Setting the scene for a connected energy and thermal management concept – by Mark Engelen (FEV)

The CEVOLVER scene for a connected energy and thermal management has been set!

The connected management functionalities make use of several connectivity features to optimise the route selection, driving behavior, charging stops and charging process. This is made possible due to the cloud-based data and the cloud computing capabilities to perform resource intensive calculations that cannot be otherwise implemented on a Vehicle Control Unit (VCU).

The main activities on this part of the project included specifying brand-independent interfaces for Electric Vehicle (EV) components, system and cloud. Including specifying connectivity requirements for simulation supported testing, specifying use-cases and specific usage scenarios for user-centric development of EV’s with connected thermal and energy management functionalities. Also considered were deriving brand independent requirements for the vehicle system architecture along with Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to analyse the performance of the demonstrator vehicle.

The methodology of Systems Engineering (SE) is adopted in this project to favor a stakeholder-oriented approach. It starts with defining the System of Interest (SoI) and then identifying the requirements the stakeholders. There were some slight adaptations in the timeline, but this had no negative effect. The work  started off with setting up a technical implementation architecture consisting of the thermal system – the E-Powertrain – the vehicle internal connectivity units and alternative external devices to support the connectivity of the driver. Also, the vehicle and external services are based on the best state-of-the-art knowledge and a generic view that supports the brand-independent ambition of the project were included. This gave an initial overview about the interfaces of the (sub-) systems and components of the SoI and provided a generic view that supported the brand-independent ambition of the project.

This activity was followed by defining the standards for connectivity requirements including the definition and origin of data sources, the data formats, the acquisition, and transfer rates. The connectivity of the vehicle to cloud infrastructure or connected devices to access to live information is central to the novel functionalities developed during the project. The connectivity interface must provide remote access to cloud-based data and make possible cloud computing applications.

In order to meet the expectations of the user with regards to usability and improve their confidence in adopting electric vehicles a user centric development approach was followed. This approach put the user and their needs in the middle of the development process in order to identify attractive features for typical usage scenarios for different vehicle types and classes. This also helps in developing attractive features and avoid over-sized components that the user will have to pay for but without additional benefits. Typical usage scenarios were supported by analysing the fleet data from different vehicle classes, e.g. compact class vehicles are often used as short commuter vehicle. The usage scenarios were further broken down into use cases to describe the interaction between user, system, and environment for achieving the goal defined in the usage scenario.

Based on the use cases and the stakeholder analysis from the SE approach, several Stakeholder Requirements as shown in the diagram below were established. These were used as a reference for performing functional decomposition, where the potential functions were conceived. These functions can fulfill the stakeholder requirements and satisfy the goals of the usage scenarios. The description of these functions is intended to be as generic as possible to be brand-independent and to be used by any interested partners. The descriptions also serve as key elements in deriving the functional architecture by looking at the interaction between actor and system and describing a function that will carry out this interaction. This functional architecture will be initially implemented into a simulation environment. The high-level overview is shown below

Stakeholder Analysis for CEVOLVER Project