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Dongfeng Electric Vehicle (DFEV), the research-and-development arm of Dongfeng Motor Company, has developed a battery management system within 18 months using Mathworks tools for model-based design.

The new battery management system has been installed in Dongfeng’s EQ6110 hybrid-electric city bus, which is claimed to deliver 30 per cent better fuel efficiency than standard city buses while also lowering emissions.

Dr Xiaokang Liu, principal engineer at DFEV, said: ‘With model-based design, we have an integrated process for development, from idea through production code generation.

‘The Mathworks tools helped us develop key battery management technology using our own expertise in an environment that facilitated early and continuous verification of our design, all without compromising our high focus on quality,’ added Liu.

Faced with the challenge of developing a battery management system in an 18-month timeframe, the six-person DFEV engineering team needed to eliminate the debugging and maintenance effort of traditional hand-coding implementations.

The team developed the controller model and a model of the battery using test data, both in Simulink.

The engineers performed simulation and used rapid control prototyping to run the control algorithm against a real battery, before generating production code using Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder for their target ECU, which is based on the Freescale S12 microcontroller.

The model-based design tools helped the team model, verify and generate all the application code – more than 100,000 lines – while creating a single environment for the design, simulation and verification of the battery management system.

Model-based design helped the team members to work more collaboratively to beat the project timeline and meet quality standards such as the MISRA C guidelines.

DFEV engineers are reusing the controller design for the company’s HEV sedan, which is currently in development.

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