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Optimal Gain Scheduling Controller for a Diesel Engine

J. Jiang

generalized gain scheduling control mechanism based on A0ff-line optimization techniques has been developed for a

2-cylinder, water cooled diesel engine. First, a set of linearized models is obtained for the engine operating at three different speeds and a total of 15 load conditions. From the experimental data analysis, it is concluded that the behavior of the engine can best be characterized by a set of fifth order difference equations with appropriate time delays. Optimal controllers with a PID structure are then synthesized by off-line numerical optimization using these mathematical models to minimize the integral squared error (ISE) of the engine speed deviation subject to a step speed change command. The designed control system has been implemented and tested on a Petter diesel engine (Model PH2W). Experimental results have indicated that the designed optimal control strategy has tremendously improved the performance of the original engine in terms of both speed regulation and distur- bance rejection. Attempts have also been made to evaluate the fuel efficiency of the engine with respect to controller parameter variations. It is concluded that there exists a strong correlation between controller parameter settings and the engine fuel con- sumption rate.

Improving Diesel Engine Efficiency

Diesel engines have been widely used as power sources in practice. Diesel engine driven systems include automobiles, ships, and backup power generating units, to mention a few. However, most of the existing engines still use simple mechani- cal fly-wheel type govemors to regulate speed. The performance of these engines is often limited by inflexibilities of their gover- nors. With advances in computer technology and the growing shortage of world energy resources, it is highly desirable to develop new control strategies to improve the performance of existing engines in terms of speed regulation, robustness to load disturbance, and more importantly, fuel efficiency. The main objective of this article is to demonstrate how computer technol- ogy and modem control theory can be used to develop optimal control strategies for diesel engines, to experimentally verify the developed scheme on an existing diesel engine, and to study the effect of controller parameters on the engine fuel efficiency. As is well known, diesel engines are highly nonlinear devices, and their characteristics vary as a function of power output, speed, ambient temperature, etc. Such nonlinear behavior makes

Based on a paper presenfed at The Second IEEE Conference on Control Applications, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sep- tember 13-16,1993.The author is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B9 Canada. This work was supported by the DepartmentofEnergy, Mines, and Resources of Canada.

the design of engine control systems a very difficult task. Fur- thermore, diesel engines are inherently open-loop and marginally stable in the sense that the engine speed will drift in the absence of feedback control actions, or the engine may stall when the operating speed is below a certain level (1500 rev/min for the current engine at no load). It is also interesting to note that diesel engines are inherently time-varying discrete-time systems in the sense that the engine speed is a function of the fuel injection timing, compression, and combustion processes which depend again on the instantaneous engine speed. It will be shown later that there is a pure time delay between the movement of the throttle position and the engine speed response. This time-delay decreases as the engine speed increases. These undesirable characteristics make the design of optimal engine control systems even more challenging. Despite these difficulties, several attempts have been made to synthesize optimal controllers for diesel engines. Optimal control for a diesel engine speed goveming loop has been formulated in [l]. Both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines have been consid- ered. A sample data model of the engine is first constructed in the state-space form. The cost function is then defined as a quadratic function of the error in engine speed variables, control effort, and the air-fuel-ratio. This optimal control problem is then solved by both dynamic programming and the discrete minimum principle. However, this article is theoretical in nature, and no attempt has been made to implement the developed control scheme on an actual engine. A novel smoke sensor has been used in conjunction with a tacho-generator to control the transient response of a diesel engine [2]. The engine fuel rack is controlled by a servo-motor drive. The control algorithm is of proportional and integral (PI) type. The controller parameters are chosen such that the engine overshoot and the amount of engine exhaust smoke are mini- mized. The control scheme has been evaluated on an actual engine under four operating speeds and three load conditions. A second order transfer function is assumed for the system from the fuel rack to the engine speed. However, the transfer function from the fuel rack to engine smoke is found to be highly non- linear. Therefore, a set of models has to be used in the control system design for the engine at different load conditions. Since almost all farm tractors are driven by diesel engines, some research work has been done to design fuel efficient control systems for tractors. Among other things, optimal control of diesel engines used in tractors has drawn a great deal of attention, [3]-[5].In these publications, an optimal engine speed control system has been developed. The engine model from the fuel rack to the shaft speed is identified first for various engine operating conditions. This model is a fifth-order auto-regressive moving average (ARMA) type. Lead-lag compensators are then de-

