Monthly Archives: June 2017

Hybrid Technology


Normally a “Hybrid” is an offspring of two dissimilar plants or animals, but one must wonder how “Hybrid” is related to Automotive Technology. The US Dept. of Energy defines a hybrid as a type of electric vehicle (HEV) which combines two or more energy conversion technologies (e.g., heat engines, fuel cells, generators, or motors) with one or more energy storage technologies (e.g., fuel, batteries, ultra capacitors, or flywheels).

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are somewhat as same as today’s day to day automobile; it is different only in one sense that it has two “engines” (sources of power). Today some  companies are using gasoline or diesel internal combustion “heat” engines (or ICEs), a few  are using electricity-generating micro turbines, and a few are using fuel cells.

In today’s gasoline-only vehicles, the ICE is “sized” to the vehicle for peak load demands like accelerating, hill climbing etc. While “pure” battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are considered pollution free, they unfortunately lack extended range, quick recharge, and a charging infrastructure… plus the batteries are heavy. To overcome these obstacles, the lighter, cleaner, more fuel efficient hybrid-electric vehicle provides an alternative: the HEV uses an electric motor to serve as a supplemental power source for peak-load conditions.

Generally, most production hybrid-electric cars use a relatively small (~1 liter) gasoline or diesel ICE in concert with batteries and electric traction motor(s). Some of the HEV gasoline and diesel engines use direct fuel injection (into the combustion chamber). Diesel-electric hybrid transit busses are now using relatively small engines for lower emissions, and one bus configuration instead uses a pair of propane-powered micro-turbines to generate the needed power.

There are two basic HEV configurations:

The series-hybrid system which uses a small fuel-burning engine to drive a generator for electricity, which is inturn sent to one or more electric motors which drive the wheels.

The second is parallel-hybrid system in this there are two power paths. Either, the fuel burning (heat) engine, the electric propulsion system, or both, power the wheels.

Thus, with the hybrid electric vehicles (HEV s), the heat engine can be downsized and run at peak efficiency (peak-torque RPM) to propel the vehicle and to run the battery-charging generator. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) help in cutting fuel consumption and emissions, while minimizing the range and weight issues. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also help in reducing CO2 [global warming].

One such company which manufactures and designs Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) named the Protean Drive(TM), a fully integrated, in-wheel motor, direct-drive solution is Protean Electric. Protean Electric’s patented in-wheel motor design with distributed architecture revolutionizes the integration of electric propulsion and propulsion assist for mass production vehicles.

To speak about Protean Drive™ is the most advanced in-wheel electric drive system for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric light duty vehicles, developed by Protean Electric. The wheel motors can significantly improve fuel economy, depending on the vehicle and driving mode.

In addition, this unique and patented direct-drive design has the highest torque and power density of any electric propulsion system and incorporates the motor control electronics and regenerative braking inside each motor assembly. Each Protean Drive in-wheel motor can deliver 110 hp (81kW) and 590 lb.-ft. (800Nm), yet weighs only 31kg (68lbs) and is sized to fit within the space of a conventional 18-inch road wheel. The simplicity of the design creates more power density per motor and much simpler vehicle integration.

These motor wheels are powerful enough to be the only source of traction drive for a variety of battery electric vehicles, and can also be added to a FWD or RWD car or truck with an internal combustion engine drive train, creating a hybrid configuration. In hybrid applications, the technology is designed to be “driver selectable,” which means the driver has choice to decide between three operating modes: all electric (city/stop-and-go traffic or low-emissions zones), hybrid (combined constant and slow speeds) or all gas/diesel (constant speeds). This helps in providing fully independent torque control, making vehicles safer.

