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Thermal Management of a Hybrid Vehicle
Published May 20, 2007 by Institution of Mechanical Engineers in United Kingdom
Environmental concerns have been recognized through a raft of legislation that has driven automotive manufacturers towards low fuel consumption vehicles and the adoption of alternative powertrains.
Of particular current interest are the increased activities surrounding the implementation of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), either as micro, mild, or full hybrids.
HEVs require careful consideration of the vehicle thermal management systems in order to ensure that the energy balance provides the necessary benefits for vehicle performance, fuel economy, and system efficiency.
The Lotus HEV mild hybrid demonstrator program (LHEV) is a project that applies separate electrical cooling systems to the main hybrid systems; motor generator, battery pack and base internal combustion engine. Thermal modelling was required to size each system and to derive a control system that ensured each system delivered the required component cooling and at the same time provided the necessary strategies for rapid warm up, cruising and electric motor only modes, in order to demonstrate NEDC fuel savings.
The development of appropriate strategies was conducted by coupling a combination of available proprietary and Lotus simulation tools using MATLAB/Simulink as the host modelling environment. The approach is supported by comparison to vehicle test results.