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signed, and the controller parameters are selected such that the integral absolute error (IAE) of the control loop is a minimum. A microcomputer has been used to implement the designed control system. The desired engine speed in this case is deter- mined by a so-called “specific fuel consumption curve” which depends not only on the engine speed, but also on the gear ratio and the traction control of the tractor. In this article, a set of dynamic models of a diesel engine speed governing loop is obtained using system identification tech- niques for various engine speeds and power outputs. The engine models are in the form of difference equations with appropriate time delays. Such parametric models are cross-checked with frequency response measurements before being used for control system designs. Based on the derived mathematical model set, an optimal control strategy has been synthesized using off-line optimization techniques. The engine performance with such control schemes has been evaluated on a test engine under various operating conditions, such as sudden speed changes, ramp load distur- bances, etc. The performance comparisons of the new control scheme with that of the original fly-wheel mechanical govemor have indicated that tremendous improvements in terms of speed regulation and disturbance rejection have been achieved. Since the controller parameters depend on both engine speed and power

output, the term generalized gain scheduling controller has been

used. By implementing the controller using a microcomputer, the controller gains can be adjusted automatically,on line and in real time, in response to the instantaneous engine speed and power output. In addition, the fuel efficiency of the engine under different operating conditions with different, but fixed, controller parame- ters has also been investigated. The main objective of such studies is to look for any correlation between the controller parameter settings and the fuel consumption rate of the engine under the same operating conditions.

Construction of Diesel Engine Models

The specifications of the diesel engine used in this study are given as follows:

the diesel engine used in this study are given as follows: Petter diesel model - PH2W

Petter diesel model - PH2W

2 cylinder 15 brake horsepower at I800 rev/min Stroke: 100” Cubic capacity per cylinder: 0.659 L Compression ratio: 16.5:1.0 Maximum engine speed: 1800 rev/min. Along with the engine, a dynamometer is permanently cou- pled to the engine main shaft for the purpose of simulating different engine loads. The load can be varied by changing the strength of the field excitation of the dynamometer. The designed speed of the engine is 1800 rev/min; however, the engine speed changes considerably as the system environment varies, such as changes in load, fuel quality, and ambient and engine tempera- tures. The quality of the speed regulation is far from satisfactory. The engine is cooled by circulating cool water through a heat exchanger. The above engine and its related control systems have been upgraded. The major modifications are: 1) to install a DC-motor driven linear actuator to control the throttle position of the fuel injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to

injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to August 1994 couple a tacho-generator
injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to August 1994 couple a tacho-generator
injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to August 1994 couple a tacho-generator
injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to August 1994 couple a tacho-generator
injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to August 1994 couple a tacho-generator
injection pump through the movement of the fuel rack; 2) to August 1994 couple a tacho-generator

