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Common Rail Diesel

Engine Management, Part

A detailed tech examination
by Julian Edgar
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At a glance...
Diesel functioning
Injection start timing
Injection duration
Injection discharge curve
Common rail system components
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Dizel je doiveo revolucionaran razvoj tokom polsednje decenije Pogledajte samo oko se!e koliko putni"kih
automo!ila s dizel motorom protadto #ta je dovelo do transformacije smrdljivog$ !u"nog i prljavog motora u
njegovu sada%nju rafiniranu formu& ' ve(ini slu"ajeva to je sistem za u!rizgavanje goriva zvan) common
rail *ajde da napravimo detaljan tehni"ki pogled
Dizel motori
+vakako osnovni dizajn !enzinskih i dizel motora je pri!lino isti ,o!a imaju dvo ili "etvorotaktne motore s
klipnim mehanizmom i radilicom-$ kod dizel motora se ne sa!ija sme%a goriva i vazduha "ije se sagorevanje
inicira kori%(enjem sve(ice
Although the !asic designs of petrol and diesel engines are similar ,!oth are two or four stroke designs which
use reciprocating pistons driving a crankshaft-$ a diesel engine does not compress its fuel.air charge and
then initiate com!ustion !y the use of a spark plug Instead$ in a diesel engine just air is compressed /hen
the piston is near 0op Dead Centre$ the fuel is sprayed !y an injector into the com!ustion cham!er$
whereupon it mi1es with the hot compressed air and self2ignites
In order that the air within the diesel com!ustion cham!er reaches an ade3uate temperature for self2ignition
to occur$ the compression ratio needs to !e much higher than found in a spark ignition engine Compression
ratios in the range of 45)4 to 67)4 are commonly used$ giving forced aspirated diesel engines a compression
pressure of up to 489 :ar 0his generates temperatures of up to ;99 degrees C +ince the ignition
temperature of the most easily com!usti!le components of diesel fuel is only 689 degrees C$ it is easy to see
why the fuel !urns when it is injected after the piston has risen on the compression stroke
Diesel engines are designed to develop high tor3ue at low engine speeds$ resulting in !etter fuel economy In
recent years$ the use of tur!ochargers and common rail direct injection have dramatically improved the
specific tor3ue output of diesel car engines 0his diagram shows that specific tor3ue has risen from a!out <9
=m.litre to more than 4>6 =m.litre over the last 69 years At the same time$ specific fuel consumption has
fallen !y over 59 per cent?
Compared with petrol2powered engines that most often run with stoichiometric mi1tures ,that is$ the
theoretically correct air.fuel ratio for complete com!ustion$ which is a!out 47<)4-$ diesels use very lean
air.fuel ratios 0he air.fuel ratios for diesel engines under full load are !etween 4<)4 and 6;)4$ while when
idling or under no load$ this ratio can e1ceed 478)4 *owever$ within the com!ustion cham!er$ localised
air.fuel ratios vary @ it is not possi!le to achieve a homogenous mi1ing of the fuel with the air within the
com!ustion cham!er 0o reduce these in2cham!er air.fuel ratio variations$ large num!ers of very small
droplets of fuel are injected *igher fuel pressure results in !etter fuel atomisation$ so e1plaining the
increase in injection pressures now !eing seen
Diesel engines are not throttled Instead$ the com!ustion !ehaviour is affected !y these varia!les)
0iming of start of injection
Injection duration
Injector discharge curve
+ince the use of electronically controlled common rail injection allows these varia!les to !e individually
controlled$ weAll !riefly look at each
Timing of tart of Injection
0he timing of the injection of fuel has a major affect on emission levels$ fuel consumption and com!ustion
noise 0he optimal timing of the start of injection varies with engine load In car engines$ optimal injection at
no load is within the window of 6 crankshaft degrees :efore 0op Dead Centre ,:0DC- to 7 degrees After 0op
Dead Centre ,A0DC- At part load this alters to 5 degrees :0DC to 7 degrees A0DC$ while at full load the
start of injection should occur from 5 @ 48 degrees :0DC 0he duration of com!ustion at full load is 79 @ 59
degrees of crankshaft rotation
0oo early an injection initiates com!ustion when the piston is still rising$ reducing efficiency and so increasing
fuel consumption 0he sharp rise in cylinder pressure also increases noise 0oo late an injection reduces
tor3ue and can result in incomplete com!ustion$ increasing the emissions of un!urned hydrocar!ons
