Opinion: Engineering EV – Speed and reliability with simulation
By Rafiq Somani
We come from a time when mobility and fossil fuels have been indistinguishably linked with electric vehicles being successful only in a few niche markets. The past decade has been different. It has shown us that electric mobility is the way to go.
This has to do with a multitude of factors including Climatic change, Advances in renewable energy, Rapid urbanization, Battery chemistry and Energy security.
As a result, developed as well as developing economies have all been including EVs in their policies to both lower their carbon emissions as well as to provide convenient and cost-effective (in the long run) mobility.
The India situation
India is currently the world’s third-largest energy consumer, after the US and China~
India is currently the world’s third-largest energy consumer (after the US and China) and the nation is working towards building a green economy and plans to achieve 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its commitments under the global climate change accord.
In India, there is an opportunity for accelerated adoption of EVs as there is an abundance of exploitable renewable energy resources, availability of skilled manpower, technology expertise, infrastructure, and most importantly, India has a universal culture that accepts and promotes sharing of assets and resources.
The adoption of ICE into a reliable, safe and efficient vehicles certainly took decades. However, we are running out of time and we no longer have the luxury to spend decades to perfect the EV. Climate change is real and we need to act now. This is the reason why the same journey of making the EV reliable, safe and efficient has to be done in less than a decade with mass scale plans by the government to shift to EVs by 2030.
India’s EV moment has arrived.
Relevance of Simulation in today’s times
Though there has been a prominent shift to EVs and it has been in the mind of the auto industry as well as the policymakers, there is definitely a few notable bumps on the way. Year 2019 certainly had some positive moves when it came to adoption of EV’s.
There are new methods of manufacturing and materials that are being implemented today. For instance, there is a need for products to be smaller and lighter and all this with more efficiency than ever before. The traditional ways of doing simulation is definitely important, however the need of the hour is for multi-scale, multi-physics, multi-fidelity and system simulation to be deployed. Products today are becoming more complex than ever.
What multi-physics simulation does is let one explore all the real-world physical interactions that a multifaceted and complex product may come across during use. It is increasingly relevant because these interactions can have a very crucial impact on product performance, security and also durability.
Fluid forces, thermal effects, structural integrity and electromagnetic radiation can all affect performance and isolating these forces and examining them may not give an accurate prediction of product behaviour. Multiphysics simulation can help examine these effects in any combination, thus achieving the highest fidelity solution to eliminate reliability problems and ultimately design safe products with high performance.
Therefore, for efficient EV power-train, what is appropriate is system simulation without losing accuracy of the component level behaviour model. The good news is that simulation has advanced so much that today’s technologies allow this. Here are some of the ways they can be done:
1. MBSE (Model Based Systems Engineering)
Traditional systems engineering practices have evolved to MBSE in order to better manage the intricacies of product architecture today. It is a systems engineering approach that focuses on creating and exploiting domain models as the primary means of information exchange between engineers, rather than one with document-based information exchange.
Simulation process and data management (SPDM) is critical in product development~
The authoritative system definition no longer resides in a set of static text-based design documents, but it is in a living model. This provides a detailed understanding of the dependencies and interfaces between the various subsystems. MBSE makes it, easier to share, communicate, change address the complexities of products with minimum room for error.
2. Process and Data Management
Simulation process and data management (SPDM) is critical in product development. There are two aspects of SPDM, one is Process Integration and Design Optimization (PIDO) and the other is Simulation Data Management (SDM). Process and Data Management through SDM and PIDO provide a broad cohesive platform that guarantees traceability, interoperability, enterprise level collaboration and robust design optimization in a consistent way throughout the organization.
PIDO can attain optimal product performance with minimal usage of resources and with a high degree of reliability. It yields significant productivity gains for expert analysts and captures their expertise and makes it available to engineers outside the analysis department. Traditionally, engineers spend a significant amount of time searching and sharing the enormous amounts of data that is created by modelling and simulation processes. Inefficiency can be caused due to lack of traceability, version management and the absence of abstract simulation results. SDM facilitates Multi-physics/Multi-domain analysis that is the core of EV. It also simplifies HPC cluster management and Knowledge management.
3. Safety and Reliability through simulation
With the advent of the EVs, one thing that becomes more crucial than even is safety and reliability. Simulation can help in ensuring this throughout the life cycle of the product. Given below are three aspects of this.
Robust Design Optimization (RDO): Robust Design Optimization in product development process means that the electric powertrain motor design should not only be electrically efficient but also mechanically and thermally reliable. Safety concerns in battery system design are most critical as any compromise on safety coming from variation in design, manufacturing or operating parameters can potentially result in fire hazards. There are three critical aspects in RDO: Sensitivity analysis, Multi-disciplinary optimization and Robustness analysis.
Electronics Reliability: Simulation tools can translate ECAD to CAE files, predict product failure, design for manufacturability, optimize design process and analyse failure mode effects. Our Automated Design Analysis software has revolutionized electronics design and reliability by empowering designers to simulate real-world conditions and even accurately model printed circuit boards (PCBs) and assemblies to predict product failure early on in the design process.
Functional Safety: In today’s conditions, safety measures need to be multiplied for the EVs. Automotive design engineers need to implement key safety analysis methods like fault tree analysis (FTA), hazard and operability (HAZOP) analysis, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) for EVs. Functional safety simulation tools are specifically tailored to domain-specific standards like ISO 26262 and can be applied in all phases.
A consolidated simulation platform is what can provide comprehensive solutions for all key aspects of the EVs. These solutions consist of a number of applications that are integrated within a common simulation platform and is therefore easy to use by both manufacturers and supply engineers.
(The author is AVP – India and South Asia Pacific, ANSYS)
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETAuto.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETAuto.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)