The Automotive Powertrain Laboratory spans a broad spectrum of powertrain technologies which includes combustion engines, electric and hybrid drives with all their subfields.
Its current and future research fields are presented below:
Thermodynamic and optical combustion analysis
The Lab Automotive Powertrain is equipped with modern pressure monitoring systems and precise fuel consumption and emission measurement technology, enabling it to perform detailed thermodynamic analyses. One important tool here is “Miraculix”, a pressure curve analysis tool which has been developed in-house to compile energy loss distributions. The lab also conducts optical investigations into mixture formation and combustion with the aid of high-speed endoscopy.
The optical and electric measurement of sprays in a pressure chamber (up to 50 bar) supplements the research carried out on the engine test stands. Just as valuable is the possibility to perform optical analysis of ignition sparks in a heated flow chamber.
Simulation 1D, 3D
The Automotive Powertrain Laboratory not only undertakes experimental analyses but also simulates charge cycle, charge motion and combustion with the aid of the well-known programs GT-Power and STAR CCM+.
This test stand is used to analyse and develop thermal management systems for electrical and electrified drives.
The tasks here are to:
- Construct radiators, hoses and pipes, actuators and sensor systems, too, as they are found in a vehicle.
- Replace drive components with heating elements to avoid high costs.
- Simulate the component temperatures and calculate the heat fluxes in parallel with the physical experiment.
- Impose the calculated heat fluxes by means of heating elements.
- Use micro-controllers for control.
- Compile real-time operating strategies through the interaction of measuring technology and simulation.
Mechanical engineering workshop
The laboratory has its own mechanical engineering workshop to support the projects carried out there.
Looking to the future:
- E-drivetrain test stand
The test stand is a compact all-round package which can be used to further develop hybrid and electric powertrains and the associated auxiliary aggregates such as power electronics and cooling circuits. This test stand complements the existing combustion engine test stands and can also handle a very wide range of tasks.
It will also facilitate the simulation of hybrid engine emissions by digitally coupling the drive unit (Dyno 1) to one of the existing combustion engine test stands and tracking a driving cycle driven by the e-drivetrain test stand with the combustion engine.
- Hydrogen test stand
The goal is to create a hydrogen test stand in the Automotive Powertrain Laboratory. The concept phase will be undertaken by students, and they will also bring the project to fruition.