EV powertrain testing
The Electrified Propulsion Research Centre is optimised for testing of electric and hybrid powertrains. The modular layout of the facility has been designed so that we can test and develop complete vehicle powertrains, as well as discreet subsystems.
The EPRC has a range of testing and development capabilities which are tailored for both fully electric and hybrid powertrain systems.
Our range of development, validation and optimisation services help our clients get the most out of their powertrain systems. These include:
EDU performance development and inverter control optimisation
Battery, eMotor, ICE and drive system integration and functional test
Control system validation including dynamic driving behaviour
Energy management and efficiency through thermal system optimisation
The Electrified Propulsion Research Facility has state-of-the-art battery simulation capabilities which enable us to test and validate different battery configurations without the need for a physical battery prototype.
The EPRC has two independent battery simulators with capabilities of up to 800 kW at 1100 V. These can be operated separately or as a combined system, enabling us to accommodate a range of applications including very high performance EV powertrains.
During the development phase, it is common for battery prototype to be unavailable, unreliable or unoptimised. By using battery simulation, we can simulate and assess the impact of performance and characteristics of batteries on the complete powertrain system quickly and cost effectively, without the restrictions of a physical prototype. The results of the simulation can be used to inform the development of the physical battery prototype, saving time and driving down costs.
Flexible, Modular Layout
We take a completely modular approach to our testing capability which combines hardware testing with software emulation of drivetrain components. This enables rapid development of complex electrified systems.
The facility can be operated as one single large test chamber for 4-wheel drive configurations and large powertrains, or split into two independent test chambers for 2-wheel drive applications and front and rear drive system development.
All of our test capabilities support independent or linked operation. This includes the climatic environments, fluid conditioning circuits, battery simulators, and control and automation systems, which can be tailored to operate based on the required application.
We can also accommodate both fully electric and hybrid powertrain testing in the same facility. Our range of hybrid test options centred around emissions control and fuel efficiency, which cover Euro 6 and are prepared for future Euro 7 regulations.
System Hardware Integration
The Electrified Propulsion Research Centre supports powertrain system hardware integration testing.The facility provides all necessary boundary and test conditions to fully exercise the powertrain to enable a detailed analysis of the system.
The facility enables our clients to test the complete powertrain as it is developed to validate the interactions of the physical characteristics between subsystems. It also enables the testing of real system interactions that cannot be modelled or tested at component level.
The EPRC is capable of substituting powertrain hardware with either rig-based systems or software models that run in real-time. This allows testing to continue in the absence of hardware which may be unavailable or unsuitable for physical testing due to being immature or unreliable.
Systems that can be tested in the EPRC include:
- Electric Drive Unit including the motor, inverter and reducing gearbox
- ICE and transmission
- Powertrain and vehicle control system
- Thermal system
- Battery system
Advanced Virtual Product Development
Advanced virtual product development simulation tools at the EPRC enable simulation of prototype vehicles without the need for the vehicle to physically exist. At all stages in product development we can effectively switch between the physical and virtual domains as we develop and optimise the architecture of the vehicle, the attributes, safety, performance and reliability.
Benefits of simulated/virtual product testing
Less physical testing reduces test facility costs and requires less project hardware, the combination of a powertrain system and virtual elements translates to faster project delivery and lower cost with the bonus of being able to test more in the virtual domain which increases the robustness of calibration, reducing the project risk as it enters production.
Where we need validation of simulation models from concept to prototype, we can physically test hardware and provide robust validation data for those models as well as use the data to further enhance the digital twin.
Digital twinning enables parallel virtual development to allow real-world testing of the powertrain system without the need for prototype vehicles. Digital twins replicate the physical environment and are incrementally refined using actual test data to accelerate product development times.
Hardware in the Loop (HiL or HWIL)
The facility embraces simulation of hardware through the product development process, however, physical testing of hardware in the loop, in a variety of climate conditions, can be incorporated as an essential touchpoint at key stages during product development cycles.