Energy Management & Drivetrains
At ika, the development of vehicle drives has been a long-standing research area. Research and development in this sector are of paramount importance as we aim to create a future where mobility is environmentally sustainable and cost-effective, independent of fossil fuels. To achieve this, we work on two fronts: optimizing conventional systems, such as battery electric systems, and developing forward-thinking concepts.
Our approach goes beyond energy requirements; it is centered on meeting the needs of vehicle users. Factors like application scenarios, cost reduction, sustainability, and enhanced comfort are equally significant, directly influencing vehicle energy demands.
Scenario-Oriented Drive Development
We employ cutting-edge development methodologies and tools, encompassing everything from system design to in-house prototype testing. Our tailored methodologies aid in defining requirements at the project's inception, facilitating the discovery of suitable solutions. To cater to the diverse demands of stakeholders, including manufacturers, users, and legislators, we anchor our work in various scenarios, capable of anticipating medium- and long-term trends. Our investigations extend extensively to electrified drive systems, spanning from purely battery-electric concepts to alternatives like overhead lines and fuel cells.
For comprehensive, quantitative assessments of new systems during the conceptual phase, we rely on computer programs such as MATLAB/Simulink for longitudinal dynamics simulations and FE and CFD software for component-level analysis. These simulations are instrumental in exploring a wide solution space and optimizing components for an efficient holistic system.
Regardless of the drive concept, vehicles generate waste heat that is currently only partially utilized for heating purposes. Innovative approaches can harness this waste heat to reduce the strain on energy-intensive auxiliary units, such as air-conditioning compressors, thereby enhancing overall vehicle efficiency.
In the development of drive concepts like battery-electric vehicles, thermal management plays an increasingly central role due to rising cooling requirements for electrical storage units. Simultaneously, available waste heat is diminishing. This presents a challenge, as heating and dehumidification demands for comfort and safety reasons remain substantial. With decreasing waste heat, additional components must be provided to meet heating and dehumidification needs. However, these additional components increase system costs and reduce vehicle efficiency. Therefore, we are researching new air conditioning concepts and innovative control strategies to harmonize efficiency and comfort.
Our involvement in automotive energy systems ranges from integrating new vehicle technologies to devising innovative energy management mechanisms and protection concepts. We perform specific investigations using simulation tools to design the vehicle electrical system. Testing of developed algorithms and the analysis of fault cases are conducted in the on-board power supply laboratory or directly in the vehicle. We utilize tools like MATLAB/Simulink for functional algorithm development and automated C code generation for microcontroller-based control units.
We are at the forefront of research in implementing service-oriented software architectures and communication interfaces for vehicle components.
Prototype Construction in Our Workshops
In our design department, we create essential 3D CAD models, complemented by calculations and dimensioning of required components. Prototype construction for mechanical, fluidic, and electrical/electronic components takes place in our well-equipped workshops. For software development, we employ tools that enable code generation at ECU level directly from the simulation environment. Furthermore, we consider diagnostics and functional safety for series applications. Various component and system test benches, along with our dedicated test track, facilitate testing and optimizing newly developed prototypes.
Range of Services
Apart from handling complete development projects, we offer individual development process steps as standalone services. Our standard services include simulation calculations, technical assessments, hardware and software development, algorithm creation, as well as partially and fully automated test bench investigations. Our scope of activities in the field of energy management and drivetrains also includes advanced studies, research for government ministries, and support for fleet tests. Recognizing the significant industry changes, we conduct seminars for training and continuing education.
© Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) - RWTH Aachen University / Lutz Eckstein Electric, connected and automated. The transformation of road traffic wants to be actively shaped and contribute …
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Equipment and test benches
- Aldenhoven Testing Center (ATC)
- Automotive Interior Center
- Battery Conditioning and Powernet Testing
- Battery Test and Simulation System I
- Battery Test and Simulation System II
- Cleat Test Rig „SchlaReP“
- Cornering & Traction Test Rig MTS Flat-Trac IV CT plus
- Dynamic Roller Test Bench
- Dynamic Transmission and Axis Test Benches
- Dynamic Tyre Test Rig “MoReP”
- Four-wheel Test Bench
- Heavy Duty Tyre Test Rig “NuReP”
- Highly Dynamic Tyre Test Rig “HyReP”
- Kinematic and Compliance Test Rig
- Mobile Tyre Test Rig “FaReP”
- Roadside Infrastructure
- Servo Hydraulic Test Centre
- Test Bench Infrastructure
- Thermal Conductivity Test Bench
- Tyre Stiffness Test Rig „SteiReP“
- Vehicle Inertia Measuring Machine (VIMM)
- ika test track
- Anwendungsspezifische Dimensionierung des eFans in elektrifizierten Nutzfahrzeugen
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
- Integration of Real Driving Data into the Electric Powertrain Design Process for Heavy-duty Trucks
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
- AUTOtech.agil: Architecture and Technologies for Orchestrating Automotive Agility
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
- Modular powertrains for heavy-duty electric vehicles: From concept to prototype
Thursday, July 06, 2023
- A Flexible Production Cost Model for Permanent Magnet Synchronous Machines for Electric Vehicles
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Selection of current theses:
- Model predictive control of a battery electric truck with overhead line systems
- Simulative Untersuchungen eines batterieelektrischen LKW mit Oberleitung
- Implementierung multikriterieller Optimierungsverfahren im Rahmen der Lager- bzw. Antriebsstrangauslegung
- Erforschung von Einflussfaktoren auf die Steuerung von Human-Hybrid-Antriebssystemen
- Realdatenbasierte Schätzung der Fahrzeugmasse eines Lastkraftwagens