Title page for ETD etd-09072012-124321

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author King, Jonathan Charles
URN etd-09072012-124321
Title Model-Based Design of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Nelson, Douglas J. Committee Chair
Huxtable, Scott T. Committee Member
Leonessa, Alexander Committee Member
  • model-based design
  • hybrid electric vehicle
  • plug-in
  • architecture selection
  • hardware-in-the-loop
  • software-in-the-loop
  • simulation
  • control system validation
Date of Defense 2012-09-05
Availability unrestricted
For years the trend in the automotive industry has been toward more complex electronic control systems. The number of electronic control units (ECUs) in vehicles is ever increasing as is the complexity of communication networks among the ECUs. Increasing fuel economy standards and the increasing cost of fuel is driving hybridization and electrification of the automobile. Achieving superior fuel economy with a hybrid powertrain requires an effective and optimized control system. On the other hand, mathematical modeling and simulation tools have become extremely advanced and have turned simulation into a powerful design tool. The combination of increasing control system complexity and simulation technology has led to an industry wide trend toward model based control design. Rather than using models to analyze and validate real world testing data, simulation is now the primary tool used in the design process long before real world testing is possible. Modeling is used in every step from architecture selection to control system validation before on-road testing begins.

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2 competition in which the team is tasked with re-engineering the powertrain of a GM donated vehicle. The primary goals of the competition are to reduce well to wheels (WTW) petroleum energy use (PEU) and reduce WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining performance, safety, and consumer acceptability. This paper will present systematic methodology for using model based design techniques for architecture selection, control system design, control strategy optimization, and controller validation to meet the goals of the competition. Simple energy management and efficiency analysis will form the primary basis of architecture selection. Using a novel method, a series-parallel powertrain architecture is selected. The control system architecture and requirements is defined using a systematic approach based around the interactions between control units. Vehicle communication networks are designed to facilitate efficient data flow. Software-in-the-loop (SIL) simulation with Mathworks Simulink is used to refine a control strategy to maximize fuel economy. Finally hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing on a dSPACE HIL simulator is demonstrated for performance improvements, as well as for safety critical controller validation. The end product of this design study is a control system that has reached a high level of parameter optimization and validation ready for on-road testing in a vehicle.

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