Evaluation of Engine Programming to Reduce Fuel Consumption 2018-01-1757
The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential for reducing fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles by modifying their engine power ratings through programming of their engine electronic control units. This paper summarizes the activities, observations, and results obtained from tests conducted on a test track to compare default settings with those optimized for potential economic gains and improved performance.
Tests for long-distance and regional transport operations were conducted at constant speed. Results from these tests showed considerable fuel savings, of approximately 7%, when the engine power rating was reduced from 450 hp to 400 hp and speed from 105 km/h to 98 km/h. In these tests, the dynamic performance of the vehicles was not affected by the reduction in power. Tests for local delivery operations were conducted on a stop-and-go cycle and showed fuel savings of 4.5% when the engine power rating was reduced from 450 hp to 400 hp, with the driver using a moderate driving technique. Tests for urban transport operations were conducted on stop-and-go cycles and showed fuel savings of up to 5% when the engine power rating was reduced from 240 hp to 200 hp, with the driver using an eco-friendly driving technique.
It is certain that limiting the available engine power will impact vehicle performance, depending on driving style. Consequently, technical considerations must be accompanied by training drivers, especially those with aggressive driving habits, to practice eco-friendly driving techniques. This training could be incorporated into a process of continuous improvement and monitoring of driver performance as part of incentive programs.