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Deliverable Report

INGAS

Grant agreement N

218447

Project acronym
Project title

INGAS
Integrated GAS powertrain Low
emissions, CO2 optimised and efficient
CNG engines for passengers cars (PC) and
light duty vehicles (LDV)

Instrument
Theme

Integrated Project
SST 2007 RTD 1
Sustainable Surface Transport

Start date of project


Duration

01.10.2008
36 Months

IP Co-ordinator
IP Project manager

Massimo Ferrera, CRF


Stefania Zandiri, CRF

Subproject
Sub-project Co-ordinator

SPB1
David Storer, CRF

Deliverable

Prototype of electronic
pressure regulator
D.B1.7

Due date of deliverable


Actual submission date

31/03/2011
30/09/2011

Organisation name of lead contractor


for this deliverable

Bernhard Kiener
VENTREX

Report status

Consortium confidential

Revision version

3.0

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

Revisions table
Version

Date

1.0
2.0
3.0

07.04.2011 First Draft


28.04.2011 Second Draft
30.09.2011 Final Version

INGAS Integrated Project

Reason

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

Table of contents
Executive summary ................................................................................................................. 4
1 Research activities .......................................................................................................... 4
1.1
Development and validation....................................................................................... 4
1.1.1
Functions in Detail ............................................................................................. 5
2 Conclusions .................................................................................................................... 11

INGAS Integrated Project

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

Executive summary
This Deliverable Report documents the activities and results of Task B1.3.1
Development and validation of an electronic, proportionally controlled pressure
regulator which forms part of Work Package WPB1.3 Advanced storage system
components.
The aim was to develop a new generation of an electronic pressure regulator which
is able to vary the rail pressure in front of the injectors continuously.
On the basis of the already existing pressure regulator improvements concerning
size, weight and functionality have been made. An appropriate integrated control
strategy was defined and developed in cooperation with SP A1.

1 Research activities
According to the DOW the R&D focus of task WPB1.3.1 was the development and
validation of an electronic, proportionally controlled pressure regulator including
safety tests. The new pressure regulator is able to react on different pressure
requirements in the CNG rail.

1.1 Development and validation


Together with the SP1 partners specification work was done. The Development
started on the basis of the already existing VENTREX pressure regulator.
The result of the project work is an advanced pressure regulator with a significant
decrease of size and an increase in functionality. Special attention was set on the
selection of used material.
Fig. 1 shows a picture of the electronic pressure regulator which describes the main
components.

INGAS Integrated Project

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

Low pressure connector


Customer specific

Pressure relief valve


Heat Exchanger

High pressure sensor


Customer specific

Solenoid valve
Regulator body
High pressure connector
Customer specific

Fig. 1

Electronic Pressure Regulator

The new pressure regulator fulfils the following requirements:


- Operating signal
PWM (0,5 2,0 kHz)
- Operating voltage
9 15V
- Tube interface heat exchanger 8 mm
- Fitting interface:
9/16 - 18 UNF - 2B
- Electric connector:
RD-connector
- Operating temperature
-40 +125 C
- Max. working pressure
260 bar
- Outlet pressure
1 10 bar
- Burst pressure
>1.000 bar
- Max. flow rate
>30 kg/h
- External leakage
< 1*10^-5 mbar*l/s
- Internal leakage
< 1*10^-4 mbar*l/s
- Dimensions
120 x 90 x 75 mm
- Weight
< 650 g (without sensor and connectors)

1.1.1

Functions in Detail

1.1.1.1 Filtration
The inlet gas is filtered with a wire grating at the inlet of the pressure regulator. The wire
grating filters particles which have dimensions higher than 50 m. It is designed to prevent
the pressure regulator from failure due to particles.

1.1.1.2 Pressure Regulation


The pressure regulation is divided into two stages. The first stage is a mechanical regulation
from the tank pressure of 20 to 260 bar to a constant middle pressure of 20 bar. If the tank
pressure is below 20 bar the gas flow leads directly to the second stage: the electronic
regulation stage.
INGAS Integrated Project

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

The electronic regulation mainly consists of a proportional valve. A pressure sensor in the
injection rail provides information of the current pressure to the ECU. The software applied to
the ECU calculates the optimum rail pressure for the current driving condition and sends
signals to the proportional valve accordingly. Depending on the peripheral equipment (i.e.
injection valves, turbo charger, compressor, and geometry of the inlet manifold) the
proportional valve regulates pressure between 4 to 10 bar. In theory the range of output
pressure is between 0 and 20 bar.
To fully open the proportional valve the coil needs a minimum current of 1.2 ampere.
Different outside temperatures have effect on the resistance and the voltage of the battery.
The following graph (Fig. 2) shows the relation between current and temperature at given
voltages. The pink line at 1.2 ampere marks the minimum current necessary to open the
proportional valve 100 percent.

