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The integration of computer-controlled electro-mechanical components in ground vehicle cooling systems can improve coolant temperature regulation and servomotor power consumption. Advanced thermal management systems for internal combustion engines can better regulate the combustion process by harmoniously controlling the cooling system's actuators to obtain desired thermal conditions in a power-efficient manner. In this paper, a comprehensive nonlinear control architecture is proposed for transient temperature tracking in multiple cooling circuits, which builds on single-loop studies. An experimental engine and transmission cooling system have been assembled that feature a variable-position smart thermostat valve, two variable-speed electric pumps, variable-speed electric radiator fan, engine block, transmission, radiator, steam-based heat exchanger, and sensors. Representative experimental results are discussed to demonstrate the functionality of the multiloop thermal management system under normal and elevated ambient temperatures. The presented results clearly show that the proposed robust controller-based thermal management system can accurately track prescribed engine and transmission temperature profiles.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2010