A SCALABLE HYBRID POWER AND ENERGY ARCHITECTURE FOR UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES

Open Access
Author:
Hobbs, Nathaniel
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
March 22, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Heath Hofmann, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Energy
  • Power
  • Ultracapacitor
  • Hybrid
  • Robot
Abstract:
Currently, the limiting factor in electric vehicle design and performance is the energy source. This problem has been recognized in the automotive industry, and much research has gone into alternatives to batteries, or augmenting them through a hybridization scheme. Very little of this research has gone into doing the same for robots. The research in the robotics field has focused mainly on integrating highly energy dense power sources with little thought applied to optimizing the efficiency of power converter designs and efficient energy management. There has been no effort to standardize the design of robot power systems through the use of a scalable power delivery architecture. The challenge lies in the development of the hardware and control algorithms for a scalable power delivery architecture which satisfies both the power and energy requirements of most unmanned ground vehicles. This thesis proposes a robotic power architecture which is easily scalable and facilitates the use of a wide variety of energy storage/generation devices, while focusing on the system control algorithm and its stability. The experimental results for an example system are presented, demonstrating that the architecture functions properly when faced with real world robotic power demands.