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Technical Paper

Fuel Economy Comparison Studies of Forklift Transmission Architecture

Fuel economy is one of the major challenges for both on and off-road vehicles. Inefficient engine operation and loss of kinetic energy in the form of heat during braking are two of the major sources of wasted fuel energy. Rising energy costs, stringent emission norms and increased environmental awareness demand efficient drivetrain designs for the next generation of vehicles. This paper analyzes three different types of powertrain concepts for efficient operation of a forklift truck. Starting from a conventional torque convertor transmission, hydrostatic transmission and a hydraulic hybrid transmission (Eaton architecture) are compared for their fuel economy performance. Eaton hydraulic hybrid system is seen to perform much better compared to other two architectures. Improved fuel economy is attributed to efficient engine operation and regeneration of vehicle kinetic energy during braking.
Technical Paper

Plant Identification and Design of Optimal Clutch Engagement Controller

Automated clutches for vehicle startup is being increasingly deployed in commercial trucks for benefits, which include driver comfort, gradient performance, improved clutch life, emissions and driveline vibration reduction potential. The process of designing the controller is divided into 2 parts. Firstly, the parameter estimation of previously developed driveline models is carried out. The procedure involves an off-line minimization technique based on measured and estimated speeds. Secondly, the nominal plant model is used to develop LQR based optimal control strategy, which takes into account the slip time, dissipated power and slip acceleration. Mathematical expression of the performance index is clearly developed. A variety of clutch lock up profiles can be incorporated by changing a single tuning parameter, thus providing the driver the ability to select a launch profile based on specific driving objectives.
Technical Paper

Numerical Improvement of ADVISOR for Evaluating Commercial Vehicles with Traditional Powertrain Systems

ADVISOR is a flexible drivetrain analysis tool, developed in MATLAB/Simulink® to compare fuel economy and emissions performance between different drivetrain configurations. This paper reports a couple of numerical issues with application of ADVISOR 2002 to commercial vehicles with traditional powertrain systems. One instance is when ADVISOR model is set up to simulate running a heavy-duty (HD) truck with an automated manual transmission (AMT) on a demanding pickup-delivery duty cycle. The other is highlighted during an analysis of a medium-duty (MD) truck with an automatic transmission (AT) where wide-open throttle, i.e., fast acceleration is requested. These two cases have shown different numerical difficulties by using ADVISOR 2002. Based on studying the details of the models, solutions to these numerical issues are developed. The simulation results will demonstrate the effectiveness of these solutions.
Technical Paper

Low-Height Differential Concepts for EVs

Compared to the internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles on the road today, Electric Vehicles (EV) deliver more torque to vehicle wheels, and require smaller driveline packaging envelopes. Current differentials use asymmetrical ring gears with differential housings that are roughly a third of the tire outside diameter. New differential architecture concepts are shown here to deliver more torque to the wheels, while decreasing the height of the differential as much as fourfold. Most EV’s are driven by one or more torsion motors, delivering torque to the left side and the right side of the EV’s at different speeds during a vehicle turn, or a wheel “spinout.” At low speeds, the EV motors deliver more torque to the wheels than comparably sized ICE vehicles, so EV differentials must be built stronger and stiffer to manage the distribution of available drive torque.