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Technical Paper

Battery Electric Vehicle Control Strategy for String Stability Based on Deep Reinforcement Learning in V2V Driving

This works presents a Reinforcement Learning (RL) agent to implement a Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) system that simultaneously enhances energy efficiency and comfort, while also ensuring string stability. CACC systems are a new generation of ACC which systems rely on the communication of the so-called ego-vehicle with other vehicles and infrastructure using V2V and/or V2X connectivity. This enables the availability of robust information about the environment thanks to the exchange of information, rather than their estimation or enabling some redundancy of data. CACC systems have the potential to overcome one typical issue that arises with regular ACC, that is the lack of string stability. String stability is the ability of the ACC of a vehicle to avoid unnecessary fluctuations in speed that can cause traffic jams, dampening these oscillations along the vehicle string rather than amplifying them.
Journal Article

Calibrating a Real-time Energy Management for a Heavy-Duty Fuel Cell Electrified Truck towards Improved Hydrogen Economy

Fuel cell electrified powertrains are currently a promising technology towards decarbonizing the heavy-duty transportation sector. In this context, extensive research is required to thoroughly assess the hydrogen economy potential of fuel cell heavy-duty electrification. This paper proposes a real-time capable energy management strategy (EMS) that can achieve improved hydrogen economy for a fuel cell electrified heavy-duty truck. The considered heavy-duty truck is modelled first in Simulink® environment. A baseline heuristic map-based controller is then retained that can instantaneously control the electrical power split between fuel cell system and the high-voltage battery pack of the heavy-duty truck. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is consequently implemented to optimally tune the parameters of the considered EMS.
Journal Article

Comparison between Internal and External EGR Performance on a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine by Means of a Refined 1D Fluid-Dynamic Engine Model

The potential of internal EGR (iEGR) and external EGR (eEGR) in reducing the engine-out NOx emissions in a heavy-duty diesel engine has been investigated by means of a refined 1D fluid-dynamic engine model developed in the GT-Power environment. The engine is equipped with Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) and Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) systems. The activity was carried out in the frame of the CORE Collaborative Project of the European Community, VII FP. The engine model integrates an innovative 0D predictive combustion algorithm for the simulation of the HRR (heat release rate) based on the accumulated fuel mass approach and a multi-zone thermodynamic model for the simulation of the in-cylinder temperatures. NOx emissions are calculated by means of the Zeldovich thermal and prompt mechanisms.
Technical Paper

Decentralized Control for CACC Systems Accounting for Uncertainties

Traditional CACC systems utilize inter-vehicle wireless communication to maintain minimal yet safe inter-vehicle distances, thereby improving traffic efficiency. However, introducing communication delays generates system uncertainties that jeopardize string stability, a crucial requirement for robust CACC performance. To address these issues, we introduce a decentralized model predictive control (MPC) approach that incorporates Kalman filters and state predictors to counteract the uncertainties posed by noise and communication delays. We validate our approach through MATLAB/Simulink simulations, using stochastic and mathematical models to capture vehicular dynamics, Wi-Fi communication errors, and sensor noises. In addition, we explore the application of a reinforcement learning (RL)-based algorithm to compare its merits and limitations against our decentralized MPC controller, considering factors like feasibility and reliability.
Journal Article

Development and Assessment of Pressure-Based and Model-Based Techniques for the MFB50 Control of a Euro VI 3.0L Diesel Engine

Pressure-based and model-based techniques for the control of MFB50 (crank angle at which 50% of the fuel mass fraction has burned) have been developed, assessed and tested by means of rapid prototyping (RP) on a FPT F1C 3.0L Euro VI diesel engine. The pressure-based technique requires the utilization of a pressure transducer for each cylinder. The transducers are used to perform the instantaneous measurement of the in-cylinder pressure, in order to derive its corresponding burned mass fraction and the actual value of MFB50. It essentially consists of a closed-loop approach, which is based on a cycle-by-cycle and cylinder-to-cylinder correction of the start of injection of the main pulse (SOImain), in order to achieve the desired target of MFB50 for each cylinder.
Journal Article

Development of a High Performance Natural Gas Engine with Direct Gas Injection and Variable Valve Actuation

Natural gas is a promising alternative fuel for internal combustion engine application due to its low carbon content and high knock resistance. Performance of natural gas engines is further improved if direct injection, high turbocharger boost level, and variable valve actuation (VVA) are adopted. Also, relevant efficiency benefits can be obtained through downsizing. However, mixture quality resulting from direct gas injection has proven to be problematic. This work aims at developing a mono-fuel small-displacement turbocharged compressed natural gas engine with side-mounted direct injector and advanced VVA system. An injector configuration was designed in order to enhance the overall engine tumble and thus overcome low penetration.
Technical Paper

Effect of Temperature Distribution on the Predicted Cell Lifetimes for a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Pack

