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Journal Article

An Engine Thermal Management System Design for Military Ground Vehicle - Simultaneous Fan, Pump and Valve Control

The pursuit of greater fuel economy in internal combustion engines requires the optimization of all subsystems including thermal management. The reduction of cooling power required by the electromechanical coolant pump, radiator fan(s), and thermal valve demands real time control strategies. To maintain the engine temperature within prescribed limits for different operating conditions, the continual estimation of the heat removal needs and the synergistic operation of the cooling system components must be accomplished. The reductions in thermal management power consumption can be achieved by avoiding unnecessary overcooling efforts which are often accommodated by extreme thermostat valve positions. In this paper, an optimal nonlinear controller for a military M-ATV engine cooling system will be presented. The prescribed engine coolant temperature will be tracked while minimizing the pump, fan(s), and valve power usage.
Technical Paper

Conceptualization and Implementation of a Scalable Powertrain, Modular Energy Storage and an Alternative Cooling System on a Student Concept Vehicle

The Deep Orange program immerses automotive engineering students into the world of an OEM as part of their 2-year graduate education. In support of developing the program’s seventh vehicle concept, the students studied the sponsoring brand essence, conducted market research, and made a heuristic assessment of competitor vehicles. The upfront research lead to the definition of target customers and setting vehicle level targets that were broken down into requirements to develop various vehicle sub-systems. The powertrain team was challenged to develop a scalable propulsion concept enabled by a common vehicle architecture that allowed future customers to select (at the point of purchase) among various levels of electrification best suiting their needs and personal desires. Four different configurations were identified and developed: all-electric, two plug-in hybrid electric configurations, and an internal combustion engine only.
Technical Paper

Modeling and Validation of Automotive “Smart” Thermal Management System Architectures

The functionality and performance of an internal combustion (spark or compression ignition) engine's thermal management system can be significantly enhanced through the application of mechatronics technology. The replacement of the conventional thermostat valve and mechanical coolant pump in the heating/cooling system by a servo-motor driven smart valve and variable flow pump permits powertrain control module regulated coolant flow through the engine block and radiator. In this paper, a dynamic mathematical model will be created for a 4.6L spark ignition engine to analyze various thermal management system architectures. The designs to be studied include the factory configuration, a smart valve upgrade, and the smart valve combined with a variable flow pump and radiator fan. Representative results are presented and discussed to demonstrate improvements in the engine warm-up time, temperature tracking, and component power consumption.
Technical Paper

Coolant Flow Control Strategies for Automotive Thermal Management Systems

The automotive thermal management system is responsible for maintaining engine and passenger compartment temperatures, which promote normal combustion events and passenger comfort. This system traditionally circulates a water ethylene glycol mixture through the engine block using a belt-driven water pump, wax pellet thermostat valve, radiator with electric fan, and heater core. Although vehicle cooling system performance has been reliable and acceptable for many decades, advances in mechatronics have permitted upgrades to powertrain and chassis components. In a similar spirit, the introduction of a variable speed electric water pump and servo-motor thermostat valve allows ECU-based thermal control. This paper examines the integration of an electric water pump and intelligent thermostat valve to satisfy the engine's basic cooling requirements, minimize combustion chamber fluctuations due to engine speed changes, and permit quick heating of a cold block.
Technical Paper

Advanced Thermal Management for Internal Combustion Engines - Valve Design, Component Testing and Block Redesign

Advanced engine cooling systems can enhance the combustion environment, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce tailpipe emissions with less parasitic engine load. The introduction of computer controlled electro-mechanical valves, radiator fans, and coolant pumps require mathematic models and real time algorithms to implement intelligent thermal control strategies for prescribed engine temperature tracking. Smart butterfly valves can replace the traditional wax-based thermostat to control the coolant flow based on both engine temperature and operating conditions. The electric water pump and radiator fan replace the mechanically driven components to reduce unnecessary engine loads at high speeds and provide better cooling at low speeds.
Technical Paper

Thermal Modeling of Engine Components for Temperature Prediction and Fluid Flow Regulation

The operation of internal combustion engines depend on the successful management of the fuel, spark, and cooling processes to ensure acceptable performance, emission levels, and fuel economy. Two different thermal management systems exist for engines - air and liquid cooling. Smaller displacement utility and spark ignition aircraft engines typically feature air cooled systems which rely on forced convection over the exterior engine surfaces. In contrast, passenger/light-duty engines use a water-ethylene glycol mixture which circulates through the radiator, water pump, and heater core. The regulation of the overall engine temperature, based on the coolant's temperature, has been achieved with the thermostat valve and (electric) radiator fan. To provide insight into the thermal behavior of the cylinder-head assembly for enhanced cooling system operation, a dynamic model must exist.
Journal Article

