New powertrain software for electric cars

10 mins

Every car has a powertrain; it’s the power source plus all the parts that convert that...


Every car has a powertrain; it’s the power source plus all the parts that convert that power to motion. As the drive towards autonomous vehicles continues, and data becomes ever more important in the automotive industry as a whole, software that can simulate powertrain components is becoming essential.

Now UK Company Ricardo has released powertrain software with new functionality especially for engineers developing electric vehicles.

Battery systems are a key focus of electric and hybrid car development, so Ricardo’s Ignite complex system and Vectis CFD package both offer solutions to help optimise battery systems, including detailed modelling of the heat exchange that takes place in them and the way cells degrade over time.

Ignite also boasts new models of gear shift control, improved modelling of driveline efficiency, and duty cycle customisation, all of which should allow engineers to optimise the drivelines in both hybrid and conventional cars.

The fruit of ongoing research by Ricardo, Vectis also includes more accurate and user-friendly combustion modelling to support efforts to cut carbon emissions. New, more detailed kinetics tools, faster simulations, and better modelling of spark ignition for large engines are just some of the improvements in this area.

The WAVE 1D tool, a gas dynamics and performance simulator, has also received an upgrade, along with WAVE-RT, its real-time equivalent. The new versions allow advanced virtual calibration and can be used in hardware-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop environments, including real-time prediction of NOx emissions, a new model for knock detection, and better lambda response sensing.

Coupled with additional workflow and usability improvements for WAVE, this means WAVE-RT can now give engineers real-time solutions for both hardware-in-the-loop and software-in-the-loop applications.

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