Low-Cost Pathway to Ultra Efficient City Car: Series Hydraulic Hybrid System with Optimized Supervisory Control 2009-24-0065
A series hydraulic hybrid concept (SHHV) has been explored as a potential pathway to an ultra-efficient city vehicle. Intended markets would be congested metropolitan areas, particularly in developing countries. The target fuel economy was ~100 mpg or 2.4 l/100km in city driving. Such an ambitious target requires multiple measures, i.e. low mass, favorable aerodynamics and ultra-efficient powertrain. The series hydraulic hybrid powertrain has been designed and analyzed for the selected light and aerodynamic platform with the expectation that (i) series configuration will maximize opportunities for regeneration and optimization of engine operation, (ii) inherent high power density of hydraulic propulsion and storage components will yield small, low-cost components, and (iii) high efficiency and high power limits for accumulator charging/discharging will enable very effective regeneration. The simulation study focused on the SHHV supervisory control development, to address the challenge of the low storage capacity of the accumulator. Two approaches were pursued, i.e. the thermostatic SOC control, and Stochastic Dynamic Programming for horizon optimization. The stochastic dynamic programming was setup using a set of naturalistic driving schedules, recorded in normal traffic. The analysis included additional degree of freedom, as the engine power demand was split into two variables, namely engine torque and speed. The results represent a significant departure from the conventional wisdom of operating the engine near its “sweet spot” and indicate what is preferred from the system stand-point. Predicted fuel economy over the EPA city schedule is ~93 mpg with engine idling, and ~110 mpg with engine shut-downs.