Vehicle Thermal Management covers the engineering field of solutions that maintain the complete vehicle in acceptable operating conditions regarding components and fluid temperatures in an engine. The maximum efficiency rating of a Diesel engine reaches up to 45%; a vast amount of the energy produced is transformed into heat. This heat is partly rejected in the exhaust gases and partly transmitted to the engine cooling circuit. The latter can be seen in two different ways, on the one hand, cooling is necessary to regulate the fluids and component temperature to an optimum operating point for fuel efficiency and maintain engine performance. On the other hand it constitutes a loss since the coolant system actuators are engine driven (pump, fan, etc.).
In order to improve the fuel efficiency of the vehicle one can reduce the losses generated by the cooling system. Ideally, the full motive force of the engine should be used for propulsion, and new and more efficient energy sources have to be explored to power the secondary systems (cooling, compressed air…). The electrification of some components in the cooling system can limit losses and improve component energy efficiency but it is not the only answer and in many cases this approach might be a limited. Recent studies have shown that by improving the control strategy of the cooling system the fuel consumption can be improved, however no real data is available since its implementation has been limited.
In keeping with latter approach, this paper introduces a novel control which aims at a more efficient regulation of the cooling system operation of a Heavy Duty Truck cooling system. The main complexity in such a system remains the interactions between actuators. In this paper we propose a way to solve this using a control based on model inversion and decoupling strategy. It needs to be noted that any new approach requires the current control specifications to be modified. This enables also a better understanding of the system. However, other goals can be exploited through the use of an advanced control and the new control specifications such as a reduction of thermal shock, reduction of thermal fatigue, minimization of system overcooling (directly impacts fuel consumption but also the noise levels).
Finally, the controller has been tested on a Simulation Platform using a Matlab/Simulink (Controller) and compared to the existing system control using a reference driving cycle.