August 1994

couple a tacho-generator onto the engine secondary shaft (1/2 of the speed of the main shaft) through a flexible link for speed measurement and an electronic filter to minimize the torsional vibration in the measured engine speed signal; 3) to design and build an electronic circuit which is capable of generating various desired load pattems consistently by varying the strength of the field current of the dynamometer to simulate various engine load variations; and 4) to implement in real time a computer data acquisition and control facility for the engine measurement and controls. The overall experimental set up, including computer based data acquisition and control system is shown in Fig. 1. The signal generator has been used for engine frequency response measure- ments; it has also been used for generating various load variation pattems for engine performance evaluation. However, since it is not an essential part of the engine control loop, a dotted box has been used to represent it. The parametric models of the engine are obtained by system identification methods. Since the engine is an open-loop margin- ally stable system, it is very dangerous and difficult to perform any open-loop tests. However, the control system design proce- dure calls for an open-loop engine transfer function. One ap- proach is to first identify the closed-loop system (with an appropriate stabilizing controller in the loop), and then convert the closed-loop transfer function into an open-loop one. The second approach uses signals measured from inside the engine control loop, such as the input signal to the linear actuator and the engine speed output. In this way, the open-loop engine transfer function can be calculated directly, provided that an extemal probing signal is used to guarantee the identifiability. To minimize the computational cost, the second approach is adopted in this research. The identification procedure can be summarized as follows:

A 9-bit pseudo random binary sequence (PRBS) of f0.5 V is generated and added to the nominal engine speed control signal at the speed setpoint within the computer. The stabilizing con- troller for the engine is a simpleproportional controller The input signal to the system identification algorithm is the engine speed error signal, which is the difference between the setpoint speed control signal and the real-time measurement of the engine speed output from the tacho-generator. The sampling period of 0.1 s is used in all tests. A total of 400 data points are recorded for both input and output signals through the RTI-8 15A Data Acquisition Unit in each run. Based on the recorded data, PC MATLAB(TM) and System Identification ToolBox from The Mathworks, Inc. is used to derive the parametric models of the engine in the form of difference equations. The dynamic model of the engine is of an ARMA type. The data analysis indicates that to characterize the behavior of the engine at the nominal speed of 1000 rev/min, four units of time delay (0.4 s) have to be included in the model, the discrete domain transfer function from the engine speed error signal to the engine speed output is therefore

However, when the nominal engine speed increases (e&, 1300and 1500rev/min), the effective time delay reduces. Analy-

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Fig. 1. Computer based diesel engine testing and control setup.

sis has indicated that three units of time delay are adequate to describe the engine dynamics at these two speed levels. Hence, the general form of the transfer function of the engine at 1300 and 1500 revlmin is given as

Because of the nonlinear characteristics of the engine, the coefficients in (I ) and (2) are nonlinear functions of the engine speed and power output. Their respective values are obtained by the least squares parameter estimation procedure, and tabulated in Table I.

Generalized Gain SchedulingControl

Previous analysis indicates that diesel engines are highly nonlinear systems. The direct consequence of such nonlinearities is that an optimal controller designed for one operating condition (speed and power output) may not work well when the engine is operating at another condition. In fact, under certain circum- stances, the closed-loop system stability may even be injeopardy. One solution to such a problem is to design a robust controller which performs reasonably well for all engine operating condi- tions. Because of the large variation of the engine dynamics at different speeds and power outputs, such a robust controller can never be optimal for all operating conditions. Another approach is to divide the range of the engine operation into several different zones according to engine speed and power output. An optimal controller is then designed for the engine operating in each of these zones. During the course of the engine operation, depend- ing on the engine operating conditions, the most appropriate controller will be employed. In this article, the engine operation has been divided into 15 different zones as shown in Table I.

Table I

Parameters of the En

44

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Fig. 2. Three controller-parameters for the engine at different operating conditions.

It is important to mention that the optimality criteria consid- ered in the engine control system design is with respect to the quality of the transient response, such as percentage overshoot, rise time, settling time, etc. Such optimalities can be achieved by choosing appropriate PID controller parameters, Kp, KI, and KO to minimize the integral squared error (ISE) of the engine speed error signal subject to a step input. Such an optimization problem can be formulated as shown in (3), [6]-[8].During the controller design, step responses of the systems under different operating conditions (15 in total) are simulated, and the optimal controller parameters are determined using sequential quadratic program- ming to minimize J(KP,Ki,KO):

