Design, Simulation and Validation of Front End Auxiliary Drive (FEAD) Mounting Bracket for Electric Powertrain Application 2019-26-0279
The main driving force behind recent innovations in automotive sector is the need to decrease the dependability on fossil fuels and move towards alternative sources for energy. While there is still substantial scope for improvement in conventional diesel and petrol engine based powertrains, the inherent dependency on limited and rapidly depleting carbon based fuels make their long term usage impractical highlighting the need for alternative non-conventional powertrain setups.
In the recent past, electric powertrains have come out as favourable alternative as they are extremely flexible in adopting to scenarios where energy for use might be drawn from multiple sources such as solar power, hydroelectric, nuclear reaction, etc. The advantages can further be magnified by adopting the electric power based powertrains in mass transportation application such as bus application. However, the adoption of electric power based powertrains requires a complete redesign of powertrain mounting architecture.
This study is specifically focused on redesigning the front end auxiliary drive(FEAD) mounting bracket for bus application. The new design will also include the provision for the mounting of prime mover (electric motor) along with auxiliary components so as to act as an interface between vehicle frame and prime mover thereby departing from existing scheme where FEAD bracket is directly mounted on to the engine which is then mounted on the frame. The designing process is primarily driven by FEA analysis based input in order to reduce developmental time and costs without compromising on primary function under vibration loading conditions. Furthermore, the design is also subjected to optimization process for achieving maximum possible weight reduction advantage. The software tools used for the study are namely Altair Hyper Works, MSC Nastran and Optistruct. The resulting design along with simulation results are well correlated by physical validation on test rig setups and live vehicle testing.