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Journal Article

Acoustic Emission Processing for Turbocharged GDI Engine Control Applications

In the field of passenger car engines, recent research advances have proven the effectiveness of downsized, turbocharged and direct injection concepts, applied to gasoline combustion systems, to reduce the overall fuel consumption while respecting particularly stringent exhaust emissions limits. Knock and turbocharger control are two of the most critical factors that influence the achievement of maximum efficiency and satisfactory drivability, for this new generation of engines. The sound emitted from an engine encloses many information related to its operating condition. In particular, the turbocharger whistle and the knock clink are unmistakable sounds. This paper presents the development of real-time control functions, based on direct measurement of the engine acoustic emission, captured by an innovative and low cost acoustic sensor, implemented on a platform suitable for on-board application.
Technical Paper

Application of Acoustic and Vibration-Based Knock Detection Techniques to a High Speed Engine

Knock control systems based on engine block vibrations analysis are widely adopted in passenger car engines, but such approach shows its main limits at high engine speeds, since knock intensity measurement becomes less reliable due to the increased background mechanical noise. For small two wheelers engines, knock has not been historically considered a crucial issue, mainly due to small-sized combustion chambers and mixture enrichment. Due to more stringent emission regulations and in search of reduced CO2 emissions, an effective on-board knock controller acquires today greater importance also for motorcycle applications, since it could protect the engine when different fuel types are used, and it could significantly reduce fuel consumption (by avoiding lambda enrichment and/or allowing higher compression ratios to be adopted). These types of engines typically work at high rotational speeds and the reduced signal to noise ratio makes knock onset difficult to identify.
Journal Article

Assessment of the Influence of GDI Injection System Parameters on Soot Emission and Combustion Stability through a Numerical and Experimental Approach

The next steps of the current European and US legislation, EURO 6c and LEV III, and the incoming new test cycles will impose more severe restrictions on pollutant emissions for Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines. In particular, soot emission limits will represent a challenge for the development of this kind of engine concept, if injection and after-treatment systems costs are to be minimized at the same time. The paper illustrates the results obtained by means of a numerical and experimental approach, in terms of soot emissions and combustion stability assessment and control, especially during catalyst-heating conditions, where the main soot quantity in the test cycle is produced. A number of injector configurations has been designed by means of a CAD geometrical analysis, considering the main effects of the spray target on wall impingement.
Technical Paper

Automatic Combustion Control for Calibration Purposes in a GDI Turbocharged Engine

Combustion phasing is crucial to achieve high performance and efficiency: for gasoline engines control variables such as Spark Advance (SA), Air-to-Fuel Ratio (AFR), Variable Valve Timing (VVT), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Tumble Flaps (TF) can influence the way heat is released. The optimal control setting can be chosen taking into account performance indicators, such as Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP), Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC), pollutant emissions, or other indexes inherent to reliability issues, such as exhaust gas temperature, or knock intensity. Given the high number of actuations, the calibration of control parameters is becoming challenging.
Technical Paper

Benchmark Comparison of Commercially Available Systems for Particle Number Measurement

Measurement of particle number was introduced in the Euro 5/6 light duty vehicle emissions regulation. Due to the complex nature of combustion exhaust particles, and to transportation, transformation and deposition mechanisms, such type of measurement is particularly complex, and regression analysis is commonly used for the comparison of different measurement systems. This paper compares various commercial instruments, developing a correlation analysis focused on PN (Particle Number) measurement, and isolating the factors that mainly influence each measuring method. In particular, the experimental activity has been conducted to allow critical comparisons between measurement techniques that are imposed by current regulations and instruments that can be used also on the test cell. The paper presents the main results obtained by analyzing instruments based on different physical principles, and the effects of different sampling locations and different operating parameters.
Journal Article

Benchmarking Hybrid Concepts: On-Line vs. Off-Line Fuel Economy Optimization for Different Hybrid Architectures

The recent advance in the development of various hybrid vehicle technologies comes along with the need of establishing optimal energy management strategies, in order to minimize both fuel economy and pollutant emissions, while taking into account an increasing number of state and control variables, depending on the adopted hybrid architecture. One of the objectives of this research was to establish benchmarking performance, in terms of fuel economy, for real time on-board management strategies, such as ECMS (Equivalent Consumption Minimization Strategy), whose structure has been implemented in a SIMULINK model for different hybrid vehicle concepts.
Technical Paper

Combined Optimization of Energy and Battery Thermal Management Control for a Plug-in HEV

This paper presents an optimization algorithm, based on discrete dynamic programming, that aims to find the optimal control inputs both for energy and thermal management control strategies of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, in order to minimize the energy consumption over a given driving mission. The chosen vehicle has a complex P1-P4 architecture, with two electrical machines on the front axle and an additional one directly coupled with the engine, on the rear axle. In the first section, the algorithm structure is presented, including the cost-function definition, the disturbances, the state variables and the control variables chosen for the optimal control problem formulation. The second section reports the simplified quasi-static analytical model of the powertrain, which has been used for backward optimization. For this purpose, only the vehicle longitudinal dynamics have been considered.
Journal Article

