Student's energy estimation research takes him to COMVEC
Graduate Research Assistant Satvik Khuntia was chosen to speak as a panelist at the 2022 COMVEC Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. At COMVEC, he presented the work he has been doing on the SuperTruck II project, which involves predicting the energy required in a battery pack for a class 8 truck.
This project, sponsored by the Department of Energy and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), aims to make class 8 trucks more sustainable. When the truck drivers aren’t driving, they may still need to turn on their engines to get energy to do certain activities, like using the air conditioning, microwave and radio. This wastes extra fuel. If research could predict how much energy is needed to use this equipment, the drivers could use a battery pack instead of the engine.
Khuntia’s work aims to find a formula using physics-based modeling and machine learning techniques that can predict that energy and make a battery pack to supply it. By using a battery pack instead of idling the truck engine, drivers could save up to $40 a day and about 200 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment.
After being selected in April to present his project, Khuntia started working on his presentation slides. This was a rigorous five-month process, and Khuntia had to fit all of his research into a 12-minute presentation that everyone in the audience could understand. The margin of error in this situation was very low.
However, the conference was a rewarding experience for him. Khuntia says “it trained me to do something that people 5-10 years into their professional careers get the chance to do.” Working at CAR, he considers himself to be well-trained on technical information relating to his field. Presenting at COMVEC helped him work on his soft skills and learn how to make his research engaging for a large audience.
Written by CAR Writing Intern, Cassie Forsha