Hands on lessons for students and staff as eCar loaned to GMIT
GMIT takes delivery of eCar for research and engineering projects
Date Article Written:
Monday, September 9, 2013
GMIT staff and students from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering have been getting first-hand experience of energy efficient electric cars having recently taken delivery of an eCar from Electric Ireland for testing and research purposes.
The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and the GMIT Centre for the Integration of Sustainable Energy Technologies (CiSET) have been given use of the electric car for several months to determine the efficiency of electric vehicles under different driver behaviors and conditions as well as to communicate to the public the potential benefits of emerging eCar technology.
The 4-door Mitsubishis i-MiEV has been driven by staff across various departments in the college such as the Schools Liaison Office (on school visits), the School of Science, School of Engineering and the Marketing office.
The research from the eCar is of particular benefit to students on the Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) in Energy Engineering, B. Eng in Mechanical Engineering, and M. Sc in Environmental Systems as they can examine the technical performance using data gathered by a CELTRACK driver behavioral analysis solution. An electric charging point has been set up in the Engineering block on campus where the car is parked for staff, students and visitors to view.
Dr Tom Roche, Principal Investigator on the eCar Research Project, GMIT School of Engineering, says the Institute is gathering data using CELTRAK’s tracking solution such as location, speed and acceleration/deceleration, and energy use. “This allows the GMIT CiSET researchers to determine the impact of driving conditions (urban vs suburban), speed and driver behavior on the efficiency of the vehicle. The various drivers are also surveyed to present a contextual driver experience to end users,” he explains.
“A new website is currently being developed and will be regularly updated with data, blogs and cases studies as they emerge in the research (see www.gmitecar.com). In addition it is planned that academic papers will be published by staff and students in the coming year based around the research being conducted. GMIT staff will also feature as guest bloggers on the ESB website.
“Ultimately, the research will investigate the potential of electric transportation to increase national competitiveness by reducing Ireland’s dependence on fuel imports and meeting the State’s legislative obligations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Ireland is currently lagging behind its targets and failure to meet these obligations could result in a cost to the state of up to €300m over the next seven years (epa 2013). Transportation emissions is one area in which substantial gains are possible and electric vehicles are a way to make progress in this area.” adds Dr Roche.
GMIT President Michael Carmody (centre) and Dr Tom Roche with the eCar on loan to the GMIT Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering for research and teaching projects.