Two of the three researchers who have developed the algorithm for measuring engine efficiency are from IIT Mandi, Himachal. (HT Photo)
Two of the three researchers who have developed the algorithm for measuring engine efficiency are from IIT Mandi, Himachal. (HT Photo)

IIT Mandi researchers develop algorithm to optimise vehicle’s fuel efficiency

Their work appeared online in the global peer-reviewed International Journal of Systems Science, Taylor & Francis, on February 21.
By Priyanka Sahoo
UPDATED ON APR 07, 2021 12:14 PM IST

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi, have developed an algorithm which they say, can help optimise fuel efficiency and minimise emissions by assessing the functioning of internal combustion (IC) engines. It uses data learning and prediction techniques to calculate real time values about the engine in petrol and diesel vehicles and other subsystems’ performance, says a study.

“Based on these performance indicators, the driver of the engine can manoeuvre the vehicle accordingly to improve efficiency and decrease emissions. Automotive engine manufacturers can also programme these algorithms to provide automatic control for better efficiency,” said the lead author of the study, Tushar Jain, assistant professor, School of Computing and Electrical Engineering at IIT Mandi.

The development has potential for making significant impact since IC engines fuelled by petrol and diesel comprise 99.8% of global transport, including airplanes and boats. They are also responsible for 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2020 study by US and UK-based researchers.

“Currently there are no systems to measure efficiency of an engine or other systems in the vehicle. For example, it’s difficult to know exactly how much fuel is flowing into the engine as typical sensors will get damaged during motion since the pistons are constantly moving,” said Jain, whose team comprised research scholar Vyoma Singh and Birupaksha Pal from the Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited (RBEBSPL), Bengaluru.

Their work appeared online in the global peer-reviewed International Journal of Systems Science, Taylor & Francis, on February 21. Jain said they are in the process of applying for patents.

Amit Shukla, assistant professor, School of Engineering, IIT Mandi, who was not a part of the study, said the estimation of real performance of IC engines is a major challenge and the Jain and his team’s methodology will help to develop better optimised and controlled engines.

“Although there is strong intention to move towards electrical energy-based propulsion systems, in reality, we are still far away from that goal of complete electrification of the transportation sector. In such a situation optimisation of IC engine by improving its fuel efficiency, while minimising resultant emission is one of the best near-term solutions,” said Shukla.

The researchers have benchmarked the performance of their methodology by comparing it with that of the state-of-the-art estimation methods. The numerical stability and robustness of their proposed methodology are analysed through rigorous Monte Carlo simulations and found to be superior to other methods, said Jain.

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