Continental integrates engine control and energy flow management into one system
The EMS3 incorporates another completely new feature: predictive-based energy management (pEM). This software module is based on information obtained from the eHorizon and processes information on the driving style of whoever is behind the wheel. The eHorizon utilizes topographical data and the GPS signal to furnish a three-dimensional profile of the route to the EMS3. However, it doesn't just use that information to calculate energy requirements. Instead, it identifies the segments along the route where recuperation is possible. It determines with what load and where the combustion engine would work more efficiently alone, or where the electric motor would perform better. Thus, the new engine management platform coordinates power and also directs the flow of energy along the drive train.
The system's open architecture, patterned after Autosar standards, also helps diminish the variety of applications along the engine's periphery. Existing subsystems will be able to continue serving in many cases.
Future of the combustion engine: Potential for Co2 Reduction. For full resolution click here.
Continental believes that the cars of the future will have electric motors, but the classic internal combustion engine will continue to do duty throughout the foreseeable future. Therefore, the challenge to both automotive suppliers and manufacturers will be to come to terms with the great variety of propulsion concepts and to refine them. The initial exuberant expectations of electronic vehicles have given way to a more realistic assessment. Whereas electric vehicles are gaining acceptance very slowly, hybrids are garnering more attention.
The EMS3 engine management system will be a major element in Continental's strategy. It integrates the variable valve control, cylinder shutoff, all the sensors, and the actuators needed to satisfy the Euro 6 norm. It also governs the components in the electrical path of a hybrid vehicle, coordinates electrical devices along the drive train and handles heat management for the battery.
Since storage devices cause the highest costs in a hybrid drive system, the goal is to employ batteries with as little capacity as possible. Continental engineers therefore came up with a new approach: Predictive-based energy management (pEM). The idea behind it is that a small battery that permanently performs at full capacity is just as effective in reducing fuel consumption as a larger one that only recharges during the usual window of opportunity.
Two problems needed solving first. A situation could arise in which the electric motor might be the more efficient alternative but the battery is dead precisely at that moment. Or good opportunities for recharging the battery might go by unused because the combustion engine has already charged it. Continental has circumvented theses problems by forecasting how much energy the vehicle will need to make a trip. It doesn’t just calculate the total amount of energy needed but also, the amount needed for each segment. To do so, the comnpany's eHorizon draws upon data from the navigation system such as distance, geography, number and spacing of curves, intersections, and speed limits. It also draws upon information on the driving style of whoever is sitting behind the wheel. The Engine Management System utilizes this information to determine where and to what extent it can recuperate braking energy, during which segment the combustion engine can recharge the battery with the least possible load, where it is possible to drive solely with an electric motor, plus numerous other functions. This function of the engine control unit delivers whatever power a driver might need, but it also manages the entire flow of energy along the drive train, be it from fossil fuel or from electricity.
Although the acronym EMS could stand for Engine Management System, here it could also mean Energy Management System. It is now possible to push the window of opportunity for recharging the battery to its electrochemical limit, thus maximizing utilization. Test drives have indicated that comprehensive management of this kind can reduce the total amount of energy needed by up to 10 percent.
This sophisticated energy-management system results in a smaller battery, which in turn results in manageable system costs. Since the new engine control platform is based on Power SAR, the Powertrain implementation of Autosar standards, existing subsystems can frequently continue in use or, customers can replace them with Autosar-based object code.
Many applications are already scalable, which makes them usable for varying numbers of cylinders, different fuels or different classes of vehicles. To name some examples, the energy and torque management functions or the air-path function can find application in either diesel or gasoline engines, while the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) function can find application in anything from a passenger car to a heavy truck. The EMS 3 platform’s system architecture, moreover, reflects the ongoing merger of gasoline and diesel technology. Many functions have been developed for both gasoline and diesel engines. Continental's Powertrain Division announced that it will eventually package the functions and solutions in the EMS3 platform. This approach will help to lastingly diminish the complexity of the entire system.
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