ConVENienT (Complete Vehicle Energy-saving Technologies)

Published May 20, 2016

COnVENient is an FP7 project funded by the European Commission. The project started in November 2012 and was accomplished in April 2016.

The project targets a 30% reduction of fuel consumption in vehicles for long-distance freight transport by developing three innovative heavy-truck prototypes featuring a suite of innovative energy-saving technologies and solutions. The project has fruitful results on developing highly innovative solutions for improved efficiency and enhanced integration of components (currently designed independently), including:

  • Innovative energy efficient systems, e.g., hybrid transmission, electrified auxiliaries, dual level cooling, parking HVAC,
  • Energy harvesting devices, such as photovoltaic solar roof for truck and semitrailer,
  • Advanced active and passive aerodynamics devices for the truck and for the semitrailer,
  • A Holistic Energy Management system at vehicle level,
  • A Predictive Driver Support to maximize the energy saving benefits,

The most relevant and novel aspect of CONVENIENT is represented by the holistic and optimal approach to on-board energy management, considering the tractor, semi-trailer, driver and the mission as a whole.

KTH’s Role in the Project

The contributions of the Mechatronics group at KTH are dedicated to two research tasks.

  • Predictive Integrated Thermal System Management.
  • Predictive Energy Management Strategies

In the tasks, we studied the electric engine cooling system of a conventional Volvo long-haul truck with a diesel engine. To meet the EU6 standard, the cooling system is electrified.  The mechanical coolant pump and mechanical fans are changed to electric water pump and fans with variable speed. The electric cooling system contains a coolant circuit, an electric coolant pump, a number of parallel installed electric radiator fans, a wax-based thermostat, and a radiator shutter, as illustrated in the figure.

In summary, KTH contributed to speed and load prediction, non-predictive feedback control, global optimal control, and model-predictive control of the pump speed, fan speed, battery current, and shutter opening.

Depending on the vehicle weight and drive cycle, our optimal controller saves 27% - 50% energy consumption of the electric cooling system.

Through the project, the Mechatronics group has published:

  • 2 journal papers
  • 6 conference papers
  • 1 PhD dissertation

More journal publications will come.

Research Team: Mohammad Khodabakhshian, and  Jan Wikander

Link to the project homepage