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Technical Paper

Control Strategies for a Series-Parallel Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Living in the era of rising environmental sensibility and increasing gasoline prices, the development of a new environmentally friendly generation of vehicles becomes a necessity. Hybrid electric vehicles are one means of increasing propulsion system efficiency and decreasing pollutant emissions. In this paper, the series-parallel power-split configuration for Michigan Technological University's FutureTruck is analyzed. Mathematical equations that describe the hybrid power-split transmission are derived. The vehicle's differential equations of motion are developed and the system's need for a controller is shown. The engine's brake power and brake specific fuel consumption, as a function of its speed and throttle position, are experimentally determined. A control strategy is proposed to achieve fuel efficient engine operation. The developed control strategy has been implemented in a vehicle simulation and in the test vehicle.
Technical Paper

Effect of State of Charge Constraints on Fuel Economy and Battery Aging when Using the Equivalent Consumption Minimization Strategy

Battery State of Charge (SOC) constraints are used to prevent the battery in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) from over-charging or over-discharging. These constraints strongly influence the power-split of the HEV. This paper presents results on how Battery State of Charge (SOC) constraints effects Lithium ion battery aging and fuel economy when using the Equivalent Consumption Minimization Strategy (ECMS). The vehicle studied is the Honda Civic Hybrid. The battery used is A123 Systems’ ANR26650 battery cell. Vehicle simulation uses multiple combinations of highway and city drive cycles. For each combination of drive cycles, nine SOC constraints ranges are used. Battery aging is evaluated using a semi-empirical model combined with the accumulated Ah-throughput method which uses, as an input, the battery SOC trajectory from the vehicle simulations. The simulation results provide insight into how SOC constraints effect fuel economy as well as battery aging.
Technical Paper

Estimating Variation in Roof Strength Test

As part of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, requirements for roof strength need to be met for all vehicles. On the other hand, automobile manufactures need to minimize vehicle mass for fuel economy and other objectives. It is important, therefore, for manufacturers to have a good understanding of the sources of variation in measured roof strength. An accurate estimation of such variation is important to achieving these objectives. This paper presents a method of using CAE simulation and vehicle tests to effectively estimate the range of variability in the roof crush tests. A number of vehicle and test variables which could potentially affect the measured roof strength were chosen, and their sensitivity was evaluated through CAE simulation. This knowledge of the sensitivity was then used to design a small number of vehicle tests, producing an estimation of the variation range in roof strength.
Technical Paper

Making Connections: Methods of Direct Interaction in Distance Learning

In today's fast pace world of innovation and technology, lifelong learning has become a necessity for anyone working in industry. This is especially true for those in alternative propulsion or other such rapidly evolving fields. Universities and other learning institutions are delivering ever more Distance Learning certificates, degrees, and programs in an effort to re-tool the technical workerforce. To ensure Distance Learning programs are effective, successful, and advantageous, personal interaction and direct connection in some form between the students, industry, and academia is instrumental. Communication and interaction are vital to learning, whether it is Distance Learning or other more traditional methods, and personal interaction should not be overlooked for any of these learning delivery methods.
Technical Paper

Transmission Algorithm Development using System Simulation (Virtual Vehicle)

Due to the multitude of external design constraints, such as increasing fuel economy standards, and the increasing number of global vehicle programs, developers of automotive transmission controls have had to cope with increasing levels of system complexity while at the same time being forced by the marketplace to improve system quality, reduce development costs, and improve time to market. General Motors Powertrain (GMPT) chose to meet these challenges through General Motors Company's Road-to-Lab-to-Math (RLM) strategy, particularly the Math-based method of a virtual vehicle simulation environment called System Simulation. The use of System Simulation to develop transmission control algorithms has enabled GMPT to improve product quality and reduce development times and costs associated with the dependence on physical prototypes. Additionally, System Simulation has facilitated the reuse of GMPT controls development assets, improving overall controls development efficiency.
Technical Paper

A Numerical Approach to Evaluate the Aerodynamic Performance of Vehicle Exterior Surfaces

This paper outlines a process to assess the aerodynamic performance of different vehicle exterior surfaces. The initial section of the paper summarizes the details of white-light scanning process that maps entire vehicle to points in Cartesian co-ordinate system which is followed by the conversion of scanned points to theme surface. The concept of point-cloud modeling is employed to generate a smooth theme surface from scanned points. Theme surfaces thus developed are stitched to under-body/under-hood (UB/UH) parts of the base vehicle and the numerical simulations were carried out to understand the aerodynamic efficiency of the surfaces generated. Specifics of surface/volume mesh generated, boundary conditions imposed and numerical scheme employed are discussed in detail. Flow field over vehicle exterior is thoroughly analyzed. A comparison study highlighting the effect of front grilles in unblocked condition along with air-dam on flow field has been provided.
Technical Paper