where Kp, KI, and KO are proportional, integral, and derivative gains of the PID controller, and e(k) is the engine speed error signal at sampling instant k as shown in Fig. 1. The optimization process for the controller design has been camed out using all fifteen engine models given in Table I. It should be noted that since the controller structure has been prespecified as a PID type, the optimization process of (3) is in fact a nonlinear one. Numerical procedures have been used to solve for the desired controller parameters. The controller pa- rameter values are also shown in a 3-D view in Fig. 2. Since these controller parameters are obtained based solely on linearized engine models, an important question remains as to how well these controllers will perform on the actual engine which is highly nonlinear. To answer this crucial question, real- time experiments on the test engine using the designed controller have been carried out under different engine operating condi- tions. The results are reported in the next section. It is important to note that in order not to introduce large disturbances to the engine during controller gain adjustments, linear interpolations are used to obtain smooth controller gain transition surfaces. From the controller parameters in Fig. 2, it is interesting to note that as engine speed and power output changes, the variation of the proportional controller gain Kp is relatively small. How-

 

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(a) Engine Load Variation

 

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Fig.3. The engine speed with a mechanical governor subject to a step load change.

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(a) Engine Load Variation

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Fig.4. The engine speed with a mechanical governor subject to a ramp load change.

August 1994

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46

ever, there is a significant variation in the integral controller gain Kl. The general changing pattem for KI is that it decreases as

engine load increases.The general pattem for the derivativegain

KD is opposite from that of Kz, i.e., as load increases, KD de- creases.

PerformanceEvaluations

Behavior of the Engine with a Mechanical Governor Diesel engines with mechanical govemors are usually de- signed to operate at a prespecified speed which can be adjusted mechanically via limiting devices while the engine is not in operation. Therefore, it is not possible to perform any speed step response tests on the engine with such govemors. Rather than introducing a step change in speed setpoint, we will study the engine speed responses to various load disturbances. The speed responses of the engine equipped with a mechanical govemor to various load changes are shown in Figs. 3 and 4.For ease of reference, the relationship between the engine speed (rev/min) and the tacho-generator voltage (V) output is given as:

Engine-Speed

= 168x(Tacho -Output) +510.

(4)

As indicated in Figs. 3 and 4, the performance of the engine to a change in load is unacceptable (e.g., sluggish response and large steady-stateerror). The underlying reasons for mechanical govemors to have such poor control performance are 1) lack of integral action in the mechanical govemor; therefore, a finite speed offset signal is required to pick up additional engine loads (hence, steady-state speed error is present); 2) the large time constant of the mechanical govemor results in a slow response of the engine to the speed change command; as a consequence, the throttle position cannot be adjusted instantaneously,which leads to a large speed variation. As is well known, when the engine speed is below a certain threshold value, the engine will eventually stall. Such unstable behaviors can best be seen in Fig. 4 as the mean speed decreases gradually.

Behavior of the Engine with the Designed Optimal Controller To better understand how well the designed optimal controller performs on the test engine, three types of tests have been conducted. The first group of tests is to investigate the speed regulation characteristics of the engine under constant torque output. Both step and ramp signals have been used as a speed change command signal. The purposes of the tests are to verify the controller design, and to compare the engine responses at

various speed and load combinations. The second group of tests deals with the situation where the engine torque undergoes two types of variations: step and ramp changes, while the engine speed setpoint is kept constant. Such tests are mainly used to study the disturbance rejection properties of the engine control loop. Finally,the power characteristicsof the closed-loop engine control system have been investigated. By power characteristics

we mean that the torque and the speed of the engine are changed simultaneously in the same direction with the same pattem, Le., increased (decreased) in step or ramp fashion. Such tests put much stress on the engine. In fact, when step changes are used, the engine power variations will be as large as the square of the

