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Journal Article

A Control-Oriented Knock Intensity Estimator

The performance optimization of modern Spark Ignition engines is limited by knock occurrence: heavily downsized engines often are forced to work in the Knock-Limited Spark Advance (KLSA) range. Knock control systems monitor the combustion process, allowing to achieve a proper compromise between performance and reliability. Combustion monitoring is usually carried out by means of accelerometers or ion sensing systems, but recently the use of cylinder pressure sensors is also becoming frequent in motorsport applications. On the other hand, cylinder pressure signals are often available in the calibration stage, where SA feedback-control based on the pressure signal can be used to avoid damages to the engine during automatic calibration. A predictive real-time combustion model could help optimizing engine performance, without exceeding the allowed knock severity.
Journal Article

A Numerical Model for Flash Boiling of Gasoline-Ethanol Blends in Fuel Injector Nozzles

Fuels are formulated by a variety of different components characterized by chemical and physical properties spanning a wide range of values. Changing the ratio between the mixture component molar fractions, it is possible to fulfill different requirements. One of the main properties that can be strongly affected by mixture composition is the volatility that represents the fuel tendency to vaporize. For example, changing the mixture ratio between alcohols and hydrocarbons, it is possible to vary the mixture saturation pressure, therefore the fuel vaporization ratio during the injection process. This paper presents a 1D numerical model to simulate the superheated injection process of a gasoline-ethanol mixture through real nozzle geometries. In order to test the influence of the mixture properties on flash atomization and flash evaporation, the simulation is repeated for different mixtures characterized by different gasoline-ethanol ratio.
Technical Paper

A RANS CFD 3D Methodology for the Evaluation of the Effects of Cycle By Cycle Variation on Knock Tendency of a High Performance Spark Ignition Engine

Knocking combustions heavily limits the efficiency of Spark Ignition engines. The compression ratio is limited in the design stage of the engine development, letting to Spark Advance control the task of reducing the odds of abnormal combustions. A detailed analysis of knocking events can help improving engine performance and diagnosis strategies. An effective way is to use advanced 3D CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation for the analysis and prediction of combustion performance. Standard 3D CFD approach is based on RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes) equations and allows the analysis of the mean engine cycle. However knocking phenomenon is not deterministic and it is heavily affected by the cycle to cycle variation of engine combustions. A methodology for the evaluation of the effects of CCV (Cycle by Cycle Variability) on knocking combustions is here presented, based on both the use of Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools and experimental information.
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.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Influence of Intake Duct Geometrical Parameters on the Tumble Motion Generation in a Small Gasoline Engine

During the last years the deep re-examination of the engine design for lowering engine emissions involved two-wheel vehicles too. The IC engine overall efficiency plays a fundamental role in determining final raw emissions. From this point of view, the optimization of the in-cylinder flow organization is mandatory. In detail, in SI engines the generation of a coherent tumble vortex having dimensions comparable to the engine stroke could be of primary importance to extend the engines' ignition limits toward the field of the dilute/lean mixtures. For motorbike and motor scooter applications, the optimization of the tumble generation is considered an effective way to improve the combustion system efficiency and to lower emissions, considering also that the two-wheels layout represents an obstacle in adopting the advanced post-treatment concepts designed for automotive applications.
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.
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

CFD Analysis of a Two-Stroke Air Cooled Engine Designed for Handheld Products

Still today, two-stroke engine layout is characterized by a wide share on the market thanks to its simpler construction that allows to reduce production and maintenance costs respecting the four-stroke engine. Two of the main application areas for the two-stroke engines are on small motorbikes and on handheld machines like chainsaws, brush cutters, and blowers. In both these application areas, two-stroke engines are generally equipped by a carburettor to provide the air/fuel mixture formation while the engine cooling is assured by forcing an air stream all around the engine head and cylinder surfaces. Focusing the attention on the two-stroke air-cooling system, it is not easy to assure its effectiveness all around the cylinder surface because the air flow easily separates from the cylinder walls producing local hot-spots on the cylinder itself. This problem can be bounded only by the optimization of the cylinder fin design placed externally to the cylinder surface.
Journal Article

Combination of In-Cylinder Pressure Signal Analysis and CFD Simulation for Knock Detection Purposes

A detailed analysis of knocking events can help improving engine performance and diagnosis strategies. The paper aim is a better understanding of the phenomena involved in knocking combustions through the combination of CFD and signals analysis tools. CFD simulations have been used in order to reproduce knock effect on the in-cylinder pressure trace. In fact, the in-cylinder pressure signal holds information about waves propagation and heat losses: for the sake of the diagnosis it is important to relate knock severity to knock indexes values. For this purpose, a CFD model has been implemented, able to predict the combustion evolution with respect to Spark Advance, from non-knocking up to heavy knocking conditions. The CFD model validation phase is crucial for a correct representation of both regular and knocking combustions: the operation has been carried out by means of an accurate statistical analysis of experimental in-cylinder pressure data.
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 best 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 the 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

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.
Technical Paper

Ducati 999 Crankcase Strength Increase by Changing the Main Bearing Type

In all Ducati L-twins the crankshaft supports are rolling bearings. Due to the higher performance, compactness and lightness, the service life of the crankcase is becoming shorter and in future can become critical in the Ducati 999, the most powerful engine of the Borgo Panigale company. The engine block sidewalls must be strengthened in order to improve the reliability of the component. This can be done by reducing the size of the main bearing housings by the adoption of the plain bearings which have smaller radial dimensions. The stress field of the Ducati 999 crankcase in the two different configurations is calculated by means of the finite element method, applying the engine load in the critical conditions.
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

Evaluation of Water and EGR Effects on Combustion Characteristics of GDI Engines Using a Chemical Kinetics Approach

The modern spark ignition engines, due to the introduced strategies for limiting the consumption without reducing the power, are sensitive to both the detonation and the increase of the inlet turbine temperature. In order to reduce the risk of detonation, the use of dilution with the products of combustion (EGR) is an established practice that has recently improved with the use of water vapor obtained via direct or indirect injection. The application and optimization of these strategies cannot ignore the knowledge of physical quantities characterizing the combustion such as the laminar flame speed and the ignition delay, both are intrinsic property of the fuel and are function of the mixture composition (mixture fraction and dilution) and of its thermodynamic conditions. The experimental measurements of the laminar flame speed and the ignition delay available in literature, rarely report the effects of dilution by EGR or water vapor.
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

Experimental and Numerical Investigation on the EGR System of a New Automotive Diesel Engine

In this paper an integrated experimental and numerical approach is applied to optimize a new 2.5l, four valve, turbocharged DI Diesel engine, developed by VM Motori. The study is focused on the EGR system. For this engine, the traditional dynamometer bench tests provided 3-D maps for brake specific fuel consumption and emissions as a function of engine speed and brake mean effective pressure. Particularly, a set of operating conditions has been considered which, according to the present European legislation, are fundamental for emissions. For these conditions, the influence of the amount of EGR has been experimentally evaluated. A computational model for the engine cycle simulation at full load has been built by using the WAVE code. The model has been set up against experiments, since an excellent agreement has been reached for all the relevant thermo-fluid-dynamic parameters. The simulation model has been used to gain a better insight on the EGR system operations.