Fast Model Predictive Control with Application on Energy Management of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Sajjad Fekri and Francis Assadian

Index Terms—Model predictive control, Hybrid Electric Vehicle, Real-time convex optimisation, Powertrain control, Energy management Abstract—The aim of this work is to present a fast model predictive control (FMPC) algorithm with an emphasis on the application for energy management of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The main goal of energy management in hybrid electric vehicles is to reduce the CO2 emissions with enhanced fuel consumption for a hybrid powertrain. The applicability of conventional MPC in the energy management setting has shown a main drawback of MPC algorithms where they currently cannot be implemented on-line due to the real-time numerical optimisation requirements. Our proposed control methodology employs the proposed FMPC algorithm to overcome the shortcomings of classical MPC, such as hardware constraints due to burdensome online calculations. Some of the main control system challenges will be discussed in the context of enegy management of hybrid electric vehicles research being undertaken in our Automotive Mechatronics Centre. We will demonstrate that our proposed algorithm could be a promising practical approach over a defined drive cycle while providing significant impact on the emission, fuel consumption and calibration time to production of hybrid electric vehicles.

of vehicle kinetic energy on braking (via charging the battery and later driving the vehicle based on the electric-only mode). Also, ICE can be switched off during stop, idle working or low-load phases. These are in fact only few typical advantages of the hybrid vehicles compared to those of conventional vehicles. There are also other benefits hybrid electric vehicles could offer in general, e.g., the internal combustion engine of a hybrid electric vehicle is potentially designed in a smaller size/weight as its electric motor provides some part of the driver’s requested torque during short acceleration status - this will also offer a better average efficiency. A representative configuration of a 4x4 hybrid electric vehicle is shown in Figure 1.

I NTRODUCTION Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) combine the power of an internal combustion engine (ICE) with one (or more) electric motors, mainly for optimising fuel efficiency and hence reducing CO2 gas emissions. The concept of sharing the requested power between the internal combustion engine and electric motor for traction during vehicle operation is referred to as ”vehicle supervisory control” or ”vehicle energy management”. The term of HEV energy management is particularly referred to as a control allocation for delivering the required wheel torque to maximize the average fuel economy and sustain the battery state of charge (SoC) within a desired charging range. Due to there being a practical challenging control task, in recent years a significant amount of research has been devoted in the field of energy management for full HEVs and Electric Vehicles (EVs). To tackle such a complex problem, there are currently extensive academic and industrial research interests ongoing in the area of hybrid electric vehicles as these vehicles are expected to make considerable contributions to the environmental requirements of the premium vehicle sector in the near future. Compared to conventional ICE based vehicles, hybrid propulsion systems are able to improve fuel efficiency for a number of reasons: they are able to recover some portion
Automotive Mechatronics Centre, School of Engineering, University of Cranfield, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK. E-mail: {s.fekriasl,f.assadian}@cranfield.ac.uk, T: +44 (0)1234 750111, F: +44 (0)1234 758 259.

Fig. 1.

Schematic Structure of a 4x4 Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

There exist a number of energy management methods proposed in the literature of hybrid vehicles to minimize fuel consumption and therefore to reduce CO2 emissions. Among these energy management strategies, heuristics techniques using rule-based or fuzzy logic concepts are possibly offering some improvements in the HEV energy efficiency1 . However, these heuristics based energy management methods suffer from the fact that they neither guarantee an optimal result in real vehicle operational conditions nor guarantee a robust performance when system parameters deviate from their nominal operating points. Consequently, other strategies have emerged that are based on optimisation techniques to search for optimal or sub-optimal solutions. Such control techniques are based on linear programming, quadratic programming, optimal control, and dynamic programming, to name but
1 Relevant

citation will be provided in the full version of this chapter.