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tracking error even with this ramp command input. However, this is not true in general
tracking error even with this ramp command input. However, this
is not true in general for large loads.
The performance of the engine under step load changes is
shown in Fig. 7 where the initial engine speed is 1000 rev/min
when an extra 1.05 kW load is being added. As can be seen, the
effects of such load disturbance on the engine speed is negligible.
The performance of the engine under ramp load disturbances has
5
10
15
20
25
Time (sec)
A
C;.
7.d
;.
(
also been studied. The load disturbance pattem and the corre-
sponding engine speed response for the engine operating at a
nominal speed of 1000 rev/min are shown in Fig. 8. The mini-
mum and maximum load variations are 0.075 kW and 1.62 kW,
respectively. Under such a wide range of load variations, the
+
i
maximum speed deviation is only 43 rev/min.
!
2.5
j
The third group of tests deals with situations where the engine
speed and the torque output are varied simultaneously in the same
2
0
5
10
15
20
25
Time (sec)
pattern. Fig. 9 shows the torque and speed change pattems and
the corresponding speed response of the engine operating at a
nominal speed of 1000 rev/min. In
this case, the speed variation
Fig. 8. The engine speed deiiation with a rump load disturbance ut
nominal speed of 1000 revlmin.
is 1 .O V, which corresponds to 168 rev/min, and the range of total
power output is from 0.02 kW to 2.46 kW. The graph clearly
indicates that the engine can maintain reasonably good transient
and steady-state responses.
fa) Toraue & SDeed Chanae Pattern
i
r----l
i
Fuel Consumption Rates and Controller Parameters
3 5 (Volt)
5
10
15
20
25
The fuel consumption rate of the engine under various oper-
ating conditions with different, but fixed, controller parameters
has also been studied. To standardize the criterion for such tests,
the following procedure is used to measure the fuel consumption
rate of the engine:
Time (sec)
(b) Speed Response (Volt)
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I
4.5
4
3.5
3
0
5
10
15
20
25
fill a measuring jar (56 mL) with diesel fuel;
record the buming time span of the fuel for a specific engine
operating condition;
repeat the first two steps three times, and compute the
average time span;
calculate the fuel consumption rate using the following
formula:
Time (sec)
Fig. 9. The engine speed response to simultaneous step changes at
both output torque and speed setpoints.
amount of that step change. On the other hand, if ramp changes
are used, the engine power output will vary parabolically.
Step responses of the engine with optimal controllers have
been performed by introducing a step change in the engine speed
setpoint. The magnitude of the step change is 1.0 V, which
corresponds to 168 rev/min (from (4)). The results are shown in
Fig. 5 where the engine was originally operating around 1000
rev/min when a speed change signal has been issued. As a result,
the engine accelerates quickly and settles at the new speed.
An example of the engine speed response to a ramp input
command is shown in Fig. 6. The ramp signal is approximated
by a triangular waveform. The figure shows engine speed re-
sponses at two load conditions, at the nominal speed of 1000
rev/min. The upper graph has been obtained when the engine
carries no extemal load, while the lower one represents the same
except that the initial engine power output is about 2 kW. Com-
parison of these two graphs indicates that faster tracking can be
obtained with lighter load. It appears that there is no steady-state
where Cfuelis the average fuel consumption rate in milli-liter per
minute, V is the volume of the measuring jar, and Vieakageisthe
leaked fuel from the fuel injector pump during all three test runs.
TI,T2, and T3 are the time span of each test run in minutes.
During the tests, the nominal engine speed is set to 1316
rev/min. A 0.05-Hz square wave of 0- 1.O V has been applied at
I
-7F; YY
20
'-1
mil
I
10
5
- -
- nKWatts
I
0 No exteri nal load
1.9
Output Power
Fig. IO. Fuel efficiency tests subject to step engine speed changes.
August 1994
47

