Gemma Hatton, Deputy Editor of Racecar Engineering Magazine, interviewed Mike Dempsey, Managing Director, and Alessandro Picarelli, Chief Engineer of Claytex on the topic of engine modelling.
Zooming out from in-cylinder simulation, there are many other areas of an engine that need to be modelled, such as the airflow through the intake and exhaust manifolds, the interaction between the mechanical components, as well as the lubrication and cooling strategies. Accurately modelling how all these systems interact is essential to obtaining reliable power and heat release outputs.
The propulsion system physical models can then be integrated into the vehicle model by means of physical connections describing action-reaction relationships. This allows driveability, performance and diagnostics to be optimised as well as proof of new concepts such as the 2014 F1 hybrid powertrains and the hybridisation of ancillaries in endurance racing.
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‘We create the vehicle models by first building up the individual assemblies such as the air intake, the exhaust system, the combustion models and the mechanics’, explains Mike Dempsey, who is managing director at Claytex. ‘Once we’ve tested and calibrated each system, and the engine as a whole and are happy with the results, we integrate it into the overall vehicle model. Often the biggest challenge is integrating the control system which could have been created in many different ways and might not even exist as an executable model, only as the real physical controller’. ‘Once you start simulating the whole vehicle context, you need to have the controller as part of that model to operate the engine correctly and it needs to be provided with the right inputs.’
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