Engine Codes with Andy
Designing and advanced hybrid vehicle is a very difficult task; it takes multiple years and many skilled engineers to produce a consumer acceptable vehicle. These challenges are presented daily to our team at Ohio State. As a new member to the EcoCAR 2 team, I am grateful to have the support of a very experienced and knowledgeable team.
As the team’s engine control systems lead, I am responsible for programming code to allow the engine to run as efficiently as possible. One of my main tasks this year is using the dSPACE Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulator to assist in developing our team’s engine control algorithm. In using the dSPACE HIL, our team will be able to test, calibrate, and validate our control code before implementing it on a physical engine. One of the main advantages and reasons we use HIL simulation is that it allows our team to test new code without worrying about causing damage to our actual engine hardware, which saves time and cots for the team.
This year, our team will be transferring our engine code from our old engine control unit to ETAS’s new FlexECU. This is no simple task, as there are many control actions and decisions that are made inside the engine control code, and it is difficult to directly transfer one code to another. This is where the dSPACE HIL simulator proves to be a very effective source of validating the new code. Using the simulator in parallel with Simulink from Mathworks, our team is able to verify if our new engine controller is behaving correctly; making the same decisions and control actions as the previous controller. Another way the team will utilize the dSPACE HIL simulator is to test for fault mitigation. As safety is a top priority, we want to implement safety measures in the engine control code that will be able to detect if anything is not behaving the way it should and to take the correct action to mitigate the fault. The simulator is very effective in the sense that we can simulate an engine hardware failure and see the engine controller’s response.
There is a lot of work ahead to be completed, but I am looking forward to the challenge!