Optimal Powertrain Dimensioning and Potential Assessment of Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), compared to conventional vehicles, complement the traditional combustion engine with one, or several electric motors and an energy buffer, typically a battery and/or an ultracapacitor. This gives the vehicle an additional degree of freedom that allows for a more efficient operation, by e.g. recuperating braking energy, or operating the engine at higher efficiency.
In order to be cost effective, the HEV may need to include a downsized engine and a carefully selected energy buffer. The optimal size of the powertrain components depends on the powertrain configuration, ability to draw electric energy from the grid, charging infrastructure, drive patterns, varying fuel, electricity and energy buffer prices and on how well adapted is the buffer energy management to driving conditions.
This thesis provides two main contributions for optimal dimensioning of HEV powertrains while optimally controlling the energy use of the buffer on prescribed routes. The first contribution is described by a methodology and a tool for potential assessment of HEV powertrains. The tool minimizes the need for interaction from the user by automizing the processes of powertrain simplification and optimization. The HEV powertrain models are simplified by removing unnecessary dynamics in order to speed up computation time and allow Dynamic Programming to be used to optimize the energy management. The tool makes it possible to work with non-transparent models, e.g. models which are compiled, or hidden for intellectual property reasons.
The second contribution describes modeling steps to reformulate the powertrain dimensioning and control problem as a convex optimization problem. The method considers quadratic losses for the powertrain components and the resulting problem is a semidefinite convex program. The optimization is time efficient with computation time that does not increase exponentially with the number of states. This makes it possible to include more accurate models in the optimization, e.g. powertrain components with thermal properties.
Hybrid electric vehicle