Crucial in the truck world of today and even more that of tomorrow, research and development is at the heart of Renault Trucks’ strategy. In order to enhance still further its research resources for work on engines, the manufacturer has just commissioned two new engine test units on its Lyon site (Rhône). These simulation platforms allow R&D to work on the enhancement of different aspects of the vehicle: polluting emissions, fuel and urea (AdBlue) consumption and driving comfort. They are used by the group’s design offices to develop high environmental performance engines.
Renault Trucks, with its concern for the environmental impact of its trucks, has for many years been committed to the development of a high environmental performance commercial vehicle engine. This is the target of the FUN (Full aUthority eNgine) project, implemented with the financial support of the Rhône-Alpes region and Grand Lyon. These test units help research in this area and supplement the twenty engine test platforms the group already has on its Lyon site.
Crucial to the engine design and development process, test units allow all the engine’s measurable deliverables to be checked before the vehicle is put on the road: from fuel and urea (AdBlue) consumption to driving comfort and the vehicle’s overall verve via pollutant emission levels. Tests are carried out repeatedly so as to precisely pinpoint the engine’s behaviour over a given route by subjecting it to conditions which are as close as possible to reality, however arduous. The test bench thereby creates a complete truck use cycle including demands on braking, acceleration and speed, all translated in the form of engine load. During the simulation the engine is piloted by a computer system. The rest of the drive line and the vehicle are entirely virtual, which, according to power level, allows all Renault Trucks vehicle ranges to be simulated.
Checking the vehicle’s performance is not the only objective of the test bench. It also plays a crucial role in enhancing the drive line and the gearbox / engine interface according to customer usage. It also contributes to simulating innovatory concepts such as electric hybridization, new gearboxes and engine accessories, and different driver assistance programmes. Finally, the engine test bench is an important phase in the simulation of new vehicle profiles to characterise the physical appearance of the vehicles of the future.
With the commissioning of these two new test units, Renault Trucks is fully equipped to enhance vehicle and engine performance still further whilst fully respecting the environment.