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Journal Article

Virtual Motorsports as a Vehicle Dynamics Teaching Tool

The paper describes a ‘virtual motorsports’ event developed by the University of Windsor Vehicle Dynamics and Control Research Group. The event was a competitive project-based component of a Vehicle Dynamics course offered by the University's Department of Mechanical, Automotive, & Materials Engineering. The simulated race was developed to provide fourth year automotive engineering students with design and race experience, similar to that found in Formula SAE®or SAE Baja®, but within the confines of a single academic semester. The project, named ‘Formula463’, was conducted entirely within a virtual environment, and encompassed design, testing, and racing of hi-fidelity virtual vehicle models. The efficacy of the Formula463 program to provide students with a design experience using model based simulation tools and methods has been shown over the past two years. All of the software has been released under a General Public License and is freely available on the authors website.
Technical Paper

Variable Torque Distribution Yaw Moment Control for Hybrid Powertrains

This paper proposes and evaluates the use of a robust variable torque distribution (VTD) yaw moment control for an all wheel drive (AWD) hybrid vehicle prototype currently under development. The proposed VTD controller was used to improve the linearity of vehicle response to driver input through the modulation of front-to-rear torque distribution and a corrective torque differential between the left and right rear wheels. The development of a non-linear vehicle model and a reference model tracking sliding mode based control are discussed. The efficacy of the proposed control system was demonstrated through the use of numerical simulations using the developed non-linear vehicle model. The simulation results presented indicate the effectiveness of the proposed system and the potential restrictions to such a system including tire saturation and drivetrain component limitations.
Technical Paper

The University of Windsor - St. Clair College E85 Silverado

The fuel called E-85 can be burned effectively in engines similar to the engines currently mass-produced for use with gasoline. Since the ethanol component of this fuel is produced from crops such as corn and sugar cane, the fuel is almost fully renewable. The different physical and chemical properties of E-85, however, do require certain modifications to the common gasoline engine. The Windsor - St. Clair team has focused their attention to modifications that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. Other modifications were also performed to ensure that the vehicle would still operate with the same power and driveability as its gasoline counterpart.
Technical Paper

The Band Importance Function in the Evaluation of the Speech Intelligibility Index at the Speech Reception Threshold within a Simulated Driving Environment

This study provides an overview of a novel method for evaluating in-vehicle speech intelligibility using the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII). The approach presented is based on a measured speech signal evaluated at the sentence Speech Reception Threshold (sSRT) in a simulated driving environment. In this context, the impact of different band importance functions in the evaluation of the SII using the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) in a driving simulator is investigated.
Technical Paper

Suitability Study of n-Butanol for Enabling PCCI and HCCI and RCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

This work investigates the suitability of n-butanol for enabling PCCI, HCCI, and RCCI combustion modes to achieve clean and efficient combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Systematic engine tests are conducted at low and medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) and at a medium engine speed of 1500 rpm. Test results indicate that n-butanol is more suitable than diesel to enable PCCI and HCCI combustion with the same engine hardware. However, the combustion phasing control for n-butanol is demanding due to the high combustion sensitivity to variations in engine operating conditions where engine safety concerns (e.g. excessive pressure rise rates) potentially arise. While EGR is the primary measure to control the combustion phasing of n-butanol HCCI, the timing control of n-butanol direct injection in PCCI provides an additional leverage to properly phase the n-butanol combustion.
Technical Paper

Separation and Liberation Factors in Designing for Automotive Materials Recovery

One critical aspect of design-for-environment efforts is to increase the effectiveness of materials recovery from end-of-life vehicles. Recovery itself depends on both the amount of material recovered and the purity of the material stream. Shredding, and screening are often used to separate recyclable materials from wastes. However, with the increasing amount of composite components, particularly those made from plastics, separation processes may be inadequate. Instead, liberation processes, which reduce the physical joints between materials, are also important. In this research, samples of ABS and PVC plastics were assembled into various configurations, ground up, and then characterized by their size distributions and degrees of liberation. Two primary fastening methods - adhesive and riveting - were used to simulate how plastic components would be actually attached together.
Technical Paper

Roof Strength Requirement for Vehicles Involved in Rollover Crash

Rollover crash is one of the most serious safety problems for light weight vehicles. In the USA, rollover crashes account for almost one-third of all occupant fatalities in light weight vehicles. Similar statistics are found for other countries. Thus, rollover crashes have received significant attention in recent years. In the USA and Canada, automotive manufacturers are required to comply with the roof strength requirement of “1.5 times the unloaded vehicle weight” to ensure safety in rollover. NHTSA is currently considering a set of countermeasures to improve the rollover safety, where one of the proposals is to increase the roof strength limit to “2.5 times the unloaded vehicle weight”. This increased roof strength limit seemingly has been motivated based on the benchmark study of current vehicle fleet.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Testing of n-Butanol HCCI on High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

The control of combustion phasing in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is investigated with neat n-butanol in this work. HCCI is a commonly researched combustion mode, owing to its improved thermal efficiency over conventional gasoline combustion, as well as its lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions compared to those of diesel combustion. Despite these advantages, HCCI lacks successful widespread implementation with conventional fuels, primarily due to the lack of effective combustion phasing control. In this preliminary study, chemical kinetic simulations are conducted to study the auto-ignition characteristics of n-butanol under varied background pressures, temperatures, and dilution levels using established mechanisms in CHEMKIN software. Increasing the pressure or temperature lead to a shorter ignition delay, whereas increasing the dilution by the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leads to a longer ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Performance of Stirling Engine Hybrid Electric Vehicles: A Simulation Approach

