Current state-of-the-art heavy duty diesel engines are both highly efficient and offer low emissions. However, in real-world driving, fuel efficiency and emissions aftertreatment technologies interact with each other and also vary according to the vehicle application, its prevailing operating conditions and its mission.
The IMPERIUM project (IMplementation of Powertrain control for Economic, low Real driving emIssions and fuel ConsUMption) is a major EU-funded research initiative (€10 million total, €6.6 million from the EU) comprising a total of 17 industrial and academic partners. The main objective of the project is to reduce fuel consumption by 20% (diesel and urea) against the project’s 2014 Euro VI baseline vehicle, while keeping the vehicle within the legal limits for pollutant emissions.
The approach relies on three stages targeting the improvement of the control strategy:
Direct optimization of the control of the main components (engine, exhaust after-treatment, transmission, waste heat recovery, e-drive) to maximize their performances.
Global powertrain energy manager to coordinate the different energy sources and optimize their use depending on the current driving situation.
Providing a more comprehensive understanding of the mission (eHorizon, mission-based learning) such that the different energy sources can be planned and optimized on a long term.
The goal is to apply new means of predictive and comprehensive powertrain control in an optimal way, exploiting the maximum potential of the individual systems for each vehicle application and its mission in real time.
Ricardo’s focus within the project is on evaluating a comprehensive simulation capability based on a bespoke version of its existing IGNITE vehicle simulation tool (earlier post). IGNITE is a physics-based system simulation package operating in Modelica focused on complete vehicle system modeling and simulation.
Ricardo has enhanced IGNITE through the incorporation of agent-based modeling approaches to simulate changes in driver behavior and traffic flows, thus providing a simulation environment which is capable of assessing the impact of dynamic eHorizon information.
Originally developed for research on passenger car applications, Ricardo is applying this advanced CAE technology for the first time in the heavy-duty truck sector within the IMPERIUM project.
The agent-based driver models will respond, for example, to instantaneous weather and traffic conditions on a dynamic basis, as well as static information on road topology, gradients and highway layout.
As the simulation environment includes many vehicles, it can be used to generate multiple information streams that feed into the eHorizon based predictive control algorithms, thus enabling the evaluation of different levels of information availability and the corresponding changes in achievable on-road fuel economy.
Ricardo expects that this highly resolved and dynamic IMPERIUM simulation concept will enable the identification and evaluation of new technologies and operational opportunities for improving real-world truck fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions.
The simulation environment being used by Ricardo based on the IGNITE package will be tested and validated against the baseline vehicle. Subsequently, Ricardo will assist in the development of truck models representing the advanced technology configurations of three IMPERIUM demonstrator vehicles produced by the project partners.
Ultimately, this simulation technology will be available for the development of smart and adaptive truck powertrain control strategies, which are able to deliver optimal fuel efficiency in real-time, under varying duty, prevailing traffic flows, route topology and weather conditions.