CPT, TU Wien study finds 48V mild diesel hybrid cuts engine-out NOx 9%, 4.5% fuel economy improvement
A joint study by Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) and Austria’s Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) into 48V diesel mild hybrid technology verified a 9% reduction of NOxin raw engine-out emissions, while retaining the fuel economy and CO2 benefits of diesel engine technology.
The cost effectiveness of this approach is further underscored by its impact on lean NOx trap (LNT) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment systems, which have less raw NOx emissions to process, potentially allowing for a reduction in exhaust system cost and complexity, and a longer service life.
The result of our research programme, incorporating e-motor characterization, simulation and engine emission dynamometer testing was a clear benefit in terms of raw NOx reduction of a premium saloon with a 3-liter V6 engine. The decrease in NOx emissions, moreover, was achieved with a near 5 per cent fuel economy improvement and corresponding CO2 reduction, delivered simultaneously by the SpeedStart starter-generator.—Paul Bloore, CPT’s manager responsible for applications engineering and strategic projects
Belt-integrated starter-generator (BISG) systems have already been successfully applied by the industry to reduce CO2 emissions by the simple expedient of stop-start. In principle, the same low voltage technology can be used to modify the load on the engine and optimize its performance for minimal NOx and particulate emissions. The challenge is having a fast-enough response time for real world driving conditions.
CPT’s switched reluctance technology is by its very nature fast acting as well as highly controllable, and well-suited to optimizing diesel and gasoline engines for minimal NOx and particulate emissions, the company said.
Not only does lower raw emissions of NOx reduce the load on an SCR system—and hence the continuous consumption of ammonia (AdBlue) used as the reducing agent—but also has the potential to reduce the active catalytic components, which are usually precious metals.
A switched reluctance machine might even allow the use of an LNT solution rather than requiring the more expensive SCR system. Diesel exhaust systems can also include a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which may also require less frequent purging.
The CPT-TUW study evaluated the switched reluctance technology to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP)—the latest compliance requirement for any new cars launched onto the EU market from September 2017 onwards. WLTP defines a globally harmonised standard for determining the levels of pollutants and CO2 emissions, as well as fuel or energy consumption.
Being closer to real world driving conditions, WLTP offers a more dynamic test profile. It’s more helpful therefore in demonstrating the ability of an SRM to very rapidly supply torque to the engine, which is delivered to the crankshaft via the front pulley belt system, thereby adapting the level of electric assist to the traffic conditions and style of driving.—Paul Bloore
The CPT-TUW study not only considered elements such as the belt ratio, but also the thermal efficiency of the water-cooled BISG, as well as vehicle operational patterns over additional test cycles. The boosting provided by the BISG came only from energy recovered during recuperation events, with a balanced battery state- of-charge and a constant vehicle electrical load applied of 300W.
It is well understood that real world driving conditions can typically increase the load on an engine with a corresponding increase in exhaust emissions compared with laboratory test cycles. The precision and repeatability of laboratory test cycles, however, makes them invaluable for vehicle back-to-back and technology comparisons.—Paul Bloore
CPT is further validating its technology over the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test cycle, which being even more robust should demonstrate the potential for further improvements of its SRMs.
An SRM offers consistent high power and high efficiency over a wide speed range, and unlike some alternative motor technologies, energy sapping electromagnetic field weakening is not an issue. The precise torque control enables a swift response within milliseconds to changes of load on the machine—and that’s one of our unique advantages against other types of electrical machine.—Paul Bloore
Like mild hybrid systems generally, CPT’s SpeedStart technology harvests kinetic energy when the vehicle decelerates, which is then reapplied as torque by the switched reluctance machine during accelerations to offset fuel burn in the combustion engine. The advanced electronic control offered by an SRM, however, can further influence the engine operating point by absorbing or supplying electrical energy to move the combustion engine into a more favorable operating region. The benefits are achieved, because an SRM machine can respond swiftly to fast changing and transient road conditions.
The control strategies being developed and refined by CPT are based not only on this latest study, but also numerous other R&D programs, as well as extensive real world driving and vehicle systems simulation work. This enables interrelated systems, such as battery management, exhaust aftertreatment and complementary thermal energy recovery, to be operated seamlessly, while also providing a valuable computer-aided engineering capability to explore further potential avenues of development through 48V electrification.
Not only applicable as original equipment in cars, CPT’s switched-reluctance technology is also being tested in trucks and buses and off-highway vehicles.