Dekraker, P., Stuhldreher, M., and Kim, Y., "Characterizing Factors Influencing SI Engine Transient Fuel Consumption for Vehicle Simulation in ALPHA," SAE Int. J. Engines 10(2):529-540, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0533.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) tool was created to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light-duty vehicles. ALPHA is a physics-based, forward-looking, full vehicle computer simulation capable of analyzing various vehicle types with different powertrain technologies, showing realistic vehicle behavior, and auditing of all energy flows in the model. In preparation for the midterm evaluation (MTE) of the 2017-2025 light-duty GHG emissions rule, ALPHA has been refined and revalidated using newly acquired data from model year 2013-2016 engines and vehicles.The robustness of EPA’s vehicle and engine testing for the MTE coupled with further validation of the ALPHA model has highlighted some areas where additional data can be used to add fidelity to the engine model within ALPHA. A simple model based only on a steady-state fuel map will yield fuel consumption and GHG emissions lower than what is measured during a chassis dynamometer test due to a variety of factors present during transient operation.This paper examines a) typical transient engine operation encountered over the EPA city and highway drive cycles, b) EPA’s vehicle and engine testing to characterize that transient fuel usage, and c) changes made to ALPHA to better model transient engine operation. Topics examined in this paper include spark retardation for powertrain torque management, an engine power rate based fuel adjustment, additional fueling associated with deceleration fuel cut-off, and cylinder deactivation management.