New ORNL hardware-in-the-loop facility simulates advanced ICEs combined with electrification

Vehicle Systems Integration Laboratory Accelerates Powertrain Development

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a new testing capability to explore new automotive technology, including hybrid vehicle architectures, in real-world drive cycles. The new facility is focused on low-temperature combustion engines, but builds upon the powertrain-in-the-loop expertise established by ORNL’s Vehicle Systems Integration Laboratory.

The hardware-in-the-loop setup includes a transient dynamometer cell and a light-duty diesel engine. A computer simulates the remainder of the vehicle, including hybrid components. As the simulated vehicle goes through the drive cycle, the computer controls the speed and load of the dynamometer to emulate the drive system based on vehicle weight, aerodynamics and driver behavior.

The new capability supports research on the systems that will required to meet EPA Tier 3 standards. As advanced ICE technologies join with greater degrees of electrification, these hybrid systems will need to integrate the engine, aftertreatment and power electronics to work as one.

Source: Green Car Congress