Injection D!ration
'nlike a conventional port fuel injected petrol engine$ where the amount of fuel injected can !e considered to
!e directly proportional to the injector opening time$ a diesel injector will vary in mass flow depending on the
difference !etween the injection and com!ustion cham!er pressures$ the density of the fuel ,which is
temperature dependent-$ and the dynamic compressi!ility of the fuel 0he specified injector duration must
therefore take these factors into account
Discharge C!r"e
Diesel fuel injectors do not add the fuel for a com!ustion cycle in one event$ instead they operate in up to
four different modes 0he first is pre2injection$ a short duration pulse which reduces com!ustion noise and
B1ides of =itrogen ,=B1- emissions 0he !ulk of the fuel is then added in the main injection phase$ !efore
the injector is turned off momentarily !efore then adding a post2injection amount of fuel 0his post2injection
reduces soot emissions Cinally$ at up to 4>9 crankshaft degrees later$ a retarded post2injection can occur
0he latter acts as a reducing agent for an =B1 accumulator2type catalytic converter and.or raises the
e1haust gas temperature for the regeneration of a particulate filter
0he injection amounts vary !etween 4 cu!ic millimetre for pre2injection to 89 cu!ic millimetres for full2load
delivery 0he injection duration is 426 milliseconds
Common Rail #stem $"er"ie%
'nlike previous diesel fuel injection systems 2 even those electronically controlled @ common rail systems
use$ as the name suggests$ a common fuel pressure rail that feeds all injectors ,In this respect$ common rail
diesel systems are like traditional electronic fuel injected petrol engines- :y separating the functions of fuel
pressure generation and fuel injection$ a common rail system is a!le to supply fuel over a !roader range of
injection timing and pressure than previous systems
0his diagram shows a simple common rail fuel injection system A high pressure mechanical pump ,4-
pressurises the fuel which flows to the common rail ,D- A fuel rail control valve ,7- allows the fuel pressure
to !e maintained at a level set !y the Electronic Control 'nit ,>- 0he common rail feeds the injectors ,8-
+ensor inputs to the EC' comprise fuel pressure ,6-$ engine speed ,;-$ camshaft position ,49-$ accelerator
pedal travel ,44-$ !oost pressure ,46-$ intake air temperature ,4D- and engine coolant temperature ,47- ,5-
and ,<- are the fuel filter and fuel tank$ respectively
Eore comple1 common rail systems use these additional sensors)
Fehicle speed
E1haust temperature
:road!and e1haust o1ygen sensor
Differential pressure sensor ,to determine cat converter and.or e1haust particulate filter !lockage-
=ot shown on these diagrams are the glow plugs Common rail diesels still use glow plugs$ however their use
is not normally re3uired e1cept for starting in am!ient temperatures !elow 9 degrees C
E1tra EC' outputs can include control of tur!ocharger !oost pressure$ e1haust gas recirculation and intake
port tum!le flaps
Common Rail #stem Com&onents
'igh Press!re P!m&
Cuel pressures of up to 4599 :ar are generated !y the high pressure pump 0his pump$ which is driven from
the crankshaft$ normally comprises a radial piston design of the type shown here 0he pump is lu!ricated !y
the fuel and can a!sor! up to D>k/ +o that pump flow can !e varied with engine load$ individual pistons of
the pump are a!le to !e shut down 0his is achieved !y using a solenoid to hold the intake valve of that
piston open *owever$ when a piston is deactivated$ the fuel delivery pressure fluctuates to a greater e1tent
than when all three pistons are in operation
Press!re Control (al"e
0he fuel pressure control valve comprises a fuel2cooled solenoid valve 0he valve opening is varied !y its
solenoid coil !eing pulse width modulated at a fre3uency of 4 G*z /hen the pressure control valve is not
activated$ its internal spring maintains a fuel pressure of a!out 499 :ar /hen the valve is activated$ the
force of the electromagnet aids the spring$ reducing the opening of the valve and so increasing fuel pressure
0he fuel pressure control valve also acts as a mechanical pressure damper$ smoothing the high fre3uency
pressure pulses emanating from the radial piston pump when less than three pistons are activated
)!el Rail
0he fuel rail feeds each injector It is made sufficiently large that the internal pressure is relatively unaffected
!y fuel !eing released from the injectors As indicated earlier$ the rail is fitted with a fuel pressure sensor 0o
guard against dangerously high fuel pressure$ a fuel pressure relief valve is also fitted
)!el Injectors
0he fuel injectors superficially look like the injectors used in conventional petrol injection systems !ut in fact
differ significantly 0his diagram shows a common rail injector :ecause of the very high fuel rail pressure$
the injectors use a hydraulic servo system to operate In this design$ the solenoid armature controls not the
pintle !ut instead the movement of a small !all which regulates the flow of fuel from a valve control cham!er
within the injector
0he life of a common rail diesel fuel injector is certainly a hard one :osch estimates a commercial vehicle
injector will open and close more than a !illion times in its service life
Cive major approaches are taken to reducing diesel e1haust emissions
/ithin the engine itself$ the design of the com!ustion cham!er$ the placement of the injection nozzle and the
use of small droplets all help reduce the production of emissions at their source Accurate control of engine
speed$ injection mass$ injection timing$ pressures$ temperatures and the air.fuel ratio are used to decrease
emissions of o1ides of nitrogen$ particulates$ hydrocar!ons and car!on mono1ide
Exha!st *as Recirc!lation
E1haust gas recirculation$ where a proportion of the e1haust gas is mi1ed with the intake charge$ is also
used to reduce o1ides of nitrogen emissions It does this !y reducing the o1ygen concentration in the
com!ustion cham!er$ the amount of e1haust gas passing into the atmosphere$ and the e1haust gas
temperature Hecirculation rates can as high as 89 per cent
Catal#tic Con"erter
Diesel o1idation2type catalytic converters can !e used to reduce hydrocar!on and car!on mono1ide
emissions$ converting these to water and car!on dio1ide +o they rapidly reach their operating temperature$
this type of catalytic converter is fitted close to the engine
=B1 accumulator2type catalytic converters are also used 0his type of design !reaks down the =B1 !y
storing it over periods from D9 seconds to several minutes 0he nitrogen o1ides com!ine with metal o1ides
on the surface of the =B1 accumulator to form nitrates$ with this process occurring when the air.fuel ratio is
lean ,ie there is e1cess o1ygen- *owever$ the storage can only !e short2term and when the a!ility to !ind
nitrogen o1ides decreases$ the catalytic converter needs to !e regenerated !y having the stored =B1
released and converted into nitrogen In order that this takes place$ the engine is !riefly run at a rich
mi1ture ,eg an air.fuel ratio of 4D>)4-
Detecting when regeneration needs to occur$ and then when it has !een fully completed$ is comple1 0he
need for regeneration can !e assessed !y the use of a model that calculates the 3uantity of stored nitrogen
o1ides on the !asis of catalytic converter temperature Alternatively$ a specific =B1 sensor can !e located
downstream of the accumulator catalytic converter to detect when the efficiency of the device is decreasing
Assessing when regeneration is complete is done !y either a model2!ased approach or an o1ygen sensor
located downstream of the catI a change in signal from high o1ygen to low o1ygen indicates the end of the
regeneration phase
In order that the =B1 storage cat works effectively from cold$ an electric e1haust gas heater can !e
electi"e Catal#tic Red!ction
Bne of the most interesting approaches to diesel e1haust treatment is +elective Catalytic Heduction In this
approach$ a reducing agent such as dilute urea solution is added to the e1haust in minutely measured
3uantities A hydrolysing catalytic converter then converts the urea to ammonia$ which reacts with =B1 to
form nitrogen and water 0his system is so effective at reducing =B1 emissions that leaner than normal
air.fuel ratios can !e used$ resulting in improved fuel economy 0he urea tank is filled at each service
Partic!late )ilters
E1haust particulate filters are made from porous ceramic materials /hen they !ecome full$ they can !e
regenerated !y !eing heated to a!ove 599 degrees C 0his is a higher e1haust gas temperature than is
normally e1perienced in diesels and to achieve this$ retarded injection and intake flow restriction can !e used
to increase the temperature of the e1haust gas
As can !e seen$ dramatic changes in !oth the fuel injection system and e1haust aftertreatment have
occurred in diesel technology =e1t week$ weAll look at how the electronic control system makes it all
Common Rail Diesel
Engine Management, Part
The electronics of diesel management
by Julian Edgar
Click on pics to view larger images
At a glance...
