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Virtual Component and System Integration for Efficient Electrified Vehicle Development

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VISION-xEV (Virtual Component and System Integration for Efficient Electrified Vehicle Development)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-12-31

The requirement to meet stringent future vehicle fleet CO2 emission limits enforces the need for an accelerated introduction of a broad range of electrified/hybrid vehicle configurations to the market. Vehicle powertrain electrification/hybridization, however, inevitably results in increased powertrain complexity and an extended number of derivatives from the standard vehicle models. This leads to increased development efforts and related costs while simultaneously adversely affecting the time to market.
VISION-xEV addresses the need for simulation tools and methods to support digital development and virtual integration of components and systems to enable faster deployment of electrified/hybrid vehicles to the market. Therefore, the overall goal of VISION-xEV is to unveil and demonstrate consistent simulation-based methodologies for virtual component and system integration. The resulting simulation methods are aimed at enabling an increased utilization of virtual prototyping from component to sub-system to powertrain/vehicle level to support the efficient and effective development of future electrified/hybrid vehicles.
Based on the requirements and needs related to different vehicle powertrain development use-cases defined by the industry partners, electrical energy storage component models with improved accuracy and the related seamless parameterization methods were elaborated. The e-machine and power electronic related modelling activities were focused on the development and validation of an integrated multi-physics simulation approach for different types of e-motors and inverters. Advanced engine and aftertreatment system models with increased accuracy and improved performance were developed, comprising innovative sub-models of turbo-charging devices, coolant/oil circuits and aftertreatment components. Furthermore, novel and innovative coupling and co-simulation methods were adopted to efficiently interface the electrical, thermal and thermodynamic component models to support an integrated multi-domain system simulation approach.
Validation of the VISION-xEV virtual component and system integration framework and the impact assessment with regards to the overall project goals was carried out on the basis of its application to dedicated development tasks related to the industry use-cases.
In this context, simulation models of innovative catalytic aftertreatment components including electrically heated catalyst and phase-change material parts were studied for a passenger car PHEV configuration. Vehicle performance, fuel consumption and pollutant emissions were investigated for standard and real driving cycles. The results show that the optimized sub-models and advanced coupling approaches lead to improved prediction accuracy, confirming that the VISION-xEV framework can be applied to properly determine the optimal engine as well as associated aftertreatment system configuration for hybrid applications.
The VISION-xEV simulation framework was also used to determine the optimum choice and performance of the hybrid powertrain layout for an HEV urban bus application. To this end a digital twin of the vehicle was created, using models from the project partners and validated with measured data. The resulting models were adopted in two case studies to evaluate the impact of different missions and configurations on the hybrid vehicle performance. The results obtained were analyzed with a strong focus on the electrified components and used to perform an impact assessment out of the new simulation procedures on simulation efficiency and product development time.
In the battery management related use-case, digital twin models for a PHEV passenger car configuration were set up, with a battery sized to accomplish the entire WLTC cycle in pure electric mode. The capabilities of the digital twin models were shown for different driving cycles, energy management and charging strategies, and adopted to study the impact of different scenarios on the battery thermal system. The achievements of the research activities clearly show that once the simulation archetype is defined, the multi-physical domain modelling effort adopting the VISION-xEV approach is considerably reduced with respect to current technologies.
In addition, the applicability of the VISION-xEV simulation framework was demonstrated for development tasks related to PHEV transmission and e-components configuration, BEV thermal management system layout and HEV powertrain configuration and energy efficiency assessment. The results clearly demonstrate that the improved component models as well as the elaborated coupling and co-simulation methods are able to successfully support fast and seamless multi-domain vehicle system model generation, their efficient simulation and easy exchange of component and sub-system models provided by the project partners.
Exploitation of project achievements has been related to the advanced software modelling and methods, including the related experimental characterization and model parameterization approaches, vehicle/powertrain development processes and extended lecture/teaching material. Furthermore, the findings and achievements have been continuously disseminated in the course of the project via paper publications at conferences and in selected journals, as well as via presentations at workshops.
The project results clearly reveal that following the integrated multi-domain vehicle system simulation concept of VISION-xEV, component and sub-system integrators will no longer depend on modelling details for specific vehicle components or sub-systems but can seamlessly integrate such models provided by their suppliers. Hence, the VISION-xEV framework facilitates the assessment of individual components’ behavior in a full system context already very early in the development process, thus enabling further front loading of development activities and related concept decisions. The use of integrated vehicle simulation results for assessment of the individual components and sub-systems performance also provides a sound basis for an intensified supplier integration into the development process, enabling development of optimum components at an earlier stage saving development loops.
Moreover, the application of the VISION-xEV framework to the vehicle/powertrain development use-cases specified by the industry partners indicates its potential for a further virtualization of electrified/hybrid vehicle development. The “first time right” approach facilitated by VISION-xEV will help to reduce the required effort in the later development and validation phases with the potential of considerable overall time reduction. Once the integrated vehicle system models are available in sufficient detail, the number of hardware prototypes and testbed facilities are likely to be reduced as tasks are moved into the virtual development path. In this context it can be estimated that a further reduction in powertrain prototypes and test facilities utilization is feasible.
The VISION-xEV methodology framework is a potential key enabler to support the extension of the classical vehicle development processes towards future hybrid and virtual releases. In this context, it also contributes to alleviating the need for the availability of vehicle powertrain prototype hardware to evaluate the impact of the design of particular vehicle components and subsystems.
VISION-xEV Virtual Component and System Integration Framework