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Technical Paper

A PEM Fuel Cell Distributed Parameters Model Aiming at Studying the Production of Liquid Water Within the Cell During its Normal Operation: Model Description, Implementation and Validation

One of the major issues coming out from low temperature fuel cells concerns the production of water vapor as a chemical reaction (between hydrogen and oxygen) by-product and its consequent condensation (at certain operating conditions), determining the presence of an amount of liquid water affecting the performance of the fuel cell stack: the production and the quantity of liquid water are strictly influenced by boundaries and power output conditions. Starting from this point, this work focuses on collecting all the required information available in literature and defining a suitable CFD model able to predict the production of liquid water within the fuel cell, while at the same time localizing it and determining the consequences on the PEM cell performances.
Technical Paper

Gearbox Design by means of Genetic Algorithm and CAD/CAE Methodologies

The paper discusses a gearbox design method based on an optimization algorithm coupled to a fully integrated tool to draw 3D virtual models, in order to verify both functionality and design. The aim of this activity is to explain how the state of the art of the gear design may be implemented through an optimization software for the geometrical parameters selection of helical gears of a manual transmission, starting from torque and speed time histories, the required set of gear ratios and the material properties. This approach can be useful in order to use either the experimental acquisitions or the simulation results to verify or design all of the single gear pairs that compose a gearbox. Genetic algorithm methods are applied to solve the optimization problems of gears design, due to their capabilities of managing objective functions discontinuous, non-differentiable, stochastic, or highly non-linear.
Technical Paper

Optimization of a Variable Geometry Exhaust System Through Design of Experiment

Experimental Design methodologies have been applied in conjunction with objective functions for the optimization of the internal geometry of a rear muffler of a subcompact car equipped with a 1.4 liters displacement s.i. turbocharged engine. The muffler also features an innovative variable geometry design. The definition of an objective function summarising the silencing capability of the muffler has been driving the optimization process with the aim to reduce the tailpipe noise while maintaining acceptable pressure losses and complying with severe space constraints. Design of Experiments techniques for the reduction of experimental plans have been shown to be extremely effective to find out the optimum values of the design parameters, allowing a remarkable reduction of the time required by the design process in comparison with full factorial designs.
Technical Paper

A Proposal of an Oil Pan Optimization Methodology

In the powertrain technology, designers must be careful on oil pan design in order to obtain the best noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance. This is a great issue for the automotive design because they affect the passengers' comfort. In order to reduce vibration and radiated noise in powertrain assembly, oil pan is one of the most critical components. The high stiffness of the oil pan permits to move up the natural modes of the component and, as a consequence, reduce the sound emission of the component itself. In addition, the optimized shape of the component allows the increase of natural frequency values of the engine assembly. The aim of this study is the development of a methodology to increase the oil pan stiffness starting from a sketch of the component and adding material where it is needed. The methodology is tested on a series of different models: they have the same geometry but different materials.
Technical Paper

Estimation of the Engine-Out NO2/NOx Ratio in a EURO VI Diesel Engine

The present work has the aim of developing a semi-empirical correlation to estimate the NO₂/NOx ratio as a function of significant engine operating variables in a modern EURO VI diesel engine. The experimental data used in the present study were acquired at the dynamic test bench of ICEAL-PT (Internal Combustion Engine Advanced Laboratory at the Politecnico di Torino), in the frame of a research activity on the optimization of a General Motors Euro VI prototype 1.6-liter diesel engine equipped with a single-stage variable geometry turbine and a solenoid Common Rail system. The experimental tests were conducted over the whole engine map. A preliminary analysis was carried out to evaluate the uncertainty of the experimental acquired data and the NO₂/NOx ratio.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Energy-Efficient Management of a Light-Duty Parallel-Hybrid Diesel Powertrain with a Belt Alternator Starter

