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Modelling tools improve electronic vehicle battery design

Dongfeng Electric Vehicle (DFEV), a research and development arm of Chinese automotive maker Dongfeng Motor Company, has developed a battery management system within 18 months using MathWorks tools for Model-Based Design. The battery management system has been installed in Dongfeng's EQ6110 hybrid electric city bus, which delivers 30 per cent better fuel efficiency than standard city buses while also lowering emissions.

The six-person DFEV engineering team developed the controller model and a model of the battery using test data, both in Simulink. The engineers performed simulation and used rapid control prototyping to run the control algorithm against a real battery, before generating production code using Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder for their target ECU, which is based on the Freescale S12 microcontroller. Tools for Model-Based Design helped the team model, verify, and generate all the application code more than 100,000 lines while creating a single environment for design, simulation and verification of the battery management system.

'With Model-Based Design, we have an integrated process for development, from idea through production code generation,' said Dr Xiaokang Liu, principal engineer at Dongfeng Electric Vehicle. 'The MathWorks tools helped us develop key battery management technology using our own expertise, in an environment that facilitated early and continuous verification of our design, all without compromising our high focus on quality.'

Jon Friedman, automotive industry marketing manager at The MathWorks, commented: 'Model-Based Design allowed Dongfeng engineers to easily visualise and verify their designs, enabling critical changes to be identified earlier in the design process, and saving them valuable time on both the front and back ends.'

Model-Based Design helped the team, which included individuals with backgrounds in varying disciplines of engineering, work more collaboratively to beat the project timeline of 18 months and meet quality standards such as the MISRA C guidelines. DFEV engineers are reusing the controller design for the company’s HEV sedan, which is currently in development.


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