01 September 2017 → 28 February 2019
Private funding via IWT/VLAIO
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Sensors, biosensors and smart sensors
    • Other electrical and electronic engineering
Project description

The goal of the ITHACA project is to build a unique test infrastructure.

The target group of ITHACA infrastructure users are companies and research groups that develop, build or characterize powertrain components where accurate knowledge of the thermal properties of the components is important.

Better knowledge of these parameters makes it possible to

  • design better components in terms of efficiency
  • optimize the control of components
  • gain insight into the thermal behavior at nominal workload (also with partial load and overload)
  • to build accurate models of the thermal behavior of the components

To achieve this, Ithaca combines the calorimeter setup with a fast-thermal camera.

The calorimeter setup measures the thermal balance: difference between outgoing and incoming heat. It consists of:

  • A thermally insulated box: a box-in-box calorimeter is required to avoid the impact of variations in ambient temperature on the performance of the calorimeter. The setup is flexible in size and easy to open, allowing for installation of large components
  • Chiller / heater setting to condition the incoming temperature. The temperature and flow rate of the incoming air are adjustable.
  • Equipment to characterize temperature and flow of incoming and outgoing air, and to measure the gradient of the temperature distribution in the test room.
  • Additional equipment for calibrating the system (such as a reference resistor bank) and software to operate the system.

The high-speed camera is a portable device that measures the heat radiation from a scene and uses software to extract temperature information from the measured radiant energy. The camera can be used in the calorimeter setup, but also outside the lab to monitor systems and powertrain components on location, for example.

Both installations can work together with peripherals: emulators to drive and / or load the device under test with realistic load profiles, and instruments to measure the (non-thermal) properties of the part during the test:

  • Electric motors and power electronics, to emulate the mechanical and / or electrical drive and load profiles (at the level of speed and torque, eg emulation of a combustion engine, wind turbine or supercap storage unit).
  • High bandwidth, powerful electrical current measurements.