Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Wagner, John

Committee Member

Vahidi , Ardalan

Committee Member

Schweisinger , Todd


An integrated, multi-disciplined approach to engineering design is a broad definition of mechatronics. Though some mechatronics proponents differ in their definitions of the topic, an interdisciplinary approach to engineering is taken by many industries which should be reflected on campus in the approach to engineering education. In this thesis, two mechatronics systems are investigated. A laboratory experiment is developed for use in the mechanical engineering program at Clemson University, and a thermoelectric power generation from diesel engine exhaust heat is investigated as an automotive industry application.
An electromagnet excited masspendulum system with attached spring and damper elements is introduced as an undergraduate/graduate engineering experiment. This laboratory offers mechanical, electrical, and control engineering challenges to the students. The non-linear coupled equations of motion are derived using both Newtonian and Lagrangian approaches. The dynamic system is pendulum actuated by a powerful electromagnet for which the magnetic force is modeled by a magnetostatic forcing function. By accounting for the characteristics of a fluctuating magnetic field, the forcing function is useful in simulating the system response for the experimentally determined system parameters. Representative numerical and experimental results are presented which validate the mathematical model. Overall, the percent difference between the numerical and experimental results range from 2% to 47% for positions of the electromagnet within ±7.5cm of the system's equilibrium position. Further, the bench top experiment offers hands-on opportunities for the students to explore science and classical engineering concepts.
In the transportation industry, the need to improve powertrain efficiency and provide additional power to the many amenities in today's vehicles has encouraged research on engine waste heat recovery. Approximately one-third of the gasoline or diesel fuel energy passes through the exhaust system. With ongoing development in materials and module design, thermoelectric generation, used since the 1960s for its reliable power output in space applications, has potential for use in bulk applications of engine heat recovery. In this study, the capability of generating usable power from thermoelectric generation from the exhaust heat of a 3-cylinder, 4-cycle, 697 cubic-centimeter diesel engine was investigated. It was found that the maximum surface temperature of the exhaust thermoelectric generation system was approximately 204¡C. However, to ensure that the maximum temperature of the module's cold side was not exceeded, forced air was applied across the module's finned heat sinks. From laboratory testing, the maximum power outputs for a single module and four modules connected in series were 0.47W and 2.81W, with predicted maximum power outputs of 0.49W and 2.91W, respectively. Comparing the experimental values to numerically calculated values from the manufacturer's supplied data, it was observed that such calculations present an ideal outcome. The feasibility of the proposed alternative energy source merits further study and field testing but electric power can be generated in small quantities.



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