Diesel engines have to meet stringent emissions standards without penalties in performance and fuel economy. This necessitated the use of elaborate after treatment devices to reduce the tail pipe emissions. In order to decrease the demand on the after treatment devices, there is a need to reduce the emissions in the formation stage during combustion. This requires a precise control of the phasing of the combustion process. Currently, diesel engines are controlled by pre-set open loop schedules that require extensive, time consuming and costly laboratory tests and calibration tasks to meet the production target goals which are stricter than the emission standards. Such goals are set as a safe guard against the deterioration during engine life cycle. This paper presents an incremental fuzzy logic controller that adjusts the combustion phasing as per desired targets to meet production goals over the engine life period. An ion current/ glow plug sensor and its circuit are used to produce a signal indicative of different combustion parameters. Signal conditioning and filtering are applied to improve the quality of ion current.

The algorithm developed in this paper optimizes the ion current feed back to increase its reliability for stable engine control while maintaining fast controller response, and high accuracy. Experiments are carried out on a four cylinder, turbo-charged, 4.5L heavy duty diesel engine equipped with a common rail injection system and an open ECU. The response of the controller is evaluated from experimental data obtained by running the engine under different steady, and transient operating conditions. The results demonstrate the ability of the closed-loop control system in achieving the desired combustion phasing.

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