Air systems are becoming increasingly complex and important for achieving IC engine performance and emission targets. Turbocharging is becoming increasingly prevalent enabling high power density engines, improved pumping work and improved fuel economy. Turbo-compounding allows turbine energy to contribute directly to crankshaft work with the aim of improving fuel economy. Turbodischarging allows turbine energy to be used to extract exhaust gases from the engine reducing pumping work and residual gas fraction while simultaneously increasing the amount of energy that can be recovered by the turbine(s). The optimum energy flow split between turbocharging, turbodischarging and turbocompounding has not previously been explored. This paper presents results of a study investigating the potential of tri-directional energy flow optimisation in comparison to uni-directional optimisation and bi-directional optimisation (i.e. using all three approaches, any two approaches or turbocharging alone).

Thermodynamic analysis demonstrates the potential of bi-directional optimisation to achieve realistically 4% fuel consumption benefit for both turbocharging and discharging, and turbocharging and compounding on gasoline engines from pumping work alone. The peak benefit of the former occurs at a slightly lower engine torque than the latter as the energy cost of a unit fuel consumption benefit with turbodischarging increases with increasing levels of exhaust depressurisation. The Tri-directional optimisation shows a complex optimum position utilising all three systems and achieving a realistic peak benefit of 4.4% fuel consumption improvement. Optimisation on diesel engine architectures suggests significantly lower potential in the order of 1% benefit while lean burn gas engines showed up to 2.6% benefit. Sensitivity to compression and expansion efficiencies, exhaust manifold volume and system temperatures are presented.

The future hybridisation of IC engine air systems may enable energy storage. This paper offers fundamental insight into the marginal fuel cost of capturing energy from the three systems and the marginal fuel value of using stored energy in the air system.

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