Model-based optimization of injection strategies for SI engine gas injectors
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- Beccari, S., Pipitone, E., Cammalleri, M. et al. J Mech Sci Technol (2014) 28: 3311. doi:10.1007/s12206-014-0742-x
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A mathematical model for the prediction of the mass injected by a gaseous fuel solenoid injector for spark ignition (SI) engines has been realized and validated through experimental data by the authors in a recent work . The gas injector has been studied with particular reference to the complex needle motion during the opening and closing phases. Such motion may significantly affect the amount of injected fuel. When the injector nozzle is fully open, the mass flow depends only on the upstream fluid pressure and temperature. This phenomenon creates a linear relationship between the injected fuel mass and the injection time (i.e. the duration of the injection pulse), thus enabling efficient control of the injected fuel mass by simply acting on the injection time. However, a part of the injector flow chart characterized by strong nonlinearities has been experimentally observed by the authors . Such nonlinearities may seriously compromise the air-fuel mixture quality control and thus increase both fuel consumption and pollutant emissions (SI engine catalytic conversion systems have very low efficiency for non-stoichiometric mixtures). These nonlinearities arise by the injector outflow area variation caused by needle impacts and bounces during the transient phenomena, which occur in the opening and closing phases of the injector. In this work, the mathematical model previously developed by the authors has been employed to study and optimize two appropriate injection strategies to linearize the injector flow chart to the greatest extent. The first strategy relies on injection pulse interruption and has been originally developed by the authors, whereas the second strategy is known in the automotive engine industry as the peak and hold injection. Both injection strategies have been optimized through minimum injection energy considerations and have been compared in terms of linearization effectiveness. Efficient linearization of the injector flow chart has been achieved with both injection strategies, and a similar increase in injector operating range has been observed. The main advantage of the pulse interruption strategy lies on its ease of implementation on existing injection systems because it only requires a simple engine electronic control unit software update. Meanwhile, the peak and hold strategy reveals a substantial lack of robustness and requires expressly designed injectors and electronic components to perform the necessary voltage commutation.