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Adaptive Diesel Engine Control


OBJECTIVE: The objective is to reduce the volume of fuel consumed by the MTVR engine during mission operations by 15-25% over current fuel consumption while increasing the power output of the engine by 5-10% over current engine rated capability. These goals will be reached thru modification of the Caterpillar C12 or similar engine enabling full and independent control of diesel engine components allowing the engine to operate at maximum efficiency across the full spectrum of engine loads. DESCRIPTION: Since the initial inception and fielding of the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR), the expected mission of the truck has evolved (Ref. 1). Vehicle modifications have included the addition of a larger alternator to support a greater array of onboard electronics and increased equipment loads, as well as increased vehicle weight due to up-armoring. These modifications have required the truck engine to operate at two different load levels. First, the engine must operate at high-power, calling on over 400 BHP to climb slopes, accelerate under full payload, or traverse soft soils. Second, the engine must operate for long periods of time at a low capacity while the vehicle is parked to support generation of electricity and HVAC functions in the cab drawing 10 20 BHP. The MTVR currently uses a Caterpillar C-12 electronic control, Adam III Diesel engine. The C-12 Diesel engine is an inline 6 cylinder turbo charged diesel truck engine with 729 in3 of displacement. The C-12 Diesel engine operates over a range of 1200 to 2100 RMP and provides a maximum of 425 BHP at 1600 RPM, and provides a maximum of 1550 LB-FT of torque at 1200 RPM. Control over the diesel combustion cycle is currently limited by the mechanical linkage between engine rotation, valve actuation and fuel injection. Current state of the art controls only allow the engine to be optimized for maximum fuel efficiency (minimization of power out per mass of fuel consumed) at a single operational point (Torque versus engine speed) (Ref. 2). Optimization of a single operation point does not meet the need of current MTVR operational practices. Concepts that remove the mechanical linkage could allow greater control over the combustion cycle and are of particular interest (Ref. 3). Increased combustion cycle control could allow adaptation of control strategies that responds to engine load demands. This adaptation will result in multiple optimized fuel efficiency operational points for the engine. These multiple operating points may be achieved thru cylinder shut down, fuel injection profile shaping or other means made possible by higher levels of combustion cycle control. The MTVR program is interested in innovative approaches to provide maximum engine control adaptability of the C12 or similar engines to the loads required during various engine operating conditions. The goal of this topic is to reduce the volume of fuel consumed by the MTVR engine during mission operations by 15-25% over current fuel consumption while increasing the power output of the engine by 5-10% over current engine rated capability. Proposers are encouraged to explore both hardware and control software modifications. All modifications will be compatible, mechanically and electronically, with existing MTVR drive systems components and not compromise the MTVR"s current environmental operation requirements. All vehicles and their components shall be capable of operating in the temperature range of 52 degrees C (125 degrees F) to -32 degrees C (-25 degrees F) without the use of Arctic kits or additional operator procedures, and to -45.5 degrees C (-50 degrees F) with the use of Arctic kits. At ambient temperatures of -32 degrees C (-25 degrees F) and above, the engine shall be capable of starting, reaching and maintaining normal coolant temperature range, and attaining smooth operation at idle speed within thirty (30) minutes with the operator inside the cab, without external devices and with the transmission in neutral. All variants shall be capable of being stored at 66 degrees C (150 degrees F) without damage. PHASE I: The company will develop concepts to enable maximum adaptability of the current C12 or similar engines to be able to efficiently adapt to varying load requirements as dictated during the performance of its mission. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting MTVR needs and will establish that the concepts can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps. Feasibility will be established by analytical modeling, as appropriate. The company will also perform an analysis of potential effects on existing systems reliability, maintainability and durability. The company will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones and that will address technical risk reduction. The contractor will propose engine hardware modification and control software development required to provide maximum adaptability of the engines operating cycle to requested engine work. PHASE II: Based upon the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a scaled prototype for evaluation in a representative environment. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the MTVR requirements as stated above. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters and will also include engine dynamometer testing to demonstrate fuel consumption improvements. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to MTVR use. PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for MTVR use. The company will develop a final prototype for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment such as an over-the-road demonstration. A final MTVR modification kits and instructions will be developed. A final kit production verification test and operational test would be performed to verify equipment install process and performance. The modification kit would then be available for application to the MTVR fleet. The company will support the Marine Corps for its test and validation to certify and qualify the system for MTVR use. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The commercial diesel industry has a need for higher level control of the diesel combustion process in order to increase operational efficiency for diesel engine applications. These applications include, but are not limited to, commercial trucking, power generation, mining and agriculture. Commercial trucks operate under a wild variety of engine loads based on payload weight the vehicle is carrying, as well as overnight idle operation during driver rest periods on long hauls. In the power generation industry, diesel engines powering generators could self-adjust to the load required on the generator and mitigate the need for large battery packs to load level generation. Finally, in the agricultural industry, diesel engines are used in a wide variety of equipment typically used for multiple functions during a season; the adaptable engine will again allow the engine to adjust to the required load for a given task.
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