Pi Innovo has extensive experience working with exhaust system manufacturers to develop electronic control solutions that meet progressively more stringent emissions regulations. Experiences include ECU hardware design and development of both air-cooled and fuel-cooled systems, controls development and support in resolving post-production issues.
Chart from Cummins Emissions Solutions
To meet the stringent regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other organizations worldwide, there is a need to reduce Particulate Matter (PM) emissions while minimizing Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). Modifications to engine design can improve emissions; however, some form of PM aftertreatment system is generally required. This is particularly true in off-highway applications and where improvements are required without the cost of engine redesign. A widely employed system consists of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), sensors, an active controller and an exhaust fuel injection system to allow for the periodic regeneration of the DPF.
The challenge for many exhaust and vehicle manufacturers is to achieve economies of scale when there are many engine/exhaust variants, each in a relatively small volume production. Pi Innovo has met these challenges with two key initiatives; by developing a model-based approach to the control strategy implementation, we develop products that can be configured quickly, or in some cases automatically adapt, to different systems. Our ECU design experience has also resulted in standard build versions of the OpenECU M250 and M460 controllers, which are ideally suited for prototyping aftertreatment systems and form the basis for rapid development of cost-effective customized production ECUs.
Pi Innovo developed a range of 1-D mathematical models of common aftertreatment system components such as DOC and DPF. These models take the input from conventional sensors and create “virtual sensors” that measure what is happening deep within the catalysts and filters of the system. The models enable much more accurate control by predicting parameters such as temperatures, pressure drop, soot load and emissions in real time. Once a model of a particular component is created it can be used in the control strategy for any system that uses that component, even if under different load conditions. This is a significant improvement on developing mathematical equations to describe complete systems using an empirical calibration process. Virtual sensors enable advanced diagnostic features to detect component or sensor failures.
The OpenECU M460 has 32-bit processing performance which easily executes multiple component models, control strategies and full production diagnostics. The high number of inputs and outputs are particularly suited to the prototyping of complex aftertreatment systems that utilize selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NOx control and a combination of Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to control carbon monoxide and particulate matter. The standard version of the M460 hardware and software platform is designed using proven, reusable techniques which allow for cost-effective custom products to be rapidly developed and taken to production.
The OpenECU M250 has the same 32-bit processing performance as the M460. The compact enclosure and number of inputs and outputs are optimized for use on basic aftertreatment systems that utilize a combination of Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) to control carbon monoxide and particulate matter. While the standard version is cost-effective in medium volumes, further custom optimizations can be rapidly developed and taken to production, as a result of the hardware and software platforms being designed using proven, reusable techniques.
Pi Innovo designed, developed and delivered custom production ECU hardware, and leveraging the OpenECU platform, supplied the production platform software for two separate confidential customer applications. One is a medium volume (10k units) commercial vehicle aftertreatment application currently in production and the second is targeted for production soon.