CASE STUDY

Customer

Confidential

Alternative Fuel System Control: CNG, LNG, LPG

Challenge

Pi Innovo was required to design and develop low cost embedded control solutions to meet several different customer’s unique I/O requirements for CNG, LNG and LPG fuel systems.

Solution

Variants of the M220 OpenECU rapid controls prototyping ECU were used in LNG, CNG, and LPG applications for fuel injection, high pressure tank control and fuel system monitoring / control. The availability of a highly configurable auxiliary I/O on the M220 allowed the controller to be used to monitor system temperatures and pressures, as well as driving motors and injector solenoids. An advanced microprocessor also enables model based advanced control functionality to be developed to help improve system efficiency. Injection commands from the stock engine controller were interrupted, and modified commands were then sent to the alternative fuel injectors.   In some cases, this happened in the same combustion cycle. Signals were also sent back to the stock engine controller to ensure that existing diagnostic routines did not incorrectly raise faults due to the different injection profile of the new fuel.

Depending the I/O needs, cost optimized custom variants have been created for volume production.   For companies needing engineering support, Pi Innovo developed the application in addition to supplying the production hardware.  In most cases, Pi Innovo supplied the OpenECU rapid prototyping platform with Simulink model based controls developer platform and the customer developed the application.

Results/Impact

Using OpenECU has enabled several companies to reliably, cost-effectively and quickly introduce alternative fuel systems to the market.   Thousands of Pi Innovo’s M220 OpenECU are being used on the road in alternative fuel vehicle systems today.

Project Features

Rapid controls prototyping
Model based development
Natural gas vehicle control
Production solution
Hardware flexibility
Application ownership and IP protection