Some of the Benefits of Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs):

  • »Provides the power and torque required for electrification of full size sedans and SUVs without compromising performance.
  • » Enables full regenerative braking in normal driving, recapturing large amounts of kinetic energy, which reduces well-to-wheel CO2 emissions for large vehicles to less than those from small city cars and can increase electric range by as much as 50 percent.
  • » Offers a unique, highly integrated and modular motor/inverter technology with very high power and torque density, which eliminates the need for a separate large power electronics module.
  • » Packaged in-wheel, which saves large amount of space in the vehicle for passengers, load-space and batteries, and eliminates the need for transmissions, drive shafts and differentials.
  • » Enables advanced vehicle dynamics through independent “torque vectoring” torque control of each wheel.
  • » Designed for high volume, low cost automated mass production.
  • » Supplied with reference control system software for a centralized electronic control unit (ECU), which provides all essential electric vehicle control functionality and braking control

Other companies manufacturing and designing Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are Toyota and Honda. Some of the HEV s from Toyota and Honda are –

Toyota Prius HEV.Toyota’s 4 cyl. “Generation 1” hybrid seats 5 and gets around 50 mpg.
Toyota Prius Underhood
Honda Insight HEV. Honda’s 3 cyl. Seats 2 and gets around 70 mpg>
Honda Insight Underhood.

An American Methanol Institute report predicts that by 2020, seven to 20% of all new cars sold will be powered by fuel cells. There will be a time when various engines and power sources will exist simultaneously.

For now, those who service and repair today’s vehicles will have plenty of work to do. And for those trained and equipped for hybrid vehicle service and repair, hybrids have two power sources to work on.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Automotive Technology, GM, Ford, Chrysler and the National Renewable Energy Lab are all working together under the President’s PNGV initiative (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles) to produce a variety of automobiles featuring all the comfort and performance of today’s passenger cars, yet achieving 80 miles per gallon.

Telematics – Connecting present through future!

Telematics – Connecting present through future!

The worldwide market for trucks industry is widely divided into two sectors:

The First: Europe, North America, Japan & other industrialized East Asian nations
The Second: BRIC countries & other emerging markets which are highly cost conscious and experiencing faster growth.

The developed markets have always been characterised by high level of environmental regulations and increasing demand for sophisticated technological improvements.

However, with the growing competition in emerging markets, the increasing demand for quality, features & services is now playing a pivotal role in intensifying industry dynamics. The customer demands are driving the shift from merely being low-cost solutions towards higher value, heavier trucks, aftermarket sales & latest innovations.

For the global truck industry, the latest growing trend in the segment of Innovative products is “Introduction of Telematics-enabled services”.

Globally, telematics technology is expected to become a standard automotive equipment by 2020.

Till now, the Indian telematics market has grown at a steady pace owing to factors like early adoption, upgradation of infrastructure and government regulations. After 2010, companies like Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra and TATA have ventured into the telematics business. But, in the coming years, with the increase in awareness level, the growth of Telematics industry is a necessity. It has to happen.

In India, Heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs) have accounted for majority of the market share till now. However, with the increasing need for fleet management, Medium Commercial vehicles (MCVs) are also expected to register significant growth in telematics market over the coming years.

India’s Commercial Vehicles Telematics Market will exhibit rapid growth in the coming years. Initiatives like Toyota’s “Toyota Connect” for cars, “Tata SkoolMan” for school buses, “Tata FleetMan”, Eicher Drive Telematics, JCB’s “Livelink” and Mahindra & Mahindra’s “Digisense” from the major CV players of India prove that our market is placed in the right direction for growth in the Telematics segment.

The vehicle OEMs and telematics suppliers are upbeat about the increasing demand as awareness is on the rise with government involvement on passenger safety. With policy initiatives by central and local government, a prerequisite of 400,000 new buses is required by 2017. Such Initiatives, rising fuel prices and minimal profit margins in transportation industry are forcing the fleet operators to gain an edge through adoption of features such as vehicle tracking, route calculation, checks on fuel pilferage and other telematics capabilities.

Software Updates in Cars – To provide a Better Driving Experience

From being more mechanical to surprisingly intellectual is what defines now-a-days cars that are all ready to embrace the trending software updates. Cars that get software updates not only shrink gap between your car and dealer but stands on the front line to provide improved safety, fortified performance and reduced driver’s distraction while driving. While these many benefits are amazing each and every car lover, an evident advantage of getting those benefits without gearing up wheels is what buzzing in the automotive industry – Yeah, there is no need to travel under the roof of a dealership every time a new update got pop out – It is easy to get updates released from the manufacturer straight away on car with the help of a Wi-Fi connection.

Despite every car tends to hurl off the point being old with the help of sophisticated software updates, only cars from some leading manufacturers like Tesla, Ford, Toyota are simplifying the customer needs and grabbing newness through innovative software updates.

