Electrified transport centre of excellence opens

By Ian Cameron29 April 2021

The facility can accommodate all vehicle platforms including off-highway and commercial.

A global centre of excellence for electrified transport engineering, servicing vehicles across all platforms including off-highway, automotive, commercial, defence, industrial and motorsport has been opened.

Based at Ricardo’s complex in Shoreham, England the Electrified Propulsion Research Centre (EPRC) enables the research and development of the next generation of electrified vehicles, from component level subsystems to fully integrated powertrain.

The new centre at Ricardo’s Shoreham, England facility

Ricardo said the centre combines Ricardo’s capability in vehicle testing with state-of-the-art digital engineering techniques and tools, reducing development time and cost by linking physical and virtual development, particularly for software which now typically drives the critical development path for complex electrified systems.

Ricardo said the facilities include twin inter-connected climatic test chambers operating between -12°C and +50°C with controlled humidity, four low-inertia particulate matter dynamometers each rated at 320 kW, 3000 Nm continuous and a total of 1100 kW of electrical power absorption from dynamometers.

There are also modular, reconfigurable fluid conditioning, cooling and ventilation systems, two 400kW 1100V battery simulators, a fully transient control and automation system with flexible test cycle programming and interfaces to a comprehensive range of measurement systems, including analytical instruments and high-speed data acquisition.

Ricardo said facility enables it to offer “an end-to-end, seamless service that embraces software and simulation from concept through the product development process, incorporating physical test as an essential touchpoint at key stages.”

As well as offering accurate testing of electrified vehicle platforms in wide-ranging real-world operating conditions to improve quality and robustness of developed systems, the company said it can effectively switch between the physical and virtual domains as it develops and optimises the architecture of the vehicle, the attributes, safety, performance and reliability.

Where the company needs validation of simulation models Ricardo said it can physically test and provide robust validation data for those models.

The centre has a flexible, modular layout which Ricardo said enables it to install and test discreet powertrain subsystems all the way up to full vehicles and everything in-between. It is also climatic and humidity controlled which enables climate testing to temperatures below -10°C and in excess of 50°C, including the option of external fluid conditioning when required.

The battery simulation capabilities of up to 800KW at 1100V can accommodate very high-performance electric vehicle powertrains and the facility’s digital twin system enables parallel virtual development to allow Ricardo real-world testing of powertrain system without the need for prototype vehicles.

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