Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

A simulation programme for electric and hybrid vehicles

Electric and hybrid vehicles are a new generation of transport for which there is a large amount of innovative research and development currently taking place. Simulation tools can help designers in their search for the best vehicle structures and operating strategies. Developers of these tools may use programming languages to develop computer simulation programmes. However, although these are fast to construct, users cannot make modifications to the simulated system. Another option is to use professional simulation systems, but this option costs more and restricts the capabilities of the simulation system. An alternative was used in this project, in which an integrated programming language was developed that can meet the requirements for simulating electric vehicle components.

A drive train simulator (DTS) programme was developed using an integrated programming language to describe vehicle structures, vehicle components and drive cycles. The system was modular, such that the vehicle was considered to consist of a small number of complex components. These components and their interaction could then be described with a programming language optimized for simulation requirements. A user interface was designed to provide an efficient use of simulation source code. The user can check and change any important data that determines the simulated system, without having to deal with the source code. Every user can create new components and new drive train structures. The simulation programme was developed by the Belgian and German project collaborators. Four universities from eastern Europe also worked with the project to prepare simulation modules for different parts of the DTS simulation package. The system was developed to run under a Windows environment, with a minimum configuration of Windows 3.1, a 386 processor and 4 MB RAM. This environment allows for multi-tasking, data exchange between applications, an easy use of different output devices and a graphical and intuitive user interface.

Simulation modules were developed for standard electric and hybrid vehicles equipped with drive cycle machines and controllers. The user controls the simulator through a picture of the simulated system. Changes of constants that determine the components' behaviour can be made without reference to the source code. The same applies to characteristic curves used within a component. A component of a given structure, such as the battery, can be replaced by a similar component such as another battery, using a menu driven approach.


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