FLINT — Since it was established just over a year ago, Kettering University’s Advanced Power Electronics Lab continues to grow as a major industry research hub.

The latest contract for the lab is from FEV Inc., an international company that specializes in the design and development of internal combustion engines, conventional, electric and alternative vehicle drive systems and energy technology. FEV is also a supplier of advanced testing and instrumentation products and services.

APEL is part of Kettering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

FEV has partnered with Kettering on a three-month contract to design a control board for a 160-kilowatt inverter for a hybrid electric vehicle. The contract sponsors two graduate students, Chenguang Jiang and Chen Duan, to work on the project.

“This is a very high-powered inverter,” Jiang said. “It would be for a bus or truck.”

The graduate students working on the project under the supervision of Kevin Bai, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, will design the control board and develop the software to run it, then test its functionality on smaller motors, gradually moving up to higher powered ones. They began working on the research in September.

Bai said the APEL lab is a good platform to display Kettering’s work with power electronics.

“All of the people working in the lab have a power electronics background,” Bai said. “The advantage of a power electronics lab lies on the ease of managing all the staffs as they work.”

Since it opened, Bai and students in the lab have worked on contracts for the following companies:

Chrysler: http://kettering.edu/news/chrysler-contract-battery-course-part-continuing-growth-power-electronics-lab

Magna E-Car and Progressive Dynamics: www.kettering.edu/news/improving-phev-batteries

Tenneco: www.kettering.edu/news/power-electronics-get-new-home-kettering


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