there are a number of modelbased energy management methods such as Model Predictive Controls (MPC) . The closest concept to our proposed method is Model Predictive Control (MPC). In a few applications. there is a vital need to dramatically increase the processing speed with which the online computation of MPC control laws could be carried out. optimisation of the operating points of the individual components can still be beneficial. Solutions of these approaches are calculated off-line and stored in a state-dependent look-up-tables. we describe a novel method for improving the speed of MPC. by all means. Two new HEV energy management concepts have been recently introduced in the literature. Hence. are able to compute the control action on the order of about 100 times faster than conventional MPC methods which use generic optimizers. Moreover.g.. This approach however has a difficulty to cover a real-world driving situation with a set of individual driving cycle. We will then show that our proposed FMPC method computes the control actions of each time step in about 5 msecs that will permit our fast MPC algorithm to be easily run in low speed CPUs with a sampling of 200 Hz . The most recent approach carried out based on the Author’s previous research accomplished in Jaguar Cars and Land Rover. using online optimisation. With our novel approach. These custom methods. is that it cannot be implemented on-line due to its numerical optimisation requirements. the effect of the uncertainties (e. the proposed methods define an optimisation criterion which minimizes the vehicle fuel consumption or exhaust emissions. This method may perform well for systems with few state and input dimensions. If only the present state of the vehicle is considered. or to derive rules for a rule-based strategy being currently a most common heuristic energy management strategy of HEVs. a set of driving cycles is considered resulting in a stochastic optimisation approach. which provide a method for fast control computation for the problem of energy management for hybrid electric vehicles. The solution of this approach is calculated off-line and stored in a statedependent look-up-table. After considering the optimisation based methods described above. we show that a conventional MPC would require around 0. as they assume that the future driving cycle is entirely known. This approach has been considered in the past.g. Applicable techniques such as gametheoretic optimisation utilise quasi-static models which are not sufficient to address drivability requirements. a different performance index. the applicability of MPC in the energy management setting has not been fully investigated. or more generally. the following observation is made: the principal common drawback of all the aforementioned strategies is consideration of drivability as an afterthought. few constraints. P ROPOSED T HEMES We aim to design and develop a practical fast model predictive feedback controller (FMPC) to replace the ad-hoc design methods currently being used to address robustness and vehicle drivability issues. The drawback of such game-theoretic approach is however the lack of robustness of this method. minimum emission constrained fuel consumption). the required burdensome calculations of these approaches put a high demand on computational resources and prevent from straightforward on-line implementations. their result could be used as a benchmark for the performance of other strategies. The proposed FMPC is derived based on the dynamic models of the plant and hence drivability requirements are addressed as part of the design of the controller . In particular. but it remains difficult to select a weighting factor that is mathematically sound. The novelty of this work is the design and development of the fast model predictive control concept and implementation with its principal impact in addressing vehicle drivability. In the first approach. the drawback of MPC. A straightforward method for implementing fast MPC could be to compute the entire control law offline. where the online controller could be implemented as a lookup table (similar to the stochastic optimisation approach discussed above). which exploit particular structure of the MPC problem. Typically. drive cycle) is represented by the actions of the first player while the effect of the operating strategy (Energy Management) by the actions of the second player who wishes to minimize a performance index that reflects the control objectives (e.this is practically unacceptable for automotive industries and for which reason standard MPC algorithms have been kept away from new automotive applications. The first player (drive cycle) wishes to maximize either this objective. we do hope that this work would make automotive industry more interested in coming along with advanced Model Predictive Control tools.such online optimization algorithm could be certainly implemented in real vehicles. An alternative approach is to extend the objective function with a fuel equivalent term. the main drawback of these techniques is in fact hardware constraints and limitations in a real vehicle which make on-line implementation to be impossible. at the moment. However. Loosely speaking. endeavors to decouple the optimal solution from a driving cycle in a game-theoretic framework. Furthermore. However.5 secs to solve each online optimisation at each time step . a main shortcoming of model predictive control is that it can usually only be used in applications with ”sufficiently slow” dynamics.a few. These look-up-tables provide a quasi-static control law which is directly suitable for on-line vehicle implementation. instead of considering one specific driving cycle for calculating an optimal control law. and ”sufficiently short” timehorizons. The method we shall propose would be a complementary for offline methods.relevant MATLAB packages have been recently developed for hybrid MPC design such as Hybrid and Multi-Parametric Toolboxes. A weighting factor can be included to prevent drift in the battery from its nominal energy level and guarantee a charge sustaining solution.it is not an afterthought. As an example for a HEV energy management problem. these techniques do not offer a feasible casual solution. In this work. However. MPC is currently applied off-line to generate the required maps and . The drivability is considered in an ad-hoc fashion as these approaches are not dynamic model based. This look-up-table provides a quasistatic control law which is directly suitable for on-line vehicle implementation. This term includes the corresponding fuel use for the energy exchange with the battery in the optimisation criterion. Towards a feasible tractable approach. Nevertheless.

Here are the facts that why we think our proposed chapter could be received with great praise and enthusiasm from the Control Engineering Community and also Automotive Industries: 1) Due to the ever increasing stringent regulations on fuel consumption and emissions. there is tremendous pressure on OEMs to deliver more fuel efficient and less polluting vehicle at lower costs. Simulation results will also be shown to highlight some of the concepts proposed in our work to demonstrate the practical potential of Fast Model Predictive Control. at the Stanford University.then these maps are used on-line. performance. we would be able to address and close this gap. Hence. drivability. However. addressing fuel economy. e. It is our plan that through the proposed project and many other similar activities and projects.. proposed projects similar to this becomes critical to meeting these requirements and demands. the robust Fast Model Predictive Control do not have this drawback and they could be implemented online. We shall also provide the dynamical model of a hybrid electric vehicle (parallel type using a diesel engine) for which the results of FMPC are applied. such as the one proposed in this project. In this work. 2) Due to the ever increasing end-user demand on better vehicles in terms of performance and drivability. On the other hand. 3) There is a continuous increase in the gap between the theoretical control advancement and the on-vehicle implementation and production of control strategies. however their methods lack a formal stability analysis (or guaranteed performance). In full version of this chapter. While their initial results judged based on their extensive simulations suggest that fast online MPC has shown very promising results. This gap is resulting on significant missed opportunities in addressing some fundamental issues. the possibility of very fast online computation of MPC control laws suggests to us that MPC can be used in many applications in the near future where it has not been considered feasible before. control architecture and integration in the automotive mechatronics domain. These results will offer significant improvements in fuel efficiency over the base system. we will describe in detail the mathematical objective and constraints along with the optimization procedure of the proposed fast model predictive control. generation and utilisation of maps defeat the original purpose of designing a dynamic compensator which addresses drivability issues. 4) Combined with ever-increasing available computer power. the impact of advanced controls. . IMPORTANCE OF OUR WORK The primer work on the so-called fast model predictive control has been introduced by Stephen Boyd et al. USA. we endeavor some more theoretical and practical aspects of the fast online model predictive control and then implement it to the practical challenging problem of hybrid electric vehicles energy management.g. for the application of the hybrid vehicle powertrain controls becomes extremely important. emissions.

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