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Technical Paper

Estimating GHG Reduction from Combinations of Current Best-Available and Future Powertrain and Vehicle Technologies for a Midsized Car Using EPA’s ALPHA Model

2016-04-05
2016-01-0910
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) tool was created to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light-duty vehicles[1]. ALPHA is a physics-based, forward-looking, full vehicle computer simulation capable of analyzing various vehicle types with different powertrain technologies, showing realistic vehicle behavior, and auditing of all internal energy flows in the model. The software tool is a MATLAB/Simulink based desktop application. In preparation for the midterm evaluation of the light-duty GHG emission standards for model years 2022-2025, EPA is refining and revalidating ALPHA using newly acquired data from model year 2013-2015 engines and vehicles.
Technical Paper

Testing and Benchmarking a 2014 GM Silverado 6L80 Six Speed Automatic Transmission

2017-11-17
2017-01-5020
As part of its midterm evaluation of the 2022-2025 light-duty greenhouse gas (GHG) standards, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been acquiring fuel efficiency data from testing of recent engines and vehicles. The benchmarking data are used as inputs to EPA’s Advanced Light Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) vehicle simulation model created to estimate GHG emissions from light-duty vehicles. For complete powertrain modeling, ALPHA needs both detailed engine fuel consumption maps and transmission efficiency maps. EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuels Emissions Laboratory has previously relied on contractors to provide full characterization of transmission efficiency maps. To add to its benchmarking resources, EPA developed a streamlined more cost-effective in-house method of transmission testing, capable of gathering a dataset sufficient to broadly characterize transmissions within ALPHA.
Technical Paper

Characterization of GHG Reduction Technologies in the Existing Fleet

2018-04-03
2018-01-1268
By almost any definition, technology has penetrated the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet significantly in conjunction with the increased stringency of fuel economy and GHG emissions regulations. The physical presence of advanced technology components provides one indication of the efforts taken to reduce emissions, but that alone does not provide a complete measure of the benefits of a particular technology application. Differences in the design of components, the materials used, the presence of other technologies, and the calibration of controls can impact the performance of technologies in any particular implementation. The effectiveness of a technology for reducing emissions will also be influenced by the extent to which the technologies are applied towards changes in vehicle operating characteristics such as improved acceleration, or customer features that may offset mass reduction from the use of lightweight materials.
Technical Paper

Constructing Engine Maps for Full Vehicle Simulation Modeling

2018-04-03
2018-01-1412
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has collected a variety of engine and vehicle test data to assess the effectiveness of new automotive technologies in meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emission standards and to monitor their behavior in real world operation. EPA’s Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) tool was created to estimate GHG emissions from vehicles using various combinations of advanced technologies and has been refined using data from testing conducted at EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory. This paper describes a process for constructing complete engine maps using engine dynamometer and in-vehicle test data for use in ALPHA or any other full vehicle simulation which performs similar analyses. The paper reviews how to use available steady state and transient test data to characterize different operating conditions, and then combine the data to construct a complete engine map suitable for ALPHA model simulation.
Journal Article

Investigating the Effect of Advanced Automatic Transmissions on Fuel Consumption Using Vehicle Testing and Modeling

2016-04-05
2016-01-1142
In preparation for the midterm evaluation (MTE) of the 2022-2025 Light-Duty Greenhouse Gas (LD GHG) emissions standards, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is refining and revalidating their Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) tool using newly acquired data from model year 2013-2015 engines and vehicles. ALPHA is a physics-based, forward-looking, full vehicle computer simulation capable of analyzing various vehicle types with different powertrain technologies, showing realistic vehicle behavior, and auditing of all internal energy flows in the model. As part of the validation of ALPHA, the EPA obtained model year 2014 Dodge Chargers equipped with 3.6 liter V6 engines and either a NAG1 five-speed automatic transmission or an 845RE eight-speed automatic transmission.
Journal Article

Fleet-Level Modeling of Real World Factors Influencing Greenhouse Gas Emission Simulation in ALPHA

2017-03-28
2017-01-0899
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) tool was created to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light-duty vehicles. ALPHA is a physics-based, forward-looking, full vehicle computer simulation capable of analyzing various vehicle types with different powertrain technologies, showing realistic vehicle behavior, and auditing of internal energy flows in the model. In preparation for the midterm evaluation (MTE) of the 2017-2025 light-duty GHG emissions rule, ALPHA has been updated utilizing newly acquired data from model year 2013-2016 engines and vehicles. Simulations conducted with ALPHA provide data on the effectiveness of various GHG reduction technologies, and reveal synergies that exist between technologies. The ALPHA model has been validated against a variety of vehicles with different powertrain configurations and GHG reduction technologies.
Journal Article

Benchmarking a 2016 Honda Civic 1.5-Liter L15B7 Turbocharged Engine and Evaluating the Future Efficiency Potential of Turbocharged Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-0319
As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) continuing assessment of advanced light-duty (LD) automotive technologies to support the setting of appropriate national greenhouse gas (GHG) standards and to evaluate the impact of new technologies on in-use emissions, a 2016 Honda Civic with a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter L15B7 turbocharged engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) was benchmarked. The test method involved installing the engine and its CVT in an engine-dynamometer test cell with the engine wiring harness tethered to its vehicle parked outside the test cell. Engine and transmission torque, fuel flow, key engine temperatures and pressures, and onboard diagnostics (OBD)/Controller Area Network (CAN) bus data were recorded.
Journal Article

Representing GHG Reduction Technologies in the Future Fleet with Full Vehicle Simulation

2018-04-03
2018-01-1273
As part of an ongoing assessment of the potential for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of light-duty vehicles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented an updated methodology for applying the results of full vehicle simulations to the range of vehicles across the entire fleet. The key elements of the updated methodology explored for this article, responsive to stakeholder input on the EPA’s fleet compliance modeling, include (1) greater transparency in the process used to determine technology effectiveness and (2) a more direct incorporation of full vehicle simulation results. This article begins with a summary of the methodology for representing existing technology implementations in the baseline fleet using EPA’s Advanced Light-duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) full vehicle simulation. To characterize future technologies, a full factorial ALPHA simulation of every conventional technology combination to be considered was conducted.
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