Institut CD Labor Powertrain
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Overview

The automotive industry is facing major challenges due to increasingly strict CO2 regulations across the world, and the trends towards electrification and alternative propulsion systems as well as autonomous and connected vehicles are increasing the demand for new and alternative development methodologies.

The Christian Doppler Laboratory for Innovative Control and Monitoring of Automotive Powertrain Systems is based on a long-standing cooperation between the Institute of Mechanics and Mechatronics (Division for Control and Process Automation) and AVL List GmbH, Graz. The research programme of the Christian Doppler Laboratory is focused on the development of new, innovative and systematic concepts for powertrain monitoring, control, optimisation and testing. Hybridisation and electrification of powertrains are feasible ways ahead in terms of environmentally friendly and sustainable mobility. However, substantial improvements regarding battery lifetime and fuel cell operation will be required. In the course of this CDL, methodologies for online monitoring for both batteries and fuel cells will be investigated. Additionally, research will be focused on battery ageing prediction models and customised predictive operating strategies in order to enhance battery lifetime. Similarly, the increase in durability at high performance and in transient operation is a critical success factor for fuel cells. Thus, precise control concepts will be developed, especially in consideration of degradation effects and their impact on fuel cell lifetime.

Upcoming real driving emission tests will require the vehicles to be clean under all operating conditions. While tremendous efforts are currently being made in extending and augmenting existing traditional control units, model-based control approaches constitute a more systematic and scalable solution for engine and powertrain control. In the proposed CDL, advanced nonlinear and predictive control concepts will be investigated. To systematically deal with the increasing complexity of future powertrains, another focus is on a seamless connection of simulation models and powertrain testbeds in order to assure reliability of real driving emission tests on hardware-in-the-loop testbeds.

The focus on basic research on a high level in combination with the expert knowledge available at the industrial partner and the long-term nature of the collaboration are important prerequisites to generate innovative and sustainable results. This will ultimately strengthen the position of the industrial partner in the market. Advanced control and monitoring strategies together with hybridisation and electrification will contribute to significant efficiency improvements in future vehicles.