrains are higher order systems with distributed stiffness and inertia, comparable to electric L-C circuits. This complex loading may affect the control strategy. The engine and the drivetrain are fairly stable systems with predictable behavior. For example, engine firing moment is known from crankshaft phase. This means that the optimal control strategy may use these known properties to minimize power transfer and transfer losses.

This idle control strategy should not interfere with the generator’s role to provide power to several vehicle systems. When the throttle pedal is pressed, the generator control system will move to a different mode to (roughly) stabilize the 80 Volt capacitor bank voltage. This can be regarded as a conventional, fairly slow, AC-DC power supply PID control system function. The engine’s idle control system will not be active anymore. This transition must be smooth, within a range of driver behavior.

The principles of this system are also applicable to normal cars, trucks, and boats, but the benefit for the PAL-V vehicle is high due to the importance of low weight.

The goal of the assignment is to investigate the viability of the proposed solution, and preferably make it work. Clearly this will require analysis but also experimentation. Hardware is available for these experiments in our facilities in Raamsdonksveer.

Our perfect candidate

  • You follow a university education in engineering.
  • You are in the fourth year of your studies and are looking for a graduation assignment.
  • You have affinity with the aviation industry and/or innovation
  • You feel at home in an international, growing and entrepreneurial organisation.

Our offer for you

What sets the standard:

  • An excellent internship allowance.
  • Commute and homework allowance.
  • Good internship supervision by an experienced colleague.
  • We are easily accessible by car and there is bus stop about 10 minutes’ walk away.

To keep you healthy:

  • Flexible hours.
  • Fresh fruit in the office.
  • Vitality platform through which you can get in touch with other colleagues who practice the same hobbies or just to discover new hobbies together.

Because it’s fun:

  • We have new interns in almost every department every period, so you can connect with other students.
  • Team activities, we have a party committee!
  • You may have the opportunity to continue working after your internship.

Apply now!

MYNEWJOB@PAL-V.COM

The application process

1. Send an email and a motivational letter specific for our organisation to mynewjob@pal-v.com. Please also let us know when your internship period starts, when it ends and how many hours you are available per week.

Note: If you are an international student we would like to ask you to use Pathfinder. In it you will find all practical information for international students who want to study, do an internship or stay in the Netherlands after their studies.

2. You receive a direct confirmation of your application.

Note: this could be in your SPAM folder.

3. Within 10 workdays, you will receive a personal reaction on your application. This can be an invitation to the next rounds or rejection based on your experience or company requirements.

4. PAL-V has a max of 2 meeting rounds in the procedure, during you would speak to Teamlead Powerplant and a team member.