2,20
9V
10V

2,00

11V

1,80

12V
13V

1,60

14V
15V

current [A]

1,40
1,20
1,00
0,80
0,60
0,40
0,20
0,00
-40

-20

20

40

60

80

100

120

temperature [C]

Fig. 2 Current at different temperatures

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INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

idle
Full throttle

Push

Change gear

Fig. 3 Rail pressure

Figure 3 shows the pressure regulation in the rail in a time range of 40 seconds. The red line
shows the set pressure calculated by the ECU. The green line shows the measured pressure
in the rail. The tank pressure (yellow line) remains nearly constant in this short regulation
sample.
The following picture (Fig. 2) shows the regulation quality during field trial. The displayed
values were measured at the set point.

INGAS Integrated Project

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INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Full throttle

Contract N.:218447

Set point

Fig. 4 Regulation Quality

1.1.1.3 Mass Flow


The maximum mass flow at all inlet pressure levels higher than 20 bar is more than 30 kg/h
CH4.
Figure 5 shows the mass flow dependent of different inlet pressure and rail pressure (results
were collected on the test bench with the medium air and converted to CH4):

INGAS Integrated Project

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

CH4
40

mass flow [kg/h]

38

36

34

32

20 bar
100 bar
200 bar

30
4

10

rail pressure [bar]

Fig. 5 Mass flow under various conditions

The proportional valve which is a solenoid valve is controlled by a PWM signal (12V, 0,52
kHz). Without PWM signal the proportional valve is in closed position and works as a shut-off
valve. The reaction time for opening and closing of the valve over all pressure ranges is
always less than 100 ms. The PWM signal is triggered to a duty cycle from 0 to 100 percent.
0 percent means a closed valve, 100 percent means the proportional valve is fully open.

20 bar inlet pressure


40
35

mass flow CH4 [kg/h]

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

duty cycle [%]

Fig. 6 Mass flow depending on duty cycle

INGAS Integrated Project

Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

Figure 6 shows the mass flow depending on inlet pressure and duty cycle. The duty cycle is
increased up to 100 percent (red line) and then decreased to 0 percent (blue line). The
hysteresis between the two lines is important for the application in the car.

1.1.1.4 Heat Exchange


The integrated heat exchanging plate is connected to the cooling system. Due to the JouleThomson-Effect the gas cools down during expansion. To avoid freezing of the pressure
regulator and damages of the sealings the system has to be heated.
The following figure (Fig. 7) shows the cooling effect on the low pressure side depending on
different tank pressure. The data was collected during a field trial with outside temperature of
0C, rail pressure was 9 bar and the mass flow was around 26.5 kg/h.

Fig. 7 Cooling on low pressure side

1.1.1.5 Pressure Relief Valve


The pressure relief valve is a safety valve on the low pressure side which opens at
adjusted 16 bar and releases the over pressure. The maximum pressure which
activates the valve is defined by the spring characteristic.

With this pressure regulator plenty of different tests were performed. The main focus
was on the improvement of the control quality. Fig. 8 shows the pressure regulator in
a test car and Fig. 9 shows the test rig where durability tests and component tests
were done.

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Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Fig. 8

Testing in a test car

Fig. 9

Testing on the test bench

Contract N.:218447

Additional to the internal tests SPA1 received pressure regulators and a control unit
from VENTREX to perform some hardware testing on the engine test bench. These
tests were performed successful. After the testing the pressure regulator was
integrated into the test vehicle of SPA1 a FIAT Bravo.
According to the DoW VENTREX presented a prototype of the electronic pressure
regulator after 24 months (DB1.7). This deliverable was successfully presented.

2 Conclusions
During the Subproject 1.3.1 VENTREX developed a new generation of an electronic
pressure regulator. The focus was on the functional optimisation and the reduction of
size.
Parallel to the design work plenty of tests on the test bench and test vehicle have be
performed. After the design freeze and the definition of the final project status
hardware was presented to other project partners and other Subprojects. Especially
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Deliverable Report
INGAS_DR_VENTREX_D B1 7_final version_rev 2_sept 2011

Contract N.:218447

with SPA1 we had a close communication and exchange of Know how and
hardware. Finally a test vehicle, FIAT Bravo, was built up with the pressure regulator
and the control unit of VENTREX.
Summarized VENTREX was able to reach the project targets and is satisfied with the
results.

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