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Volvo Car Group’s new VEA diesels will use i-ART injection systems for improved fuel consumption

With i-ART, each of the four injectors has an integrated fuel pressure sensor and a small computer which monitors injection pressure. Using this information, the self-adapting i-ART system makes sure that the correct amount of fuel is injected during each combustion cycle. Source: Volvo. Click to enlarge.

Volvo Car Group’s new engine family VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) (earlier post) will be launched this autumn with i-ART injection technology that helps to cut fuel consumption in the new diesel engines. i-ART (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) was developed by Denso and introduced at the IAA 2011. (Toyota is also using i-ART systems in upcoming 3.0L commercial diesel engines. Earlier post.)

i-ART features a closed-loop control system—the system autonomously adjusts the fuel injection quantity and timing to their optimal targets based on feedback from injectors. To do this, each injector is equipped with a pressure sensor that communicates its fuel pressure to the engine ECU.

By featuring pressure feedback from each fuel injector instead of using a traditional single pressure sensor in the common rail, i-ART makes it possible to continuously monitor and adapt fuel injection per combustion in each of the four cylinders.

Increasing the rail pressure to an exceptionally high 2,500 Bar, while adding the i-ART technology, can be described as the second step in the diesel revolution. It is a breakthrough comparable to when we invented the groundbreaking lambda sensor for the catalytic converter in 1976. It’s another world-first for Volvo.

Each injector has a small computer on top, which monitors injection pressure. Using this information, the self-adapting i-ART system makes sure that the ideal amount of fuel is injected during each combustion cycle.

—Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group

The main advantage of the i-ART technology is the improvement of the multiple injection accuracy. This illustration shows the irregular combustion pattern in a traditional injection system compared to a system with i-ART. The secondary injections in the traditional system are oscillating due to influences from the first injection. The i-ART system counteracts this by monitoring the pressure wave and eliminating this influence. Click to enlarge.

The combination of higher injection pressure and i-ART technology gives the customer an engine with improved fuel economy, considerably lower emissions and high performance output as well as a powerful sound character.

Volvo Car Group will launch the Volvo Engine Architecture in autumn 2013. With VEA, Volvo will also introduce a new 8-speed automatic gearbox that contributes to a refined drive and excellent fuel economy.

Diesel common rail and gasoline direct injection are standard in the upcoming modular range of diesel and gasoline engines.

Several levels of turbo charging open up for the flexibility to cover the whole range from fuel-efficient derivatives through to high power and torque variants. In order to cover all customer requirements, certain engines will also gain added performance via electrification or other spearhead technology.

We will create smaller, more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn V8s into dinosaurs. Our four-cylinder engines will offer higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation. On top of that, electrification will bring us up into power figures in today’s V8-territory.

—Derek Crabb

The engines will be built at Volvo Car Group’s high-tech engine plant in Skövde, Sweden.



In contrast, Detroit will most likely continue with their V8 dinosaurs as long as possible. While this could be considered generation 4 of common rail injection, it is interesting to note that Volvo Car was also one of the first to use gen 2 CR, in that case from Bosch.

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