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Technical Paper

Model-Based Test Bench Conditioning Systems Control

Abstract Engine test benches are crucial instruments to perform tests on internal combustion engines. Possible purposes of these tests are detecting engine performance, checking the reliability of engine components or making a proper calibration of engine control systems managing the actuations. Since many factors affect tests results in terms of performance, emissions and components durability, an engine test bench is equipped with several conditioning systems (oil, water and air temperature, air humidity, etc.), in order to maintain the controlled variables to the target values, throughout the test duration. The conditioning systems are often independently controlled by means of dedicated Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), but a centralized model-based management approach could offer several advantages in terms of promptness and accuracy.
Journal Article

Combustion Indexes for Innovative Combustion Control

Abstract 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.
Journal Article

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

Abstract 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

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

Remote Combustion Sensing Methodology for PCCI and Dual-Fuel Combustion Control

The increasing request for pollutant emissions reduction spawned a great deal of research in the field of innovative combustion methodologies, that allow obtaining a significant reduction both in particulate matter and NOx emissions. Unfortunately, due to their nature, these innovative combustion strategies are very sensitive to in-cylinder thermal conditions. Therefore, in order to obtain a stable combustion, a closed-loop combustion control methodology is needed. Prior research has demonstrated that a closed-loop combustion control strategy can be based on the real-time analysis of in-cylinder pressure trace, that provides important information about the combustion process, such as Start (SOC) and Center of combustion (CA50), pressure peak location and torque delivered by each cylinder. Nevertheless, cylinder pressure sensors on-board installation is still uncommon, due to problems related to unsatisfactory measurement long term reliability and cost.
Journal Article

Non-Intrusive Methodology for Estimation of Speed Fluctuations in Automotive Turbochargers under Unsteady Flow Conditions

The optimization of turbocharging systems for automotive applications has become crucial in order to increase engine performance and meet the requirements for pollutant emissions and fuel consumption reduction. Unfortunately, performing an optimal turbocharging system control is very difficult, mainly due to the fact that the flow through compressor and turbine is highly unsteady, while only steady flow maps are usually provided by the manufacturer. For these reasons, one of the most important quantities to be used onboard for optimal turbocharger system control is the rotational speed fluctuation, since it provides information both on turbocharger operating point and on the energy of the unsteady flow in the intake and exhaust circuits. This work presents a methodology that allows determining the instantaneous turbocharger rotational speed through a proper frequency processing of the signal coming from one accelerometer mounted on the turbocharger compressor.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Dynamics Modeling for Real-Time Simulation

This paper presents a 14 degrees of freedom vehicle model. Despite numerous software are nowadays commercially available, the model presented in this paper has been built starting from a blank sheet because the goal of the authors was to realize a model suitable for real-time simulation, compatible with the computational power of typical electronic control units, for on-board applications. In order to achieve this objective a complete vehicle dynamics simulation model has been developed in Matlab/Simulink environment: having a complete knowledge of the model's structure, it is possible to adapt its complexity to the computational power of the hardware used to run the simulation, a crucial feature to achieve real-time execution in actual ECUs.
Technical Paper

Development of a Novel Approach for Non-Intrusive Closed-Loop Heat Release Estimation in Diesel Engines

Over the past years, policies affecting pollutant emissions control for Diesel engines have become more and more restrictive. In order to meet such requirements, innovative combustion control methods have currently become a key factor. Several studies demonstrate that the desired pollutant emission reduction can be achieved through a closed-loop combustion control based on in-cylinder pressure processing. Nevertheless, despite the fact that cylinder pressure sensors for on-board application have been recently developed, large scale deployment of such systems is currently hindered by unsatisfactory long term reliability and high costs. Whereas both the accuracy and the reliability of pressure measurement could be improved in future years, pressure sensors would still be a considerable part of the cost of the entire engine management system.
Journal Article

Innovative Techniques for On-Board Exhaust Gas Dynamic Properties Measurement

The purpose of this paper is to present some innovative techniques developed for an unconventional utilization of currently standard exhaust sensors, such as HEGO, UEGO, and NOx probes. In order to comply with always more stringent legislation about pollutant emissions, intake-exhaust systems are becoming even more complex and sophisticated, especially for CI engines, often including one or two UEGO sensors and a NOx sensor, and potentially equipped with both short-route and long-route EGR. Within this context, the effort to carry out novel methods for measuring the main exhaust gas dynamic properties exploiting sensors installed for different purposes, could be useful both for control applications, such as EGR rates estimation, or cost reduction, minimizing the on-board devices number. In this work, a gray-box model for measuring the gas mass flow rate, based on standard NOx sensor operating parameters of its heating circuit, is analyzed.
Technical Paper