Combustion Indexes for Innovative Combustion Control

The continuous development of modern Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) management systems is mainly aimed at combustion control improvement. Nowadays, performing an efficient combustion control is crucial for drivability improvement, efficiency increase and pollutant emissions reduction. These aspects are even more crucial when innovative combustions (such as LTC or RCCI) are performed, due to the high instability and the high sensitivity with respect to the injection parameters that are associated to this kind of combustion. Aging of all the components involved in the mixture preparation and combustion processes is another aspect particularly challenging, since not all the calibrations developed in the setup phase of a combustion control system may still be valid during engine life.
Technical Paper

Conceptual Design and Analytic Assessment of 48V Electric Hybrid Powertrain Architectures for Passenger Cars

To meet the requirements in relation to pollutants, CO2-emissions, performances, comfort and costs for 2025 timeframe, many technology options for the powertrain, that plays a key role in the vehicle, are possible. Beside the central aspect of reducing standard cycle consumption levels and emissions, consumer demands are also growing with respect to comfort and functionality. In addition, there is also the challenge of finding cost efficient ways of integrating technologies into a broad range of vehicles with different levels of hybridization. High degrees of electrification simultaneously provide opportunities to reduce the technology content of the internal combustion engines (ICE), resulting in a cost balancing compromise between combustion engine and hybrid technology. The design and optimization of powertrain topologies, functionalities, and components require a complex development process.
Journal Article

Development and Implementation of Hardware in the Loop Simulation for Dual Clutch Transmission Control Units

A control oriented model of a Dual Clutch Transmission was developed for real time Hardware In the Loop (HIL) applications. The model is an innovative attempt to reproduce the fast dynamics of the actuation system maintaining a step size large enough for real time applications. The model comprehends a detailed physical description of hydraulic circuit, clutches, synchronizers and gears, and simplified vehicle and internal combustion engine sub-models; a stable real time simulation is achieved with a simplification of the model without losing physical validity. After an offline validation, the model was implemented in a HIL system and connected to the TCU (Transmission Control Unit) via two input-output boards, and to a load plate which comprehends all the actuators.
Technical Paper

Development and Software in the Loop Validation of a Model-based Water Injection Combustion Controller for a GDI TC Engine

Turbocharged (TC) engines work at high Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP), resulting in high in-cylinder pressures and temperatures, improving thermal efficiency, but at the same time increasing the possibility of abnormal combustion events like knock and pre-ignition. To mitigate knocking conditions, engine control systems typically apply spark retard and/or mixture enrichment, which decrease indicated work and increase specific fuel consumption. Many recent studies have advocated Water Injection (WI) as an approach to replace or supplement existing knock mitigation techniques. Water reduces temperatures in the end gas zone due to its high latent heat of vaporization. Furthermore, water vapor acts as diluent in the combustion process. In this paper, the development of a novel closed-loop, model-based WI controller is discussed and critically analyzed.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Control-Oriented Analytic Engine Simulator

Due to the recent anti-pollution policies, the performance increase in Spark Ignition (SI) engines is currently under the focus of automotive manufacturers. This trend drives control systems designers to investigate accurate solutions and build more sophisticated algorithms to increase the efficiency of this kind of engines. The development of a control strategy is composed of several phases and steps, and the first part of such process is typically spent in defining and investigating the logic of the strategy. During this phase it is often useful to have a light engine simulator, which allows to have robust synthetic combustion data with a low calibration and computational effort. In the first part of this paper, a description of the control-oriented ANalytical Engine SIMulator (ANESIM) is carried out.
Journal Article

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Supply System Modelling for Control and Diagnosis Applications

The Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system installed on the exhaust line is currently widely used on Diesel heavy-duty trucks and it is considered a promising technique for light and medium duty trucks, large passenger cars and off-highway vehicles, to fulfill future emission legislation. Some vehicles of these last categories, equipped with SCR, have been already put on the market, not only in the US, where the emission legislation on Diesel vehicles is more restrictive, but also in Europe, demonstrating to be already compliant with the upcoming Euro 6. Moreover, new and more stringent emission regulations and homologation cycles are being proposed all over the world, with a consequent rapidly increasing interest for this technology. As a matter of fact, a physical model of the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) supply system is very useful, not only during the product development phase, but also for the implementation of the on-board real-time controller.
Technical Paper

Engine Acoustic Emission Used as a Control Input: Applications to Diesel Engines

The need for strategies that allow managing combustion in an adaptive way has recently widely increased. Especially Diesel engines aimed for clean combustion require a precise control of the combustion outputs. Acoustic emission of internal combustion engines contains a lot of information related to engine behavior and working conditions. Mechanical noise and combustion noise are usually the main contributions to the noise produced by an engine. Combustion noise in particular can be used as an indicator of the combustion that is taking place inside the combustion chamber and therefore as a reference for the control strategy. This work discusses the correlations existing between in cylinder combustion and the acoustic emission radiated by the engine and presents a possible approach to use this signal in the engine management system for control purposes.
Technical Paper

