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.