An Engineering Approach to Predict Fracture and Tearing

An engineering approach was developed to extract the failure plastic strain, thinning failure strain, and major in plane failure strain for finite element simulation applications. This approach takes into account the failure strain dependency on the element size when element deletion scheme is invoked in the simulation of material fracture. Both localized necking fracture and tensile shear fracture can be predicted when appropriate elements and material models are used in LS-DYNA simulations. This leads to a more accurate prediction of fracture and tearing in the finite element simulation of vehicle structure and crash loading conditions.
Technical Paper

Process Automation Wizard for Vehicle Dynamics Applications

The imperative to get to the market faster with new and better products, has determined all automotive OEM to rethink their product development cycle, and, as a result, many hardware based processes were replaced and/or augmented with virtual, software based ones. However, the virtualization itself does not guaranties better and faster products. In the area of vehicle dynamics, we concentrate on improving the multi-body model development process, facilitating comprehensive virtual testing, and verifying the robustness of the design. The authors present a highly flexible and efficient environment that encourages, enforces, and facilitates model sharing, reusing of components, and parallelization of vehicle dynamics simulations, developed on top of an existing commercial off-the-shelf engineering software application.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Vehicle Durability Simulation and Applications using Modal Stress Methodology

Dynamic modal frequency structural analysis incorporating ADAMS/Flex dynamic load prediction and structural modal stress can provide accurate dynamic stress history for fatigue analysis and synthesis. The amount of data input to finite element analysis is reduced significantly compared to traditional modal & direct transient finite element analysis techniques. Compared to traditional dynamic loads prediction, no additional simulation effort is required except for incorporating flexible body models of structural components into the ADAMS model. This structural analysis technique seamlessly comprehends the correct geometry and force boundary conditions together for long duration dynamic stress calculations. This technique also provided the solution for the deficiency of traditional quasi-static inertia relief method, which is particularly significant for structural system with either significant deformation or articulation.
Technical Paper

Conducting Tire-Coupled (4-Post) Durability Simulations without Road Load Data Acquisition

For decades, the industry standard for laboratory durability simulations has been based on reproducing quantified vehicle responses. That is, build a running vehicle, measure its responses over a variety of durability road surfaces and reproduce those responses in the laboratory for durability evaluation. To bring a vehicle to market quickly, the time between tightening the last bolt on a prototype test vehicle and starting the durability evaluation test must be minimized. A method to derive 4-Post simulator displacements without measuring or predicting vehicle responses is presented.
Technical Paper

Wood-to-Wheels: A Multidisciplinary Research Initiative in Sustainable Transportation Utilizing Fuels and Co-Products from Forest Resources

Michigan Technological University has established a broad-based university-wide research initiative, termed Wood-to-Wheels (W2W), to develop and evaluate improved technologies for growing, harvesting, converting, and using woody biomass in renewable transportation fuel applications. The W2W program bridges the entire biomass development-production-consumption life cycle with research in areas including forest resources, bioprocessing, engine/vehicle systems, and sustainable decisions. The W2W chain establishes a closed cycle of carbon between the atmosphere, woody biomass, fuels, and vehicular systems that can reduce the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. This paper will summarize the activities associated with the Wood-to-Wheels initiative and describe challenges and the potential benefits that are achievable.
Technical Paper

Effects of Gage Section Geometry on Tensile Material Properties by Digital Image Correlation

Accurate material property data in both the elastic and plastic ranges of deformation is essential for accurate material representation in finite element simulations of vehicle systems. Variation of post formed material properties across a part are often of interest in different types of analyses, such as metal forming or fatigue life, for example. Depending on a part's shape it is not always possible to cut standard size tensile test specimens from all areas of interest across the part. Smaller size specimens with curved or tapered gage section may have to be used to promote strain localization and fracture at or near the gage center. This paper presents comparison of quasi-static tensile properties determined using two specimen gage section geometries, straight and tapered. Specifically, the following questions are addressed. How do the engineering strains computed from two-dimensional strain fields obtained by DIC compare to strains measured during standard tensile tests?
Technical Paper

Robust State of Charge Estimation of Lithium-Ion Batteries via an Iterative Learning Observer

This work is to propose a new Iterative Learning Observer (ILO)-based strategy for State Of Charge (SOC) estimation. The ILO is able to estimate the SOC in real time while identifying modeling errors and/or disturbances at the same time. An Electrical-Circuit Model (ECM) is adopted to characterize the Lithium-ion battery behavior. The ILO is designed based on this ECM and the stability is proved. Several experiments are conducted and the collected data is used to extract ECM parameters. The effectiveness of the estimated SOCs via ILO is verified by the experimental results. This implies that the ILO-based SOC determination scheme is effective to identify the SOC in real time.
Technical Paper

Critical Success Factors of Lean Manufacturing Implementation in Automotive Industry in China

