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Technical Paper

VTool: A Method for Predicting and Understanding the Energy Flow and Losses in Advanced Vehicle Powertrains

A crucial step to designing and building more efficient vehicles is modeling powertrain energy consumption. While accurate modeling is indeed key to effective and efficient design, a fundamental understanding of the powertrain and auxiliary systems that contribute to the energy consumption of a vehicle is equally as important. This paper presents a methodology that has been packaged into a tool, called VTool (short for Vehicle Tool), which can be used to estimate the energy consumption of a vehicle powertrain. The method is intrinsically designed to foster understanding of the vehicle powertrain as it relates to energy consumption and losses while still providing reasonably accurate results. This paper briefly explains the methodology of VTool and demonstrates the capability of VTool as a design tool by presenting 4 example exercises.
Technical Paper

Powertrain Design to Meet Performance and Energy Consumption Goals for EcoCAR 3

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is excited about the opportunity to apply for participation in the next Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. EcoCAR 3 is a new four year competition sponsored by the Department of Energy and General Motors with the intention of promoting sustainable energy in the automotive sector. The goal of the competition is to guide students from universities in North America to create new and innovative technologies to reduce the environmental impact of modern day transportation. EcoCAR 3, like its predecessors, will give students hands-on experience in designing and implementing advanced technologies in a setting similar to that of current production vehicles.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Refinement and Testing of a Series-Parallel Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is ready to compete in the Year 3 Final Competition for EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future. The team is confident in the reliability of their vehicle, and expects to finish among the top schools at Final Competition. During Year 3, the team refined the vehicle while following the EcoCAR 2 Vehicle Development Process (VDP). Many refinements came about in Year 3 such as the implementation of a new rear subframe, the safety analysis of the high voltage (HV) bus, and the integration of Charge Sustaining (CS) control code. HEVT's vehicle architecture is an E85 Series-Parallel Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), which has many strengths and weaknesses. The primary strength is the pure EV mode and Series mode, which extend the range of the vehicle and reduce Petroleum Energy Usage (PEU) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
Technical Paper

An Illustrative Look at Energy Flow through Hybrid Powertrains for Design and Analysis

Improving fuel economy and overall vehicle emissions are very important in today's society with strict new regulations throughout the world. To help in the education process for the next generation of design engineers, this paper seeks to define a powertrain model created and developed to help users understand the basics behind hybrid vehicles and the effects of these advanced technologies. One of the main goals of this research is to maintain a simplified approach to model development. The 1 Hz model described within this work aims to allow energy to be simply and understandably traced through a hybrid powertrain. Through the use of a “backwards” energy tracking method, demand for a drive cycle is found, and, after tracing the energy demand through each powertrain component, the resulting fuel to meet vehicle demand and associated powertrain losses is found.