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Journal Article

Overcoming the Range Limitation of Medium-Duty Battery Electric Vehicles through the use of Hydrogen Fuel-Cells

Battery electric vehicles possess great potential for decreasing lifecycle costs in medium-duty applications, a market segment currently dominated by internal combustion technology. Characterized by frequent repetition of similar routes and daily return to a central depot, medium-duty vocations are well positioned to leverage the low operating costs of battery electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the range limitation of commercially available battery electric vehicles acts as a barrier to widespread adoption. This paper describes the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and industry partners to analyze the use of small hydrogen fuel-cell stacks to extend the range of battery electric vehicles as a means of improving utility, and presumably, increasing market adoption.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Transmission Warming Technologies at Various Ambient Conditions

This work details two approaches for evaluating transmission warming technology: experimental dynamometer testing and development of a simplified transmission efficiency model to quantify effects under varied real world ambient and driving conditions. Two vehicles were used for this investigation: a 2013 Ford Taurus and a highly instrumented 2011 Ford Fusion (Taurus and Fusion). The Taurus included a production transmission warming system and was tested over hot and cold ambient temperatures with the transmission warming system enabled and disabled. A robot driver was used to minimize driver variability and increase repeatability. Additionally the instrumented Fusion was tested cold and with the transmission pre-heated prior to completing the test cycles. These data were used to develop a simplified thermally responsive transmission model to estimate effects of transmission warming in real world conditions.
Technical Paper

FASTSim: A Model to Estimate Vehicle Efficiency, Cost and Performance

The Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator (FASTSim) is a high-level advanced vehicle powertrain systems analysis tool supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office. FASTSim provides a quick and simple approach to compare powertrains and estimate the impact of technology improvements on light- and heavy-duty vehicle efficiency, performance, cost, and battery life. The input data for most light-duty vehicles can be automatically imported. Those inputs can be modified to represent variations of the vehicle or powertrain. The vehicle and its components are then simulated through speed-versus-time drive cycles. At each time step, FASTSim accounts for drag, acceleration, ascent, rolling resistance, each powertrain component's efficiency and power limits, and regenerative braking. Conventional vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, all-electric vehicles, compressed natural gas vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles are included.
Technical Paper

Determining Off-cycle Fuel Economy Benefits of 2-Layer HVAC Technology

This work presents a methodology to determine the off-cycle fuel economy benefit of a 2-Layer HVAC system which reduces ventilation and heat rejection losses of the heater core versus a vehicle using a standard system. Experimental dynamometer tests using EPA drive cycles over a broad range of ambient temperatures were conducted on a highly instrumented 2016 Lexus RX350 (3.5L, 8 speed automatic). These tests were conducted to measure differences in engine efficiency caused by changes in engine warmup due to the 2-Layer HVAC technology in use versus the technology being disabled (disabled equals fresh air-considered as the standard technology baseline). These experimental datasets were used to develop simplified response surface and lumped capacitance vehicle thermal models predictive of vehicle efficiency as a function of thermal state.