E3Power research project, carried out by Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) and LUT University, proposes a systems engineering approach to designing and optimizing hybrid/electric powertrains for non-road heavy-duty vehicles. The key open question addressed in the project is: “How should the electric powertrain on a non-road heavy-duty vehicle be (1) specified, (2) designed, (3) built, (4) operated and (5) monitored, given the projected usage profile during its planned lifetime?”
There are two work packages in the project. The first one focuses on items (1)-(4) above at the battery system level. The research topics covered in this work package include battery system specification, cell behaviour and design constraints for extreme conditions, and development of computational design methods as well as charging integration to the distribution grid. Developed systems can be tested on the TUAS e-Rallycross car which is Living Lab test environment. It is a special off-road heavy-duty vehicle, with a well-defined operating environment, yet requiring optimal operation in extreme load conditions. This facilitates a seamless transfer of the results and methods directly to the engineering practice of the project company consortium.
The second work package addresses items (4) and (5) above at the powertrain level. A bottom-up system engineering approach is proposed, such that low-level physical models for the battery system and powertrain components are reduced and then coupled into large, highly nonlinear systems that, in practice, can only be studied by simulation models. Such models are referred to as digital twins, and they can be augmented with on-line measurements from the physical device. The research topics covered in this work package include energy efficient electric drives and hydraulics/gear systems for non-road applications, reduced order computational models, digital twins, optimization of battery lifetime and optimal control of the powertrain.