EARPA: European Automotive Researsch Partners AssociationEARPA: European Automotive Researsch Partners Association

POWERTECH Engineering S.r.l.

General

Type of Organisation: SME
Origin Country:Italy
Contact:Mr. Emanuele Servetto
Tel.: +39 011 0709961



Expertise

POWERTECH In Brief

Established in 2007, POWERTECH Engineering (shortened to PWT) is an independent research firm providing CAE simulation services to the powertrain and vehicle industries. A broad experience in both conventional and electrified powertrains, a continuously updated know-how and the best-in-class simulation tools are our guarantee to satisfy our customers’ needs. Thanks to its engineering services, PWT is actively involved in the automotive industry’s R&D effort to de-carbonize its powertrain technology. CAE simulation is today a key factor in the virtualization of the product development process, reducing R&D costs and shortening time-to-market of innovative technologies. In this perspective, the development of reliable simulation tools for electrified, electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles is PWT’s main focus and objective.

PWT was founded as a spinoff company from Turin’s technical university (Politecnico di Torino) by former research engineers from Politecnico’s Energy department. PWT was initially hosted by I3P start-up incubator (https://www.i3p.it/en), ranked as the Best Public Business Incubator in the world as recognized by the World Rankings of Business Incubators and Accelerators 2019-2020. Due to its origins, PWT retains strong bonds with the academic world and is actively involved in several research programmes at Politecnico di Torino. In addition, Prof. Federico Millo of Politecnico acts as PWT’s Scientific Advisor. In an effort to establish strong relationships with research institutes at an international level and attract young talents, PWT hosts every year 8-10 MSc students from universities around Europe for internships and master thesis projects. PWT has recently started offering PhD placements opportunities as well. 

Services

PWT’s mission is to provide high-quality engineering simulation services to the automotive industry. This is done in different ways, according to the customer’s needs. PWT for instance supports simulation activities on- and off-site, develops new simulation methodologies or directly shares those that have already been established in PWT’s 14-year experience. In all cases, PWT works in tight collaboration with the customer’s R&D team and always shares all the information generated during the course of a project.

As a testimony to our simulation capabilities, shortly after its inception, in 2009 PWT was inducted into the “Consulting & Service Provider List” issued by Gamma Technologies LLC (shortened to GT, a US-based company developing a well-known multi-physics SW GT-SUITE), i.e. a list of recommended companies for high-quality CAE consultancy services. Moreover, starting from 2010, PWT was appointed as GT’s technical representative for Italy, thus providing technical support to Italian users of GT’s software products. In 2013, PWT was among the first companies to bring a fully physical 1D engine model onto an HiL rig for ECU verification and validation. Since then, this methodology was extended to aftertreatment, thermal management and lube models. PWT was an early adopter of the innovative 3D-CFD software CONVERGE CFD by CONVERGENT SCIENCE (CS) and, recognizing the high level of expertise gained by PWT’s engineers in the use of their tool, in 2017 CS included PWT in their “Consultant Page” where they list service providers they recommend.

PWT’s CAE services can be grouped into three domains: 1D-CFD and Multiphysics, X-in-the-Loop (XiL) and Virtual Calibration, 3D-CFD simulations:

  • 1D-CFD and Multiphysics: Through the years, POWERTECH has gained relevant experience in all possible applications of 1D system-level multi-physics simulation to vehicle or powertrain development, to name a few:
    • Engine gas-exchange, performance, turbocharging, acoustic and aftertreatment analyses.
    • Vehicle Thermal Management (VTM) simulations of both ICEVs and XEVs.
    • Hydraulics, including cooling, oil and fuel injection circuits.
    • Engine mechanics, ranging from crankshaft to valvetrain analyses.
    • Vehicle-level simulations for emission prediction, HEV power-split optimization, etc.
  • XiL and Virtual Calibration: The second area of expertise concerns Model/Software/Hardware-in-the-Loop applications (collectively known as X-in-the-Loop) and Virtual Calibration. Starting from the abovementioned 1D or more generally multi-physics models used in R&D or product design, PWT established a proven methodology to increase their computational efficiency while retaining their accuracy and predictivity. These Fast-Running Models (FRM) are thus capable of running Real-Time, i.e. the model can simulate events at the same speed at which these events take place in the real world. This enables a wide range of simulations in which virtual plants are coupled with a control system from its early stages of development (MiL, SiL) to full-fledged ECU testing and validation (HiL). Highly predictive RT models can also be used for virtual calibration of controllers, replacing prototypes.
  • 3D-CFD: PWT has a consolidated experience in 3D-CFD simulation of both conventional and electrified powertrain components. Starting from in-cylinder flow and spray analyses to predictive combustion and emission formation. Other 3D-CFD services include Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT) analyses of water jackets for ICEs, electric motors and battery packs; flow characterization at a component level including pressure drop and flow pattern analyses; transient aeroacoustics with flow-noise prediction.

Present and Future Outlook

POWERTECH is today an expanding and dynamic company with more than 30 employees, all engineers with MSc or PhD degrees working in the CAE simulation of automotive powertrains. Average growth rate in revenue CAGR of the last 3 years (2018-2020) was approximately +13.5%, an outstanding feat despite navigating a difficult market and the uncertainties associated with the COVID pandemic. Despite its small size, PWT has now an international reach, being present with its services in more than 10 countries around the world. In early 2020, a French local unit was established in the Paris area, to better respond to the necessities of the local market, where PWT is recognized as an R&D institution, and thus is included in the Crédit d'impôt recherche (CIR) program (i.e., research tax credit). Ongoing internal R&D programmes are focussed at expanding and improving simulation techniques for Li-Ion battery modelling, BEV thermal management, Hydrogen-powered ICEs and advanced HiL for XEVs. Through the years, PWT has contributed to several journal publications, conference papers and presentations, 58 of which are listed on a dedicated section of our website https://pwt-eng.com/publications. PWT is now more than ever involved in our customer’s innovation process, driving the change to a virtualized and digital product development and a de-carbonized, sustainable mobility in all its forms.





Participation in EU Projects and International Activities





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