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Green Success

The automotive industry is forging ahead with innovative drive concepts such as electric motors and fuel cells, and at the same time further developing combustion drive systems.

Our Competence for New Technologies
The automotive industry is forging ahead with innovative drive concepts such as electric motors and fuel cells, and at the same time further developing combustion drive systems. A current goal for vehicle developers is to improve the efficiency of vehicles and reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining a high standard of drivability.
In the nonautomotive industries, there is also a need for more efficiency or new concepts. For example, the transition from dependency on nuclear energy to more regenerative energy is well underway, requiring reliable control systems more than ever before.

Green Competence with dSPACE Products

With tried-and-tested dSPACE products, the complex interaction between all the different components in a hybrid or electric drive can be tested at an early stage of development. This speeds up the whole development process and guarantees the quality of the ECUs.
dSPACE supports all the development phases, from architecture-based system design and block-diagram-based function prototyping to automatic production code generation and ECU testing. The advantages are clear: 
  • Front-loading – fast development
  • Quality assurance – reliable products
  • Integrated process – tools from a single vendor
Green Success Stories
dSPACE has been an active partner to the automotive industry for over two decades, supporting research and development on new drive technologies. dSPACE products have played an important role in optimizing downsized engines, developing electric vehicles and hybrid drives (micro, mild, and full hybrid), and designing hydrogen vehicles with fuel cell drives and many other innovations.
Nonautomotive fields such as wind energy converters have also benefited from dSPACE products.

Younicos: New Energy
An autonomous, CO2-neutral power supply based on regenerative energies for remote areas – islands or villages – that are far away from the main power grid: That’s what Younicos is planning and developing. The first project is for the island of Graciosa in the Azores, where 70-90% of the required energy could come from the sun and the wind, and the remaining 10-30% could be generated from locally produced biofuels. A 3-megawatt sodium sulfur battery will be used as electricity storage to compensate for large supply fluctuations, and the island will be completely independent of fossil fuels
Developing the Converter Control
The battery converter control has two main components: a real-time controller and a communication system. To find the optimum control for the converter, Younicos uses rapid prototyping to test different voltage and frequency control algorithms that were designed in MATLAB®/Simulink®. For the actual tests, the AC Motor Control Solution from dSPACE was used. This consists of a DS1005 Processor Board and DS5202 FPGA Base Board with a piggyback module. The algorithms are implemented on the DS1005 by means of the dSPACE Real-Time Interface (RTI), and then executed on the board. The DS5202 provides the necessary I/O connection between the processor board and the converter. If any changes are made to an algorithm, they can quickly be transferred from MATLAB/Simulink to the DS1005 by using RTI.
Simulating Consumption, Wind, and Sun
For simulating wind turbines and solar power plants Younicos implemented and executed their own simulation models on several dSPACE DS1005 PPC Boards. Real wind and sun data measured on the island of La Graciosa provides the input parameters for ascertaining the currently available power. The available power is compared with a consumption profile that represents the island population’s energy requirements throughout the day. Converters then perform energy distribution. Each battery is coupled to the simulated supply grid via a converter. The load on the grid is represented by another converter that runs through a scaled load profile of the island. This solar power system feeds an autonomous charging station for electric vehicles.
Carrying out the Project
In August 2012, Younicos and the local power supplier signed agreements on power input to the electricity grid and on the price of the electricity – the commercial base of the project. The construction of the photovoltaic plant, wind park and battery storage is expected to be completed at the end of 2014, when the entire system will go into operation.