Purpose - This research aimed to investigate the process of lean manufacturing implementation in automotive industry in China in order to identify the critical success factors. Design/methodology/approach - A review of relevant literature is used to identify potential critical success factors for lean manufacturing implementations. The research had targeted lean-manufacturing management, practitioners, process users, and consultants working in automotive industry in China. Data were collected with an electronic survey which included 20 close ended questions, each measured by using five-point scale, Out of total 200 questionnaire distributed, 80 useable responses were received resulting in 40 % response rate. A judgmental sampling technique had been selected. Both descriptive and inferential statistics had been used to analyze this data.
Technical Paper

Development of the Combustion System for the General Motors Fifth Generation “Small Block” Engine Family

The fifth generation of General Motor's “Small Block” 90-degree V engine family has been developed with a totally new combustion system. This system employs direct fuel injection (DI) and carefully architected in-cylinder flow field development in order to significantly improve all aspects of combustion system performance. Efficiency improvements stem from increased compression ratio, greatly improved dilution tolerance, and excellent knock resistance. The asymmetric, 2-valve (2V) layout of the “Small Block” engine presented unique challenges in developing the combustion system, but also offered unusual opportunities for an elegant solution while retaining the traditional “Small Block” attributes of packaging efficiency and power density.
Technical Paper

Influence of the Nozzle Geometry of a Diesel Single-Hole Injector on Liquid and Vapor Phase Distributions at Engine-Like Conditions

The paper describes an experimental activity on the spatial and temporal liquid- and vapor-phase distributions of diesel fuel at engine-like conditions. The influence of the k-factor (0 and 1.5) of a single-hole axial-disposed injector (0.100 mm diameter and 10 L/d ratio) has been studied by spraying fuel in an optically-accessible constant-volume combustion vessel. A high-speed imaging system, capable of acquiring Mie-scattering and Schlieren images in a near simultaneous fashion mode along the same line of sight, has been developed at the Michigan Technological University using a high-speed camera and a pulsed-wave LED system. The time resolved pair of schlieren and Mie-scattering images identifies the instantaneous position of both the vapor and liquid phases of the fuel spray, respectively. The studies have been performed at three injection pressures (70, 120 and 180 MPa), 23.9 kg/m3 ambient gas density and 900 K gas temperature in the vessel.
Technical Paper

Solutions to the Clean Snowmobile Challenge - What Works?

The Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2004 (CSC 2004) was held at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, from March 15 - 20, 2004. The Clean Snowmobile Challenge has been a competition in the SAE Collegiate Design Series since 2000, and began in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as a response to rising concerns about snowmobiling in environmentally-sensitive areas. Teams from fifteen universities competed in CSC 2004. The winning snowmobile (sled) was developed by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and featured a four-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection (EFI), a two-stage tuned muffler, and catalytic exhaust aftertreatment. A hybrid-electric design was used to increase the snowmobile's powertrain output and improve acceleration. [8] Teams should be competitive in all events to gain enough points to win the competition.
Technical Paper

Enhancement of Engineering Education through University Competition-Based Events

Engineering education at the University level is enhanced by competition-based projects. The SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge is a prime example of how competition-based engineering education benefits the small engines industry and improves the engineering talent pool of the nation in general. For the past several decades, SAE has encouraged young engineers to compete in designing off road vehicles (Baja SAE ®), small race cars (Formula SAE ®), remote control airplanes (Aero Design ®), high mileage vehicles (Supermileage ®) and robots (Walking Robot ®). Now a new competition, the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge ™ (CSC), based on designing a cleaner and quieter snowmobile has led to a new path for young engineers to explore the challenges of designing engines that emit less pollution and noise. The paper will summarize the results of the most recent Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2006 and document the successes of the past seven years of the Challenge.
Technical Paper

Powersplit Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control with Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)

This paper analyzes the control of the series-parallel powersplit used in the 2001 Michigan Tech FutureTruck. An electronic throttle controller is implemented and a new control algorithm is proposed and tested. A vehicle simulation has been created in MATLAB and the control algorithm implemented within the simulation. A program written in C has also been created that implements the control algorithm in the test vehicle. The results from both the simulation and test vehicle are presented and discussed and show a 15% increase in fuel economy. With the increase in fuel economy, and through the use of the original exhaust after treatment, lower emissions are also expected.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Human Response From Vehicle Performance Characteristics Using Artificial Neural Networks

This study investigates a methodology in which the general public's subjective interpretation of vehicle handling and performance can be predicted. Several vehicle handling measurements were acquired, and associated metrics calculated, in a controlled setting. Human evaluators were then asked to drive and evaluate each vehicle in a winter driving school setting. Using the acquired data, multiple linear regression and artificial neural network (ANN) techniques were used to create and refine mathematical models of human subjective responses. It is shown that artificial neural networks, which have been trained with the sets of objective and subjective data, are both more accurate and more robust than multiple linear regression models created from the same data.