Design & SimulationAugust 21, 2020

Working with WLTP: Simulation Solutions for Lower Vehicle Emissions

As the number of vehicles on global roadways increases, so does the…
Avatar Clare Scott

As the number of vehicles on global roadways increases, so does the amount of emissions that harm the environment. Manufacturers and engineers are working hard to develop electric vehicles to the point that they can become more mainstream, but at the moment, the internal combustion engine is still the main source of power behind automobiles. Reducing emissions is not something that can wait, however, so manufacturers must work with governments and regulatory agencies to ensure that they are doing all their can to keep their vehicles as green as possible.

The Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is a relatively new standard for testing vehicle emissions in Europe and Japan. In the past, manufacturers could use a single value for emissions for all vehicle variants with the same powertrain, which presented an issue because those vehicles could potentially perform differently on the road depending on, for example, which tires, rims or trim kit were installed. These features affect things like aerodynamic drag, which in turn impacts vehicle emissions and fuel economy. WLTP implements new procedures for determining what the reported emissions will be for an individual vehicle, so that the reported emissions match what are actually seen on the road on a daily basis.

While this is a good thing for the environment, it places additional burdens on manufacturers, as every vehicle must be evaluated individually, greatly increasing required testing – particularly as consumers demand more customized automobiles. These manufacturers are finding that available wind tunnel time is insufficient for the new testing requirements, leaving them unable to certify their vehicles on time.

SIMULIA’s simulation portfolio allows OEMs to test factors such as aerodynamic efficiency, lightweighting, powertrain efficiency, tire rolling resistance and more in a virtual setting. Reducing the weight of a vehicle goes a long way toward reducing its emissions, and SIMULIA offers tools for evaluating powertrain structural performance as well as chassis and suspension performance in relation to lightweighting. The vehicle’s thermal performance is another important issue as its efficiency in heating and cooling contribute heavily to its overall fuel efficiency. Simulation can aid in understanding this as well as other important factors, such as the powertrain’s lubrication performance and the engineering of the exhaust system. Each individual design can be tested effectively and quickly for many different performance attributes and quickly assessed, eliminating the need for physical prototypes.

One challenge of digital certification lies in the process certification step. The simulation process itself needs to be validated before a vehicle can be certified, and regulations do not clearly explain how that validation should be carried out. SIMULIA, however, has developed Virtual Twin as a Service that can guide manufacturers through the certification process and, in most cases, perform the simulations for them.

SIMULIA’s WLTP solutions, which utilize industry-leading CFD software PowerFLOW, allow manufacturers and suppliers to avoid launch delays and ensure that all desired options can be offered when a vehicle is launched.

WLTP is a complex topic but an important one in terms of understanding what it takes to deliver a vehicle that meets emissions regulations. To aid in understanding this topic and SIMULIA’s role in it, we offered in September 2020 a three-part e-seminar series entitled “Leverage Simulation to Meet Emission Regulations in the Age of WLTP.” The series is now available on-demand and includes the following topics:

Overcoming Disruption of WLTP

Lighten the Burden of WLTP

Digital Certification for Vehicle Aerodynamics Under WLTP

Register today to learn more about WLTP and how SIMULIA helps manufacturers to meet its standards.

SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including AbaqusIsightfe-safeToscaSimpoe-MoldSIMPACKCST Studio SuiteXFlowPowerFLOW and more. The SIMULIA Learning Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Learning Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.

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