State of charge estimation for an electric wheelchair using a fuel gauge model

Christopher Miller, Kelilah Wolkowicz, Jariullah Safi, Sean N. Brennan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Electric wheelchair users depend on a reliable power system in order to regain mobility in their daily lives. If a wheelchair's battery power depletes without the user being aware, the individual may become stranded, further limiting their freedom of mobility and potentially placing the user in a harmful situation. This research seeks to develop a State-of-Charge (SOC) estimator for the batteries of an electric wheelchair. A second-order equivalent circuit battery model is developed and parameterized for a wheelchair's lead-acid battery pack. To simplify the SOC estimation, this algorithm models a vehicle's fuel gauge. A coulomb accumulator is incorporated to estimate energy usage in the non-linear region of the OCV-SOC curve, while a Kalman filter is used to estimate SOC in the linear region of the curve. The estimator is verified using experimentally collected data on-board a robotic wheelchair. The implementation of these algorithms with powered wheelchairs can significantly improve the estimation of wheelchair battery power and can ultimately be coupled with warning systems to alert users of depleting battery life, as well as enable low-power modes to increase wheelchair user safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Control Design Methods, Nonlinear and Optimal Control, Robotics, and Wind Energy Systems; Aerospace Applications; Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics; Assistive Robotics; Battery and Oil and Gas Systems; Bioengineering Applications; Biomedical and Neural Systems Modeling, Diagnostics and Healthcare; Control and Monitoring of Vibratory Systems; Diagnostics and Detection; Energy Harvesting; Estimation and Identification; Fuel Cells/Energy Storage; Intelligent Transportation
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791850695
StatePublished - 2016
EventASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2016 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 14 2016

Publication series

NameASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2016


OtherASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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