Friday, February 17, 2012

Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive

Our Hybrid Electric Vehicle class is undertaking a new project, thanks to the generous support of Gene's Auto Parts here in Northern Michigan. A Prius transmission arrived at our doorstep this week, along with inverters from Toyota and Honda vehicles. The transmission is equipped with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive unit, which blends the power from two electric motor/generators with the power from the internal combustion (gasoline) engine. It allows strong hybrids such as the Prius to operate on electric power alone. I cannot overstate the value of having our students dive into this unit. Textbooks and lecture can provide an understanding of the systems that are used in HEV' but "hands on" training has no substitute. After disassembling the unit, the class cleaned up all of the components. Next week, we will cut away the cases and assemble the unit to provide a cutaway view for use in display and for future training.