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Technical Paper

Towards Optimal Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator for Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery from an Automotive Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0050
Thermoelectric generator has very quickly become a hot research topic in the last five years because its broad application area and very attractive features such as no moving parts, low maintenance, variety of thermoelectric materials that total together cover a wide temperature range. The biggest disadvantage of the thermoelectric generator is its low conversion efficiency. So that when design and manufacture a thermoelectric generator for exhaust waste heat recovery from an automotive engine, the benefit of fuel consumption from applying a thermoelectric generator would be very sensitive to the weight, the dimensions, the cost and the practical conversion efficiency. Additionally, the exhaust gas conditions vary with the change of engine operating point. This creates a big challenge for the design of the hot side heat exchanger in terms of optimizing the electrical output of the thermoelectric generator during an engine transient cycle.
Technical Paper

The Potential of Thermoelectric Generator in Parallel Hybrid Vehicle Applications

2017-03-28
2017-01-0189
This paper reports on an investigation into the potential for a thermoelectric generator (TEG) to improve the fuel economy of a mild hybrid vehicle. A simulation model of a parallel hybrid vehicle equipped with a TEG in the exhaust system is presented. This model is made up by three sub-models: a parallel hybrid vehicle model, an exhaust model and a TEG model. The model is based on a quasi-static approach, which runs a fast and simple estimation of the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The model is validated against both experimental and published data. Using this model, the annual fuel saving, CO2 reduction and net present value (NPV) of the TEG’s life time fuel saving are all investigated. The model is also used as a flexible tool for analysis of the sensitivity of vehicle fuel consumption to the TEG design parameters. The analysis results give an effective basis for optimization of the TEG design.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of Four Modelling Techniques for Thermoelectric Generator

2017-03-28
2017-01-0144
The application of state-of-art thermoelectric generator (TEG) in automotive engine has potential to reduce more than 2% fuel consumption and hence the CO2 emissions. This figure is expected to be increased to 5%~10% in the near future when new thermoelectric material with higher properties is fabricated. However, in order to maximize the TEG output power, there are a few issues need to be considered in the design stage such as the number of modules, the connection of modules, the geometry of the thermoelectric module, the DC-DC converter circuit, the geometry of the heat exchanger especially the hot side heat exchanger etc. These issues can only be investigated via a proper TEG model. The authors introduced four ways of TEG modelling which in the increasing complexity order are MATLB function based model, MATLAB Simscape based Simulink model, GT-power TEG model and CFD STAR-CCM+ model. Both Simscape model and GT-Power model have intrinsic dynamic model performance.
Journal Article

Design and Optimisation of the Propulsion Control Strategy for a Pneumatic Hybrid City Bus

2016-04-05
2016-01-1175
A control strategy has been designed for a city bus equipped with a pneumatic hybrid propulsion system. The control system design is based on the precise management of energy flows during both energy storage and regeneration. Energy recovered from the braking process is stored in the form of compressed air that is redeployed for engine start and to supplement the engine air supply during vehicle acceleration. Operation modes are changed dynamically and the energy distribution is controlled to realize three principal functions: Stop-Start, Boost and Regenerative Braking. A forward facing simulation model facilitates an analysis of the vehicle dynamic performance, engine transient response, fuel economy and energy usage.
Technical Paper

Optimization of the Number of Thermoelectric Modules in a Thermoelectric Generator for a Specific Engine Drive Cycle

2016-04-05
2016-01-0232
Two identical commercial Thermo-Electric Modules (TEMs) were assembled on a plate type heat exchanger to form a Thermoelectric Generator (TEG) unit in this study. This unit was tested on the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) flow path of a test engine. The data collected from the test was used to develop and validate a steady state, zero dimensional numerical model of the TEG. Using this model and the EGR path flow conditions from a 30% torque Non-Road Transient Cycle (NRTC) engine test, an optimization of the number of TEM units in this TEG device was conducted. The reduction in fuel consumption during the transient test cycle was estimated based on the engine instantaneous Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC). The perfect conversion of TEG recovered electrical energy to engine shaft mechanical energy was assumed. Simulations were performed for a single TEG unit (i.e. 2 TEMs) to up to 50 TEG units (i.e. 100 TEMs).
Technical Paper

