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Scarcity and cost of fossil fuels combined with their greenhouse gas emissions make the development of non-fossil fuel based methods of transportation a high- priority task. In this paper, we present the results of an innovative senior design project at the University of Portland. The project is to design an intelligent battery charger controller so that solar energy can be used as an additional energy source for hybrid automobiles using gasoline and electricity. The design idea is implemented and tested. The experimental project successfully demonstrates the feasibility of boosting a solar panel generated low voltage (24 V) energy source to a desired high voltage (150 V) for charging a battery pack. The result demonstrates that solar energy can be used as an additional clean energy source for hybrid automobiles.
Date of Conference: 10-13 Oct. 2007