MAGNA STEYR: Hybrid Drive
MAGNA STEYR and its cooperation partners integrated new hybrid components in a vehicle and implemented a control system using a dSPACE prototyping system (MicroAutoBox plus RapidPro). The hybrid demo vehicle HySUV (Mercedes M-class) with a dSPACE prototyping system as the central drivetrain control has made the hybrid drive a reality. MAGNA STEYR and its partners use the demo vehicle as a platform for further optimization of driving behavior, consumption, and emissions.
Drive Systems of the Future
MAGNA STEYR worked with MAGNA POWERTRAIN and Siemens VDO to develop modular hybrid drive systems, taking into account the research findings from K-net KFZ, the competence network for “Vehicle Drives of the Future”. With the support of the OEMs, hybrid components developed by MAGNA are integrated in the drivetrains of prototype vehicles to investigate the optimization potential of the consumption, dynamics, and emissions. The control system and the cross-linking of new components in the drivetrain are implemented with the dSPACE prototyping system (MicroAutoBox plus RapidPro) on the basis of a central hybrid drive strategy. MAGNA STEYR has put this into operation in the hybrid demo vehicle HySUV. The automatic transmission and transfer case of a Mercedes ML350 were replaced by an automated manual transmission and MAGNA’s E4WD module consisting of 2 electric drives and clutches. A full hybrid drivetrain with electrical all-wheel drive was implemented in this way. A lithium-ion battery system, developed by MAGNA STEYR, provides energy storage.
Prototyping Hardware and Function Development
The control software comprises the functions and interfaces of the entire torque path in the drivetrain. The objective was to control all the components of the hybrid drivetrain with just one prototyping system. In addition to their standard software development platform MicroAutoBox, MAGNA STEYR decided to use the RapidPro system to efficiently realize the broad range of signal conditioning and power stages. Its flexibility, provided by software- and hardware-configurable signal I/O, proved to be an advantage, particularly in early phases of prototype development when the sensor and actuator systems are not yet completely defined. After the function software had been successfully implemented and tested, MAGNA STEYR entered the test drive phase, with the objective of further optimization.

Control of a Power-Split Hybrid-Electric SUV
As part of this competition, Ohio State University (OSU) engineering students developed an HEV that is powered by a combination of a turbocharged diesel engine, a high-voltage, belted starter-alternator (BSA) and an AC induction type traction electric machine. In this configuration, the rear and front drive systems are coupled through-the-road.
Control Implementation Using the MicroAutoBox
Prior to the actual implementation, OSU tested the performance of its control strategy using custom-designed vehicle simulation tools developed in the MATLAB®/Simulink® environment. After initial testing, the control strategy was implemented on the MicroAutoBox system via dSPACE’s Real-Time Interface and the RTI CAN Blockset. The MicroAutoBox interfaces with the powertrain control modules via dSPACE’s Real-Time Interface and the RTI CAN Blockset. MicroAutoBox is the primary vehicle control unit to perform fundamental hybrid powertrain operations such as energy optimization, battery charge control, engine start-stop, drivability control, electric traction control, and regenerative braking. In the student-designed vehicle, the MicroAutoBox communicates with several control modules through dual CAN buses. The versatile I/O interface simplified the integration of several analog and digital I/Os into the controller for the added hybrid components. The fast numerical processor featured by the MicroAutoBox made it possible to implement computationally burdensome algorithms onboard the vehicle.

Developing Hybrid Drives for Mobile Machines
In a joint project with wheel loader specialist Atlas Weyhausen, Deutz used dSPACE tools to develop what is called a “mild” hybrid system for their AR-65 Super wheel loader. “Mild” means that the electric motor is rigidly coupled to the diesel engine and supports frequent braking and acceleration.
The following dSPACE tools were used to develop the software functions for the hybrid system’s ECU:
  • MicroAutoBox (as the hybrid system ECU)
  • Real-Time Interface (for setting up the I/O interfaces for the MicroAutoBox)
  • RTI CAN MultiMessage Blockset (for setting up CAN communication)
  • ControlDesk® (for calibrating the hybrid functions)
By using RTI and the RTI CAN MultiMessage Blockset, Deutz was able to implement fully functioning system software on the MicroAutoBox in only 3 months. The RTI CAN MultiMessage Blockset proved to be a very easy-to-use tool, and its support for linking CAN configuration files (DBC files) enabled the development team to set up the CAN communication very quickly. Three CAN channels were set up in the wheel loader: engine CAN, hybrid CAN, and vehicle CAN. Because the system software was programmed directly in Simulink, it was possible to try out the software functions immediately on a plant model (MIL) containing the engine, electric machine, inverter, battery, work hydraulics and traction hydraulics. Deutz was therefore able to test the software functions long before the first prototype components became available. This was absolutely essential in view of the very short development time assigned to this project.
Using the pretested software functions and the inputs and outputs configured with RTI (digital, analog, PWM, CAN), Deutz produced a software version that would run on the MicroAutoBox and tested it on the test bench. Functions such as start/stop were tested and calibrated with ControlDesk.
Finally, Deutz put the wheel loader into operation with the MicroAutoBox as a superordinate hybrid system ECU and implemented the functions for boosting power and raising/shifting the load point.