Diesel Engine Acoustic Emission Analysis for Combustion Control

Future regulations on pollutant emissions will impose a drastic cut on Diesel engines out-emissions. For this reason, the development of closed-loop combustion control algorithms has become a key factor in modern Diesel engine management systems. Diesel engines out-emissions can be reduced through a highly premixed combustion portion in low and medium load operating conditions. Since low-temperature premixed combustions are very sensitive to in-cylinder thermal conditions, the first aspect to be considered in newly developed Diesel engine control strategies is the control of the center of combustion. In order to achieve the target center of combustion, conventional combustion control algorithms correct the measured value varying main injection timing. A further reduction in engine-out emissions can be obtained applying an appropriate injection strategy.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Methodology for Real-Time Evaluation of Cylinder by Cylinder Torque Production Non-Uniformities

Modern internal combustion engine control systems require on-board evaluation of a large number of quantities, in order to perform an efficient combustion control. The importance of optimal combustion control is mainly related to the requests for pollutant emissions reduction, but it is also crucial for noise, vibrations and harshness reduction. Engine system aging can cause significant differences between each cylinder combustion process and, consequently, an increase in vibrations and pollutant emissions. Another aspect worth mentioning is that newly developed low temperature combustion strategies (such as HCCI combustion) deliver the advantage of low engine-out NOx emissions, however, they show a high cylinder-to-cylinder variation. For these reasons, non uniformity in torque produced by the cylinders in an internal combustion engine is a very important parameter to be evaluated on board.
Technical Paper

Torsional Analysis of Different Powertrain Configurations for Torque and Combustion Phase Evaluation

This paper presents the results of several studies, performed on different powertrain configurations, aimed at analyzing the correlations existing between torque and speed frequency components in an internal combustion engine. Engine speed fluctuations depend in fact on torque delivered by each cylinder, therefore it is easy to understand how these two quantities are directly connected. The presented methodology allows identifying a dynamic model, expressed as a transfer function that depends only on the structure of the engine-driveline system. The identified model can be used to obtain information about torque delivered by the engine and combustion positioning within the engine cycle starting from engine speed measurement. The speed signal is picked up directly from the sensor facing the toothed wheel that is already mounted on the engine for control purposes.
Technical Paper

MFB50 On-Board Evaluation Based on a Zero-Dimensional ROHR Model

In modern Diesel engine control strategies the guideline is to perform an efficient combustion control, mainly due to the increasing request to reduce pollutant emissions. Innovative control algorithms for optimal combustion positioning require the on-board evaluation of a large number of quantities. In order to perform closed-loop combustion control, one of the most important parameters to estimate on-board is MFB50, i.e. the angular position in which 50% of fuel mass burned within an engine cycle is reached. Furthermore, MFB50 allows determining the kind of combustion that takes place in the combustion chamber, therefore knowing such quantity is crucial for newly developed low temperature combustion applications (such as HCCI, HCLI, distinguished by very low NOx emissions). The aim of this work is to develop a virtual combustion sensor, that provides MFB50 estimated value as a function of quantities that can be monitored real-time by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU).
Technical Paper

Common Rail Multi-Jet Diesel Engine Combustion Development Investigation for MFB50 On-board Estimation

Proper design of the combustion phase has always been crucial for Diesel engine control systems. Modern engine control strategies' growing complexity, mainly due to the increasing request to reduce pollutant emissions, requires on-board estimation of a growing number of quantities. In order to feedback a control strategy for optimal combustion positioning, one of the most important parameters to estimate on-board is the angular position where 50% of fuel mass burned over an engine cycle is reached (MFB50), because it provides important information about combustion effectiveness (a key factor, for example, in HCCI combustion control). In modern Diesel engines, injection patterns are designed with many degrees of freedom, such as the position and the duration of each injection, rail pressure or EGR rate. In this work a model of the combustion process has been developed in order to evaluate the energy release within the cylinder as a function of the injection parameters.
Journal Article

