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Control of EGR and VGT for emission control and pumping work minimization in diesel engines

Legislators steadily increase the demands on lowered emissions from heavy duty vehicles. To meet these demands it is necessary to integrate technologies like Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Variable Geometry Turbochargers (VGT) together with advanced control systems. A control structure with PID controllers and selectors is proposed and investigated for coordinated control of EGR valve and VGT position in heavy duty diesel engines. Main control goals are to fulfill the legislated emission levels, to reduce the fuel consumption, and to fulfill safe operation of the turbocharger. These goals are achieved through regulation of normalized oxygen/fuel ratio and intake manifold EGR-fraction. These are chosen as main performance variables since they are strongly coupled to the emissions, compared to manifold pressure or air mass flow, which makes it easy to adjust set-points depending on e.g. measured emissions during an emission calibration process. In addition a mechanism for fuel efficient operation is incorporated in the structure, this is achieved by minimizing the pumping work. To design a successful control structure, a mean value model of a diesel engine is developed and validated. The intended applications of the model are system analysis, simulation, and development of model-based control systems. Model equations and tuning methods for the model parameters are described for each subsystem in the model. Static and dynamic validations of the entire model show mean relative errors that are less than 12%. Based on a system analysis of the model, a key characteristic behind the control structure is that oxygen/fuel ratio is controlled by the EGR-valve and EGR-fraction by the VGT-position, in order to handle a sign reversal in the system from VGT to oxygen/fuel ratio. For efficient calibration an automatic controller tuning method is developed. The controller objectives are captured in a cost function, that is evaluated utilizing a method choosing representative transients. The performance is evaluated on the European Transient Cycle. It is demonstrated how the weights in the cost function influence behavior, and that the tuning method is important in order to improve the control performance compared to if only a standard method is used. It is also demonstrated that the controller structure performs well regarding all control objectives. In combination with its efficient tuning, the controller structure thus fulfills all requirements for successful application.

Johan Wahlström


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Last updated: 2021-11-10