I

I

Table I1 Fuel Efficiency Tests Subject to Step-Like Engine Load Variations

the engine speed setpoint. The performance of the three sets of controller parameters has been evaluated; one for optimal con- trollers, and the other two for nonoptimal ones. Tests have been conducted under three different engine power output levels by appropriate setting of output torques. The experimental results and the test conditions are illustrated in Fig. 10. As we can see from this figure,the controllerparametersdo affect the fuel efficiency of the engine. In fact, the optimal controller designed to minimize the overshoot and settlingtime of the transient response also provides better fuel efficiency.The parameters of the nonoptimal controllers are chosen arbitrarily. The experimental results have indicated that both nonoptimal controllers have rela- tively small damping which degrades the engine efficiency. The effect of load variations on the engine fuel efficiency have also been studied for the optimal controllers under three different nominal speed settings. In addition, the fuel efficiency of the engine controlled by the mechanical govemor has also been investigated. The engine load is varied periodically by applying a square wave of 0.05 Hz to the load pattem generator (see Fig. 1). The experimental results are presented in Table 11. One of the interesting observations in this set of tests is that the mechanical govemor appears to have better fuel economy. However, such an observation is not completely true unless we also examine the speed characteristics of the engine under me- chanical govemors. Due to the integral action of the PID control- ler, the steady-state engine speed will be at the preset speed even in the presence of a constant load disturbance. However, in the case of a mechanical govemor, the engine speed deviates from the original set speed (steady-state error). Because of such a reduction in speed, it appears that the engine equipped with the mechanical govemor is more fuel efficient. However, results become meaningless under this situation.

Summary

A generalized gain scheduling control scheme using optimi- zation techniques has been developed for a diesel engine. The designed scheme has been implemented using a microcomputer and evaluated on a real engine. The results indicate that the performance of the engine with the designed control scheme is much superior to that with the existing speed govemor. In addi- tion, the relationshipbetween the controllerparametersand the fuel efficiency of the engine has also been explored experimentally.It is

48

concluded that the damping of the closed-loop system has the most significant effect on the fuel efficiency of the engine. In fact, the optimal controller designed to minimize the overshoot and settling time of the transient response also provides better fuel efficiency.

Acknowledgment

Permission to use the diesel engine located at the Lakehead University was highly appreciated.

References

[I] J.O. Flower and R K GUptd, “Optimal control considerations of diesel

engine discrete modela,”It7t

J Control, vol 19, no

6, pp 1057-1068, 1974.

[2] G Hong and N Collings,

“Design of diesel smoke feedback control using

a combination of PI control algorithm and performance optimization,” SAE Tech paper, no 890387, 1989

[3] N Zhdng, J.V Perumpral, R K Byler, and S D Shaffer, “Diesel engine

control based on an ARMA model,” Ttans ASAE, vol. 32, no 1112-1120. 1989

[4]N Zhang, J V Perumpral, and R.K. Byler, “Automatic control system for

optimizing diesel pp 31-46, 1987

[5] N. Zhang, “Microprocessor-based digtal controllerlmprovlng tractor operatmg efficiency,”Ph.D dissertahon,Vupa Polytechnic Inshtuteand StateUmv., 1987.

[6] S.P.Boyd and C H Barratt,Linear Controller Design Limits ofPerform-

ante. Englewood Cliffs, NJ Prentice Hall, 1991.

(71 B.D.O. Anderson and J.B. Moore, Optimal Control Linear Quadratic Methods Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990.

[8] G C Newton, Jr ,L.A Gould, and J F Kaiser, AnalvticalDesign ofLinear Feedhac k Controls New York: Wiley, 1957

Jin Jiang completed the Ph D. degree in 1988 at the Department of Electrical Engmeenng, The University of New Brunswick, Fredencton, New Brunswick, Canada. He was on the faculty of the Manne Institute, St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontano, before jomg The University of WesternOntario, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electncal Engmeermg. His re- search interests are mainly m the areas of control systems, fault detection and diagnom, power sys- tem dynamics, and controls

4, pp.

engine performance,” Comp Electron Agriculture, vol. 2,

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