The Influence of Thermoelectric Materials and Operation Conditions on the Performance of Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive

2016-04-05
2016-01-0219
An automotive engine can be more efficient if thermoelectric generators (TEG) are used to convert a portion of the exhaust gas enthalpy into electricity. Due to the relatively low cost of the incoming thermal energy, the efficiency of the TEG is not an overriding consideration. Instead, the maximum power output (MPO) is the first priority. The MPO of the TEG is closely related to not only the thermoelectric materials properties, but also the operating conditions. This study shows the development of a numerical TEG model integrated with a plate-fin heat exchanger, which is designed for automotive waste heat recovery (WHR) in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) path in a diesel engine. This model takes into account the following factors: the exhaust gas properties’ variation along the flow direction, temperature influence on the thermoelectric materials, thermal contact effect, and heat transfer leakage effect. Its accuracy has been checked using engine test data.
Technical Paper

Unified Backwards Facing and Forwards Facing Simulation of a Hybrid Electric Vehicle using MATLAB Simscape

2015-04-14
2015-01-1215
This paper presents the implementation of a vehicle and powertrain model of the parallel hybrid electric vehicle which can be used for several purposes: as a model for estimating fuel consumption, as a model for estimating performance, and as a control model for the hybrid powertrain optimisation. The model is specified as a multi-domain physical model in MATLAB Simscape, which captures the key electrical, mechanical and thermal energy flows in the vehicles. By applying hand crafted boundary conditions, this model can be simulated either in the forwards or backwards direction, and it can easily be simplified as required to address specific control problems. Modelling in the forwards direction, the driver inputs are specified, and the vehicle response is the model output. In the backwards direction, the vehicle velocity as a function of time is the specified input, and the engine torque, and fuel consumption are the model outputs.
Technical Paper

Evaluating the Performance Improvement of Different Pneumatic Hybrid Boost Systems and Their Ability to Reduce Turbo-Lag

2015-04-14
2015-01-1159
The objective of the work reported in this paper was to identify how turbocharger response time (“turbo-lag”) is best managed using pneumatic hybrid technology. Initially methods to improve response time have been analysed and compared. Then the evaluation of the performance improvement is conducted using two techniques: engine brake torque response and vehicle acceleration, using the engine simulation code, GT-SUITE [1]. Three pneumatic hybrid boost systems have been considered: Intake Boost System (I), Intake Port Boost System (IP) and Exhaust Boost System (E). The three systems respectively integrated in a six-cylinder 7.25 l heavy-duty diesel engine for a city bus application have been modelled. When the engine load is increased from no load to full load at 1600 rpm, the development of brake torque has been compared and analysed. The findings show that all three systems significantly reduce the engine response time, with System I giving the fastest engine response.
Technical Paper

Study on Optimization of Regenerative Braking Control Strategy in Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine City Bus using Pneumatic Hybrid Technology

2014-04-01
2014-01-1807
Recovering the braking energy and reusing it can significantly improve the fuel economy of a vehicle which is subject to frequent braking events such as a city bus. As one way to achieve this goal, pneumatic hybrid technology converts kinetic energy to pneumatic energy by compressing air into tanks during braking, and then reuses the compressed air to power an air starter to realize a regenerative Stop-Start function. Unlike the pure electric or hybrid electric passenger car, the pneumatic hybrid city bus uses the rear axle to achieve regenerative braking function. In this paper we discuss research into the blending of pneumatic regenerative braking and mechanical frictional braking at the rear axle. The aim of the braking function is to recover as much energy as possible and at the same time distribute the total braking effort between the front and rear axles to achieve stable braking performance.
Technical Paper

Disturbance Sources in the Diesel Engine Combustion Process

2013-04-08
2013-01-0318
When a diesel engine is running at steady state, the diesel combustion process still has some level of variation from cycle to cycle, even if engine load and all control inputs are fixed. This variation is a disturbance for the speed governor, and it could lead to less than optimal engine performance in terms of fuel economy, exhaust gas emission and noise emission. The most effective way to reduce this steady state combustion variation is by applying fuel path feedback control. The control action can be performed at a fixed frequency, or at a defined cycle event time. Intra-cycle control has the highest capacity to suppress the combustion deviation, as it measures the current cycle combustion performance and compensates for it within the same cycle using a very fast control response. Correct knowledge and a model of the disturbance sources and combustion variation patterns are essential in the design process of this intra-cycle control strategy.
Journal Article

