With recent developments of energy efficient design and control for electric motors, electrical subsystems and components have become integral parts of main actuators in vehicle systems (e.g., steering and propulsion systems). To ensure proper vehicle operations, it is important to make sure that electrical power is properly transmitted through the power circuit from vehicle power source to the electric motor. However, degradation in the power circuit health, which often manifests itself as increased resistance, may affect power transmission and degrade the system performance. For example, in Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems, if the EPS power circuit resistance is increased and the EPS is drawing power to assist the driver, voltage at the EPS module will drop significantly, causing the EPS to reset and, consequently, Loss of Assist (LOA) incidents. As a result, it may suddenly become very hard to steer the vehicle. While previous work has partially addressed this issue by developing algorithms that estimate resistance increase in EPS power circuits, this paper further validates and refines the algorithms for vehicle on-board and off-board implementations using test drive data collected. Since on- and off-board implementations impose different limits on signal sampling rates, a total of 250 and 465 minutes of data are respectively collected with various vehicle speeds and steering maneuvers. Moreover, a fault mitigation strategy, referred to as EPS Anti-Loss-of-Assist (ALOA), is proposed that gradually and proactively reduces EPS torque assist as resistance in the EPS power circuit increases so that the EPS voltage is kept above a resetting threshold. Stationary steering tests and demonstrations on parking lot maneuvers are conducted, which show that, with the proposed fault mitigation strategy, negative effects of increased EPS power circuit resistance can be mitigated without noticeable changes in normal driving experience.
How to Cite
Electric power steering, Power circuit, Health assessment, Fault mitigation
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