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(Graduate) Internship - Control oriented HVAC modeling

Internship Helmond, NL
Posted 8 Apr 2021

Degree level


Job function


Required language

English (Fluent)

Work experience

0 to 1 years

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Which team will you become part of?

You will be part of the multidisciplinary thermal management system (TMS) team. The TMS is an essential system of the Lightyear One. It keeps the battery and drivetrain at the desired temperatures, which is required for safe and efficient operation. Second, it provides comfortable cabin air conditions. The latter is achieved with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which is also used as an additional cooling mechanism for the battery in hot ambient conditions. Your project concerns control and performance simulation of this HVAC system. Besides support from the TMS team, you will get guidance from Lightyear’s performance and control domain, which is our group of control engineers that takes care of all control (related) work over the various systems in the lightyear One.

Your personal mission

The HVAC system contributes a significant amount to the total energy consumption of the Lightyear One. Control oriented system models enable design of control systems which operate the HVAC in such a way that energy consumption is minimized while providing the desired performance. In addition, typically having low computational complexity, control oriented models contribute to efficient vehicle level performance simulation, which is a key development tool within Lightyear.

The project can be divided into the following steps.

I Apply mixed boundary heat exchanger models, which are a specific type of first principle physical models that are suitable to describe the refrigerant phase change dynamics in the HVAC system, see, e.g, [1]. Tune the model parameters based on high-fidelity simulation or measurement data, obtained on a test bench (possibly by yourself).

II Explore possibilities to reduce model complexity while preserving the dominant system behavior, e.g., by (local) linearization and model reduction techniques.

When conducted as a graduate internship, possible extensions are:

III Based on conclusions from I and II, apply general (non-)parametric system identification methods and compare the results to those of I and II.

IV Develop and test model-based control techniques.

The project scope can be tailored to the duration of the internship.

[1] He, Liu, Asada, Itoh, Multivariable Control of Vapor Compression Systems. HVAC&R Research, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 205 - 230, 1998.

Requirements in order to achieve your personal mission

The internship is intended as part of an MSc in mechanical/electrical engineering with dynamics and/or control systems background, or in systems and control. Hard skill-wise, you're capable in system identificiation, physical modeling, model reduction and model-base control. The duration of the (graduate) internship can be 3 up to 10 months and can be converted into either an apprentice or graduation internship. Furthermore, ideally you'll start somewhere in between of April and June.

What you bring along as a talented intern

Be aware, being an intern at Lightyear isn’t just an internship. You’ll be approached as an actual engineer and that requires some skills. Especially given the fact that you’ll join a start-up where little is set in stone. Therefore, it’s key that you can relate to the following things;

  • Good communicative skills (you will be working in a multidisciplinary and international environment)
  • You’re dedicated and supper accurate
  • You’re persistent!

What do we offer

In addition to a challenging (graduate) internship you also have the opportunity to work for a company with a real, honest and ambitious mission. In this way you have the opportunity to make a huge impact on the future of mobility! In addition, we also offer:

  • A high degree of freedom and independence during your internship
  • A multidisciplinary team of highly motivated and talented people you can learn from including a supervisor from the field who helps you on a day-to-day basis
  • A certain internship allowance depending on educational level and type of internship
  • In addition to a dynamic working environment, there is time for relaxation during our already epic (digital) Friday afternoon drinks!

Logo Lightyear
About Lightyear
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At Lightyear we are building an electric car that charges itself. From our experience at Solar Team Eindhoven we know this is only possible starting from scratch. At Lightyear we bring together a multidisciplinary team of highly motivated engineers, designers and visionaries to challenge the status quo. You can join us!

Active in 10 countries
160 employees
70% men - 30% women
Average age is 35 years