Archive Newsletter 2015 ()

Developing and Testing Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles Efficiently with CarMaker 5.0

With the launch of CarMaker release 5.0, IPG Automotive has brought a host of innovations in the field of powertrains
onto the market. Users of the simulation software particularly benefit from the highly segmented model structure with
full real-time capability and the way in which CarMaker can be precisely tailored to the requirements of developing
powertrains in hybrid (HEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV). By using extended interfaces, it is now also possible to
integrate a variety of sub-system models and components directly into the virtual prototypes and to test them in the
simulation as well as continuously in the HIL system or on the performance test bench.

CarMaker is an open integration and test platform that helps users to create virtual test scenarios from the real world down to the very last detail. The comprehensive solution enables new systems, functions, control units and complete vehicle components to be efficiently developed and tested throughout the design process. A wide range of test cases can be automatically examined in a reproducible manner before the results are analyzed. All in all, the virtual test driving method saves considerable time and money throughout the development process.

Highly segmented powertrain for hybrid and battery electric vehicles

The latest CarMaker package features a powertrain with a segmented structure that enables not only conventional powertrains to be produced and tested as virtual prototypes. Moreover, HEV and BEV, ranging from series and parallel hybrids to axle-split and power-split hybrids up to battery electric vehicles, can now be sent on virtual test runs. This is possible throughout the MIL, SIL and HIL stages as well as on the performance test benches, where, for example, conventional powertrains can be virtually hybridized.

Pre-configured models with full real-time capability

CarMaker 5.0 is extremely user-friendly and can be customized to meet its users’ specific requirements. The new model structure allows all current hybrid and battery electric vehicle designs to be reproduced using pre-configured operating strategies and completely real-time-capable models. For example, the CarMaker GUI allows the parameters, quantity and positioning of electric engine parts and batteries to be set simply and quickly. It also enables their overall effects on vehicle behavior to be investigated. This means users can estimate very early in the process the extent to which their overall vehicle development objectives will be met. In particular, CarMaker helps key decision-making criteria to be determined at initial design stages when sophisticated powertrain models are not yet available or when the simulation should be kept as simple as possible. From the start of development, due to the special structure and real-time capability of the models, real systems, such as a combustion engine on the engine test bed, can be integrated into the virtual prototypes and various electrification concepts can be compared under real-life conditions.

New open interfaces and extended model classes

In addition to the new powertrain model structure, the interfaces and model classes used to integrate external models and actual components have been extended and adapted to meet the requirements of hybrid and battery electric vehicle developers. This means that even highly detailed models of further components required for electrification can now be incorporated into CarMaker from other simulation tools to facilitate a comprehensive, simulation-based analysis of the entire vehicle to be conducted under real-life conditions. Besides the new and comprehensive powertrain management interface, version 5.0 of CarMaker features separate interfaces that make it possible for batteries, electric motors and their control units to be directly included in the virtual prototype. The latest version of CarMaker also includes a generic interface that, for example, enables thermal and hydraulic models to be integrated. This allows developers to clarify matters concerning the thermal management of entire vehicles by taking into account engine and battery cooling, interior temperature control and waste heat recovery systems.

“Opti-E-Drive” project helped lay the foundations

The “Opti-E-Drive” project, a collaboration between IPG Automotive and TU Berlin, provided important initial findings that helped us to successfully develop the new powertrain features. The objective of the initiative, which is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and which is to be completed shortly, is to develop a user-friendly toolbox (the “Opti-E-Drive”) capable of numerically simulating conventional and optimized operating strategies for hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Designers can use the toolbox to virtually test their own operating strategies and compare them with the strategy developed within the project.