Five final-year mechanical engineering students of the TKM College of Engineering here have developed a power shifting device (PSD) that has the potential for application in hybrid vehicles.

A hybrid vehicle is one that uses both an electrical motor and a gas or diesel-powered engine to reduce fuel consumption.

Certain hybrid vehicles use regenerative braking system (RBS) where the engine power wasted during braking is stored as reusable electrical energy. To achieve this, the rotation of the engine during braking is shifted (power shifting) to another shaft where an electric generator is connected.

The PSD developed by the students allows shifting of power to the transmission shaft under normal conditions, which allows it to go to the gear box for manual transmission or to the automatic gear box.

The students, Jebin Thomas, Binu Benedict, Rohit S. Pillai, Vishal Valentine and Vinu V, say that compared to the complex planetary gear system used in hybrid vehicles by some automobile giants, the PSD developed by them was simple in design, easy to construct, comprised no complicated gear assembly and worked on the principle of manual transmission.

The students were guided by Sadiq A., senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

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