Ethanol to Gasoline Ratio Detection via Time-Frequency Analysis of Engine Acoustic Emission

In order to reduce both polluting emissions and fuel costs, many countries allow mixing ethanol to gasoline either in fixed percentages or in variable percentages. The resulting fuel is labeled E10 or E22, where the number specifies the ethanol percentage. This operation significantly changes way the stoichiometric value, which is the air-to-fuel mass ratio theoretically needed to completely burn the mixture. Ethanol concentration must be correctly estimated by the Engine Management System to optimally control exhaust emissions, fuel economy and engine performance. In fact, correct fuel quality recognition allows estimating the actual stoichiometric value, thus allowing the catalyst system to operate at maximum efficiency in any engine working point. Moreover, also other essential engine control functions should be adapted in real time by taking into account the quality of the fuel that is being used.
Technical Paper

Experimental Validation of a Model-Based Water Injection Combustion Control System for On-Board Application

Water Injection (WI) has become a key technology for increasing combustion efficiency in modern GDI turbocharged engines. In fact, the addition of water mitigates significantly the occurrence of knock, reduces exhaust gas temperatures, and opens the possibility to reach optimum heat release phasing even at high load. This work presents the latest development of a model-based WI controller, and its experimental validation on a GDI TC engine. The controller is based on a novel approach that involves an analytic combustion model to define the spark advance (SA) required to reach a combustion phase target, considering injected water mass effects. The calibration and experimental validation of the proposed controller is shown in detail in the paper.
Technical Paper

Fast Algorithm for On-Board Torque Estimation

Electronic Throttle Control systems substitute the driver in commanding throttle position, with the driver acting on a potentiometer connected to the accelerator pedal. Such strategies allow precise control of air-fuel ratio and of other parameters, e.g. engine efficiency or vehicle driveability, but require detailed information about the engine operating conditions, in order to be implemented inside the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). In order to determine throttle position, an interpretation of the driver desire (revealed by the accelerator pedal position) is performed by the ECU. In our approach, such interpretation is carried out in terms of a torque request that can be appropriately addressed knowing the actual engine-vehicle operating conditions, which depend on the acting torques. Estimates of the torque due to in-cylinder pressure (indicated torque), as well as the torque required by the vehicle (load torque), must then be available to the control module.
Journal Article

Individual Cylinder Air-Fuel Ratio Control for Engines with Unevenly Spaced Firing Order

The most recent European regulations for two- and three-wheelers (Euro 5) are imposing an enhanced combustion control in motorcycle engines to respect tighter emission limits, and Air-Fuel Ratio (AFR) closed-loop control has become a key function of the engine management system also for this type of applications. In a multi-cylinder engine, typically only one oxygen sensor is installed on each bank, so that the mean AFR of two or more cylinders rather than the single cylinder one is actually controlled. The installation of one sensor per cylinder is normally avoided due to cost, layout and reliability issues. In the last years, several studies were presented to demonstrate the feasibility of an individual AFR controller based on a single sensor. These solutions are based on the mathematical modelling of the engine air path dynamics, or on the frequency analysis of the lambda probe signal.
Journal Article

Injection Pattern Design for Real Time Control of Diesel Engine Acoustic Emission

Upcoming more stringent emission regulations throughout the world pose a real challenge, especially in regard to Diesel systems for passenger cars, where the need of additional after-treatment has a big impact in terms of additional system costs and available packaging space. Therefore, the need for strategies that allow managing combustion towards lower emissions, that require a precise control of the combustion outputs, is definitely increasing. Acoustic emission of internal combustion engines contains a large amount of information related to engine behavior and working conditions. Mechanical noise and combustion noise are usually the main contributions to the noise produced by an engine. In particular, recent research from the same authors of this paper demonstrated that combustion noise can be used as an indicator of the combustion that is taking place inside the combustion chamber and therefore as a reference for the control strategy.
Technical Paper

Injection Pattern Investigation for Gasoline Partially Premixed Combustion Analysis

Nowadays, compression-ignited engines are considered the most efficient and reliable technology for automotive applications. However, mainly due to the current emission regulations, that require increasingly stringent reductions of NOx and particulate matter, the use of diesel-like fuels is becoming a critical issue. For this reason, a large amount of research and experimentation is being carried out to investigate innovative combustion techniques suitable to simultaneously mitigate the production of NOx and soot, while improving engine efficiency. In this scenario, the combined use of compression-ignited engines and gasoline-like fuels proved to be very promising, especially in case the fuel is directly-injected in the combustion chamber at high pressure. The presented study analyzes the combustion process produced by the direct injection of small amounts of gasoline in a compression-ignited light-duty engine.