Research Projects

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Electric & Hybrid Vehicles

Electric and hybrid electric powertrains achieve very high energy efficiency, and therefore allow for very low kilometer specific CO2 emissions. In hybrid and electric powertrains, the supervisory control is a crucial task, since the so-called "energy management" is the main factor for achieving the best possible energy efficiency.

Formula 1 Powertrain
The Formula 1 race car is a high performance hybrid electric vehicle.

SwissTrolley plus
The «SwissTrolley plus» is a battery-electric bus that recharges via the trolley overhead network.

PAC-car II (concluded)
PAC-Car II is the worlds most fuel efficient vehicle.

AHEAD (concluded)
The AHEAD bus is a series hybrid electric bus that consumes 25% less fuel than a comparable standard diesel bus.

Energy Management for HEV (concluded)
The energy management is the main determinant for the fuel efficiency achiveable with a hybrid electric vehicle.

PhD-Theses on Electric & Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Tobias Ott: Diss. ETH No. 21678
Tobias Nüesch: Diss. ETH No. 22216
Philipp Elbert: Diss. ETH No. 21522
Soren Ebbesen: Diss. ETH No. 20478
Daniel Ambühl:  Diss. ETH No. 18435
Olle Sundström: Diss. ETH No. 18543

Natural Gas Engines

Natural gas consists mainly of methane (CH4). Due to the higher hydrogen to carbon ratio, the combustion of methane produces around 25% less carbon dioxide (CO2) per unit energy delivered than gasoline or diesel. Therefore, natural gas engines have the potential to reach very low kilometer specific CO2 emissions. In the future, methane engines may even be operated using renewable fuels that are synthesized in the power-to-gas process using excess electricity from renewable sources.

Natural Gas Diesel Hybrid
This powertrain combines the advantages of natural gas, a highly efficient combustion, and hybrid propulsion, to achieve extremly low CO2 emissions.

Aladin is a high efficiency, near-zero emission, micro combined heat and power unit appropriate for grid balancing.

GasOn (Horizon 2020)
The GasOn project is aiming to develop technologies enabling engines fuelled by natural gas or methane exclusively.

Hercules-2 (Horizon 2020)
The Hercules-2 project aims to develop new technologies for improving the fuel efficiency and reducing the pollutant emissions of marine engines.

CLEVER (concluded)
The CLEVER vehicle combines a hybrid electric powertrain with a natural gas engine to achieve low CO2 emissions.

PhD-Theses on Natural Gas Engines

Florian Zurbriggen: Diss. ETH No. 23022
Tobias Ott: Diss. ETH No. 21678
Olle Sundström: Diss. ETH No. 18543
Jens Röth: Diss. ETH No. 18356
Paul Rodatz: Diss. ETH No. 15320
David Dyntar: Diss. ETH No. 14289

Diesel Engines

Despite the recent advancements in electric powertrains and renewable propulsion sources, the transportation of goods and the heavy-duty sectors are still heavily reliant on fossil Diesel engines. Diesel engines are very robust and provide both good energy- and power-density. Due to their lean burning combustion with a high compression ratio, Diesel engines are inherently more fuel-efficient than spark-ignition gasoline engines. This makes them an interesting choice when aiming to minimize CO2-emissions, especially in heavy-duty applications.

Emissions-Optimized Diesel Engine
This project proposes an adjustable raw-emission strategy for Diesel engines that may be used to control the tailpipe emissions during real driving.

Model-Based Optimization for Diesel Engine Systems (concluded)
Diesel engines provide a large number of degrees of freedom. This project uses model-based techniques to optimize the performance of Diesel engines.

PhD-Theses on Diesel Engines
Stephan Zentner: Diss. ETH No. 21865
Jonas Asprion: Diss. ETH No. 21593
Frederic Tschanz: Diss. ETH No. 20785
Michael Benz: Diss. ETH No. 18796
Ezio Alfieri: Diss. ETH No. 18214
Alexander Schilling: Diss. ETH No. 17764

Gasoline Engines

Around 80% of all passenger vehicles worldwide are still powered by gasoline engines. Therefore any improvement in this technology has a large potential to reduce negative side effects, such as air pollution, resource consumption and carbon-dioxide emission.

