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Vehicle Technology 18-19: Coursework1

School of Engineering and Informatics Department of Engineering and Design

Vehicle Technology (H7109)

Coursework1 – Design a controller for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)

Submission Deadline: See Canvas page/Syllabus

Submission is via “Canvas Page/Assignment/Coursework”

Requirements: The coursework report, which should be approximately 2000 words with graphs and
pictures, must be entirely your own work, although you may work with fellow students to discuss topics,
solutions and compare results. Your work will also contain MATLAB/SIMULINK codes and models
which be submitted online through Canvas. This coursework is worth 10% of the total Module
mark. You will prepare one report as a group of two however both of the groupmates will
individually submit the report.

The coursework consists of three sections:

 Research (up to 500 words): You will investigate the operating and control principles of HVAC
systems of modern passenger cars.
 Design and Development: You will be introduced to a project and you will develop MATLAB
codes and SIMULINK models to achieve the project objectives. The results will be presented
and analysed with up to 1200 words in your report and the developed materials will also be
submitted as supporting documents.
 Reflective report: Your report will also contain a short section of around 300 words reflecting
your learning curve throughout the coursework and how you would improve it if you would do
it again.

Ref. Item Comments Mark

(out of 100)
C1_1 Research Clear and straightforward answers are provided to address 20
the research questions. Brief technical introductions to the
operational functionality, involved sensors and technologies
and functional diagrams are provided. Illustrative figures
and tables are provided.
C1_2 Design & Development The design criteria are met. The developed codes and 60
models are fully operational and the results are valid. The
results are represented and compared clearly using figures
and tables. Brief but clear analysis of the results are
C1_3 Reflective Report You will clearly describe your learnt lessons from the 10
coursework. Also, you will explain yours most challenging
and useful activities.
C1_4 MATLAB/SIMULINK All developed MATLAB codes and SIMULINK models 10
files will be submitted and evaluated.

Mark Allocation Guideline

0-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+ 80+
Work mainly  Most elements  Most elements  Strengths in all  Most work  All work 
incomplete and  completed;  are strong,  elements exceeds the  substantially 
/or weaknesses  weaknesses  minor  standard  exceeds the 
in most areas outweigh  weaknesses expected standard 
strengths expected

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Vehicle Technology 18-19: Coursework1

C1_1: Research (up to 500 words; worth 20% of the coursework1

Modern vehicles are equipped with advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) 
systems that automatically control the temperature, CO2 and relative humidity of passengers’ cabin 
of cars. Meanwhile, a modern HVAC system take the engine operating points into account and use 
feedback to adjust itself and improve vehicle fuel and emission efficiencies.  

You will conduct a small research on the modern HVAC systems to particularly about the following 

 Main components of a modern HVAC system; 
 Thermodynamics principles of modern HVAC systems;  
 Dependency of the temperature and mass flow rate of the HVAC refrigerant on the engine 
 Control principles of the modern HVAC systems. 

END OF C1_1 

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Vehicle Technology 18-19: Coursework1

C1_2: Design and Development (up to 1200 words; worth 60% of

the coursework1 mark)
In this project, you will use an example of HVAC and vehicle models available in
MATLAB/SIMULINK R2018a onwards. The example, available in the Canvas page as MyHVAC.zip
(or available online as ‘ssc_vehicle_hvac’), simulates thermodynamics of the passenger cabins of cars
along with a manual controller. Figure 1 illustrates the top-level design of the simulation environment.

Figure 1 The top-level simulation example of thermodynamics model of passenger cabins of cars
with the manual controller provided by MATLAB/SIMULINK R2018a onwards

The simulation example can be simply run for any control strategy and all required variables can be
extracted. Moreover, parameters of thermodynamics of passenger cabin of cars can be changed.
Therefore, the developed simulation environment provides a test bed for testing new developed

Modern HVAC systems include air filter and cleaning elements along with traditional heating and
cooling functionalities. HVACs control the temperature, as well as CO2 and relative humidity (RH)
levels of the passenger cabins of modern cars. Moreover, the systems are equipped with sophisticated
control strategies which take the engine operating points into account to minimise the effects of the
HVAC operation on fuel and emission efficiencies of cars.

Aim of the Project

You are a technical specialist for HVAC Solutions Corporation which designs and manufactures
customised HVAC systems for specialist applications and sells these bespoke HVACs for many types
of vehicles.

Your line manager has provided you with requirements on CO2 and RH levels and a simulation
environment of the target car and HVAC in SIMULINK.

Your task is to develop a controller for the given HVAC system and car with comparatively better
performance comparing to the original manual one.

Project Objectives (Individualised)

Each group of two students are given by a unique set of environment and vehicle specifications provided
in VT_2019_Coursework.xlsx.

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Vehicle Technology 18-19: Coursework1

You will: 

1 Investigate the provided simulation environment and provide a report including explanations of the
components and operation principles of the model.
2 Update the example model with your given parameters in VT_2019_Coursework.xlsx. You need to
explore the model and find the locations of each parameter before changing them. The process of
changing the parameters will be briefly described in the report.
3 Design a controller for automatically control the following inputs of the system:
a. ‘air flow rate’;
b. ‘blend door signal’;
c. ‘AC loop on/off’;
d. ‘flap door signal’.

to as fast as possible regulate temperature, as well as RH and CO2 levels of the passenger cabin to
the values given as per group in VT_2019_Coursework.xlsx while keeping the CO2 and RH
levels within the range of, respectively, [350ppm, 1000ppm] and [40%-60%].

4 Replace the original manual controller of HVAC with an automatic controller and provide simulated
graphs indicating the performance criteria of your controller comparing with the ones from the
original manual controller. Suggestion: it can be done by overlapping the psychrometric and
condensation charts of two controllers however, it could be done by any other plots as well.
The speed of the design controller can also be evaluated by plotting overlapped step responses
of both controllers.


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Vehicle Technology 18-19: Coursework1

C1_3: Reflective Report (300 words; worth 10% of the

coursework1 mark)
In 300 words, describe: 

 What were some of the most interesting discoveries I made while working on this project? 
About the problem? About myself? About others? 
 What were some of my most challenging moments and what made them so? 
 What were some of my most powerful learning moments and what made them so? 
 What is the most important thing I learned personally? 
 When did I realize that I had come up with my final best solution? 
 How do I feel the project relates to real‐world situations and problems? 
 Were my milestones and goals mostly met, and how much did I deviate from them if any? 
 What did I learn were my greatest strengths? My biggest areas for improvement? 
 What would I do differently if I were to approach the same problem again? 
 What’s the one thing about myself above all others I would like to work to improve? 
END OF C1_3 

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