The paper presents the main results of a study on the simulation of energy efficient management of on-board electric and thermal systems for a medium-size passenger vehicle featuring a parallel-hybrid diesel powertrain with a high-voltage belt alternator starter. A set of advanced technologies has been considered on the basis of very aggressive fuel economy targets: base-engine downsizing and friction reduction, combustion optimization, active thermal management, enhanced aftertreatment and downspeeding. Mild-hybridization has also been added with the goal of supporting the downsized/downspeeded engine performance, performing energy recuperation during coasting phases and enabling smooth stop/start and acceleration. The simulation has implemented a dynamic response to the required velocity and manual gear shift profiles in order to reproduce real-driver behavior and has actuated an automatic power split between the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and the Electric Machine (EM).
Technical Paper

Development of a Control Strategy for Complex Light-Duty Diesel-Hybrid Powertrains

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) represent a powerful technology to save fuel and reduce CO₂ emissions, through the synergic use of a conventional internal combustion engine and one or more electric machines. However their performance strongly depends on the control strategy that shares the power demand among the engine and the electric motors at each time instant, with the objective of minimizing a pre-defined cost function over an entire driving cycle, and satisfying, at the same time, any additional constraints. The aim of this work is therefore the definition of a methodology to develop, through numerical simulation, a sub-optimal hybrid powertrain controller: starting from the problem definition, the ideal performance for a case study hybrid architecture was analyzed through a global optimization algorithm in order to point out information which can be used to define new control laws.
Technical Paper

Integrated CAD/CAE Functional Design for Engine Components and Assembly

In the present paper, starting from a first attempt design of engine components, a CAD/CAE integrated approach for designing engine is proposed. As first step, some typological quantities are setting in order to define the designed engine, for example the number of cylinders, displacements, thermodynamic cycle and geometrical constraints. Using literature approach and tailored design methodologies, the developed software provides the geometric parameters of the main engine components: crankshaft, piston, wrist pin, connecting rod, bedplate, engine block, cylinder head, bearings, valvetrain. Form the geometrical parameters, the developed software, using 3D CAD parametric models, defines a first functional model of each component and of their mutual interactions. Then a numerical analysis can be evaluated and it provides important feedback result for design targets. In the paper the particular case of a crank mechanism model is presented.
Technical Paper

City Vehicle XAM 2.0: Design and Optimization of the Composite Suspension System

The use of composite materials is very important in automotive field to meet the European emission and consumption standards set for 2020. The most important challenge is to apply composite materials in structural applications not only in racing vehicles or supercars, but also in mass-production vehicles. In this paper is presented a real case study, that is the suspension wishbone arm (with convergence tie and pull-rod system) of the XAM 2.0 urban vehicle prototype, that it has the particular characteristics that of the front and rear, and left and right suspension system has the same geometry. The starting point has been an existing solution made in aluminum to manufacture a composite one.
Technical Paper

Fluid-Dynamic Modeling and Advanced Control Strategies for a Gaseous-Fuel Injection System

Sustainable mobility has become a major issue for internal combustion engines and has led to increasing research efforts in the field of alternative fuels, such as bio-fuel, CNG and hydrogen addition, as well as into engine design and control optimization. To that end, a thorough control of the air-to-fuel ratio appears to be mandatory in SI engine in order to meet the even more stringent thresholds set by the current regulations. The accuracy of the air/fuel mixture highly depends on the injection system dynamic behavior and to its coupling to the engine fluid-dynamic. Thus, a sound investigation into the mixing process can only be achieved provided that a proper analysis of the injection rail and of the injectors is carried out. The present paper carries out a numerical investigation into the fluid dynamic behavior of a commercial CNG injection system by means of a 0D-1D code.
Technical Paper

Modal Analysis as a Design Tool for Dynamical Optimization of Common Rail Fuel Injection Systems

A challenging task that is required to modern injection systems is represented by the enhanced control of the injected quantities, especially when small injections are considered, such as, pilot and main shots in the context of multiple injections. The propagation of the pressure waves triggered by the nozzle opening and closure events through the high-pressure hydraulic circuit can influence and alter the performance of the injection apparatus. For this reason, an investigation of the injection system fluid dynamics in the frequency domain has been proposed. A complete lumped parameter model of the high-pressure hydraulic circuit has been applied to perform a modal analysis. The visualization of the main vibration modes of the apparatus allows a detailed and deep comprehension of the system dynamics. Furthermore, the possible resonances, which are induced by the action of the external forcing terms, have been identified.
Technical Paper

Design the City Vehicle XAM using CFD Analysis

XAM is a two-seat city vehicle prototype developed at the Politecnico di Torino, equipped with a hybrid propulsion system to obtain low consumptions and reduced environmental impact. The design of this vehicle was guided by the requirements of weight reduction and aerodynamic optimization of the body, aimed at obtaining a reduction of resistance while guarantying roominess. The basic shape of the vehicle corresponding to the requirements of style, ergonomics and structure were deeply studied through CFD simulation in order to assess its aerodynamic performance (considering the vehicle as a whole or the influence of the various details and of their changes separately). The most critical areas of the body (underfloor, tail, spoiler, mirrors, A-pillar) were analyzed creating dedicated refinement volumes.
Technical Paper

Multi-objective Optimization of a Multifunctional Structure through a MOGA and SOM based Methodology

A Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO) problem concerning the thermal control problem of Multifunctional Structures (MFSs) is here addressed. In particular the use of Multi-Objective algorithms from an optimization tool and Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) is proposed for the identification of the optimal topological distribution of the heating components for a multifunctional test panel, the Advanced Bread Board (ABB). MFSs are components that conduct many functions within a single piece of hardware, shading the clearly defined boundaries that identify traditional subsystems. Generally speaking, MFSs have already proved to be a disrupting technology, especially in aeronautics and space application fields. The case study exploited in this paper refers to a demonstrator breadboard called ABB. ABB belongs to a particular subset of an extensive family of MFS, that is, of thermo-structural panels with distributed electronics and a health monitoring network.
Technical Paper

Digital Shaping and Optimization of Fuel Injection Pattern for a Common Rail Automotive Diesel Engine through Numerical Simulation

Development trends in modern Common Rail Fuel Injection System (FIS) show dramatically increasing capabilities in terms of optimization of the fuel injection pattern through a constantly increasing number of injection events per engine cycle along with a modulation and shaping of the injection rate. In order to fully exploit the potential of the abovementioned fuel injection pattern optimization, numerical simulation can play a fundamental role by allowing the creation of a kind of a virtual injection rate generator for the assessment of the corresponding engine outputs in terms of combustion characteristics such as burn rate, emission formation and combustion noise (CN). This paper is focused on the analysis of the effects of digitalization of pilot events in the injection pattern on Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC), CN and emissions for a EURO 6 passenger car 4-cylinder diesel engine.
Technical Paper

Efficient Procedure for Robust Optimal Design of Aerospace Laminated Structures

Innovative aircraft design studies have noted that uncertainty effects could become significant and greatly emphasized during the conceptual design phases due to the scarcity of information about the new aero-structure being designed. The introduction of these effects in design methodologies are strongly recommended in order to perform a consistent evaluation of structural integrity. The benefit to run a Robust Optimization is the opportunity to take into account uncertainties inside the optimization process obtaining a set of robust solutions. A major drawback of performing Robust Multi-Objective Optimization is the computational time required. The proposed research focus on the reduction of the computational time using mathematic and computational techniques. In the paper, a generalized approach to operate a Robust Multi-Objective Optimization (RMOO) for Aerospace structure using MSC software Patran/Nastran to evaluate the Objectives Function, is proposed.
Technical Paper

Application of Structural Topology Optimization to Couple Thin-Walled Stiffened Box-Beams

Future generations of civil aircrafts and unconventional unmanned configurations demand for innovative structural concepts to improve the structural performance, and thus reduce the structural weight, but also to allow possible material couplings to be made. Static and dynamic aeroelastic stability can be altered by these couplings. It is therefore necessary to use an accurate and computationally efficient beam model during the preliminary design phase. A stiffened box, made of isotropic material, but with the stiffeners oriented so that they originate the expected bending/torsion coupling, is considered in the present work. The overall equivalent bending, torsional and coupled stiffness is derived by means of homogenization of the shell skin and of the stiffener plate stiffness. A new equivalent homogeneous orthotropic material is determined and introduced into the equivalent plate configuration.
Technical Paper

Common Rail without Accumulator: Development, Theoretical-Experimental Analysis and Performance Enhancement at DI-HCCI Level of a New Generation FIS

An innovative hydraulic layout for Common Rail (C.R.) fuel injection systems was proposed and realized. The rail was replaced by a high-pressure pipe junction to have faster dynamic system response during engine transients, smaller pressure induced stresses and sensibly reduced production costs. Compared to a commercial rail, whose inside volume ranges from 20 to 40 cm3, such a junction provided a hydraulic capacitance of about 2 cm3 and had the main function of connecting the pump delivery to the electroinjector feeding pipes. In the design of the novel FIS layout, the choice of high-pressure pipe dimensions was critical for system performance optimization. Injector supplying pipes with length and inner diameter out of the actual production range were selected and applied, for stabilizing the system pressure level during an injection event and reduce pressure wave oscillations.
Technical Paper

Application of Genetic Algorithm for the Calibration of the Kinetic Scheme of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst Model

In this work, a methodology for building and calibrating the kinetic scheme for the 1D CFD model of a zone-coated automotive Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) by means of a Genetic Algorithm (GA) approach is presented. The methodology consists of a preliminary experimental activity followed by a modelling, optimization and validation process. The tested aftertreatment component presents zone coating, with the front brick side covered with Zeolites in order to ensure hydrocarbons trapping at low temperature, and Platinum Group Metal (PGM), while the rear brick side presents an alumina washcoat with a different PGM loading. Reactor scale samples representative of each coating zone were tested on a Synthetic Gas Bench (SGB), to fully characterize the component’s behavior in terms of Light-off and hydrocarbons (HC) storage for a wide range of inlet feed compositions and temperatures, representative of engine-out conditions.
Technical Paper

Driveline Backlash and Half-shaft Torque Estimation for Electric Powertrains Control

The nonlinear behavior of automotive powertrains is mainly due to the presence of backlash between engaging components. In particular, during tip-in or tip-out maneuvers, backlash allows the generation of impacts that negatively affect the vehicle NVH performance. Due to the faster response of electric motors with respect to conventional internal combustion engines, this problem is even more critical for electric vehicles. In order to employ numerical optimal control methods for backlash compensation, the system states have to be known. In this paper, an electric powertrain is modeled as a two-mass oscillator with lumped backlash. This model estimates the system states when in no-contact mode while a Kalman filter that relies only on commonly available speed measurements is active in the contact phase. The powertrain model is validated using experimental data collected during vehicle testing and the online estimated half-shaft torque is shown.
Journal Article

Numerical and Experimental Assessment of a Solenoid Common-Rail Injector Operation with Advanced Injection Strategies

The selection and tuning of the Fuel Injection System (FIS) are among the most critical tasks for the automotive diesel engine design engineers. In fact, the injection strongly affects the combustion phenomena through which controlling a wide range of related issues such as pollutant emissions, combustion noise and fuel efficiency becomes feasible. In the scope of the engine design optimization, the simulation is an efficient tool in order to both predict the key performance parameters of the FIS, and to reduce the amount of experiments needed to reach the final product configuration. In this work a complete characterization of a solenoid ballistic injector for a Light-Duty Common Rail system was therefore implemented in a commercially available one-dimensional computational software called GT-SUITE. The main phenomena governing the injector operation were simulated by means of three sub-models (electro-magnetic, hydraulic and mechanical).