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Research

  • Accelerometer Based Methodology for Combustion Parameters Estimation

    Year: 2015

    Author: Andrea Businaro, Nicolò Cavina, , Enrico Corti, Giorgio Mancini, Davide Moro, Fabrizio Ponti, Vittorio Ravaglioli

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    Due to increasingly stringent emission regulations and the need of more efficient powertrains, obtaining information about combustion process becomes a key factor. Low-cost in-cylinder pressure sensors are being developed, but they still present long-term reliability issues, and represent a considerable part of the engine management system cost. Research is being conducted in order to develop methodologies for extracting relevant combustion information using standard sensors already installed on-board. The present work introduces a methodology for combustion parameters estimation, through a control-oriented analysis of structure-borne sound. The paper also shows experimental results obtained applying the estimation methodology to different passenger car engines.

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  • Acoustic Emission Processing for Turbocharged GDI Engine Control Applications

    Year: 2015

    Author: Cavina, N., Businaro, A., Mancini, G., De Cesare, M.

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    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. The real-time signal processing algorithms can be integrated in the actual ECU software, in order to improve the engine controller performance. Experimental tests have been carried out in a test-cell environment, using a downsized and turbocharged GDI engine. In order to evaluate the acoustic signal processing algorithms performance, and to prove the effectiveness of the proposed methodology, knocking was externally induced by acting on the spark advance, while turbocharger operation was controlled over wide and fast speed transients.

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  • Automotive turbochargers power estimation based on speed fluctuation analysis

    Year: 2015

    Author: V. Ravaglioli, N. Cavina, A. Cerofolini, E. Corti, D. Moro, F. Ponti

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    Turbocharging technology will play a crucial role in the near future as a way to meet the requirements for pollutant emissions and fuel consumption reduction.

    However, optimal turbocharger control is still an issue, especially for downsized engines fitted with a low number of cylinders. As a matter of fact, automotive turbochargers are characterized by wide operating range and unsteady gas flow through the turbine, while only steady flow maps are usually provided by the manufacturer. In addition, in passenger cars applications, real-time turbocharger optimal control is even more difficult because of the lack of information about pressure/temperature in turbine upstream/downstream circuits and turbocharger rotational speed.

    In order to overcome these unknowns, this work presents a methodology for instantaneous turbocharger rotational speed determination through a proper processing of the signal coming from one accelerometer mounted on the compressor diffuser, or one microphone facing the compressor. The presented approach can be used to evaluate both turbocharger speed mean value and the amplitude of turbocharger speed fluctuations caused by the pulsating gas flow in turbine upstream and downstream circuits. Once turbocharger speed has been determined, it can be used to estimate power delivered by the turbine.

    The whole estimation algorithm has been developed and validated for a light duty turbocharged Common-Rail Diesel engine mounted in a test cell. However, the developed methodology is general and can be applied to different turbochargers, both for Spark Ignited and Diesel applications.

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  • Turbocharger Control-Oriented Modeling: Twin-Entry Turbine Issues and Possible Solutions

    Year: 2015

    Author: Cavina, N., Borelli, A., Calogero, L., Cevolani, R.

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    The paper presents possible solutions for developing fast and reliable turbocharger models, to be used mainly for control applications. This issue is of particular interest today for SI engines since, due to the search for consistent CO2 reduction, extreme downsizing concepts require highly boosted air charge solutions to compensate for power and torque de-rating. For engines presenting at least four in-line cylinders, twin-entry turbines offer the ability of maximizing the overall energy conversion efficiency, and therefore such solutions are actually widely adopted.

    This work presents a critical review of the most promising (and recent) modeling approaches for automotive turbochargers, highlighting the main open issues especially in the field of turbine models, and proposing possible improvements. The main original contribution is then on solving specific issues related to the twin-entry turbine, to develop a control-oriented model able to predict the machine behavior under all possible admission conditions.

    The results of this study have been applied to a V8 high-performance GDI engine with twin-entry turbochargers. Experimental data are shown throughout the paper, to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach.

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

    Year: 2015

    Author: Cavina, N., Businaro, A., Moro, D., Di Gioia, R.

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    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. The numerical CFD simulation has helped the definition of the injection system and of its control settings for a given operating condition, in terms of start of injection, injection pressure and number of pulses per stroke. Engine test bench experiments have finally been used to validate the numerical results, and to further optimize the injection system calibration in order to minimize soot emissions, while respecting combustion stability constraints. The main results are presented in the paper.

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  • Estimation Methodology for Automotive Turbochargers Speed Fluctuations Due to Pulsating Flows

    Year: 2015

    Author: Ponti F., Ravaglioli V., De Cesare M.

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    Turbocharging technique, together with engine downsizing, will play a fundamental role in the near future as a way to reach the required maximum performance while reducing engine displacement and, consequently, CO2 emissions. However, performing an optimal control of the turbocharging system is very difficult, especially for small engines fitted with a low number of cylinders. This is mainly due to the high turbocharger operating range and to the fact that the flow through compressor and turbine is highly unsteady, while only steady-flow maps are usually provided by the manufacturer. In addition, in passenger cars applications, it is usually difficult to optimize turbocharger operating conditions because of the lack of information about pressure/temperature in turbine upstream/downstream circuits and turbocharger rotational speed. This work presents a methodology suitable for instantaneous turbocharger rotational speed determination through a proper processing of the signal coming from an accelerometer mounted on the compressor diffuser or a microphone faced to the compressor. The presented approach can be used to evaluate turbocharger speed mean value and turbocharger speed fluctuation (due to unsteady flow in turbine upstream and downstream circuits), which can be correlated to the power delivered by the turbine. The whole estimation algorithm has been developed and validated for a light-duty turbocharged common-rail diesel engine mounted in a test cell. Nevertheless, the developed methodology is general and can be applied to different turbochargers, both for spark ignited and diesel applications.

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

    Year: 2015

    Author: Ponti, F., Ravaglioli, V., De Cesare, M., Stola, F.

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    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.

    In order to overcome the issues related to in-cylinder pressure measurement, this paper demonstrates that the indicated quantities used in closed-loop control strategies can be accurately estimated using low-cost reliable sensors, such as accelerometers or crankshaft speed sensors. In this paper, an overall methodology for indicated quantities estimation has been applied both to PCCI and Dual-Fuel combustion. These innovative combustion methodologies have been performed using a light-duty Common-Rail Diesel engine. The algorithms proved to be suitable for real-time indicated quantities estimation in both cases.

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  • Turbogas Engines Rotational Speed Estimation Using Acoustic and Vibrational Measurements

    Year: 2015

    Author: Bertacin R., Ponti F., Fedele D., Ravaglioli V.

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