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Powerfull Advanced N-Level Digitalization Architecture for models of electrified vehicles and their components

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PANDA (Powerfull Advanced N-Level Digitalization Architecture for models of electrified vehicles and their components)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2020-05-31

The automotive industry needs to adopt a new approach for developing cars, because the automotive market is undergoing disruptive changes. Whilst electrified vehicles represented only 0.1% of the market in 2015, the number of electrified vehicles sale has doubled from 2014 to 2015 (from 600,000 to 1.2 Million) and is expected to grow massively in the coming decade. Traditionally manufacturers of internal combustion engines (ICEs) develop and assemble engines and transmissions (to a certain extent) independently form car manufacturers. The development is fundamentally different in electrified powertrains, as it is more complex to integrate all electrified systems in the vehicle design.

The PANDA project makes this fundamental change easier by developing a method to organise and interconnect models for all electrical vehicle components. A common framework based on the Energetic Macroscopic Representation (EMR) formalism will solve the problems of incompatibility between different models from different organisations, physical domains and levels of accuracy. PANDA is fully compatible with existing state-of-the-art methods such as Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) simulations. HiL simulation is used to test a real component by simulating the other vehicle components in a virtual environment (in real time). A dedicated interface is required to couple the real components with the virtual components.

The objectives are to:
• Develop an open organisation methodology for virtual & real testing of EVs
• Develop a multi-power open platform for Stand-Alone and Cloud-computing testing
• Perform virtual tests of reference electrified vehicles and real testing of selected subsystems

PANDA intends to play a leading role in the development of software tools and methods for improving the virtual generation of new products and new technologies.
At the start of the project, the rules for organizing the inputs and outputs of the models have been defined. In EMR it is important to define these rules, because the inputs and outputs need to be consistent with the natural causality of energy transfer between components. A multi-level electro-thermal model of a battery has been developed, together with a dedicated battery pack. The model has been validated using (among others) this battery pack. A method to develop models using machine learning has been developed, and will be tested in the second half of the project. In addition, EMR models of (permanent magnet) synchronous motors have been developed and validated on a test bench. In parallel, the commercial simulation environment Simcenter Amesim has been extended with an EMR library of all relevant components (batteries, e-motors, etc) and has been provided to the partners. In addition, the cloud facilities have been set up. All together (models, EMR library, simulation environment) a basic workflow is now ready to be used by all partners for testing and development.

An EMR library has also been developed for a HiL environment, together with dedicated HiL equipment. When the partners receive the HiL hardware, they can test and refine the virtual environment.

Finally, a framework has been developed for a forward life cycle assessment (LCA), that can be used to include all LCA aspects already during the design phase. Although the uncertainty of the input values makes it complex to do a forward LCA, it can give indication about critical key factors of the system. The preliminary results show that the energy requirement – its source and demand - for cell and battery manufacture is an important parameter to further improve production impacts. Likewise, the battery lifetime significantly affects the impact.
The outcome from the project will be that all electrical components in an electric vehicle can be combined in a single model, that can be used to simulate the entire vehicle virtually and in real time. This seamless integration of virtual models allows developers and designers to quickly explore and investigate new system architectures and components designs, without having to build a physical prototype first.

The unified approach will be fully validated during the project. The models of the components developed in PANDA are tested against the physical equivalents, such as battery packs and e-motors. When the models of the individual components have been fully validated, the integrated vehicle model will be tested against a battery electric vehicle (BEV), a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (P-HEV).

In addition, once the approach (together with all models) has been proven to be correct, it will be used to estimate how much time it can save in the development time of new electrified vehicles. The virtual PANDA approach will be applied to a P-HEV that is currently being developed. The time spent on the current development and testing process will be compared with the time spent on the virtual development. The PANDA partners expect that the virtual approach will shorten the development time (time-to-market) of electrified vehicles by up to 20%.

Based on these subsequent cost and time savings, the integrated virtual development will support the complete generation of a new electrified vehicles.