Electrified and thrilled for Clean and Sustainable Energy
Climate change has gotten everybody on edge in recent years, with the fluctuating temperatures across the world and the latest announcement of Donald Trump as President of the United States. To levitate the problem, Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) are highly recommended for consumers. However, with the expensive costs of the HEVs and EVs, as well as their battery replacements, it is difficult to convince the consumers to commit to the down payment.
Dr. Masood Shahverdi and Khashayar Olia from Cal State LA cooperated with Michael Mazzola and Abdelwahed Sherif from Mississippi State University to design an Energy Management System (EMS) with Model Predictive Control-based (MPC) algorithm for a special type of Electric Heavy-duty trucks to control the amount of electricity being purchased from the grid and attempt to provide a longer life for battery system. Their research paper was published on SAE International, the prestigious Society for Automotive Engineers with more than 127,000 members worldwide.
“High purchase prices along with long payback times act as major barriers for HEVs customers,” said Olia. “The two major life and operating cost of the HEVs are electricity price and battery replacement cost which play a significant role in choosing a HEV. HEV owners needs to pay relatively high value for electricity and/or battery replacement over the vehicle life. So, in order to reduce the cost of electricity purchased by customers and to try to conserve the on-board battery system.”
The joint research group was inspired by one of Olia’s projects at his workplace. Olia was a former student of Dr. Shahverdi, he works for Transpower–a company that offers “advanced clean transportation and energy storage systems in San Diego. They design different class of full electric heavy-duty trucks, such as Drayage trucks, school buses, yard tractors and so on.“
We were inspired with one of the project and decided to design a new EMS to not only attempt to provide a longer life for battery but also offer low electricity consumption,” according to Dr. Shahverdi.
With that inspiration, the group thrived to find “the best scientific way to implement it in real environment,” said Olia. Based on a paper they submitted to IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo (ITEC) 2016, they worked on this topic for over a year.
When asked what they see in the future of energy management, they both expressed that the demands of HEVs will increase and more efficient EMS will be necessary. “As we move forward, the more advanced EMS is designed to lower the electricity cost, to elongate the battery life and to boost the performance. So we’ll definitely be seeing more advanced EMSs in automotive industries and we hope that by developing our EMS, it will find its place among the future automotive technologies.”
Currently, the group is attempting to improve the system performance and publish it in a peer-reviewed journal article. They have just submitted a digest to ITEC 2017 on an application of MPC on Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles.