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Throttling Process

Chapter 2


In this chapter, an introduction to throttle process and its types, namely mechanical throttling, electronic throttle, a short note on ride by wire, Advantages and disadvantages of electronic throttling are discussed.


Throttling Process
A throttling is the mechanism by which the flow of a fluid is managed by

constriction or obstruction. An engine's power can be increased or decreased by the restriction of inlet gases i.e., by the use of a throttle, but usually decreased. The term throttle has come to refer, informally and incorrectly, to any mechanism by which the power or speed of an engine is regulated. What is often termed a throttle (in an aviation context) is more correctly called a thrust lever. For a steam engine, the steam valve that sets the engine speed/power is often known as a regulator. In fuel injected engines, the throttle body is the part of the air intake system that controls the amount of air flowing into the engine, in response to driver accelerator pedal input in the main. The throttle body is usually located between the air filter box and the intake manifold, and it is usually attached to, or near, the mass airflow sensor. The largest piece inside the throttle body is the throttle plate, which is a butterfly valve that regulates the airflow. Throttling is initiated or controlled by a process called acceleration. The currently used throttling technique is the mechanical acceleration of auto motives.


Most of the two-wheelers nowadays use mechanical throttling. This is done by

coupling a wire to the accelerator of the vehicle. This is in turn connected to the throttle valve of the engine; this throttle valve allows appropriate fuel air mixture for the engine to operate. Now, when the accelerator is rotated the wire twists and turns

Throttling Process

Chapter 2

resulting in an opening and closing motion in the throttle valve which supplies fuel to the engine. Figure 2.1 shows the mechanical throttle control in automobiles. This is the basic throttling process but is the most widely used. Even though this method has been proving to be commercial and easy to install and use this could however, result in some drawbacks.

Figure 2.1 Mechanical Throttle Control


The cables used for mechanical throttling cannot be trusted for accurate acceleration. The continuous twisting and turning of the cables can result in physical damage to the cable and thus cause error in throttling. Figure 2.2 shows the damage of wire in mechanical throttling process.

Figure 2.2 Damaged Wires in Mechanical Throttling


Throttling Process

Chapter 2


Now-a-days in certain high end motorbikes electronic throttling is being

implemented. There are different mechanisms for this electronic throttling one is to sense the position and the other by manipulating the throttle. Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) is an automobile technology which connects the accelerator to the throttle, replacing a mechanical linkage. Most automobiles already use a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) to provide input to traction control, antilock brakes, fuel injection, and other systems, but use a cable to directly connect with the throttle. An ETC-equipped vehicle has no such cable. Instead, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) determines the required throttle position by calculations from data measured by sensors such as an accelerator position sensor, engine speed sensor, vehicle speed sensor etc. The electric motor within the ETC is then driven to the required position via a closed-loop control algorithm within the ECU. The benefits of ETC are largely unnoticed by most drivers because the aim is to make the vehicle power-train characteristics seamlessly consistent irrespective of prevailing conditions, such as engine temperature, altitude, accessory loads etc. ETC facilitates the integration of features such as cruise control, traction control, stability control, and pre-crash systems and others that require torque management, since the throttle can be moved irrespective of the position of the driver's accelerator. ETC provides some benefit in the areas such as air-fuel ratio control, exhaust emissions and fuel consumption reduction, and also works in concert with other technologies such as gasoline direct injection. A criticism of the very early ETC implementations was that they were "overruling" driver decisions. Nowadays, the vast majority of drivers have no idea how much intervention is happening. Much of the engineering involved with drive-bywire technologies including ETC deals with failure and fault management. Most ETC systems have sensor and controller redundancy, even as complex as independent microprocessors with independently written software within a control module whose calculations are compared to check for possible errors and faults.

Throttling Process

Chapter 2

In other, case the accelerator is replaced with a potentiometer so whenever acceleration is applied change in resistance occurs. This change in resistance is converted to voltage which is in turn used to activate a motor drive. This motor drive controls the opening and closing of the throttle valve for fuel injection based on the acceleration applied.

2.2.1 Ride by Wire

Drive-by-Wire, DbW, by-wire, or x-by-wire technology in the automotive industry replaces the traditional mechanical control systems with electronic control systems using electro mechanical actuators and human-machine interfaces such as pedal and steering feel emulators. Hence, the traditional components such as the steering column, intermediate shafts, pumps, hoses, belts, coolers and vacuum servos and master cylinders are eliminated from the vehicle. Examples include electronic throttle control and brake-by-wire. Figure 2.3 shows an Actuator having Ride by Wire technique

Figure 2.3 Actuator having Ride by Wire technique

Throttling Process

Chapter 2

2.2.2 Advantages of Electronic throttling

Safety can be improved by providing computer controlled intervention of vehicle controls with systems such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist Systems. Ergonomics can be improved by the amount of force and range of movement required by the driver and by greater flexibility in the location of controls. This flexibility also significantly expands the number of options for the vehicle's design. Parking can be made easier with reduced lock-to-lock steering wheel travel as with BMW's Active Steering System, or semi-automatic which is available in Ford/Lincoln vehicles in the US, Toyota Prius in Japan, Lexus LS460 models worldwide and newer European Volkswagen models. Although neither of these are strictly Steer-by-Wire (SbW) because they retain mechanical linkages, they show the capabilities that are possible

2.2.3 Disadvantages of Electronic throttling

When using position sensor,occasionally after servicing or repair, the wire or cable between the accelerator and throttle would not be correctly reinstalled causing sudden acceleration. However, with the ETC, the movement is all done by electronic controls moving an electric motor. But just moving the throttle by sending a signal to the motor is an open loop condition and leads to poor control. Most if not all current ETC systems have a closed loop system whereby the ECU tells the throttle to open a certain amount according to an algorithm based on the geometry of the throttle. Then, if due to dirt build up in the throttle bore or a damaged TPS, a signal is sent from the TPS to the ECU, the ECU can make appropriate adjustments to compensate, though it might result in surging, hesitation or uneven idle. There are two primary types of throttle position sensors: a potentiometer or a Hall Effect sensor (magnetic device). A potentiometer is a satisfactory way for noncritical applications such as volume control on a radio, but as it has a wiper contact rubbing against a resistance element, and dirt and wear between the wiper and the resistor can cause erratic readings. The more reliable solution is the magnetic

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coupling that makes no physical contact, so it will never be subject to failing by wear. This is an insidious failure as it may not provide any symptoms until there is total failure. All cars having a TPS have what is known as a 'limp-home-mode'. When the car goes into the limp-home-mode, it is because the accelerator and engine control computer and the throttle are not talking to each other in a way that they can understand. The engine control computer shuts down the signal to the throttle position motor and a set of springs in the throttle set it to a fast idle, fast enough to get the transmission in gear, but not so fast that driving may be dangerous. Another possible ETC failure mode can originate from single-bit soft errors caused by ionizing radiation from a variety of sources including cosmic ray neutrons, so the circuitry may need to be radiation hardened to prevent such unpredictable and potentially hazardous modes of failure. Recently, ETC was initially suspected by some to be responsible for alleged incidents of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. No evidence of this has been demonstrated, and Toyota has been exonerated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Using throttle manipulation, continuous usage or continuous variations in the potentiometer may cause impedance mismatch or could induce error in resistance.


Disadvantages of Ride by Wire

The cost of DbW systems is often greater than conventional systems. The

extra costs stem from greater complexity, development costs and the redundant elements needed to make the system safe. Failures in the control system could theoretically cause a runaway vehicle, although this is no different from the throttle return spring snapping on a traditional mechanical throttle vehicle. The vehicle could still be stopped by turning the ignition off if this occurred. Another disadvantage is that manufacturers often reduce throttle sensitivity in the low-mid throttle range to make the car easier or safer to control - or to protect the drivetrain (gearbox, clutch, etc.) from driver abuse. The feeling to the driver is that the throttle feels less responsive. There are aftermarket electronic kits to increase throttle sensitivity, to regain a more direct-feeling relationship between positions and throttle valve opening.

Throttling Process

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When we use Ride by wire the actuation system for throttling valve is a motor drive this is a major drawback to use huge drives. This increases the weight of the motor vehicles and also it requires high voltage and current sources to operate on.

Figure 2.4 Drives used in Ride by Wire Figure 2.4 shows the motors and the potentiometer position sensor used in the Ride by Wire. To overcome the previous disadvantages this project speaks about the implementation of more reliable and more accurate devices to the throttling system. This project uses an electronic sensing unit for acceleration and an electronic actuation system for throttling valve. This project consists of two main units the sensing unit consists of a MEMS accelerometer and the actuation unit consists of a SMA actuator.