Closed-Loop Combustion Control Using Ion-current Signals in a 6-Cylinder Port-Injected Natural-gas Engine 2008-01-2453
High EGR rates combined with turbocharging has been identified as a promising way to increase the maximum load and efficiency of heavy duty spark ignition engines. With stoichiometric conditions a three way catalyst can be used which means that regulated emissions can be kept at very low levels. Obtaining reliable spark ignition is difficult however with high pressure and dilution. There will be a limit to the amount of EGR that can be tolerated for each operating point. Open loop operation based on steady state maps is difficult since there is substantial dynamics both from the turbocharger and from the wall heat interaction. The proposed approach applies standard closed loop lambda control for controlling the overall air/fuel ratio. Furthermore, ion-current based dilution limit control is applied on the EGR in order to maximize EGR rate as long as combustion stability is preserved. The proposed control strategy has been successfully tested on a heavy duty 6-cylinder port injected natural gas engine and our findings show that 1.5-2.5 % units (depending on the operating points) improvement in Brake Efficiency can be achieved.