Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0739
2019-04-02

Direct Measurement of Aftertreatment System Stored Water Levels for Improved Dew Point Management Using Radio Frequency Sensing 2019-01-0739

Reducing cold-start emissions to meet increasingly stringent emissions limits requires fast activation of exhaust system sensors and aftertreatment control strategies. One factor delaying the activation time of current exhaust sensors, such as NOx and particulate matter (PM) sensors, is the need to protect these sensors from water present in the exhaust system. Exposure of the ceramic sensing element to water droplets can lead to thermal shock and failure of the sensor. In order to prevent such failures, various algorithms are employed to estimate the dew point of the exhaust gas and determine when the exhaust system is sufficiently dry to enable safe sensor operation. In contrast to these indirect, model-based approaches, this study utilized radio frequency (RF) sensors typically applied to monitor soot loading levels in diesel and gasoline particulate filters, to provide a direct measurement of stored water levels on the ceramic filter elements themselves. The results demonstrate the ability to monitor both water uptake and release from the filter, thereby providing a direct indication of when the system is sufficiently dry to safely enable operation of ceramic-based sensors in the exhaust system. The RF measurements are broadly applicable, not only to particulate filters, but also to other catalysts in the aftertreatment system, potentially extending the time window over which conventional emissions sensors may be safely operated.

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