Ford exploring cylinder deactivation for 1.0L EcoBoost; testing shows up to 6% fuel efficiency improvement
Ford, in collaboration with the Schaeffler Group, is investigating different cylinder deactivation approaches on its award-winning 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. On-road tests using a working prototype showed fuel efficiency improvements of up to 6%, according to Dr. Andreas Schamel, director, Ford Global Powertrain, Research & Advanced Engineering in Vienna last week.
For the test, the engineers also developed a new dual mass flywheel. This enabled cylinder deactivation to take place at a wider range of engine loads and speeds, and helped minimize noise, vibration and harshness levels.
For testing, engineers equipped a Ford Focus 1.0-liter EcoBoost with cylinder deactivation hardware that they could monitor deactivation of one cylinder, and also a “rolling” cylinder deactivation to run the engine in half-engine mode.
Rolling cylinder deactivation, as explained by Schaeffler, allows all cylinders to be deactivated after every ignition cycle and reactivated during the next. Cylinder deactivation thus alternates within a single deactivation phase and not each time a new deactivation mode is introduced. The benefit is a more well-balanced temperature level inside the combustion chambers and consistent firing intervals for three-cylinder engines operating in deactivation mode.
|Pattern of alternating cylinder deactivation (the red phase designates the active operating mode). Source: Schaeffler. Click to enlarge.|
They also fitted the prototype with a newly developed system that combined the dual mass flywheel, a pendulum absorber, and a tuned clutch disc; and is particularly effective at low revs. As well as enabling a wider operating range of cylinder deactivation, this system helped counteract any effect that the cylinder deactivation had on levels of noise, vibration and harshness.
Fuel efficiency improvements were recorded in homologated conditions and during test drives of the first prototype vehicle, for a typical commuter distance of 55 km (34 miles) on a combination of motorway, city roads and rural roads, in and around Cologne, Germany.
Schamel said that cylinder deactivation is among a number of fuel efficiency solutions Ford is investigating for the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, at the European Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany.
Even for an aggressively downsized engine such as the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, a significant improvement in vehicle fuel economy could be found by exploiting cylinder deactivation. The highest priority in the development of new combustion engines for automotive applications is the ongoing reduction of fuel consumption.—Andreas Schamel
Ford’s 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine last year became the first engine to be named International Engine of the Year three times in a row. Downsized EcoBoost engines combine surprising power with excellent fuel efficiency through direct fuel injection, turbocharging, and variable valve timing. EcoBoost-equipped vehicles last year accounted for one in four new Ford vehicles sold in Europe. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost, the most popular, is available with automatic as well as 5-speed, and 6‑speed manual transmissions, and across 10 different models—from Fiesta to the all-new Mondeo.
Ford is working with Schaeffler and other partners in the ACTIVE (Advanced Combustion Turbocharged Inline Variable valvetrain Engine) project in the UK, for which it is receiving about £13 million (US$20 million) from the UK government to accelerate the introduction of advanced low carbon technologies into mainstream vehicle applications targeting very substantial CO2 savings. (Earlier post.)
Cylinder Deactivation (Schaeffler)