During 3 weeks in September the DT2 transmission (also known as eDCT) was rigorously tested in real life extreme summer conditions in Sierra Nevada, Spain. The extensive tests that covered over 10.000 km, with focus on performance in high temperatures and heavy loads, delivered particularly positive results, proving that the team is fully on track in the development.
Following months of meticulous planning, the tests took place in Sierra Nevada in Spain – well known and frequented by automotive manufacturers for its extreme weather conditions (over 40°C), while providing a 2500m altitude climb from sea level on a relatively short road. Three configurations were tested in 3 mule vehicles: a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) and two mild hybrids (MHEV). Of the latter, one was already partially equipped with production parts. To cater to the project timing prior to vehicle availability, the team has fitted and fully commissioned the transmission in these mule vehicles.
Extensive testing in extreme conditions
The goal of the tests was understanding DT2 behavior and calibrate it in realistic driving conditions under high loads, exposed to high temperatures and altitudes, putting its durability to the test. To add to the challenge, one of the transmissions was built into the vehicle after having withstood a full test bench hybrid durability cycle (624.000 acceleration cycles). Exceptional situations were also simulated, among which, for example, uphill driving at full throttle. Over the entire duration, the vehicles covered more than 10,000 kilometers together.
The results of the efforts are very positive. All thermal validation tests were completed successfully and none of the transmissions reached their limits or showed any grave faults. In a next stage, the team will analyze the extensive test data and prepare for a further stringent testing. Because the most extreme temperatures were not reached in Granada, additional tests will be carried out in company’s in-house vehicle climate chamber in Belgium.
Cross functional agile team
The test on location was realized by a cross-functional team of experts, bringing together test technicians; test, controls, software and calibration engineers from 2 research locations. This enabled insights into the transmission behavior from various angles, while instantly aligning across disciplines. During their journey the team was in daily connection with research sites in Sint-Truiden and Eindhoven, ensuring a lean information transfer.
Rigorous testing will continue in Finland
More extreme conditions vehicle testing will follow in 2022, with the DT2 transmission being built into customer’s vehicles. To test the performance at -40° Celsius an extensive winter test campaign is planned in Finland.
Flexible fleet hybridization
The DT2 is distinguished by an innovative, compact design that makes it possible to make an electric motor an integral part of the transmission. In this way, the highly efficient DCT (dual clutch transmission) technology with which the DT2 is equipped can be combined with various forms of hybridization. This, in turn, makes it easy for car manufacturers to respond quickly to the needs of the market.