Loughborough University
Thesis-1973-McLean.pdf (8.34 MB)

Optimal control of an internal combustion engine and transmission system

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posted on 2018-08-17, 08:31 authored by Donald McLean
The control of an internal-combustion engine such that it will produce its required output, with a minimum consumption of fuel, even in the presence of random load disturbances, has become a necessary requirement for future prime-mover and vehicular applications. This thesis is concerned with an attempt to produce a practical scheme to meet that requirement from a study of several methods of achieving optimal engine regulation and a method of obtaining optimal start-up. An attempt was made first to identify the response of the engine-transmission-load combination with a mathematical model obtained by the use of computers. The servo-mechanism associated with the throttle was identified also, and then a complete state-variable description of the system was obtained. Next an automatic gear-changing scheme was designed and implemented. With the availability of this practical system an optimal control function was generated then to implement optimal start-up. The optimal function was calculated by solving the associated multi-point boundary value problem by means of technique of quasi-linearisation. To subject the system to random loads an artificial road was simulated, and a scheme was devised to vary the dynamometer loading in response to this 'road' signal. The remainder of the thesis is concerned with a study of several different methods of obtaining optimal or sub-optimal schemes of regulation and with comparisons of experimental results and the results from associated theoretical computer studies. Many suggestions for further investigations are contained in the final chapter.


Royal Air Force.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Donald McLean

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.


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