Model Based Development and Model Predictive Control approaches to xEV Thermal Management

Model Based Development and Model Predictive Control approaches to xEV Thermal Management
21 January 2020



Model Based Development and Model Predictive Control approaches to xEV Thermal Management

A blog by Cedric Rouaud, Global Technical Expert - Thermal Systems

Hybrid and electric vehicle systems are becoming increasingly complex as manufacturers respond to rapidly evolving technology and consumer demand for features such as fast charging, improved range and long battery lifetime.

As battery charging power increases so too does the level of heat rejection within the battery and cooling circuits which can cause safety concerns such as thermal runaway and fire propagation if not managed correctly. Additionally, components such as insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), motor windings and permanent magnets require different operating temperatures to function efficiently and to their full potential. This presents a complex thermal management challenge for OEMs and suppliers.

This challenge is further compounded by the pressure on manufacturers to meet faster-to-market expectations and to manage cost constraints, without compromising on the safety and reliability. Ricardo is helping our customers to rise to meet this complex optimisation challenge with our Integrated Thermal Management (ITM) approach to xEV thermal management which focuses on total vehicle system thermal efficiency, including powertrain and cabin thermal management.

ITM uses an integrated model-based development (IMBD) framework to enable co-optimisation of vehicle sub-systems to develop the optimal thermal management strategy by taking the operation whole vehicle system into consideration. This systems optimisation approach enables Ricardo to optimise hardware and calibration variables and predict trade-offs between vehicle attributes to find the best holistic thermal management strategy for the vehicle including:

  • Battery, electric motor, power electronics thermal management
  • Cabin thermal management
  • Effective management of multiple cooling circuits including air conditioning circuit
  • Energy consumption management using model predictive control (MPC) and eHorizon technologies

The use of IMBD is helping our clients reduce product development time and cost by supporting hardware selection, assisting control strategy development and delivering initial calibration results early in the design process. It also improves the robustness and quality of early system decisions by capturing a broader range of operating conditions and system interactions, avoiding late hardware changes.

For more information about Ricardo’s Integrated Thermal Management approach, Virtual Product Development and IMBD contact us today.