Model Based Evaluation of UEGO Performance and Sensitivity
Closed loop fuel injection have been in use for two decades but it's not until the recent five years that the wide band lambda sensor have been utilized. The goal is to explain wide band and discrete lambda sensors in a simple but powerful way. Both sensors are modeled by simple mathematics and accounts for Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon monoxide influences. The focus is not just on the output from the sensors, but also on the underlying function. This means that all explanations are thorough and methodical. The function of a wide band lambda sensor is more complicated than a discrete type lambda sensor, therefore it's harder to get correct readings. The model of the wide band lambda sensor is used to evaluate different problems in preparation for the development of an observer. Several potential problem sources are tested and investigated, these include calibration error, pressure error, air leak error, gas sensitivity and fuel errors. To evaluate the potential problems and their ability to explain differences between actual lambda and sensor output, two sensors with differing outputs have been used. The final result is implemented in an ECU.
The models indicate that the difference between the two sensors is most likely explained by different sensitivity for CO, O2 and H2. This can in turn have one or several explanations. It is suggested that different ability to pump oxygen, different nernst cells or even different controllers can cause this. The reason is not investigated further as this would require a very deep research on the two sensors. Because no usable explanation is found an observer that estimates the offset at stoichiometric conditions, where lambda equals one, is constructed. The observer uses the fact that the switch point of a discrete lambda sensor is insensitive to disturbances. The offset calculation is performed in real time on an ECU. Tools for calibration of the observer are also developed. With the observer the error for the two sensors is roughly halved over the whole spectrum and at stoichiometric conditions, which is the normal operation for an engine, the error was too small to measure.
Although the wide band lambda sensor is a very complex sensor it is shown that it can be understood with simple mathematics and basic knowledge in chemistry. The developed model agrees well with the real sensor for steady state conditions. For transient conditions, however, the model needs to be refined further. The question why the two sensors differ is discussed but the true origin of the cause remains unsolved. The conclusion is that the error can be drastically reduced with just an offset. It is also shown that when building a lambda sensing device the controller is of equal importance as the sensor element itself. This is due to the sensitivity of surrounding factors that the controller must be able to handle. These effects are specially important for engines running at lambda not equal to 1, for example diesel engines.
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