Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-01-1185

Conceptualization and Implementation of a Scalable Powertrain, Modular Energy Storage and an Alternative Cooling System on a Student Concept Vehicle 2018-01-1185

The Deep Orange program immerses automotive engineering students into the world of an OEM as part of their 2-year graduate education. In support of developing the program’s seventh vehicle concept, the students studied the sponsoring brand essence, conducted market research, and made a heuristic assessment of competitor vehicles. The upfront research lead to the definition of target customers and setting vehicle level targets that were broken down into requirements to develop various vehicle sub-systems.
The powertrain team was challenged to develop a scalable propulsion concept enabled by a common vehicle architecture that allowed future customers to select (at the point of purchase) among various levels of electrification best suiting their needs and personal desires. Four different configurations were identified and developed: all-electric, two plug-in hybrid electric configurations, and an internal combustion engine only.
The electrified powertrain comprises of an innovative thermal system using the structural rocker beams as heat exchangers, thereby eliminating the need for conventional radiators. Two cargo compartments (one at each end of the vehicle) were realized through efficient packaging of the electric units and an internal combustion engine in the front and rear, respectively, with a modular energy (battery and/or fossil fuel) storage system located under the passenger compartment. Simulation tools were used to size the powertrain components for each of the four propulsion configurations. The efficiency of the thermal system was verified using CFD analyses in combination with preliminary bench testing.
The outcome of the Deep Orange 7 project was a drivable vehicle demonstrator designed, engineered, built and tested by the student team. Industry partners functioned as project sponsors as well as mentors throughout the 2-year development cycle.


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