Automakers can improve fuel economy by selecting optimal coolant-circuit architectures, heat exchangers, and flow-control devices. The goal of this work was to warm up the drivetrain oils rapidly and run at a slightly higher temperature without additional hydraulic power. Kevin Laboe, who leads the Powertrain Thermal Management Team at Chrysler's Advanced Powertrain Group, Detroit, MI, and who led the simulation and testing teams, says the challenge was to distribute the heat in the most effective way.
Game-changing advances in recent years are improvements in engine technologies, sensors, and onboard computing power. This combination of technologies will enable unprecedented control of the combustion process, which in turn will enable real-world implementations of low-temperature combustion and other advanced strategies as well as improved robustness and fuel flexibility. In fact, technological advances are blurring our historical distinction between spark-ignition and compression-ignition engines; we will see new engine concepts that blend the best characteristics of both engine types to push the boundaries of efficiency while meeting stringent emissions regulations worldwide.
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