From the series: Student Teams Share Their Keys to Success
Christoph Hahn, MathWorks
Alex Girard, Virginia Tech Formula SAE team
Learn how to develop an electric powertrain from scratch using Simscape® for simulation. Alex Girard, from the Virginia Tech Formula SAE team introduces their approach to vehicle modeling. Together with Christoph Hahn, from MathWorks, they walk through the simulation workflow and highlight key features as well as smart model simplifications.
The Virginia Tech Formula SAE team plans to compete with an electric vehicle in the 2017 season. Based on their current combustion car, and an overall vehicle model in Simscape®, they want to understand the vehicle behavior before actually building it. By modeling longitudinal dynamics and energy flow they can determine the capacity of their battery or evaluate parameters impacting lap times such as different aero configuration.
Logged driver actions from an endurance run are used to calibrate a controller that mimics the actual driver and then data is fed into a vehicle model set-up with Simscape.
VT Motorsport has followed an efficient approach in feeding data into their model. They can use test data directly such as data from tire testing, and employ semi-empirical models where they use test date in conjunction with common modeling techniques for calibrating data such as the equivalent circuit assumption for their battery. For the parts of their model where insufficient data was available they introduced physical-based engineering assumptions and are ready to validate these when their prototype of the powertrain is in place.