Power & Energy (PE)


by Jim McDowell; Gary L. Hunter; Chris Hennessy


The US Army is seeking improvements in the fuel efficiency of their military vehicles.. They have initiated a number of R&D projects aimed at advancing the state-of-the-art of powertrain efficiency including demonstration in a laboratory environment. This effort will set a benchmark for the vehicle integrators, allowing them to improve future vehicle offerings. The SAIC, AVL, Badenoch, QinetiQ and Ker-Train Research team offered powertrain solutions from 7 Tons to 40 Tons that achieved the goal of 44% thermal efficiency and the stringent flexible fuel and emissions requirements. In each of these offerings the team was able to identify modifications to existing engines that allowed dramatic improvements in the thermal efficiency. These efficiency improvements were achieved through a combination of techniques, combustion cycle adjustments using in-cylinder pressure monitoring and precise control of fuel injector timing, and turbo-compounding. For the R&D project, the fuel injector timing will be controlled using commercial engine development hardware and software. The high speed hardware emulates the engine control module but allows the developer to finely tune the fuel injection to maximize the 50% Maximum Fuel Burn point (MFB50) with only limited NOx production. This will be accomplished using a variety of fuels and maintaining the output power to within 2% of the engine’s nominal rating. This paper will describe the fundamental diesel combustion process that must be controlled and techniques for usable power extraction from the waste exhaust gases to provide this performance. It will describe the engine development tools that enable these controls changes to be realized within a vehicle development cycle and retain the baseline engine maturity.