Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Massood Atashbar

Second Advisor

John Patten


In plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the optimum temperatures of the cabin and various fluids are achieved through the dissipating heat of the internal combustion engine. In colder climates the initial warm-up of components requires the internal combustion engine to run causing unnecessary consumption of fuel. This project improved the pre-heating system formerly in place. It uses a variety of electric heaters along with the positive temperature coefficient (PTC) heater and blower motor already installed on the vehicle. A system utilizing a microcontroller turns the heaters on and off based on the inputs from the temperature sensors installed on the vehicle. In order to improve the previous system, this project utilizes seven relays instead of two. Each component is controlled by a designated relay, which improves the functionality and control of which components are pre-heated. With the addition of new heaters, this system is able to pre-heat more components, and is able to cycle which heaters are on, in order to achieve optimal temperatures. Besides better control and improved functionality, this project improved the dependability of the system. The circuitry required to cycle the relays, along with the microcontroller, were mounted onto a printed circuit board, which was housed in an enclosure. The required relays were also housed in an enclosure and are easily replaceable in a case of a future failure. This system interfaces with an Android application developed by previous groups. The application allows users to preset a schedule to control when the system automatically turns on based on their daily requirements.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access