Analyzing effects of heat during operation of electronic control units in automotive environment

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Dr. Balogh Attila
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

A significant part of the electronic control units (ECUs) of automotive industry are complex mechatronic systems built together with pneumatic components. The power dissipation of these systems leads to temperature changes within the ECU.

Since there’s no feedback of the rate of heat under the operation of the ECU and the connected actuators of the analyzed air braking system, it might have an influence on the operation.

The purpose of the thesis was to analyze the thermal effects of the given ECU and create a thermal model which estimates the temperature distribution. Therefore a temperature measurement system was constructed to collect the heating effects on the most essential parts of the ECU. Since the analyzed system consists of several materials with irregular shape, the thermal model was created from the measurement point of view. The model applied the mathematically proven analogy between electric and thermal systems, thus the heat conduction was modeled by resistors and the heat capacity by capacitors.

The results of the Matlab simulations of the thermal model and the measured temperature were compared and evaluated.

After the analysis of the thermal processes, the compensation of the current loss caused by the heating was implemented in the software by changing the controlling signal of the essential heat sources, the pneumatic actuators.

The created thermal model provides insight into the thermal effects of the analyzed ECU and its surroundings.


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