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Technical Paper

A New Design for Automotive Alternators

This paper introduces a new design for alternator systems that provides dramatic increases in peak and average power output from a conventional Lundell alternator, along with substantial improvements in efficiency. Experimental results demonstrate these capability improvements. Additional performance and functionality improvements of particular value for high-voltage (e.g., 42 V) alternators are also demonstrated. Tight load-dump transient suppression can be achieved using this new design and the alternator system can be used to implement jump charging (the charging of the high-voltage system battery from a low-voltage source). Dual-output extensions of the technique (e.g., 42/14 V) are also introduced. The new technology preserves the simplicity and low cost of conventional alternator designs, and can be implemented within the existing manufacturing infrastructure.
Technical Paper

Chain Representations of Dimensional Control: A Producibility Input for Concurrent Concept Design

Two critical milestones that must be achieved during concept design are 1) definition of a product architecture that meets performance, producibility, and strategic objectives, and 2) estimation of the integration risk in each candidate concept. This paper addresses these issues by describing the role played by the producibility members of an Integrated Product Team (IPT) during concept design. Our focus is on the execution of the what we call the “chain method”, which illustrates the structure of function delivery in a concept in a simple pictorial way and helps the IPT to understand the advantages or disadvantages of using a modular or an integral product architecture. The producibility members play a central role in capturing and evaluating the chains for different candidate concepts and decompositions.
Technical Paper

Making the Case for a Next Generation Automotive Electrical System

Introduction of an array of new electrical and electronic features into future vehicles is generating vehicle electrical power requirements that exceed the capabilities of today's 14 volt electrical systems. In the near term (5 to 10 years), the existing 14V system will be marginally capable of supporting the expected additional loads with escalating costs for the associated charging system. However, significant increases in vehicle functional content are expected as future requirements to meet longer-term (beyond 10 years) needs in the areas of emission control, fuel economy, safety, and passenger comfort. A higher voltage electrical system will be required to meet these future requirements. This paper explores the functional needs that will mandate a higher voltage system and the benefits derivable from its implementation.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Evaluating Body Architecture Concepts Using Technical Cost Modeling

The ability to make accurate decisions concerning early body-in-white architectures is critical to an automaker since these decisions often have long term cost and weight impacts. We address this need with a methodology which can be used to assist in body architecture decisions using process-based technical cost modeling (TCM) as a filter to evaluate alternate designs. Despite the data limitations of early design concepts, TCM can be used to identify key trends for cost-effectiveness between design variants. A compact body-in-white architecture will be used as a case study to illustrate this technique. The baseline steel structure will be compared to several alternate aluminum intensive structures in the context of production volume.
Technical Paper

42 Volts - The View from Today

A few years ago, the automobile industry agreed to adopt standards for a new voltage for the production and use of electrical power. The perception was near universal that 14 Volts was at the limits of its capability, and that 42 Volts would be adopted in a rush. The universal perception was wrong. Since then, much of the auto industry has encountered hard financial times. In a totally separate development, parts suppliers introduced innovations at 14 Volts, some of which a few years ago were thought to require 42 Volts. Today, there are 42-Volt cars and trucks for sale, but only at numbers far lower than necessary to begin to achieve economies of scale. But the factor which caused the industry to develop the 42 Volt standard, the growth of electricity use on motor vehicles, continues with no sign of letup. Further, the true technical obstacles to adoption of 42 Volts have been discovered and at least provisionally solved.
Technical Paper

Optimization-based Robust Architecture Design for Autonomous Driving System

With the recent advancement in sensing and controller technologies architecture design of an autonomous driving system becomes an important issue. Researchers have been developing different sensors and data processing technologies to solve the issues associated with fast processing, diverse weather, reliability, long distance recognition performance, etc. Necessary considerations of diverse traffic situations and safety factors of autonomous driving also increased the complexity of embedded software as well as architecture of autonomous driving. In these circumstances, there are almost countless numbers of possible architecture designs. However, these design considerations have significant impacts on cost, controllability, and system reliability. Thus, it is crucial for the designers to make challenging and critical design decision under several uncertainties during the conceptual design phase.