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Investigation of Performance Differences and Control Synthesis for Servo-Controlled and Vacuum-Actuated Wastegates

Turbocharging plays an important role in the downsizing of engines. Model-based approaches for boost control are going to increasing the necessity for controlling the wastegate flow more accurately. In today’s cars, the wastegate is usually only controlled with a duty cycle and without position feedback. Due to nonlinearities and varying disturbances a duty cycle does not correspond to a certain position. Currently the most frequently used feedback controller strategy is to use the boost pressure as the controller reference. This means that there is a large time constant from actuation command to effect in boost pressure, which can impair dynamic performance. In this paper, the performance of an electrically controlled vacuum-actuated waste-gate, subsequently referred to as vacuum wastegate, is compared to an electrical servo-controlled wastegate, also referred to as electric wastegate. Their performance is investigated with the two actuators installed on a turbocharged inline four gasoline engine in an engine test bench. Furthermore, different control synthesis designs for these different actuators are investigated. A state-feedback controller with standard models for the electric wastegate is described and implemented, which gives a position-controlled wastegate. One main difference between vacuum and electric wastegate is that the latter has a position sensor. To make an extended comparison between the solutions, the vacuum wastegate is also equipped with a position sensor and controller using standard controller design methods. The controllers are implemented and compared both in a simulation environment and evaluated in an engine test bench. In addition, for the electric wastegate, both soft-landing and tightening features are also implemented and investigated. Their aim is to improve the lifetime and behavior at or near the closed position.

Robin Holmbom, Bohan Liang and Lars Eriksson


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