Outlook on past and future activities
Technical wise, the project is involved in intense activities to have all the hardware and software components designed, validated and expedited to FCA to start their integration phase of the demo car (FIAT 500e) by the end of April (M30). For that effect, FCA is actively coordinating with all the partners involved in this task. AGC has been included for the Active Glazing that is undergoing its last validation test, HUT for the Thermal Energy Storage that has already been built and it is ready to be installed in the car, DNTS for the new HVAC unit that will undergo the final bench testing during January and FIS for the new dashboard with lighter weight thanks to structural modifications and the use of innovative materials. Additionally, LIST is also carrying out the latest tests in TME for the Permanent anti-fog windshield coating and FhB is working together with HUT in order to develop insulation materials with improved thermal properties and incorporate them in trim/door panels and the roof of the FIAT 500e. While all of this is taking place, CRF is contemporarily performing virtual safety simulations in order to evaluate the new components and assure their viability for integration. All of these innovations are expected to reduce the battery consumption by reducing weight of the cabin, enabling new modes of defog/defrost that come from the windshield and providing alternative sources of thermal heat and energy in the car.
A parallel line of work in DOMUS is the development of an assessment framework for the virtual assessment of car cabin innovative systems. The proposed assessment framework appropriately weights energy consumption, occupant comfort and safety. During this time, the Consortium has developed further the the concept of “holistic comfort” which includes such comfort dimensions as acoustic and olfactory comfort, secondary to the traditionally-considered thermal comfort. Characterizing the holistic comfort has involved many jury experimentations involving several DOMUS partners investigating both traditional and non-traditional comfort factors such as radiation, lighting or scent. The data from these experimentations are being used in conjunction with an existing thermal comfort model to create a holistic comfort model. Coventry University, in charge of this task is at the moment finalizing the model by means of discussions with other partner of the Consortium including ViF and IDIADA.
ViF is also progressing on the development of its Assessment Framework Interactive Tool (AFIT) and has already defined the group of models that will be involved in this virtual simulation, the sequence of communication as well as the interfaces. At this time, VIF is in active discussion with partners such as CRF, IDIADA and IKA in order to have the necessary data to run the first trials in 2020.
Regarding the full thermal and acoustic contextualization of the FIAT 500a and the demo car with the innovations, CRF is taking the lead in the 1D thermal models and the Acoustic model in collaboration with VIF. IKA is leading the 3D thermal simulation. So far, CRF has already finished all the experimental testing of the baseline needed to feed the SAE model that will be applied for the acoustics and IKA is already producing the first thermal simulations results for the baseline.
No doubt significant progress has happened since the last newsletter of DOMUS and that challenging tasks are about to start. For instance, the integration phase, which is one of the most important activity in the project. Once this activity has been successfully completed, and the assessment framework completely developed, DOMUS will be able to start evaluating the effectiveness of the innovations developed during the last six months of the project. Furthermore, it will be determined if the main objective can be reached: reducing the overall energy consumption of future EVs in order to increase 25% of the electric range for different ambient conditions.