Real-Time Optimal Energy Management of Heavy Duty Hybrid Electric Vehicles

2013-04-08
2013-01-1748
The performance of energy flow management strategies is essential for the success of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which are considered amongst the most promising solutions for improving fuel economy as well as reducing exhaust emissions. The heavy duty HEVs engaged in cycles characterized by start-stop configuration has attracted widely interests, especially in off-road applications. In this paper, a fuzzy equivalent consumption minimization strategy (F-ECMS) is proposed as an intelligent real-time energy management solution for heavy duty HEVs. The online optimization problem is formulated as minimizing a cost function, in terms of weighted fuel power and electrical power. A fuzzy rule-based approach is applied on the weight tuning within the cost function, with respect to the variations of the battery state-of-charge (SOC) and elapsed time.
Technical Paper

Using Pneumatic Hybrid Technology to Reduce Fuel Consumption and Eliminate Turbo-Lag

2013-04-08
2013-01-1452
For the vehicles with frequent stop-start operations, fuel consumption can be reduced significantly by implementing stop-start operation. As one way to realize this goal, the pneumatic hybrid technology converts kinetic energy to pneumatic energy by compressing air into air tanks installed on the vehicle. The compressed air can then be reused to drive an air starter to realize a regenerative stop-start function. Furthermore, the pneumatic hybrid can eliminate turbo-lag by injecting compressed air into manifold and a correspondingly larger amount of fuel into the cylinder to build-up full-load torque almost immediately. This paper takes the pneumatic hybrid engine as the research object, focusing on evaluating the improvement of fuel economy of multiple air tanks in different test cycles. Also theoretical analysis the benefits of extra boost on reducing turbo-lag to achieve better performance.
Technical Paper

Addressing the Heat Exchange Question for Thermo-Electric Generators

2013-04-08
2013-01-0550
The use of thermo-electric (TE) generation systems in internal combustion engines (ICEs) to reduce the carbon dioxide emission by harnessing the exhaust thermal energy is showing increasing promise. In addition, integration with after treatment devices is a development route for this technology that offers a great potential. Recent work on TE systems have shown that the overall efficiency of present TE generation systems are constrained by, the limitations of the conversion efficiency and operating temperatures of TE materials; fabrication quality, durability and thermal performance of the thermo-electric modules (TEMs); geometrical configuration and heat exchange efficiency of thermo-electric generator (TEG) and; conversion techniques of the TEG's electrical output to a form suitable for vehicle systems.
Journal Article

Input and Structure Choices of Neural Networks on the Fuel Flow Rate Prediction in the Transient Operation Condition

2012-11-01
2011-01-2458
Measurement accuracy and repeatability for fuel rate is the key to successfully improve fuel economy of diesel engines as fuel economy could only be achieve by precisely controlling air/fuel ratio and monitor real-time fuel consumption. The volumetric and gravimetric measurement principles are well-known methods to measure the fuel consumption of internal combustion engines. However, the fuel flow rate measured by these methods is not suitable for either real-time control or real-time measurement purposes. The problem concerning discontinuous data of fuel flow rate measured by using an AVL 733s fuel meter was solved for the steady state scenario by using neural networks. It is easier to choose inputs of the neural networks for the steady state scenario because the inputs could be chosen as the particular inputs which excited the system in the application.
Technical Paper

Explicit Model Predictive Control of the Diesel Engine Fuel Path

2012-04-16
2012-01-0893
For diesel engines, fuel path control plays a key role in achieving optimal emissions and fuel economy performance. There are several fuel path parameters that strongly affect the engine performance by changing the combustion process, by modifying for example, start of injection and fuel rail pressure. This is a multi-input multi-output problem. Linear Model Predictive Control (MPC) is a good approach for such a system with optimal solution. However, fuel path has fast dynamics. On-line optimisation MPC is not the good choice to cope with such fast dynamics. Explicit MPC uses off-line optimisation, therefore, it can be used to control the system with fast dynamics.
Technical Paper

