Cold Start Thermal Management with Electrically Heated Catalyst: A Way to Lower Fuel Consumption
Recent engine development has been mainly driven by increased specific volumetric power and especially by fuel consumption minimization. On the other hand the stringent emission limits require a very fast cold start that can be reached only using tailored catalyst heating strategy. This kind of thermal management is widely used by engine manufactures although it leads to increased fuel consumption. This fuel penalty is usually higher for high power output engines that have a very low load during emission certification cycle leading to very low exhaust gas temperature and, consequently, the need of additional energy to increase the exhaust gas temperature is high. An alternative way to reach a fast light off minimizing fuel consumption increase is the use of an Electrical Heated Catalyst (EHC) that uses mechanical energy from the engine to generate the electrical energy to heat up the catalyst.