-2.1 C
New York City
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Home Features Renault E-TECH: Developing an Advanced Hybrid System from LEGO Concept

Renault E-TECH: Developing an Advanced Hybrid System from LEGO Concept

The development of Renault’s advanced E-TECH powertrains all began with a LEGO model. The next step was how to transform the toy prototype into a real, working engine.

This was the challenge facing Ahmed Ketfi-Cherif, Renault’s Mechatronics Synthesis Architect.

Ahmed was one of the people who Nicolas Fremau, designer of the initial LEGO prototype, consulted in order to bring the E-TECH hybrid powertrain – and Renault’s wider hybrid plans – to life.

He said: “Going from the LEGO adventure to reality was a massive challenge. It taught me a lot.”

Smooth operation was a priority

Ahmed, who works as a control specialist, needed to ensure that transitions between driving modes were possible with a simple ‘dog clutch’, a system normally reserved for motorsport, and that the finished product would be up to the high standard demanded by the customer.

The dog clutch system – which replaces both a sprocket and synchronizing ring in a clutchless configuration – is a gearbox boasting superior efficiency due to the reduced number of components.

This particular type of ‘flat’ version works well over time and is more reliable than other types of dog clutch. However, the team needed to find a solution to make the system smoother, as the components are less likely to fit together than in alternative setups such as a ‘roof’ dog clutch.

‘We’re used to using dog clutches in Formula One, for a racing engine. But it was something completely new for a ‘general public’ engine. We had to make this simple object usable by customers,’ explains Ahmed Ketfi-Cherif, with a smooth and refined drive of much higher importance than winning lap times.

Cleverly adding a high-voltage starter generator

Ahmed quickly came up with the solution to ensure enhanced smoothness by adding a second electric motor, called a High-voltage Starter Generator (HSG). ‘Its role is to replace the synchronizers of a traditional gearbox to facilitate the clutch and therefore the gear change. By working in conjunction with the electric motor, it allows very precise regulation of the speed of rotation of the gearbox for smooth gear changes.’

From this, the original LEGO model concept was updated and tested on the road. They discovered the HSG brought other benefits with immediate torque contribution smoothing acceleration at low speeds, avoiding any break in torque delivery when changing gears.

This also meant the system could operate as a series hybrid for enhanced comfort and flexibility, without the need for an excess of stored energy or a charging socket. Ahmed said: ‘The possibilities for use in the range were multiplied’, with both E-TECH hybrid and E-TECH plug-in hybrid powertrains now possible.

At the end of these tests, the E-TECH development teams were reassured that what had worked in the LEGO concept and in simulation also worked ‘extremely well’ in real life.

Watch the full video on the second installment of the E-TECH story here: https://youtu.be/zBKXTtTTyzU

All rights reserved. Materials, photographs, illustrations and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written permission from Motoring World International


Leave a Reply

Most Popular

Hamilton Clinches 98th Formula One Win at Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes produced a brilliant, attacking, strategic race to beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton's third win in...

2021 Changan Hunter with French DNA, Mini Bus Debut in Nigeria

All-new Changan Hunter pick-up jointly built by Changan Auto and Groupe PSA, the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe, has debuted in Nigeria. Also launched are...

University Dons Commend Coscharis Group on Assembly Plant

The respected auto dealer, Coscharis Motors Plc, a subsidiary of Coscharis Group, has been commended for her commitment to developing local content for its...

Lagos BRT Sacks Over 300 Drivers In 12 Months

Primero Transport Services Limited, operator of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Lagos, said that it had sacked no fewer than 300 drivers in...
error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: