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Technical Paper

Concept of Vehicle Electric Power Flow Management System (VEF)

Increasing electric loads in a vehicle causes over-discharge of a battery and drag torque due to an alternator. This paper gives a system concept of vehicle electric power flow management to solve these issues. Its primary function includes preserving electricity in a battery, stabilizing electric bus voltage, interfacing with vehicle torque control system, and improving fuel economy. The key point to realize such a system is a unified structure. It offers ‘Plug and Play’ function for electric power management components. Newly developed Vehicle Electric Power Flow Management System (VEF ) totally controls electric power flow in a vehicle. VEF contains an Electric Power Manager and its functional sub-systems, and controls them with the key parameter ‘electric power’. The sub-system includes Generation, Storage, Conversion, and Distribution to the loads.
Technical Paper

Super Ignition Spark Plug with Fine Center & Ground Electrodes

Spark plugs with higher ignitability are continuously in great demand to realize high fuel efficiency and low emissions. To meet this demand, DENSO launched the Iridium Spark Plug in 1997, which realized the two characteristics that had been conventionally difficult to achieve concurrently-high ignitability and long life. The development of this product was enabled by miniaturizing the center electrode, produced using DENSO's original, highly wear-resistant iridium alloy (featuring a high melting point and excellent oxidation resistance). While spark plugs are now required to have a longer service life, they are also required to be higher in ignitability, as exhaust gas regulations have been tightened recently. However, the effort to miniaturize the center electrode is reaching a limit.
Technical Paper

Study on Flame Behavior Control by the Electric Field

The purpose of this study is to elucidate flame propagation behavior of homogeneous propane-air mixture under application of non-uniform electric field. A needle-shaped electrode was attached to the ceiling and a plate electrode was set at bottom of combustion chamber, so that the electric field was applied in the direction of the chamber's vertical axis. A homogeneous propane-air mixture was supplied at equivalence ratio of 1.0 and was ignited by leaser induced breakdown under atmospheric pressure and room temperature. It was found that the flame front and plate electrode were repelled each other and a thin air layer was formed between the flame and plate electrode when a relatively low positive DC non-uniform electric field was applied to the needle-shaped electrode. It might be thought that the induced current was generated in the flame front, so that the flame front and plate electrode repelled each other.
Technical Paper

Mixed Signal Power IC for Automotive Electronics

Many ICs are used in various electronic components in automotive applications, such as ECUs (electronic control units) and smart actuators. Automotive ICs required the following features: (1) high integration of analog, digital and output devices; (2) high breakdown voltage for analog devices standing the battery voltage; (3) highly accurate control for analog circuits; (4) susceptibility under harsh operating conditions, such as high ambient temperature and high humidity; and (5) high surge immunity such as ESD (electrostatic discharge) robustness. To meet these requirements, we developed analog and output devices with improved surge endurance based on SOI wafer and trench-dielectric-isolation technologies. Analog circuit applications, especially accurate power management or high-precision solenoid driving, demands stable temperature-compensated output. Load dump and battery-jumping also needs high voltage protection and high noise immunity for these devices.