Monitoring and preserving state-of-health of high-voltage battery packs in electrified road vehicles currently represents an open and growing research topic. When predicting high-voltage battery lifetime, most current literature assumes a uniform temperature distribution among the different cells of the pack. Nevertheless, temperature has been demonstrated having a key impact on cell lifetime, and different cells of the same battery pack typically exhibit different temperature profiles over time, e.g. due to their position within the pack. Following these considerations, this paper aims at assessing the effect of temperature distribution on the predicted lifetime of cells belonging to the same battery pack. To this end, a throughput-based numerical cell ageing model is firstly selected due to its reasonable compromise between accuracy and computational efficiency.
Technical Paper

Estimation of the Engine-Out NO2/NOx Ratio in a EURO VI Diesel Engine

The present work has the aim of developing a semi-empirical correlation to estimate the NO₂/NOx ratio as a function of significant engine operating variables in a modern EURO VI diesel engine. The experimental data used in the present study were acquired at the dynamic test bench of ICEAL-PT (Internal Combustion Engine Advanced Laboratory at the Politecnico di Torino), in the frame of a research activity on the optimization of a General Motors Euro VI prototype 1.6-liter diesel engine equipped with a single-stage variable geometry turbine and a solenoid Common Rail system. The experimental tests were conducted over the whole engine map. A preliminary analysis was carried out to evaluate the uncertainty of the experimental acquired data and the NO₂/NOx ratio.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Diluted Combustion in a Direct Injection CNG Engine Featuring Post- Euro-VI Fuel Consumption Targets

The present paper is concerned with part of the work performed by Renault, IFPEN and Politecnico di Torino within a research project founded by the European Commission. The project has been focused on the development of a dedicated CNG engine featuring a 25% decrease in fuel consumption with respect to an equivalent Diesel engine with the same performance targets. To that end, different technologies were implemented and optimized in the engine, namely, direct injection, variable valve timing, LP EGR with advanced turbocharging, and diluted combustion. With specific reference to diluted combustion, it is rather well established for gasoline engines whereas it still poses several critical issues for CNG ones, mainly due to the lower exhaust temperatures. Moreover, dilution is accompanied by a decrease in the laminar burning speed of the unburned mixture and this generally leads to a detriment in combustion efficiency and stability.
Technical Paper

Improving Computational Efficiency for Energy Management Systems in Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using Dynamic Programming based Controllers

Reducing computational time has become a critical issue in recent years, particularly in the transportation field, where the complexity of scenarios demands lightweight controllers to run large simulations and gather results to study different behaviors. This study proposes two novel formulations of the Optimal Control Problem (OCP) for the Energy Management System of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and compares their performance with a benchmark found in the literature. Dynamic Programming was chosen as the optimization algorithm to solve the OCP in a Matlab environment, using the DynaProg toolbox. The objective is to address the optimality of the fuel economy solution and computational time. In order to improve the computational efficiency of the algorithm, an existing formulation from the literature was modified, which originally utilized three control inputs.
Technical Paper

MPC-Based Cooperative Longitudinal Control for Vehicle Strings in a Realistic Driving Environment

This paper deals with the energy efficiency of cooperative cruise control technologies when considering vehicle strings in a realistic driving environment. In particular, we design a cooperative longitudinal controller using a state-of-the-art model predictive control (MPC) implementation. Rather than testing our controller on a limited set of short maneuvers, we thoroughly assess its performance on a number of regulatory drive cycles and on a set of driving missions of similar length that were constructed based on real driving data. This allows us to focus our assessment on the energetic aspects in addition to testing the controller’s robustness. The analyzed controller, based on linear MPC, uses vehicle sensor data and information transmitted by the vehicle driving the string to adjust the longitudinal trajectory of the host vehicle to maintain a reduced inter-vehicular distance while simultaneously optimizing energy efficiency.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of an Eco-Driving Controller for Fuel Cell Electric Trucks in Real-World Driving Conditions

Range anxiety in current battery electric vehicles is a challenging problem, especially for commercial vehicles with heavy payloads. Therefore, the development of electrified propulsion systems with multiple power sources, such as fuel cells, is an active area of research. Optimal speed planning and energy management, referred to as eco-driving, can substantially reduce the energy consumption of commercial vehicles, regardless of the powertrain architecture. Eco-driving controllers can leverage look-ahead route information such as road grade, speed limits, and signalized intersections to perform velocity profile smoothing, resulting in reduced energy consumption. This study presents a comprehensive analysis of the performance of an eco-driving controller for fuel cell electric trucks in a real-world scenario, considering a route from a distribution center to the associated supermarket.
Journal Article

Use of an Innovative Predictive Heat Release Model Combined to a 1D Fluid-Dynamic Model for the Simulation of a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine

An innovative 0D predictive combustion model for the simulation of the HRR (heat release rate) in DI diesel engines was assessed and implemented in a 1D fluid-dynamic commercial code for the simulation of a Fiat heavy duty diesel engine equipped with a Variable Geometry Turbocharger system, in the frame of the CORE (CO2 reduction for long distance transport) Collaborative Project of the European Community, VII FP. The 0D combustion approach starts from the calculation of the injection rate profile on the basis of the injected fuel quantities and on the injection parameters, such as the start of injection and the energizing time, taking the injector opening and closure delays into account. The injection rate profile in turn allows the released chemical energy to be estimated. The approach assumes that HRR is proportional to the energy associated with the accumulated fuel mass in the combustion chamber.