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Ion Current Dependence on Operating Condition and Ethanol Ratio

This masters thesis investigates the possibility to estimate the ethanol content in the fuel using ion currents. Flexible fuel cars can be run on gasolineethanol blends with an ethanol content from0 to 85 percentage. It is important for the engine control system to have information about the fuel. In todays cars the measurements of the fuel blend are done by a sensor. If it is possible to do this with ion currents this can be used to detect if the sensor is broken, and then estimate the ethanol content until the sensor gets fixed. The benefit of using ion currents is that the signal is measured directly from the spark plug and therefore no extra hardware is needed. To be able to see how the ethanol ratio affects the ion currents, the dependencies of the operating point have been investigated. This has been done by a literature review and by measurements in a Saab 9-3. Engine speed, load, ignition timing, and spark plugs effects on the ion currents are especially studied. A black box model for the ion currents dependence on operating point is developed. This model describes the engine speed, load and ignition timing dependencies well, but it can not be used to estimate the ethanol ratio.

Karin Gustafsson


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Last updated: 2021-11-10