Tesla Motors, one of the world’s popular car brands renowned for producing electric cars is committed to offer a series of software updates for its acclaimed Model S in 2015. In its first set of updates, the software can analyze road conditions and driver’s route, controls driver from driving at high speeds and stops the attendant access of using personal data through valet mode, performs automatic braking and blind-spot detection alongside providing topography that alarms driver if the car is moving out of a charging location. Once the car automatically downloads and installs the code issued by the company, it gets updates.

This U.S. based car brand is also planning to provide another set of updates after few months from first set of updates release, that consists of an option that allows car to drive itself, and guides towards the destination.

Not just these, but Tesla already wowed its Model S owners with a remote software update that increased car speed more to the existing in the year beginning. Model S P85D can now accelerate from 0 to 60mph within just 0.1 to 3.1 seconds with the help of a new software update – which made a difference in its previous version that takes 3.2 seconds in the insane mode to accelerate the same speed range.

Ford, an American Automaker with a global presence is set to offer software updates for its latest infotainment system Sync 3 – the all new 2015 model, after partnering with software market giant Microsoft to keep the infotainment system updated and also to give its customers more freedom to get updates. Software updates received by Sync 3 from Microsoft with the enabled WiFi allows the system to stay updated with the current.

Sync 3 infotainment system equipped Ford cars can stay update to the latest with the Microsoft’s reliable and easier software downloads, which is an unrivaled smart process compared to its previous way of downloading Sync updates to USB thumb drive and then again updating it manually through dashboard.

Automotive industry to gain from simulation-based engineering

Growing Automotive Industry

Automotive industry to gain from simulation-based engineering

The global automotive industry has been growing constantly. Technologies such as connected transport, smart driver experience, improved battery management systems and better fuel efficiency are reforming the automotive industry.Innovation never stops!

Automotive manufacturers are required to work in uncertain conditions with increasing complexity as a result of wide range of products available to the customer, changing technologies, increasing pressure to innovate, environmental concerns and globalization.

Simulation-based engineering

Engineers are constantly under pressure to develop products that are future-proof. Hence, it is vital to bring the right expertise together that can combine multiple engineeringdisciplinesto handle challenging applications that lead to faster production.

Simulation-based engineeringhelps develop the products in a risk-free environment. This is a faster and more cost effective way to test the products when the expectations are high and failure can be disastrous.Simulation is the key to shorteningtime tomarket as it will accelerate the workflow from design to prototype.

COMSOL Multiphysics enables automotive engineersto accurately investigate design concept to production and fully benefit from the virtual prototyping capabilities that it offers. With COMSOL Multiphysics engineers can couple electromagnetics with heat transfer, structural mechanics, fluid flow, and other physical phenomena, allowing them to accuratelysolve real world problems.

A thermoelectric cooler application is one of 50 app examples available with COMSOL Multiphysics. The user may test different geometries, thermocouple configurations, and material selection in order to determine the ideal cooler option for a specific configuration or an optimized design for best performance.

Researchers working within the automotive industry have used COMSOL Multiphysicsto study corrosion in automotive parts found in car paneling, for example. Simulation helpsresearchers investigate electrochemical reactions on the surface of the rivet, analyze decay in sheet metal, and understand the effects of geometry in the corrosion process.

Multiphysics for everyone

It’s important to support the experts who often have to serve the entire organization while covering a diverse range of simulation needs,by bringing simulation to a larger group of people. The latest version of COMSOL Multiphysics and its Application Builder provides simulation experts with the tools needed to turn their detailed physics and mathematical models into easy-to-use simulation apps for use by everyone in their organization and beyond.

Designers can easily build a simplified interface based on their model in order to let anyone in the product development team test different operating conditions and configurations. Given how competitive the automotive industry is, building simulation apps for an entire team will allow designers to maketheir expertise easily available and free up resources to develop new concepts.

In order to get the products out in the market faster, experts should be able to deploy their simulations easily that is accessible to a larger group of people. This is already a reality thanks to the addition of the Application Builder to COMSOL Multiphysics for creating simulation apps and the introduction of COMSOL Server to distribute them via a COMSOL Client or browser.