Fuel Efficiency in All Wheel Drive (AWD) System

What people look for when buying a car? Many things, we do a lot of research before making such an investment. And one of the major features we look into is its fuel efficiency. The race to produce the most fuel efficient engine is now going on in India. Each month car companies are proving that this race will go on for a while (The last car released Honda Jazz has an FE of 27km/litre for its diesel model, this was unthinkable a few years ago.)

We, mechanical engineers, know that a 2 WD vehicle is more fuel efficient than a 4WD one. Though the car companies in India except Mahindra & Toyota (for SUVs) are not coming with any 4 WD vehicles now, it could be the next trend in Indian automobile industry.

This final year mechanical project is about creating a software simulation system to find out the power losses in the propeller shafts of All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicles. The simulation program developed is called ‘Propeller Shaft Calculator’. This calculator is not an actual computer program but rather a ‘MS Excel’ program which contains rows and columns where you can input different dimensions and it calculates and outputs the apt dimensions for the new energy efficient propeller shaft.

In this project different components of an AWD system is studied closely to see if there are any potential ways to reduce power loss. The components for the study involves propeller shaft, joints and bearings of the AWD system. The aim of this project is to create a simple tool that will help in the making of a better fuel efficient propeller shaft.

The aims of this project include:

• Obtain deeper knowledge about the chosen parts on the propeller shaft to find the greatest causes to power losses and to give proposals how these can be reduced.
• Write a report with facts about the propeller shaft and its components that can be used as a support while designing an efficient driveline.
• Create a program that calculates the different angles and directions between the parts on the propeller shaft after inserted specific data.
• Create a model for calculating the natural frequency of the propeller shaft.
• Get to know engineers within the Automotive industry.
• Learn how a modern AWD-system works.
• Increase the knowledge about the car manufacturing industry.

Last but not the least, this program doesn’t calculate the power losses on different joints of the propeller shaft.

The full details of this project can be seen here.


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