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Journal Article

2-Drive Motor Control Unit for Electric Power Steering

The electric power steering (EPS) is increasing its number since there are many advantages compared to hydraulic power steering. The EPS saves fuel and eliminates hydraulic fluid. Also, it is more suitable to the cooperation control with the other vehicle components. The EPS is now expanding to the heavier vehicle with the advance in the power electronics. In order to meet customer's needs, such as down-sizing, lower failure rate and lower price, we have developed the new motor control unit (MCU) for the EPS. The motor and the electric control unit (ECU) were integrated for the better installation. We adopted new technologies of redundant 2-drive design for more safe EPS. “2-drive Motor Control technology” which consists of dual winding, two torque sensors and two inverter drive units. In our developed MCU, even if there is a failure in one of the drive unit, the assistance of the EPS can be maintained with the other drive unit.
Technical Paper

Mitigating Unknown Cybersecurity Threats in Performance Constrained Electronic Control Units

Externally-connected Electronic Control Units (ECUs) contain millions of lines of code, which may contain security vulnerabilities. Hackers may exploit these vulnerabilities to gain code execution privileges, which affect public safety. Traditional Cybersecurity solutions fall short in meeting automotive ECU constraints such as zero false positives, intermittent connectivity, and low performance impact. A desirable solution would be deterministic, require minimum resources, and protect against known and unknown security threats. We integrated Autonomous Security on a BeagleBone Black (BBB) system to evaluate the feasibility of mitigating Cybersecurity risks against potential threats. We identified key metrics that should be measured, such as level of security, ease of integration and system performance impact. In this paper, we describe the integration and evaluation process and present its results.
Technical Paper

IGBT Gate Control Methods to Reduce Electrical Power Losses of Hybrid Vehicles

Reducing the loss of the power control unit (PCU) in a hybrid vehicle (HV) is an important part of improving HV fuel efficiency. Furthermore the loss of power devices (insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and diodes) used in the PCU must be reduced since this amounts to approximately 20% of the total electrical loss in an HV. One of the issues for reducing loss is the trade-off relationship with reducing voltage surge. To restrict voltage surge, it is necessary to slow down the switching speed of the IGBT. In contrast, the loss reduction requires the high speed switching. One widely known method to improve this trade-off relationship is to increase the gate voltage in two stages. However, accurate and high-speed operation of the IGBT gate control circuit is difficult to accomplish. This research clarifies a better condition of the two-stage control and designed a circuit that improves this trade-off relationship by increasing the speed of feedback control.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Influence Factors for Partial Discharge Inception Voltage between Magnet-Wires on Rotating Machines

In automobiles, Integrated Starter Generators (ISGs) are important components since they ensure significant fuel economy improvements. With motors that operate at high voltage such as ISGs, it is important to accurately know partial discharge inception voltages (PDIVs) for the assured insulation reliability of the motors. However, the PDIVs vary due to various factors including the environment (temperature, atmospheric pressure and humidity), materials (water absorption and degradation) and voltage waveforms. Consequently, it is not easy either empirically or analytically to ascertain the PDIVs in a complex environment (involving, for example, high temperature, low atmospheric pressure and high humidity) in which many factors vary simultaneously, as with invehicle environments. As a well-known method, PDIVs can be analyzed in terms of two voltage values, which are the breakdown voltage of the air (called “Paschen curve”) and the shared voltage of the air layer.
Technical Paper

Development of a New MOS Rectifier for High-Efficiency Alternators

For the purpose of improving vehicle fuel efficiency, it is necessary to reduce energy loss in the alternator. We have lowered the resistance of the rectifying device and connecting components, and control the rectifying device with an IC to reduce rectification loss. For the package design, we have changed the structure of the part on which the rectifying device is mounted into a high heat dissipation type. The new structure has enabled optimizing the size of the rectifying device, resulting in the reduction of size of the package. In addition, the rectifying device is mounted using a new soldering material and a new process, which has improved the reliability of the connection. Moreover, since the alternator has introduced a new system, the controller IC has a function for preventing malfunction of the rectifying device and a function for detecting abnormalities, in order to ensure safety.
Technical Paper

Accumulation Mechanism of Gasoline EGR Deposit

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems reduce exhaust emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Recently, the number of EGR system installed vehicles has been increasing, especially for gasoline engine systems. One of the major causes of decreasing EGR function is deposit accumulation on a gas passage. The deposit consists mainly of hydrocarbons which are degradation products of fuel, thus the amount of deposit seems to be strongly affected by fuel compositions. Unfortunately there are not as many studies on EGR deposits with gasoline fuel as there are with diesel fuel. In this study, the influence of gasoline fuel compositions, especially aromatics which are major components of EGR gas, on chemical structures of the deposit were investigated. To clarify the accumulation mechanism of EGR deposits, a thermal oxidative degradation test with an autoclave unit and an actual gasoline engine test were employed.
Technical Paper

Numerical Modeling of International Variations in Diesel Spray Combustion with Evaporation Surrogate and Virtual Species Conversion

A methodology for simulating effect of international variations in fuel compositions on spray combustion is proposed. The methodology is validated with spray combustion experiments with real fuels from three different countries. The compositions of those fuels were analyzed through GC×GC and H-NMR. It was found that ignition delay times, flame region and flame luminosity were significantly affected by the compositional variations. For the simulation, an evaporation surrogate consisting of twenty two species, covering basic molecular types and a wide range of carbon numbers, is developed. Each species in the evaporation surrogate is then virtually converted to a reaction surrogate consisting of n-hexadecane, methylcyclohexane and 1,2,4-trimethyl benzene so that combustion reactions can be calculated with a published kinetic model. The virtual species conversion (VSC) is made so as to take over combustion-related properties of each species of evaporation surrogates.