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CENIIT Project Energy management for heavy vehicles

Project leader: Jan Åslund, Division of Vehicular Systems,
Department of Electrical Engineering, Linköping University.

Background and industrial relevance

The overall objective of the project is to study different aspects of energy management for heavy vehicles, e.g., long haul trucks, wheel loaders, and articulated haulers. Energy management can be described as planning and control of production, conversion, distribution, and use of energy, where environmental and economic objectives are taken into account.

The main focus of this project will be on reducing the energy consumption for vehicles collaborating at work sites or in platoons using optimal control theory. A distinguishing feature for heavy vehicles is that the ratio between engine capacity and vehicle mass is relatively small, compared to light vehicles such as cars. A consequence of this is that the side conditions in the optimization problems for light and heavy vehicles differ.

The possibilities for efficient energy management increase as new technologies arise. One example is the introduction of the GPS, which today is available in many heavy vehicles on the market. The knowledge of the vehicles current position, together with a road data base, can be used to give information about road inclination ahead of the vehicle. Taking this information into account, the fuel consumption can be reduced by optimizing fueling, braking, and gear shifting. Control systems for heavy trucks based on these principles were first introduced on the market in 2009 by Freightliner Trucks in the US and during the last seven years several truck manufacturers, e.g. Scania and Volvo, have launched similar systems. When considering a work site, new possibilities and difficulties arise when using the GPS for energy management.

New technologies have been developed for vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. The IEEE802.11p standard has been developed for wireless access in vehicular environments and this gives new opportunities and allow vehicles to share information about their relative location and road conditions. This can be used for platooning of multiple vehicles in urban and highway environments. The benefits with platooning are increased traffic throughput and reduced fuel consumption due to a decrease in the aerodynamic force acting on the vehicle if several vehicles drive close together. The potential fuel savings with platooning are of great interest for the vehicle industry and their customers, and there are many related research problems to be solved in this field of research, e.g., how to take into account information about the road inclination ahead the vehicles in the control strategy of the platoon.

One off-road application where vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication can be used is optimization of work sites. Communication between, e.g., wheel loaders, articulated haulers, and crushers can be used to optimize the work flow for the production site as a whole as well as optimal control strategies for the individual units.

Last, but not least, a technological advancement that has influenced the possibility for improved energy management for vehicles is the development of new battery concepts. This has led to improved battery performance, e.g., increased energy density and lifespan of the batteries, as well as a lower price. This has increased the feasibility for development of electric and hybrid electric vehicles for a reasonable cost and weight. Energy management for electrical and hybrid electrical vehicles is a complex problem and is very active field of research with large potential benefits for the customers.

Project description

The main objective of the project is to develop methods to reduce the energy consumption for vehicles collaborating in platoons or work sites. This will be done using the possibility to communicate between units and sharing information about, e.g., position, status and environmental conditions, and the advantages with using hybrid electric vehicles.

Initially, the focus of the project will be on two PhD projects, Vehicle mission control on work sites and Hybrid wheel loader component control, which are research collaborations with Volvo Construction Equipment in Eskilstuna. These projects will be described below and one of the objectives is that results will be used in the demonstrator project Electric Site, a collaboration between Volvo Construction Equipment and Skanska Sweden, where development of a construction site with electric equipment and vehicles is the main goal. The plan is to demonstrate the concepts in a quarry in Göteborg for a period of ten weeks in 2017.

Vehicle mission control on work sites

The objective will be to study the production in a quarry and how each component integrates with each other in order to get energy efficiency benefits. For this, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will be used. The first step will be to study a small system with articulated haulers, wheel loaders and a crusher. The speed and gear shift trajectory of the haulers will be optimized, taking the crusher production capacity into account.

The working conditions for an off-road vehicle in a quarry differ substantially from the conditions on a highway or an urban road. The fluctuations in elevation and condition of the road surface are more frequent for an off-road vehicle and often vary over time more rapidly. One part of the project is to study how the individual units can be a part of the process where several vehicles collaborate to build a map of the quarry, using GPSs and available sensors.

PhD student: Jörgen Albrektsson

Hybrid wheel loader component control

The objective of this project is to develop a control algorithm for a plug-in hybrid wheel loader that may use only electrical energy for shorter periods of time.

The research problem to be studied is how to manage power and energy flows in the machine and development of tools and methods to enable an optimized energy management strategy to be implemented.

PhD student: Iman Shafikhani

Informationsansvarig: Jan Åslund
Senast uppdaterad: 2016-06-01