Simulation and control strategy development of power-split hybrid-electric vehicles
Arata, John Paul, III
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Power-split hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) provide two power paths between the internal combustion (IC) engine and the driven wheels through gearing and electric machines (EMs) composing an electrically variable transmission (EVT). EVTs allow IC engine control such that rotational speed is independent of vehicle speed at all times. By breaking the rigid mechanical connection between the IC engine and the driven wheels, EVTs allow the IC engine to operate in the most efficient region of its characteristic brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) map. If the most efficient IC engine operating point produces more power than is requested by the driver, the excess IC engine power can be stored in the energy storage system (ESS) and used later. Conversely, if the most efficient IC engine operating point does not meet the power request of the driver, the ESS delivers the difference to the wheels through the EMs. Therefore with an intelligent supervisory control strategy, power-split architectures can advantageously combine traditional series and parallel power paths. In the first part of this work, two different power-split HEV powertrains are compared using a two-term cost function and steady-state backward-looking simulation (BLS). BLS is used to find battery power management strategies that result in minimized fuel consumption over a user-defined drive-cycle. The supervisory control strategy design approach amounts to an exhaustive search over all kinematically admissible input operating points, leading to a minimized instantaneous cost function. While the approach provides a valuable comparison of two architectures, non-ideal engine speed fluctuations result. Therefore, in the second part of the work, two approaches for designing control strategies with refined IC engine speed transitions are investigated using high-fidelity forward-looking simulation (FLS). These two approaches include: i) smoothing the two-term cost function optimization results, and ii) introducing a three-term cost function. It is found that both achieve operable engine speed transitions, and result in fuel economy (FE) estimates which compare well to previous BLS results. It is further found that the three-term cost function finds more efficient operating points than the smoothed two-term cost function approach. From the investigations carried out in parts one and two of this work, a two-phase control strategy development process is suggested where control strategies are generated using efficient steady-state BLS models, and then further tested and verified in high-fidelity FLS models. In conclusion, the FLS results justify the efficacy of the two-phased process, suggesting rapid and effective development of implementable power-split HEV supervisory control strategies.