IBM software to support Eaton’s hydraulic hybrid system

IBM announced it has been selected by Eaton Corp. to supply modeling software in support of Eaton’s development of series hydraulic hybrid (SHH) systems. The SHH system — that promises dramatic fuel savings and environmental benefits — replaces the conventional drivetrain and transmission. The system uses hydraulic pumps and hydraulic storage tanks to capture and store energy, similar to what is done with electric motors and batteries in a hybrid electric vehicle.

Shipping giant UPS will deploy the first two package delivery vehicles with the SHH system in Minneapolis during the first half of the year. Eaton, the developer of the SHH system, will monitor the vehicle’s fuel economy performance and emissions. An additional five vehicles will be deployed later in 2009 and early 2010.

Like many of the components that make up today’s vehicles, the hydraulic hybrid systems are intelligent software-intensive systems. IBM is supplying Telelogic Rhapsody modeling software designed to help Eaton improve quality and save time in the development of these hybrid systems. Eaton project teams use Telelogic Rhapsody to model the software that makes the SHH system work; this process allows the development teams to be more efficient and shorten design cycles.

With this smart system, fuel economy is increased in three ways: vehicle braking energy is recovered that normally is wasted, the engine is operated more efficiently, and the engine can be shut off when stopped or decelerating. Initial trials of the SHH system demonstrated up to 50 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and one-third reduction in CO2 emissions.

“Using Telelogic Rhapsody software improves the quality of the application software that is integral to the series hydraulic hybrid system development process,” says Steve Zielinski, chief engineer for software in Eaton’s Fluid Power Group. “IBM’s Telelogic Rhapsody increases communication through graphic modeling, and provides validation through simulation and automated testing.”