Instantaneous Engine Speed Measurement and Processing for MFB50 Evaluation

Evaluation of MFB50 is very useful for combustion control, since it gives an evaluation of the combustion process effectiveness. Real-time monitoring its value enables to detect for example the kind of combustion that is taking place (useful for example for HCCI applications), or could provide important information to improve real-time combustion control. While it is possible to determine the position where the 50% of mass burned inside the cylinder is reached using an in-cylinder pressure sensor, this work proposes to obtain this information from the engine speed fluctuation measurement. In-cylinder pressure sensors in fact are still not so common for on-board applications, since their cost will constitute an important portion of the whole engine control system cost.
Journal Article

Powertrain Torsional Model Development or On-Board Indicated Torque Estimation

Effective and precise torque estimation is a great opportunity to improve actual torque-based engine management strategies. Modern ECU often already implement algorithms to estimate on-board the torque that is being produced by the engine, even if very often these estimation algorithms are based on look-up tables and maps and cannot be employed for example for diagnostic purposes. The indicated torque estimation procedure presented in this paper is based on the measurement of the engine speed fluctuations, and is mainly based on two separated steps. As a first step a torsional behavior model of the powertrain configuration is developed. The engine-driveline torsional model enables to estimate the indicated torque frequency component amplitude from the corresponding component of the instantaneous engine speed fluctuation. This estimation can be performed cycle by cycle and cylinder by cylinder.
Technical Paper

Common Rail Multi-Jet Diesel Engine Combustion Model Development for Control Purposes

Multi-jet injection strategies open significant opportunities for the combustion management of the modern diesel engine. Splitting up the injection process into 5 steps facilitates the proper design of the combustion phase in order to obtain the desired torque level, whilst attempting a reduction in emissions, particularly in terms of NOx. Complex 3-D models are needed in the design stage, where components such as the injector or combustion chamber shape have to be determined. Alternatively, zero-dimensional approaches are more useful when fast interpretation of experimental data is needed and an optimization of the combustion process should be obtained based on actual data. For example, zero-dimensional models allow a quick choice of optimum control settings for each engine operating condition, avoiding the need to test all the possible combinations of engine control parameters.
Technical Paper

Indicated Torque Estimation Using a Torsional Behavior Model of the Engine

Effective and precise torque estimation is a great opportunity to improve actual torque-based engine management strategies. Modern ECU often already implement algorithms to estimate on-board the torque that is being produced by the engine, even if very often these estimation algorithms are based on look-up tables and maps and cannot be employed for example for diagnostic purposes; In other cases the obtained precision is not very high. This work presents the development of a torque estimation procedure based on the instantaneous engine speed measurement. The steps that allowed defining this procedure are briefly explained in the following. The definition of a model that describes the torsional behavior of the engine-load system made first possible to analyze the relationship between the corresponding frequency components of the instantaneous engine speed fluctuations and the indicated torque developed by the cylinders.
Technical Paper

Cylinder by Cylinder Torque Production non-Uniformity Evaluation

The paper presents the development of a model study whose results enable to evaluate the torque production non-uniformity between the cylinders of an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). This non-uniformity can be due, for example, to different air breathing into the cylinders, to different injector characteristics, or to pathological operating conditions such as misfires or misfuels, as well as to other abnormal operating conditions. Between the nominal torque production and the one corresponding to the absence of combustion there exist, in fact, a series of possible intermediate conditions, each of them corresponding to a value of produced torque between the nominal value and the one corresponding to the lack of combustion (due for example to statistical dispersion in manufacturing, or aging in the injection system). The diagnosis of this type of non-uniformity is a very important issue in today's engine control strategies design.
Technical Paper

An Approach for Misfire Diagnosis in Critical Zones of the Operating Range of a High Performance Engine

The optimization of a high performance engine in order to achieve maximum power at full load and high speed can cause an unstable behavior when the engine is running at different conditions, thus making a robust combustion diagnosis for on board diagnostic EOBD/OBD II purposes (misfiring detection) particularly challenging. In fact, when a misfire occurs, its detection can be critical because of the high background noise due to high indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) cyclic variability. A partial reduction of the high IMEP variability had been achieved by optimizing control parameters of a new prototype high performance V8/4.2 l engine. Spark advance and VVT phasing maps had in fact been re-designed based on in-cylinder pressure variability (cycle by cycle and cylinder by cylinder) analysis.