Abstract Optimal control of a wheel loader operating in the short loading cycle is studied in order to investigate the potentials for fuel consumption reduction while maintaining acceptable production rates. The wheel loader is modeled as a system with five states and three control inputs including torque converter nonlinearities. The torque converter is modeled with no lockup enabling power transmission in both directions. The geometry of the wheel loader boom and the demanded force in the lift cylinders during lifting are used to ensure that the in-cylinder pressure remains below component’s limits. The lift-transport section of the short loading cycle is divided into four phases due to discontinuities in the gearbox ratios and fuel consumption is calculated in each phase. Time optimal and fuel optimal transients of the system and the power consumption in each and every component is presented showing the dominance of the torque converter losses compared to the other components especially in the time optimal solutions. It is shown that introducing path constraints on the maximum lifting speed of the bucket due to limitations in hydraulic pumping speed moves the diesel engine operation towards higher speeds in order to maintain the lifting speed. Trade-off between fuel optimal and time optimal transients is calculated which is found to be in agreement with the results of experimental studies.
Heavy duty powertrains are complex systems with components from various domains, different response times during transient operations and different efficient operating ranges. To ensure efficient transient operation of a powertrain, e.g. with low fuel consumption or short transient duration, it is important to come up with proper control strategies. In this dissertation, optimal control theory is used to calculate and analyze efficient heavy duty powertrain controls during transient operations in different applications. This is enabled by first developing control ready models, usable for multi-phase optimal control problem formulations, and then using numerical optimal control methods to calculate the optimal transients.
Optimal control analysis of a wheel loader operating in a repetitive loading cycle is the first studied application. Increasing fuel efficiency or reducing the operation time in such repetitive loading cycles sums up to large savings over longer periods of time. Load lifting and vehicle traction consume almost all of the power produced by a diesel engine during wheel loader operation. Physical models are developed for these subsystems where the dynamics are described by differential equations. The model parameters are tuned and fuel consumption estimation is validated against measured values from real wheel loader operation. The sensitivity of wheel loader trajectory with respect to constrains such as the angle at which the wheel loader reaches the unloading position is also analyzed. A time and fuel optimal trajectory map is calculated for various unloading positions. Moreover, the importance of simultaneous optimization of wheel loader trajectory and the component transients is shown via a side to side comparison between measured fuel consumption and trajectories versus optimal control results.
In another application, optimal control is used to calculate efficient gear shift controls for a heavy duty Automatic Transmission system. A modeling and optimal control framework is developed for a nine speed automatic transmission. Solving optimal control problems using the developed model, time and jerk efficient transient for simultaneous disengagement of off-going and engagement of in-coming shift actuators are obtained and the results are analyzed.
Optimal controls of a diesel-electric powertrain during a gear shift in an Automated Manual Transmission system are calculated and analyzed in another application of optimal control. The powertrain model is extended by including driveline backlash angle as an extra state in the system. This is enabled by implementation of smoothing techniques in order to describe backlash dynamics as a single continuous function during all gear shift phases.
Optimal controls are also calculated for a diesel-electric powertrain corresponding to a hybrid bus during a tip-in maneuver. It is shown that for optimal control analysis of complex powertrain systems, minimizing only one property such as time pushes the system transients into extreme operating conditions far from what is achievable in real applications. Multi-objective optimal control problem formulations are suggested in order to obtain a compromise between various objectives when analyzing such complex powertrain systems.