Senior Design Projects Spring 2016

Traveling Wave Fault Location

Honorable Mention 2016 Design Expo Award Winner

Team Members

Kevin Schoenknecht, Jacob Marshall, and Troy Johnston, Electrical Engineering

Advisors

John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

American Transmission Co. (ATC)

Project Overview

Our goal is to use travelling wave fault location technology to accurately predict where a fault has occurred on an ATC transmission line. The SEL-411L relay is capable of recording times when traveling waves, which are created by a fault, arrive at the relay. This should allow ATC to identify the causes of faults faster, resulting in reduced outage times and shorter, more cost-effective investigations. We needed to design a panel to store the SEL-411L relay and its related components. We also worked on developing a procedure for the implementation and use of the panel.


Scaled Electrical Leak Location Solution

Scaled Electrical Leak Location Solution

Team Members

Charlie Stone, Nathan Bryant, and John Marsh, Electrical Engineering and Qinzhe Zhang, Computer Engineering

Advisor

Jeff Burl, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Electroscan Inc.

Project Overview

Electroscan has developed a method for leak detection in non-conductive water pipes (clay, PVC, concrete etc.) to replace traditional visual inspection methods. This is done by measuring electric current sent through defects in the pipe. Electroscan’s current technology is limited to a maximum of 30-inch pipes. Our task was to create a larger scale version of the current E-38 measurement probe, model the electric field of the device, and test the device. This design will expand capability to test pipe diameters from 30 to 60 inches.


RAM Electrification and Idle Management

Team Members

Jared Bender, Tucker Alsup, Angela Rubeck, and Charles Quinn, Electrical Engineering

Advisors

Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

Project Overview

The commercial trucking industry requires their vehicles to power electrical loads like work-site lighting, hydraulic pumps, and electric cranes. However, the industry also seeks to reduce operating costs by reducing engine idle time. Our team seeks to develop a software model that determines optimal additional energy storage capacity while maximizing fuel savings. A Ram 4500 truck was fitted with a battery pack of varying energy storage capability. A series of low and high load power and fuel consumption tests were performed in order to see the effects of the additional batteries. The results of this project will aid in future vehicle battery design and show the effectiveness of the idle-off power strategy.


Utility UAV—Specification Performance Team

Team Members

Shayle Murray and Obdiel Pesina, Computer Engineering, Jon Phillips and Spencer Leivo, Electrical Engineering, and Ricardo Gonzalez Rodrigez, Mechanical Engineering

Advisors

Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

ITC Holdings Corp.

Project Overview

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) outfitted with a payload of suitable inspection equipment could reduce the environmental impact of utility inspection activities, shorten the time needed in difficult-to-access locations, and reduce the costs associated with transmission infrastructure inspection. An opportunity exists to assess the ability of commercially available UAVs to perform infrastructure inspections utilizing an inspection payload package. Our team is preparing a procurement specification detailing the UAV requirements needed to perform infrastructure inspection versus performance, including maneuverability and flight time. We are also developing methods that maximize the UAV functionality within the constraints of FAA regulation. We are also working to optimize UAV energy consumption and safe weather conditions operation by establishing UAV inspection protocols.

 

Railroad Car Wheel Contamination Detection

Team Members

Dylan Etelamaki and Wayne Helminen, Electrical Engineering and Josh Manela and Joel Yauk, Computer Engineering

Advisors

Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Norfolk Southern Corporation and Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program/NURail Center

Project Overview

A hump yard is used in the rail industry to separate incoming railroad cars onto one of several outgoing tracks. The lead track into the yard is built over a hump. The railroad cars are uncoupled at the crest of the hump and use gravity to roll to their designated track. A track mounted, mechanical brake called a retarder regulates the speed of the uncoupled cars. The retarder’s ability to control the speed of an uncoupled railroad car is occasionally compromised due to contaminants on the wheels. Our team is developing a way to identify contaminated wheels and alert yard personnel prior to decoupling at the crest of the hump. 


Ungrounded System Protection

Team Members

David D’Ambrosio, Jake Hardin, Grant Hurford, and Jordan LaFontaine, Electrical Engineering

Advisors

John Lukowski,, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

DTE Energy

Project Overview

DTE Energy has decided to apply grounding transformers to their 4800V ungrounded distribution system. Our design team is using ASPEN software to model DTE Energy distribution circuits and analyze potential solutions for this project. Faults of various impedances are applied at different locations on the circuit and tests are run to find the most accurate and reliable means of grounding an ungrounded 4800V delta system. Our project goal is to provide a case study of electrical characteristics, reliability criteria, and an economic analysis of the selected test circuits, along with gaining a higher understanding of grounded and ungrounded distribution systems.


Utility UAV—Inspection Interface Team

Team Members

Joel Cherney, Eric Parsell, and Nopparuj Sailing, Computer Engineering and Linas Templeton, Electrical Engineering

Advisors

Trever Hassell, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

ITC Holdings Corp.

Project Overview

Our team is designing a system of sensors that attaches to a drone to provide the ability for ITC line inspection teams to collect and interpret inspection data in a straightforward, safe, timely, and cost effective manner. Our system provides specific sensor packages, gimbal, visual light video transmission and recording, IR light video transmission and recording, and a prototype build.


Nexteer HiL Design

Team Members

Andrew Higginbotham and Noah Payne, Computer Engineering and Adam Cain, Electrical Engineering

Advisors

Jeff Burl, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsor

Nexteer Automotive

Project Overview

Currently much of the EPS (Electric Power Steering) system software testing and evaluation is performed in a vehicle undergoing multiple driving maneuvers. This approach can only find problems late in the development cycle when they are expensive to fix. With HiL testing, there exists an ability to evaluate the EPS controller performance in multiple driving maneuvers before the hardware or vehicle is available. Our team projects is focused on saving in-vehicle check-out time and resources as well as increasing the number of test conditions evaluated, to create an overall improvement in quality of the delivered EPS system.