The Mechanical Energy and Power Systems (MEPS) Laboratory
The Mechanical Energy and Power Systems (MEPS) Laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Minnesota is operated by the Dr. Van de Ven. The MEPS Laboratory provides 1400 sq. ft. of recently renovated laboratory space for research towards design and optimization of efficient and compact of energy generation, transfer, and storage technologies. The laboratory contains eight individual experimental mechanical and fluid power workbenches with mechanical breadboards for mounting experimental components and lexan safety enclosures. The lab also contains two fabrication benches, the mechanical fabrication bench equipped with a vise, drill press, grinder, taps, hand tools, saws, etc, and the electrical fabrication bench equipped with a circuit board vise, soldering iron, spools of wire, assorted ICs, resistors, transistors, capacitors, and voltage regulators. The lab also contains a rapid prototyping machine for design visualization.
Large equipment in the lab includes an 8 kW closed-loop control hydraulic dynamometer with generative and regenerative capabilities, three hydraulic power supplies (5-15 kW) with electronic pressure and flow control operating at 35 MPa, and a 150 kW pump test stand with VFD and chilled water cooling. Smaller equipment includes assorted hydraulic pumps, motors, valves, and actuators, variable DC power supplies, prototyping parts, oscilloscopes, sensors, and meters. The facility is equipped with a compressed air, vacuum, water, and 208 VAC three-phase power. A high-speed digital video camera is also available for the experimental work. A conference table, white board, video calling capability, and LCD projector promote communication among the research team.