A Methanol Concentration Smart Sensor has been developed to support the demand for alternately fueled vehicles operating on blends of methanol and gasoline in any mixture up to 85% methanol.
The sensor measures concentration by exploiting the difference in dielectric properties between methanol and gasoline. The measurement is made based on the distributed capacitance of a coil of wire, contained in a reservoir through which the fuel passes. This signal, along with temperature compensation inputs, is then fed to an integral microprocessor, which provides a voltage output proportional to the methanol concentration of the fuel. The Powertrain Controller uses this information to modify injector pulse width and provide proper spark advance. This paper will explain the sensor's development methodology and function.