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Fuel Efficiency in AWD System (Mechanical Project)

This degree project has been made in cooperation with engineers working for GM Engineering/Saab Automobile AB in Trollhättan. The given name by Saab for the project is “Fuel efficiency improvements in All Wheel Drive(AWD)-system”.

The main tasks of this thesis work were to investigate the size of the power losses in different parts on the propeller shaft, to design a computer program that calculates coordinates and angles on a propeller shaft and to investigate the possibilities to put together a simplified formula that calculates the natural frequencies on a propeller shaft.

The main parts of this report are a compilation of the theory about AWD and mostly about the parts on the propeller shaft, and also a description of the developed computer program called Propeller Shaft Calculator. This report doesn’t concern power losses in the different joints because there were no such general equations to be found. The most common way to calculate the power losses inside a joint is to do tests were the power loss is measured at different angles, torque and speed and then use that data to put together an approximated equation.

Most of the work on this project has been on theory studies and on programming. The main result of the project is the program Propeller Shaft Calculator.

Propeller Shaft Calculator is a program that is designed in Microsoft Excel. All the menus are programmed in the visual basic editor in Excel. The program is supposed to be used as a help while designing new propeller shafts.

Propeller Shaft Calculator can calculate all the coordinates, lengths, angles and directions on a propeller shaft. It also calculates natural frequencies, plunge, estimated power loss on the second shaft and angles in the joints. In the program you can choose to do calculations on four different configurations of propeller shafts but can quite
easy upgrade the program with more choices.

Basically the program works like this:
First you choose the right propeller shaft in the main menu. Then you fill out the indata sheet with coordinates, lengths, material data and so on. As you type in the input data the output data will appear in the out-data sheet next to the in-data. Every propeller shaft has also a calculations sheet were more detailed calculations can be found. The program also has a built in help function and a warning function that lights a warning sign next to the values if they are outside the limits.
Source: Jönköping University
Authors: Fredriksson, Robert | Trkulja, Milovan

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