ESCALATE aims to solve powertrain challenges with zero-emission HGVs! After taking a closer look at the challenges for HGVs related to batteries, another component will be assessed in the following paragraphs – the powertrain. Keep on reading to learn all about it.
After taking a closer look at the challenges for HGVs related to batteries, another component will be assessed in the following paragraphs – the powertrain. The latter is defined as the prime mover (battery-, or fuel cell-powered engine) plus the drive train, which includes all components to transform the energy of the vehicle into movement (driveshafts, axles, differentials, etc.). Taking passenger vehicles as a well-known example, one can observe that electrification has simplified the drive train since fewer components are necessary to move the vehicle.
In the ESCALATE framework, who different types of drive systems are tested: batteries and fuel cells. Both solutions include batteries, even though the fuel cell only uses them to gain energy from regenerative breaking and to provide power peaks. In terms of zero emission powertrain designs, the ESCALATE project brings a powertrain innovation in all two categories as well as beyond the state of the art by introducing the range extender design for long haul applications.
- The hybrid ESCALATE solution:
ESCALATE will create a hybrid power train that combines a battery of up to 500-600 kWh with a fuel cell of 100-140 kW, which is fueled by an H2 tank with a capacity of 30-50kg of hydrogen. In comparison to conventional hydrogen- or battery-electric trucks, both systems are downsized but operate in conjunction with each other. In this system, the battery is seen as the main source of power and the H2-solution can be considered as a range extender. Due to this hybrid system, refueling/-charging is facilitated, as both infrastructure solutions for electric charging and hydrogen can be utilised.
Furthermore, this design opens up several operation modes, depending on the payload and mission. Thus, the vehicle can either discharge the battery, the FC can sustain the battery level, or a hybrid mode is used to apply a controlled charge depletion strategy. This requires the development and use of energy and fleet management and powertrain control.