A Real-Time Model for Spark Ignition Engine Combustion Phasing Prediction

As engines are equipped with an increased number of control actuators to meet fuel economy targets they become more difficult to control and calibrate. The large number of control actuators encourages the investigation of physics-based control strategies to reduce calibration time and complexity. Of particular interest is spark timing control and calibration since it has a significant influence on engine efficiency, emissions, vibration and durability. Spark timing determination to achieve a desired combustion phasing is currently an empirical process that occurs during the calibration phase of engine development. This process utilizes a large number of stored surfaces and corrections to account for the wide range of operating environments and conditions that a given engine will experience. An obstacle to realizing feedforward physics-based combustion phasing control is the requirement for an accurate and fast combustion model.
Journal Article

Model-Based Optimal Combustion Phasing Control Strategy for Spark Ignition Engines

Combustion phasing of Spark Ignition (SI) engines is traditionally regulated with map-based spark timing (SPKT) control. The calibration time and effort of this feed forward SPKT control strategy becomes less favorable as the number of engine control actuators increases. This paper proposes a model based combustion phasing control frame work. The feed forward control law is obtained by real time numerical optimization utilizing a high-fidelity combustion model that is based on flame entrainment theory. An optimization routine identifies the SPKT which phases the combustion close to the target without violating combustion constraints of knock and excessive cycle-by-cycle covariance of indicated mean effective pressure (COV of IMEP). Cylinder pressure sensors are utilized to enable feedback control of combustion phasing. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is applied to reject sensor noise and combustion variation from the cylinder pressure signal.
Journal Article

A Thermal Bus for Vehicle Cooling Applications - Design and Analysis

Designing an efficient cooling system with low power consumption is of high interest in the automotive engineering community. Heat generated due to the propulsion system and the on-board electronics in ground vehicles must be dissipated to avoid exceeding component temperature limits. In addition, proper thermal management will offer improved system durability and efficiency while providing a flexible, modular, and reduced weight structure. Traditional cooling systems are effective but they typically require high energy consumption which provides motivation for a paradigm shift. This study will examine the integration of passive heat rejection pathways in ground vehicle cooling systems using a “thermal bus”. Potential solutions include heat pipes and composite fibers with high thermal properties and light weight properties to move heat from the source to ambient surroundings.
Technical Paper

Use of Machine Learning for Real-Time Non-Linear Model Predictive Engine Control

Non-linear model predictive engine control (nMPC) systems have the ability to reduce calibration effort while improving transient engine response. The main drawback of nMPC for engine control is the computational power required to realize real-time operation. Most of this computational power is spent linearizing the non-linear plant model at each time step. Additionally, the effectiveness of the nMPC system relies heavily on the accuracy of the model(s) used to predict the future system behavior, which can be difficult to model physically. This paper introduces a hybrid modeling approach for internal combustion engines that combines physics-based and machine learning techniques to generate accurate models that can be linearized with low computational power. This approach preserves the generalization and robustness of physics-based models, while maintaining high accuracy of data-driven models. Advantages of applying the proposed model with nMPC are discussed.
Journal Article

Automotive Waste Heat Recovery after Engine Shutoff in Parking Lots

1 The efficiency of internal combustion engines remains a research challenge given the mechanical friction and thermodynamic losses. Although incremental engine design changes continue to emerge, the harvesting of waste heat represents an immediate opportunity to address improved energy utilization. An external mobile thermal recovery system for gasoline and diesel engines is proposed for use in parking lots based on phase change material cartridges. Heat is extracted via a retrofitted conduction plate beneath the engine block after engine shutoff. An autonomous robot attaches the cartridge to the plate and transfers the heat from the block to the Phase Change Material (PCM) and returns later to retrieve the packet. These reusable cartridges are then driven to a Heat Extraction and Recycling Tower (HEART) facility where a heat exchanger harvests the thermal energy stored in the cartridges.
Technical Paper

A Review of Spark-Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) Research in the Context of Realizing Production Control Strategies

This paper seeks to identify key input parameters needed to achieve a production-viable control strategy for spark-assisted compression ignition (SACI) engines. SACI is a combustion strategy that uses a spark plug to initiate a deflagration flame that generates sufficient ignition energy to trigger autoignition in the remaining charge. The flame propagation phase limits the rate of cylinder pressure rise, while autoignition rapidly completes combustion. High dilution within the autoignited charge is generally required to maintain reaction rates feasible for production. However, this high dilution may not be reliably ignited by the spark plug. These competing constraints demand novel mixture preparation strategies for SACI to be feasible in production. SACI with charge stratification has demonstrated sufficiently stable flame propagation to reliably trigger autoignition across much of the engine operating map.