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Design OptiMisation for efficient electric vehicles based on a USer-centric approach

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DOMUS (Design OptiMisation for efficient electric vehicles based on a USer-centric approach)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-04-30

The DOMUS project aims to change radically the way in which vehicle passenger compartments and their respective comfort control systems are designed so as to optimise energy use and efficiency while keeping user comfort and safety needs central. Although a more thorough understanding of thermal comfort over recent years has led to significant increases in energy efficiency through better insulation and natural ventilation, substantial room for improvement still exists. With Electric Vehicles (EVs) in particular, which are emerging as the most sustainable option for both satisfying the future mobility needs in Europe and reducing the impact on the environment, inefficiencies must be minimized due to their detrimental effect on the range.
Starting with activities to gain a better understanding of comfort, combined with the development of numerical models which represent both the thermal and acoustic characteristics of the passenger compartment, DOMUS aims to create a validated framework for virtual assessment and optimization of the energy used. In parallel, innovative solutions for glazing, seats, insulation and radiant panels, will be developed along with controllers to optimize their performance individually and when operating in combination, the optimal configuration of which will be derived through numerical simulation.
The aim is that the combined approach of innovating at a component level together with optimising the overall configuration will deliver at least the targeted 25% improvement in EV range without compromising passenger comfort and safety. Furthermore, the project will demonstrate the key elements of the new approach in a real prototype vehicle. As such DOMUS aims to create a revolutionary approach to the design of vehicles from a user-centric perspective for optimal efficiency, the application of which will be key to increasing range and hence customer acceptance and market penetration of EVs in Europe and around the world in the coming years.
Since the beginning of the project, the main results achieved include:

WP 1: Assessment framework equation, Completion of Holistic Comfort Model (HCM), 3D thermal model, 3D Acoustic model, 1D of the HVAC and the thermal cabin, Machine Learning (ML) of the cabin, DPIV baseline test and first correlations with the model

WP 2: Completion of four design cabins, the definition of the structure and functionalities of the AFIT, preliminary assessment of energy efficiency of the different design cabins

WP 3: For thermal insulating subsystem for the passenger compartment, two innovative materials have been investigated and developed within DOMUS and the materials developed have been combined (or not) and scaled up to 3D demonstrators (panels); The nanoporous thermal barrier has been scaled up from 2D model substrates to a 3D demonstrator (dashboard element). The glazing is under production after the glass composition defined & validate by CRF. For the Glazing the production is ongoing after the insulation & heating function simulation made, the design & shape validate

WP 4: Completion of the design and construction phase of front active seats with an overall weight reduction of ∑ 3.796 g; final selection of the technologies to be applied in the dashboard as well as an estimation of their weight-saving potential; progress in the Cross Car Cabin (CCB) and Interior Panel (IP) design activities to complete the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) files

WP 5: Definition of pre-condition strategies; completion of prototyping and delivery of almost all radiant panels; design, prototyping, and testing of the Thermal Energy Storage (TES); completion of HVAC design prototyping and preparation of test bench; definition of the electric architecture for the Active Comfort System; Completion of Human Machine Interface (HMI) design and functionalities, the methodology of developing control logic and completion of its first phases

WP 6: First results of the packaging studies, noise intrusion and crash simulations of the demo car; completion of Climatic Wind Tunnel (CWT) tests of the baseline

WP 7: Setting up the project website and design the first DOMUS flyer and two newsletters
DOMUS will develop:

-A holistic comfort model considering all comfort factors and creation of a 3D virtual model of the cabin to be used for optimization

-A virtual design and assessment methodology for process optimization taking into account human characteristics in terms of comfort and driving behaviour.

-New insulation solutions and materials for cabin components such as glazing pigments to improve IR reflection, high thermal insulating coatings or insulating organic aerogel technology with very low thermal conductivity

-New solutions and materials for reducing weight and thermal inertia for cabin components. Such as dashboard panels with NFPP, or air ducts made by extrusion blow-moulding of propylene.

-HVAC user-oriented (rather than cabin) to efficiently enhance comfort perception by means of self-adjusting airflow patterns guided ruled by real-time measuring of user conditions, machine learning HVAC regulation and advanced HMI applications
derived from the understanding of mental models

-An unified control unit for integrated comfort systems with automatic regulation of the whole comfort system

-New preconditioning strategies including new energy storage systems based on PCM with and real time positioning


Thanks to this innovations DOMUS will achieve an increase of the electric drive range of EVs compared to their 2016 reference models across a wide extent of ambient conditions. This will contribute to a wider adoption of EVs by the general public and accelerated transition towards the production of low and zero emission vehicles, in particular, battery EV and (plug in) hybrid EVs.
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