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New method to optimize knock threshold improves fuel efficiency, emissions and torque

A team from Villanova University is proposing a new method for optimizing the knock threshold; the method, presented in a paper in the International Journal of Engine Research, significantly improved the closed loop performance of a standard knock controller.

Traditional approaches assume that in order to control potentially damaging knock events, it is necessary to use thresholds set to detect such events. The proposed new method takes a more stochastic view and sets the threshold such that it maximizes the sensitivity to changes in the knock intensity distribution.

—Jones et al.

Using their method to optimize the threshold and controller parameters resulted in a controller with fast transient response, improved mean spark advance, and reduced cyclic dispersion.

With no modifications other than optimizing the parameters of a standard controller, it is therefore possible to operate closer to the knock limit, thereby improving fuel efficiency, emissions, and output torque.

—Jones et al.


  • James C Peyton Jones, Jill M Spelina, Jesse Frey (2014) “Optimizing knock thresholds for improved knock control,” International Journal of Engine Research vol. 15 no. 1 123-132 doi: 10.1177/1468087413482321



With that improvement in conventionnal ice engine my current dodge neon 2005 is taking another drop in value but i will still keep it up to 2023 approx to change it . In 2023 there will be probably good choice of used high mpg cars with this new improved knock sensor and even now there is improved ice cars with a good differential in mpg with the same horsepower. For the green cars i have very little hopes because it is always too costly, why pay more then the gasoline you save. Maybe hydrogen will be best but not now and maybe then in 2023 it won't still be available in my area.

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