Year Three of the EcoCAR 2 competition is all about getting the vehicles production-ready. In order to reach this goal, the Colorado State University Vehicle Innovation Team (CSU VIT) is continuing to develop and update the hardware and software they’ve integrated into their Chevrolet Malibu H2eV. The four members of the Year Three control systems team at CSU are responsible for improving the drivability of the vehicle, as well as the routing and workability of its low voltage (LV) system.
In order to improve the drivability of the H2eV, the team will follow the appropriate modeling and testing procedures outlined by General Motors (GM) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). First, the vehicle model will be modified based on on-road data collected at the CSU test track and the Year Two final competition at the Yuma Desert Proving Grounds (YDPG). Once the accuracy of the vehicle model has been verified through software in the loop (SIL) testing, it can be used to make appropriate controls changes that improve the drivability of the vehicle. Any changes made to the supervisory controller are first tested in the SIL environment, and once validated within the model they are implemented into the vehicle controller for further testing.
On the hardware side, the team needs to reduce the 12V accessory loads of the vehicle while improving the functionality of the LV wiring harness itself. By ensuring the system’s auxiliary components are turned on and off efficiently during the different operational modes of the H2eV, the total amount of energy used can be decreased. The control systems team is also focusing on optimizing the wiring strategy within the vehicle, which will help improve the serviceability of the LV system while decreasing the footprint of the wiring harness.
By working on the drivability and the LV system of the vehicle, the CSU control systems team is improving the overall functionality of the H2eV. The team will continue to work on both software and hardware modifications to get the vehicle ready for dynamometer testing at ANL at the end of March.