Smart Tool Chain Saves up to 32 Percent of Energy

Hy-Nets project supported by the state of NRW, Germany, brought to completion

Paderborn, May 16, 2019. Smart tool chains save energy and therefore cut down on emissions. This is the result of the research project ‘Hy-Nets – Efficient Hybrid Propulsion using Vehicular Communication’. The research project was launched in mid-2016 by dSPACE, DENSO AUTOMOTIVE Deutschland GmbH, RWTH Aachen University, and the University of Paderborn. It was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The tool chain created in the course of the project showed that the predictive control algorithms developed by RWTH Aachen University can achieve energy savings of up to 32 percent. It also reduces standstill times at traffic lights. Data from vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication and from the cloud was used for energy-efficient journeys with as few traffic light stops as possible. The test drives were carried out on a virtual track through the city of Paderborn. dSPACE was the consortium leader for the research project.

The aim of the project was to bundle several vehicle technology topics that had previously been considered independently of each other to open up new efficiency potentials in the development of hybrid vehicles. The city of Paderborn and the engineering office Geiger & Hamburgier (IGH) supported the project as associated partners. 

In contrast to existing controls of hybrid drives, which are primarily based on vehicle-internal information, Hy-Net for the first time also considers V2X communication, i.e., the communication between individual vehicles and between vehicles and/or the traffic infrastructure. By taking this information into account, the project was able to identify new methods for increasing efficiency. These methods included predictive energy management, new functions for autonomous driving, and the communication between vehicles and the traffic infrastructure. The digitalization of mobility thus opens up promising new possibilities for reducing fuel consumption and emissions in all areas. This could be achieved by designing future hybrid drives more in line with demand, for example.

To investigate the interaction of the real hardware and software of the hybrid drive with complex traffic scenarios, a combustion engine with an electric motor from DENSO was set up as a prototype of a hybrid engine and installed in the test bay of RWTH Aachen University. The electric motor was then coupled with a powerful simulator from dSPACE, which provides a detailed simulation of the vehicle model and the immediate vehicle environment of the hybrid vehicle. The Veins simulator from the University of Paderborn simulated the traffic flow and the entire V2X communication. This way, it was possible to move the hybrid vehicle in complex simulated driving scenarios based on traffic data from the city of Paderborn and data from IGH for traffic light control.

“The project shows that individual transport can be made much more efficient and environmentally friendly by linking digital applications, because significantly lower energy consumption results in lower emissions. The new tool chain can also be used to develop more efficient hybrid drives. The project also gave us insights into how the traffic flow can be optimized by equipping as many systems as possible with V2X networking technology," says Dr. Hagen Haupt, Section Manager HIL Simulation at dSPACE.

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