Argonne wins Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer
A computer software program that helps developers of alternative vehicles, developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, has won a national award for technology development.
Each year, the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC), which comprises more than 600 federal laboratories and research centers, recognizes laboratory employees who have accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring federally developed technology to the marketplace.
This year, Argonne received an FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for the Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit, developed by Aymeric Rousseau, Phillip Sharer, and Sylvain Pagerit of Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research supported by Lee Slezak and the U.S. Department of Energy’s FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program.
Argonne’s Powertrain System Analysis Toolkit (PSAT) enables automotive designers to overcome time and cost constraints for advanced vehicle design, such as hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Because it would be impossible to build and test every different powertrain option manually, PSAT provides the modeling and simulation capabilities for automotive designers to quickly examine the multitudes of possible configurations and understand the impacts on vehicle performance and fuel economy.
The main strategy in developing PSAT was to make the software as flexible and user-friendly as possible. So the development team strengthened PSAT’s analytical capabilities, increased the number of powertrain configurations that PSAT could simulate — currently more than 400 — and improved the model to ensure effortless integration of virtually any proprietary models, controls and driving cycles. These efforts help explain why, just two years after being made available for licensing, PSAT became the most widely held software ever licensed by Argonne.
Aymeric Rousseau, PSAT team lead at Argonne, said, “PSAT can simulate an unrivaled number of pre-defined vehicle configurations and offers a wide range of analysis tools to facilitate the understanding of complex powertrains. The software helps engineers choose which technology to use before touching any hardware, making decisions faster and more cost effective. These benefits translate to the consumer by lowering the cost of ownership and improving mileage.”
In the long term, the PSAT developers expect their software will help foster the development of advanced vehicle technologies, such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in HEVs, fuel cell and hydrogen-fueled vehicles, and contribute to eventual petroleum independence by transportation sectors worldwide.
Sponsored by the Department of Energy, development of PSAT began in 1995 as a collaborative effort with USCAR partners Ford, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler in response to the need for a common advanced powertrain modeling software that could realistically simulate fuel economy and performance. The software was initially released in 2003 and was recognized as an R&D 100 award winner in 2004. PSAT is currently used by more than 300 researchers worldwide in more than 60 companies and universities. It has been selected by DOE as its’ primary vehicle simulation tool to support its FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Program and to provide guidance future research orientation.
The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future. Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
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