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OpenECU Replaces Production GDI ECU for Emissions Control Research


Pi Innovo M670 OpenECU hardware and GDI Engine Control Strategies are being used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for dyno-based research using a four cylinder Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine with dual variable valve timing (VVT). Pi Innovo commissioned the engine on-dyno and provided the customer with the GDI Engine Control Strategies, which the EPA then used as a start-model for their own research investigations regarding emission controls.

The EPA wanted to quantify benefits and evaluate feasibility of adding emissions control systems to an existing typical GDI passenger car engine. To do so,  a production passenger car engine was installed in a dynamometer lab environment. Because the underlying controller strategy on the production engine ECU was ‘closed’ and in general, source code strategy was not released by the OEM to a third party, an alternate solution was required.

The combination of Pi Innovo’s OpenECU engine controller, GDI Engine Control Strategies, and Pi Innovo systems and controls engineering teams provided the solution.

This engine included:

  • Peak-and-hold low impedance fuel injectors
  • Peak-and-hold, synchronous fuel pump solenoid
  • Independent intake and exhaust cam phasing
  • 2.5 L displacement, 14:1 geometric compression ratio, electronic throttle control (ETC), injection pressures to 200 bar

Throughout a phase of engineering support, Pi Innovo worked with the customer to understand the details of the application. Beginning with Pi Innovo’s OpenECU GDI Engine Control Strategies,  a customized model-based control strategy specific to the customer engine’s I/O was written. Pi Innovo defined a wire harness and delivered OpenECU M670 hardware for installation in the customer’s dyno.

Once the software was prepared and the dyno was assembled, Pi Innovo assisted with a first-fire exercise on location to verify the system was working properly and train customer employees to use the engine control tool chain. Further software customizations were added while on-site to support input interfaces to the electronic control unit (ECU) from various lab-grade measurement devices such as airflow and mixture sensors. After a week on-site support the tool chain was handed over to the customer for their ongoing use.

Project Features
  • OpenECU Simulink API
  • OpenECU Engine Control Source Code
  • OpenECU M670
  • Pi Team engineering services