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Nonlinear Control Strategy for Advanced Vehicle Thermal Management Systmes
IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
  • John Wagner, Clemson University
  • M H Salah, Clemson University
  • T H Mitchell, Clemson University
  • D M Dawson, Clemson University
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Advanced thermal management systems for internal combustion engines can improve coolant temperature regulation and servomotor power consumption by better regulating the combustion process with multiple computer controlled electromechanical components. The traditional thermostat valve, coolant pump, and clutch-driven radiator fan are upgraded with servomotor actuators. When the system components function harmoniously, desired thermal conditions can be accomplished in a power efficient manner. In this paper, a comprehensive nonlinear control architecture is proposed for transient temperature tracking. An experimental system has been fabricated and assembled which features a variable position smart valve, variable speed electric water pump, variable speed electric radiator fan, engine block, and various sensors. In the configured system, the steam-based heat exchanger emulates the heat generated by the engine’s combustion process. Representative numerical and experimental results are discussed to demonstrate the functionality of the thermal management system in accurately tracking prescribed temperature profiles and minimizing electrical power consumption.

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