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Nonlinear Constrained Component Optimization of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Today transportation is one of the rapidly evolving technologies in the world. With the stringent mandatory emission regulations and high fuel prices, researchers and manufacturers are ever increasingly pushed to the frontiers of research in pursuit of alternative propulsion systems. Electrically propelled vehicles are one of the most promising solutions among all the other alternatives, as far as; reliability, availability, feasibility and safety issues are concerned.

However, the shortcomings of a fully electric vehicle in fulfilling all performance requirements make the electrification of the conventional engine powered vehicles in the form of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) the most feasible propulsion systems. The optimal combination of the properly sized components such as internal combustion engine, electric motor, energy storage unit are crucial for the vehicle to meet the performance requirements, improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and cost effectiveness.

In this study an application of Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) approach to optimally size the vehicle powertrain components (e.g. engine power, electric motor power, and battery energy capacity) while meeting all the critical performance requirements, such as acceleration, grade and maximum speed is studied. Compared to conventional optimization methods, PSO handles the nonlinear constrained optimization problems more efficiently and precisely.

The PHEV powertrain configuration with the determined sizes of the components has been used in a new vehicle model in PSAT (Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit) platform. The simulation results show that with the optimized component sizes of the PHEV vehicle (via PSO), the performance and the fuel efficiency of the vehicle are significantly improved.

The optimal solution of the component sizes found in this research increased the performance and the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Furthermore, after reaching the desired values of the component sizes that meet all the performance requirements, the overall emission of hazardous pollutants from the PHEV powertrain is included in the optimization problem in order to obtain updated PHEV component sizes that would also meet additional design specifications and requirements.
Author: Emrah Tolga Yildiz
Source: Purdue University

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