Hybrid Pneumatic Engine (concluded)
A hybrid pneumatic engine uses a pressurized air tank to improve the transient behaviour of the turbo-charger.

PhD-Theses on Gasoline Engines

Pascal Kiwitz: Diss. ETH No. 20815
Christoph Voser: Diss. ETH No. 20706
Wolfgang Schick: Diss. ETH No. 19386
Raphael Suard: Diss. ETH No. 18775
Christian Dönitz: Diss. ETH No. 18761
Roman Möller: Diss. ETH No. 18426
Daniel Rupp: Diss. ETH No. 18302
Thomas Böhme: Diss. ETH No. 17703

Automotive Applications

Apart from engines and vehicle propulsion systems, there are a number of vehicular applications, where control and optimization are equally important. The topics autonomous parking, on-board diagnosis of faults, as well as the control of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning of the passenger cabin are highly interesting control tasks. Currently, however, the research group of Prof. Onder does not focus on these topics, and consequently there are no projects ongoing in this field.

On-Board Diagnostics (concluded)
All sensors in a vehicle may fail due to damage or ageing. This project pursues methods to identify sensor faults.

PhD-Theses on Automotive Applications

Michael Moser: Diss. ETH No. 22349
Matthäus Alberding: Diss. ETH No. 21573
Moritz Oetiker: Diss. ETH No. 18229
Alexander Schilling: Diss. ETH No. 17764
Eric Müller: Diss. ETH No. 16889

Biomedical Applications

Many diseases that occur in humans are caused by insufficient regulation of processes. The blood circulation system is one example of a control system that is based on feedback. Ventricular asisst devices are an example of how electronically controlled actuators can assist the human body in this regulation process. However, the control of such devices is crucial for the patient. Therefore, we aim to apply model based control and design methods, as well as hardware-in-the-loop testing procedures to improve these biomedical systems. Prof. Onder does not pursue research in biomedical systems, the corresponding research group is now supervised by Prof. Meboldt at PdZ.

Hydrocephalus Smartshunt
Introducing feedback control to advanced medical devices with a focus on heart failure and hydrocephalus.

Circulatory Assist Project (concluded)
This project deals with the control of blood pumps that are used for mechanical circulatory support. The goal is to develop a control strategy that is able to promote recovery of a failing heart. More…

CSF Biothermofluidics (concluded)
Biothermofluidics for Cerebrospinal Fluid Diagnostics and Control - Development of a Knowledge Base.

PhD-Theses on Biomedical Applications

Gregor Ochsner: Diss. ETH No. 22061
Raffael Amacher: Diss. ETH No. 21702
Marianne Schmid Daners: Diss. ETH No. 20674
Matthias Schibli: Diss. ETH No. 18438

Smart Buildings

Almost 40% of the total energy consumed worldwide is used in residential and commercial buildings. Furthermore, unlike with vehicles, where industry has been consequently working towards maximizing the energy efficiency, in the building sector, there are still huge potentials for reducing the energy consumption - not only in design and architecture, but also in the control of energy flows and facility management. Here, we use systematic, model-based optimization techniques with the aim to improve energy efficiency of buildings. Prof. Onder does not pursue research in this topic. Similar research projects can be found at the departement for architecture.  

Monte Rosa Hut
(c) T.Ambrosetti

Monte Rosa Hut (concluded)
This research project aims at developing new algorithms and software and hardware solutions for the optimal management of energy and waste flows in buildings.

RESCOM (concluded)
We target the management of energy flows in complex systems. Our goal is to develop new models featuring extreme accuracy and ultra-high simulation speed.

SAMBA (concluded)
In future, smart buildings interact with the power grid. The control strategy that manages the energy flows has a crucial influence on the achievable energy efficiency.

PhD-Theses on Smart Buildings

Araz Ashouri: Diss. ETH No. 21908
Samuel Fux: Diss. ETH No. 21036
Raffaele Bornatico: Diss. ETH No. 20561
Charles Boston: Diss. ETH No. 18948

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