Electronic re3uirements
Diesel management functions
+mooth running control
Injector operation
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Jast week we looked at the mechanical make2up of the common rail diesel fuel injection systems that have
revolutionised diesel2powered cars ,see Common Hail Diesel Engine Eanagement$ Part 4- 0he systems used
e1tremely high fuel pressure$ electronically controlled injectors and comple1 e1haust aftertreatment to
provide very high specific tor3ue outputs with low fuel consumption and low emissions
:ut how does the electronic control system work& In this article we look at the electronics of the system
0he engine management system in a diesel common rail engine needs to provide)
Fery high fuel injection pressures ,up to 6999 :ar-
Fariation in injected fuel 3uantity$ intake manifold pressure and start of injection to suit engine
operating conditions
Pre2injection and post2injection
0emperature2dependent rich air.fuel ratio for starting
Idle speed control independent of engine load
E1haust gas recirculation
Jong term precision
As with current petrol engine management systems$ the driver no longer has direct control over the injected
fuel 3uantity Instead$ the movement of the accelerator pedal is treated as a tor3ue re3uest and the actual
amount of fuel injected in response is dependent on the engine operating status$ engine temperature$ the
likely affect on e1haust emissions$ and the intervention !y other car systems ,eg traction control-
0his diagram shows the inputs and outputs of a typical :osch common rail diesel injection system
Management )!nctions
0he injected fuel 3uantity and start of injection timing re3uired for starting are primarily determined !y
engine coolant temperature and cranking speed +pecial strategies are employed for very cold weather
starting$ especially at high altitudes In these conditions$ the tur!ocharger operation may !e suspended as
its tor3ue demand @ although small @ may !e sufficiently great as to prevent the car from moving off
In normal driving$ the injected fuel 3uantity is determined primarily !y the accelerator pedal sensor position$
engine speed$ fuel and intake air temperatures *owever$ many other maps of data also have an effect on
the fuel injection 3uantity actually used 0hese include strategies that limit emissions$ smoke production$
mechanical overloading and thermal overloading ,including measured or modelled temperatures of the
e1haust gas$ coolant$ oil$ tur!ocharger and injectors- +tart of injection control is mapped as a function of
engine speed$ injected fuel 3uantity$ coolant temperature and am!ient pressure
Idle &eed Control
0he set idle speed depends on engine coolant temperature$ !attery voltage and operation of the air
conditioner Idle speed is a closed loop function where the EC' monitors actual engine speed and continues
to adjust fuel 3uantity until the desired speed is achieved
Re" -imiter
'nlike a petrol engine management system which usually cuts fuel a!ruptly when the rev limit is reached$ a
diesel engine management system progressively reduces the 3uantity of fuel injected as the engine speed
e1ceeds the rpm at which peak power is developed :y the time ma1imum permitted engine speed has !een
reached$ the 3uantity of fuel injected has dropped to zero
!rge Dam&ing
+udden changes in engine tor3ue output can result in oscillations in the vehicleAs driveline 0his is perceived
!y the vehicle occupants as unpleasant surges in acceleration Active +urge Damping reduces the likelihood
of these oscillations occurring 0wo approaches can !e taken In the first$ any sudden movements of the
accelerator pedal are filtered out$ while in the second$ the EC' detects that surging is occurring and actively
counteracts it !y increasing the injected fuel 3uantity when the engine speed drops and decreasing it when
the speed increases
mooth R!nning Control
:ecause of mechanical differences from cylinder to cylinder$ the development of tor3ue !y each cylinder is
not identical 0his difference can result in rough running and increased emissions 0o counteract this$ +mooth
