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Technical Paper

A Modular Automotive Hybrid Testbed Designed to Evaluate Various Components in the Vehicle System

The Modular Automotive Technology Testbed (MATT) is a flexible platform built to test different technology components in a vehicle environment. This testbed is composed of physical component modules, such as the engine and the transmission, and emulated components, such as the energy storage system and the traction motor. The instrumentation on the tool enables the energy balance for individual components on drive cycles. Using MATT, a single set of hardware can operate as a conventional vehicle, a hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid vehicle, enabling direct comparison of petroleum displacement for the different modes. The engine provides measured fuel economy and emissions. The losses of components which vary with temperature are also measured.
Journal Article

Battery Charge Balance and Correction Issues in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for Individual Phases of Certification Dynamometer Driving Cycles as Used in EPA Fuel Economy Label Calculations

This study undertakes an investigation of the effect of battery charge balance in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) on EPA fuel economy label values. EPA's updated method was fully implemented in 2011 and uses equations which weight the contributions of fuel consumption results from multiple dynamometer tests to synthesize city and highway estimates that reflect average U.S. driving patterns. For the US06 and UDDS cycles, the test results used in the computation come from individual phases within the overall certification driving cycles. This methodology causes additional complexities for hybrid vehicles, because although they are required to be charge-balanced over the course of a full drive cycle, they may have net charge or discharge within the individual phases. As a result, the fuel consumption value used in the label value calculation can be skewed.
Technical Paper

Impact of Ambient Temperature and Climate Control on Energy Consumption and Operational Behavior for Various HEVs on the Urban Drive Cycle

Ambient temperature plays an important role in the operational behavior of a vehicle. Temperature variances from 20 F to 72 F to 95 F produce different operation from different HEVs, as prescribed by their respective energy management strategies. The extra variable of Climate Control causes these behaviors to change again. There have been studies conducted on the differences in operational behavior of conventional vehicles as against HEVs, with and without climate control. Lohse-Bush et al conclude that operational behavior of conventional vehicles is much more robust as compared to HEVs and that the effect of ambient temperature is felt more prominently in HEVs (1).
Technical Paper

Impact of Supervisory Control on Criteria Tailpipe Emissions for an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech participated in the three-year EcoCAR Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition organized by Argonne National Laboratory, and sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy. The team established goals for the design of a plug-in, range-extended hybrid electric vehicle that meets or exceeds the competition requirements for EcoCAR. The challenge involved designing a crossover SUV powertrain to reduce fuel consumption, petroleum energy use, regulated tailpipe emissions, and well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions. To interface with and control the hybrid powertrain, the team added a Hybrid Vehicle Supervisory Controller, which enacts a torque split control strategy. This paper builds on an earlier paper [1] that evaluated the petroleum energy use, criteria tailpipe emissions, and greenhouse gas emissions of the Virginia Tech EcoCAR vehicle and control strategy from the 2nd year of the competition.
Technical Paper

Key Outcomes of Year One of EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future

EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future (EcoCAR) is North America's premier collegiate automotive engineering competition, challenging students with systems-level advanced powertrain design and integration. The three-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series is organized by Argonne National Laboratory, headline sponsored by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), and sponsored by more than 28 industry and government leaders. Fifteen university teams from across North America are challenged to reduce the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by redesigning the vehicle powertrain without compromising performance, safety, or consumer acceptability. During the three-year program, EcoCAR teams follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process (VDP) modeled after GM's own VDP. The VDP serves as a roadmap for the engineering process of designing, building and refining advanced technology vehicles.