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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Mahdi Shahbakhti

Committee Member 1

Gordon Parker

Committee Member 2

John Beard

Committee Member 3

Mohammad Shakiba-Herfeh


Transportation sector accounts for 70% of the total U.S. petroleum use in 2014 [7]. Widespread use of petroleum-based fuels in conventional powertrains has led to high greenhouse gas emission (GHG). In this context, the automakers are required to decrease both GHG emission by reducing vehicular fuel consumption and use of alternative fuels. Powertrain electrification and use of fuel-efficient Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) provide a viable solution to reduce GHG and vehicular fuel consumption. Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) engines represent one of the state-of-the-art ICE technologies with the highest reported peak net indicated thermal efficiency as high as 53% [8]. However, LTC engines suffer from limited operating range and control complexity during ICE transients and mode switching. Integrating the LTC engines with Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) provides an opportunity for i) reducing HEV fuel consumption, and ii) removing unnecessary LTC transients; thus, reducing LTC control complexity. This MS report intends to investigate challenges and fuel economy potential for LTC-HEV powertrains. Three different types of Energy Management Control (EMC) strategies are developed and implemented for LTC-HEV powertrains. The EMC strategies encompass thermostatic Rule-Based Control (RBC), offline, and online optimization policies including Dynamic Programing (DP) and Model Predictive Control (MPC), respectively. This research, concentrates on (i) mild HEV architecture integrated with LTC engine to decrease the engine transitions by using e-motor torque assist along with using optimal EMC strategies, and (ii) integrating the LTC engines in series HEV and E-REV architectures which decouples the engine from the drivetrain and allow the ICE to operate fully in a dedicated LTC mode. To verify the outcome of this project, a powertrain test setup is built atMichigan Technological University. The expected outcome from this MS research will be advanced model-based powertrain control strategies to minimize LTC transients, evaluate fuel economy advantage versus conventional ICEs, and finally facilitate implementation of this promising fuel-efficient LTC-HEV powertrain.