Hunning Control uses the fluctuation in engine speed to detect output tor3ue variations +pecifically$ the
system compares the engine speed immediately after a cylinderAs injection with the average engine speed If
the speed has dropped$ the fuel injection 3uantity for that cylinder is increased If the engine speed is a!ove
the mean$ the fuel injection 3uantity for that cylinder is decreased
Closed -oo& $x#gen ensor Control
As with petrol management systems$ diesel management system use o1ygen sensor closed loop control
*owever$ in diesel systems a !road!and o1ygen sensor is used that is capa!le of measuring air.fuel ratios as
lean as 59)4 0his 'niversal Jam!da +ensor ,a!!reviation in Kerman) J+'- comprises a com!ination of a
=ernst concentration cell and an o1ygen pump cell
:ecause the J+' signal output is a function of e1haust gas o1ygen concentration and e1haust gas pressure$
the sensor output is compensated for variations in e1haust gas pressure 0he J+' sensor output also
changes over time and to compensate for this$ when the engine is in over2run conditions$ comparison is
made !etween the measured o1ygen concentration of the e1haust gas and the e1pected output of the sensor
if it were sensing fresh air Any difference is applied as a learned correction value
Closed loop o1ygen control is used for short2 and long2term adaptation learning of the injected fuel 3uantity
0his is especially important in limiting smoke output$ where the measured e1haust gas o1ygen is compared
with a target value on a smoke limitation map B1ygen sensor feed!ack is also used to determine whether
the target e1haust gas recirculation is !eing achieved
)!el Press!re and )lo% Control
0he pressure in the common rail is regulated !y closed loop control A pressure sensor on the rail monitors
real time fuel pressure and the EC' maintains it as the desired level !y pulse width modulating the fuel
pressure control valve At high engine speeds !ut low fuel demand$ the EC' deactivates one of the pistons in
the high pressure pump 0his reduces fuel heating in addition to decreasing the mechanical power drawn !y
the pump
$ther Management #stem $!t&!ts
In addition to the control of the fuel injectors$ the diesel engine management system can control
Klow plugs for su!2zero starting conditions
Klow plugs that heat the coolant$ providing ade3uate ca!in heating in cold climates
+witcha!le intake manifolds$ where at low loads air is forced through tur!ulence ducts to provide
!etter in2cylinder swirl
0ur!ocharger !oost pressure control
+witching of radiator fans
Injector $&eration
0he triggering of the injector can !e divided into five phases)
In the first phase$ the injector is opened rapidly !y the supply of high current from a 499F !ooster
capacitor Peak current is limited to 69A and the rate of current increase is controlled to allow
consistent injector opening times
0he second phase is termed Lpick2up currentA In this phase$ the current supply for the injector
switches from the capacitor to the !attery In this phase$ peak current continues to !e limited to
A 46A pulse width modulated holding current is then used to maintain the injector in its open state
0he inductive spike generated !y the reduction in current through the injector in the change from
Lpick2upA to LholdingA phases is routed to the !ooster capacitor$ so starting its recharge process
/hen the injector is switched off$ the inductive spike is again routed to the !ooster capacitor
:etween actual injector events$ a sawtooth waveform is applied to the closed injector 0he current
used is insufficient to open the injector and the generated inductive spikes are used to further
recharge the !ooster capacitors until they reach 499F
European car manufacturers and consumers have thrown their weight heavily !ehind passenger cars
e3uipped with diesel engines 0he major improvement in specific tor3ue outputs and the reduction in fuel
consumption and emissions have !een achieved with sophisticated electronic control of very high pressure$
individually controlled injectors