Challenges and Potential of Intra-Cycle Combustion Control for Direct Injection Diesel Engines

2012-04-16
2012-01-1158
The injection timing of a Diesel internal combustion engine typically follows a prescribed sequence depending on the operating condition using open loop control. Due to advances in sensors and digital electronics it is now possible to implement closed loop control based on in cylinder pressure values. Typically this control action is slow, and it may take several cycles or at least one cycle (cycle-to-cycle control). Using high speed sensors, it becomes technically possible to measure pressure deviations and correct them within the same cycle (intra-cycle control). For example the in cylinder pressure after the pilot inject can be measured, and the timing of the main injection can be adjusted in timing and duration to compensate any deviations in pressure from the expected reference value. This level of control can significantly reduce the deviations between cycles and cylinders, and it can also improve the transient behavior of the engine.
Journal Article

Accurate and Continuous Fuel Flow Rate Measurement Prediction for Real Time Application

2011-04-12
2011-01-1303
One of the most critical challenges currently facing the diesel engine industry is how to improve fuel economy under emission regulations. Improvement in fuel economy can be achieved by precisely controlling Air/Fuel ratio and by monitoring fuel consumption in real time. Accurate and repeatable measurements of fuel rate play a critical role in successfully controlling air/fuel ratio and in monitoring fuel consumption. Volumetric and gravimetric measurements are well-known methods for measuring fuel consumption of internal combustion engines. However, these methods are not suitable for obtaining fuel flow rate data used in real-time control/measurement. In this paper, neural networks are used to solve the problem concerning discontinuous data of fuel flow rate measured by using an AVL 733 s fuel meter. The continuous parts of discontinuous fuel flow rate are used to train and validate a neural network, which can then be used to predict the discontinuous parts of the fuel flow rate.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Impact on Diesel Engine Fuel Economy and Emissions by Variable Compression Ratio Using GT-Power Simulation

2010-04-12
2010-01-1113
Variable compression ratio in conjunction with a control system is an effective way to improve performance and reduce emissions in a diesel engine. There are various methods that may be employed that include geometry changes and varying valve timing to change the effective compression ratio. In this paper, a simulation study is presented that is based on a modern, multi-cylinder, fixed compression ratio diesel engine equipped with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). The engine is represented using the GT-Power code, and includes a predictive combustion model. The aim of the investigation is to identify the impact of variable compression ratio on fuel economy and emission reduction and whether realistic optimal conditions exist. This paper describes how a formal design of experiments procedure is used to define the simulation conditions. Cost functions are defined with different weights for fuel consumption, NOx and soot emissions.
Technical Paper

The Potential for Thermo-Electric Regeneration of Energy in Vehicles

2009-04-20
2009-01-1333
The pursuit of improved fuel economy is becoming an increasingly important objective for automotive manufacturers. The field of thermo-electrics is highlighted as a promising technology. The figure of merit, Z is the primary measure of the effectiveness of a thermo-electric material, and the values now being offered by researchers have reached the level where new applications become attractive. It is feasible to consider such modules incorporated into a thermoelectric generator to recover waste heat from exhaust gas flow – an available energy stream that has traditionally been neglected as unusable. As a precursor to a costly experimental study it is desirable to accurately simulate the application of a thermo-electric system to a vehicle exhaust to understand both the feasibility and potential drawbacks.
Technical Paper

BSFC Investigation Using Variable Valve Timing in a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine

2009-04-20
2009-01-1525
Variable valve actuation in heavy duty diesel engines is not well documented, because of diesel engine feature, such as, unthrottled air handling, which gives little room to improve pumping loss; a very high compression ratio, which makes the clearance between the piston and valve small at the top dead center. In order to avoid strike the piston while maximizing the valve movement scope, different strategies are adopted in this paper: (1) While exhaust valve closing is fixed, exhaust valve opening is changed; (2) While exhaust valve closing is fixed, late exhaust valve opening: (3) While inlet valve opening is fixed, inlet valve closing is changed; (4) Delayed Inlet valve and exhaust valve openings and closings; (5) Changing exhaust valve timing; (6) changing inlet valve timing; (7) Changing both inlet and exhaust timing, will be used.
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