Hybrid Vehicles have gained momentum in the automotive industry. The joint action of power sources and energy storage systems for energizing the vehicle improves the vehicle's fuel economy while reducing its pollutant emissions and noise levels, challenging automotive designers to optimize vehicle's cost, weight and control. The marketing success of hybrid vehicles significantly depends on the selection, integration and cost of the energy systems. The internal combustion engine, dominant of the vehicle market, has been the “option of choice” for auxiliary power unit of the hybrid vehicle, although other power sources as fuel cells, Stirling engines and gas turbines have been employed as well [1]. This document is focused in the application of Stirling engines as the power source for automobile propulsion.
Technical Paper

New MAC Technologies: Fuel Efficiency Effect in Real Driving of the Air Intake Flap Management

Following the development of new technologies in Vehicle Thermal Management aiming to both enhancing the MAC System efficiency and reducing the thermal load to be managed, a prediction tool based on the AMEsim platform was developed at Advanced PD EMEA. This tool is dedicated to predict the effect of the implementation of sensors monitoring both the relative humidity and the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration (taking into account passengers' generated moisture and CO2). This model implemented with the usual comfort inputs (CO2 and RH acceptable ranges) considers the system variables influencing the comfort and predicts the increase of both RH and CO2 concentration in the cabin compartment in any driving cycle depending on the number of occupants.
Technical Paper

Modular Design and Methods to Optimize Seat Complete Assemblies

Modularity in product architecture and its significance in product development have become an important product design topics in the last few decades. Several Product Modularity definitions and methodologies were developed by many researchers; however, most of the definitions and concepts have proliferated to the extent that it is difficult to apply one universal definition for modular product architecture and in product development. Automotive seat modular strategy and key factors for consideration towards modular seat design and assemblies are the main focus of this work. The primary objectives are focused on the most “natural segmentation” of the seat elements (i.e., cushions, backs, trims, plastics, head restraints, etc.) to enable the greatest ease of final assembly and greatest flexibility for scalable feature offerings around common assembly “hard-points.”
Journal Article

Methods for Evaluating the Functional Work Space for Machine Tools and 6 Axis Serial Robots

The ‘boundary of space’ model representing all possible positions which may be occupied by a mechanism during its normal range of motion (for all positions and orientations) is called the work envelope. In the robotic domain, it is also known as the robot operating envelope or workspace. Several researchers have investigated workspace boundaries for different degrees of freedom (DOF), joint types and kinematic structures utilizing many approaches. The work envelope provides essential boundary information, which is critical for safety and layout concerns, but the work envelope information does not by itself determine the reach feasibility of a desired configuration. The effect of orientation is not captured as well as the coupling related to operational parameters. Included in this are spatial occupancy concerns due to linking multiple kinematic chains, which is an issue with multi-tasking machine tools, and manufacturing cells.
Technical Paper

Low Temperature Combustion Strategies for Compression Ignition Engines: Operability limits and Challenges

Low temperature combustion (LTC) strategies such as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), smokeless rich combustion, and reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) provide for cleaner combustion with ultra-low NOx and soot emissions from compression-ignition engines. However, these strategies vary significantly in their implementation requirements, combustion characteristics, operability limits as well as sensitivity to boundary conditions such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and intake temperature. In this work, a detailed analysis of the aforementioned LTC strategies has been carried out on a high-compression ratio, single-cylinder diesel engine. The effects of intake boost, EGR quantity/temperature, engine speed, injection scheduling and injection pressure on the operability limits have been empirically determined and correlated with the combustion stability and performance metrics.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Journal Article

Heat Release Pattern Diagnostics to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Empirical results indicated that the engine emission and fuel efficiency of low-temperature combustion (LTC) cycles can be optimized by adjusting the fuel-injection scheduling in order to obtain appropriate combustion energy release or heat-release rate patterns. Based on these empirical results the heat-release characteristics were correlated with the regulated emissions such as soot, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen. The transition from conventional combustion to LTC with the desired set of heat-release rate has been implemented. This transition was facilitated with the simplified heat-release characterization wherein each of the consecutive engine cycles was analyzed with a real-time controller embedded with an FPGA (field programmable gate array) device. The analyzed results served as the primary feedback control signals to adjust fuel injection scheduling. The experimental efforts included the boost/backpressure, exhaust gas recirculation, and load transients in the LTC region.
Technical Paper

HCCI Combustion With Internal Fuel Reforming, Varied Levels of EGR and Charge Preheat - A Computational Study

This paper investigates the expansion of the HCCI operating range and combustion control by use of internal fuel reforming with subsequent reduction of NO emissions through Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). The study is focused on multi-step simulation of the engine cycle, comprised of a fuel reformation cycle and a HCCI combustion cycle, with and without EGR. The study is carried out using a single-zone well-stirred reactor model and established reaction mechanisms. The HCCI engine cycle is fueled with a lean mixture of air and ethanol. This study demonstrates that supplementing EGR with internal reforming reduces the NO emissions level. Furthermore, the study shows that internal fuel reforming extends the operational range of HCCI engines into the partial load region and is effective in the combustion onset control. However, the model requires several enhancements in order to moderate the cycle pressure rise and pressure magnitude, and to lower the cycle temperatures and NO emissions.
Journal Article

Fuel Injection Strategies to Improve Emissions and Efficiency of High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

Simultaneous low NOx (< 0.15 g/kWh) & soot (< 0.01 g/kWh) are attainable for enhanced premixed combustion that may lead to higher levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions as the engine cycles move to low temperature combustion, which is a departure from the ultra low hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, typical of the high compression ratio diesel engines. As a result, the fuel efficiency of such modes of combustion is also compromised (up to 5%). In this paper, advanced strategies for fuel injection are devised on a modern 4-cylinder common rail diesel engine modified for single cylinder research. Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles. The fuel injection strategies include single injection with heavy EGR, and early multi-pulse fuel injection under low or medium engine loads respectively.