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Technical Paper

Improvement in Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel Consumption and Cyclic Variability with Pulsed Energy Spark Plug

Conventional spark plugs ignite a fuel-air mixture via an electric-to-plasma energy transfer; the effectiveness of which can be described by an electric-to-plasma energy efficiency. Although conventional spark plug electric-to-plasma efficiencies have historically been viewed as adequate, it might be wondered how an increase in such an efficiency might translate (if at all) to improvements in the flame initiation period and eventual engine performance of a spark-ignition engine. A modification can be made to the spark plug that places a peaking capacitor in the path of the electrical current; upon coil energizing, the stored energy in the peaking capacitor substantially increases the energy delivered by the spark. A previous study has observed an improvement in the electric-to-plasma energy efficiency to around 50%, whereas the same study observed conventional spark plug electric-to-plasma energy efficiency to remain around 1%.
Technical Paper

Simulation of an Integrated Starter Alternator (ISA) System for the HMMWV

The development and use of a simulation of an Integrated Starter Alternator (ISA) for a High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) is presented here. While the primary purpose of an ISA is to provide electric power for additional accessories, it can also be utilized for mild hybridization of the powertrain. In order to explore ISA's potential for improving HMMWV's fuel economy, an ISA model capable of both producing and absorbing mechanical power has been developed in Simulink. Based on the driver's power request and the State of Charge of the battery (SOC), the power management algorithm determines whether the ISA should contribute power to, or absorb power from the crankshaft. The system is also capable of capturing some of the braking energy and using it to charge the battery. The ISA model and the power management algorithm have been integrated in the Vehicle-Engine SIMulation (VESIM), a SIMULINK-based vehicle model previously developed at the University of Michigan.