Model and Control System Development for a Plug-In Parallel Hybrid Electric Vehicle

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Virginia Tech


The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is participating in the EcoCAR 3 Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Labs (ANL), and sponsored by General Motors (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EcoCAR 3 is a 4-year collegiate competition that challenges student with redesigning a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid. The five main goals of EcoCAR 3 are to reduce petroleum energy use (PEU) and green house gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining safety, consumer acceptability, and performance, with an increased focus on cost and innovation. HEVT selected a P3 Plug-in Parallel hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to meet design goals and competition requirements. This study presents different stages of the vehicle development process (VDP) followed to integrate the HEVT Camaro. This work documents the control system development process up to Year 2 of EcoCAR 3.

The modeling process to select a powertrain is the first stage in this research. Several viable powertrains and the respective vehicle technical specifications (VTS) are evaluated. The P3 parallel configuration with a V8 engine is chosen because it generated the set of VTS that best meet design goals and EcoCAR 3 requirements. The V8 engine also preserves the heritage of the Camaro, which is attractive to the established target market. In addition, E85 is chosen as the fuel for the powertrain because of the increased impact it has on GHG emissions compared to E10 and gasoline. The use of advanced methods and techniques like model based design (MBD), and rapid control prototyping (RCP) allow for faster development of engineering products in industry. Using advanced engineering techniques has a tremendous educational value, and these techniques can assist the development of a functional and safe hybrid control system. HEVT has developed models of the selected hybrid powertrain to test the control code developed in software. The strategy developed is a Fuzzy controller for torque management in charge depleting (CD) and charge sustaining (CS) modes. The developed strategy proves to be functional without having a negative impact of the energy consumption characteristics of the hybrid powertrain. Bench testing activities with the V8 engine, a low voltage (LV) motor, and high voltage (HV) battery facilitated learning about communication, safety, and functionality requirements for the three components. Finally, the process for parallel development of models and control code is presented as a way to implement more effective team dynamics.



Hybrid electric vehicle, model based design, vehicle model, control strategy, Performance, fuel economy, energy consumption, bench testing, P3 parallel