We have helped DENSO AUTOMOTIVE Deutschland GmbH to develop a model predictive control system for thermal management of cabin heat in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). Due to the augmented complexity of the energy flow in recent energy-efficient vehicles compared to conventional vehicles, control degrees of freedom are increased, as many components can achieve the same functionality of heating up the cabin temperature. We devised an MPC strategy to distribute the workload between available components in the vehicle while achieving multiple objectives such as fuel efficiency and heat-power reference tracking and enforcing various constraints. Simulation results indicated that the proposed approach is suitable for such a multi-objective automotive control problem, and showed fuel savings up to 3% compared to current control practice.
Results have been published in the paper Cabin Heat Thermal Management in Hybrid Vehicles using Model Predictive Control, presented at the 22nd Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, held in Palermo, Italy, in June 2014.