HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU on Hybrid Cars

HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU on Hybrid Cars – Hybrid vehicles are an alternative to the world’s energy scarcity. The alternative is because, with a hybrid system, a vehicle can reduce the need for energy from fossil fuels. However, hybrid vehicles require the development of electronics technology that previously did not exist. Some of them are HCU or hybrid control units. This device is important because it will be connected to the ECU and TCU that already exist in internal combustion cars. In addition, there is an MCU that already exists in electric motor systems in general. So it is necessary to discuss HCU, ECU, TCU, and MCU in a simple way in understanding hybrid vehicles.

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HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU on Hybrid Cars

Vehicles are shifting from internal combustion vehicles to hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles. This reality makes car manufacturers have to modify and even recreate a vehicle that has been permanent for hundreds of years into a vehicle template. This is time-consuming of course. But demands from society require it to happen.

HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU
Image source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266497069

In ICE vehicles, the latest electronic technology is the electronic injection system. Both gasoline and diesel engines, both use an electronic injection system. This system requires several sensors and of course, actuators to work. Sensors and actuators will be connected directly through a computer. This computer is often referred to as the engine control unit (ECU). For cars with automatic transmission, it will usually be connected to the transmission control module (TCM) in its work. A CAN (Controller Area Network) system will connect the ECU and ECM in communicating each other’s data.

The development of the ECU and TCM is very helpful when we apply them to hybrid cars. So the engineers just need to add a motor control unit (MCU) and a hybrid control unit (HCU). Again, the existence of CAN is very necessary for the hybrid vehicle system. CAN will connect HCU, MCU, ECU, and also TCM directly. Thus, the system can work well on a hybrid vehicle.

Hybrid Control Unit – HCU

The hybrid control unit (HCU) is the main controller in the powertrain for a hybrid car. The HCU is on every hybrid car that comes out of an automaker. The HCU will convert the throttle pedal actuation from the driver to torque requests for the engine and motor/generator and ratio settings for the transmission. Hybrid powertrain control continues to set the most efficient operating parameters. The strategy is mostly strong. As a result, a substantial reduction in fuel consumption is achieved for different cycles in the cost-maintaining mode.

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HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU
1. Hybrid Control Unit(HCU) [HPCU]; 2. Inverter [HPCU]; 3. Low Voltage DC/DC Converter (LDC) [HPCU]; 4. High voltage connector (↔ High voltage battery system assembly); 5. High voltage connector (↔ Hybrid drive motor assembly); 6. High voltage connector (↔ HSG&Electric A/C compressor); 7. Low Voltage DC/DC Converter (LDC) supply output terminal (+); 8. DC Fuse (30A); 9. Low Voltage DC/DC Converter (LDC) ground terminal (-); 10. High voltage connector (↔ HSG&Electric A/C compressor). Image source: kniro.
The role of HCU in hybrid cars focuses on the problem of the motor/generator in the hybrid system. Although it cannot stand alone, the HCU has an important role in adjusting the motor rotation conditions to the driver’s demands through the gas pedal they press.

MCU – Motor control unit

The motor control unit or MCU is something that is already common for electric motor enthusiasts. It’s just that for those who are engaged in the automotive sector, it feels ‘a little’ foreign when ICE is rampant until now. The MCU that manufacturers apply to hybrid cars is slightly different from the MCU for general electric motor control.

HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU
MCU on a hybrid car. Image source: evt

An example is the CP series MCU. The CP Series motor control unit (MCU) with DSP-based control is specially designed for electric drive vehicles including hybrid cars. This MCU includes an efficient IGBT module for high power density and reliability.

The MCU configures the motor speed and torque after receiving comments from the ECU (engine control unit) via CAN-bus communication. The MCU converts the battery pack’s DC power source into an AC power supply to drive the drive motor. During vehicle braking, the MCU can regenerate DC power back to the battery for recharging. An efficient cooling system enables high power density and performance. Protection includes against overcurrent, overvoltage, and overtemperature.

ECU – Engine Control Unit

ECU: The ECU is the computer that runs all the other systems in a car. It controls your engine and makes sure everything is operating within normal limits, as well as providing safety features. This system, also known as an electronic control module, is typically located under the steering wheel.

The ECU on hybrid cars is the same as the ECU for internal combustion cars, especially for gasoline engines. ECU has similarities with other terms such as ECM (electronic control module) and PCM (powertrain control module). However, there are some who claim to be different between the two.

Read more: ECM vs PCM vs ECU what are the differences?

TCU – Transmission Control Module

HCU vs MCU vs ECU vs TCU
TCU on a hybrid car.

The transmission control unit (TCU) is a control unit that controls the transmission of a car. This includes also hybrid cars. We also know the TCU by the name of the transmission control module (TCM), or gearbox control unit (GCU). The control that TCU does is controlled electronically.

Similar systems are used in conjunction with various semi-automatic transmissions, purely for automation and clutch drive. The TCU in modern automatic transmissions generally uses sensors from the vehicle, as well as data in the engine control unit (ECU). The goal is to calculate how and when to change gears in a vehicle for optimal performance, fuel economy, and gearshift quality.

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