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Increasing Fuel Economy with CAE


The Benefits of Increasing Fuel Economy

  • Meet legislation: Governments around the world are introducing ever more stringent emissions legislation which often includes limits on the production of CO2. OEMs must ensure that their powertrains meet this legislation or face the prospect of lost sales or fines.
  • Increase margins: A growing customer segment is environmentally aware. For this group, low fuel consumption and the resultant reduction in CO2 is an important factor in the purchasing decision.  This group will tend to be less price sensitive than the average consumer and so higher prices and thus increased margins can be gained
  • Reduced cost of ownership: Lower fuel consumption results in lower cost of ownership through 1) reduced fuel bills and 2) lower vehicle tax rates imposed by local or national governments trying to incentivise the take-up of more efficient vehicles to improve the environment.
  • Increased sales: Reduced cost of ownership will result in an increase in demand for the product.  This increased demand can be turned into increased unit sales or margins or a combination of the two.

Challenges to Increasing Fuel Economy

  • Changing performance targets: the engine or component will be in a constant state of development to improve one or more of the following: power, torque, weight, cost, size, NVH.
  • New applications: the engine will be tried in different applications to increase sales volumes either within or across industry segments for example passenger vehicle to small commercial vehicle or across industries for example stationary (power generation) to automotive or automotive to marine.  Or for example as prime mover to auxiliary power in an EV application
  • New environments: the engine may be sold in different geographical markets to increase sales.  These may have significantly different operating temperatures, air densities (altitude) or air compositions (pollution) than the home market.
  • New duty cycles: new customers may introduce more severe usage patterns for example the police or military environment

The Importance of Design Verification using CAE
Whenever a design is changed, for whatever reason, it is essential that the product is tested either physically or virtually to determine whether those changes have had a negative effect on its fuel consumption.  For example a performance improvement exercise can increase fuel injection rates and durations which may increase fuel consumption.  This outcome can be minimised through good design based on a solid understanding of fluid mechanics and combustion fundamentals, chemistry and FIE products and optimisation.

As discussed in the Engine page CAE simulation allows the engineer to verify relatively quickly and cheaply whether the revised product still meets its fuel consumption targets. To read more about the benefits of CAE click here.

When improving fuel consumption is the main design objective then CAE simulation can be performed to check any negative consequences on any of the other attributes including durabilityNVHthermal, performance, weight and emissions. For example making the engine run leaner can make the combustion more unstable which may increase its noise and vibration.  Again this outcome can be mitigated through good design based on a solid understanding of fluid mechanics and combustion fundamentals, chemistry, FIE optimisation and advanced problem and product specific simulation tools.

The Caepro Advantage
Caepro has performed fuel consumption CAE on the major components of the engine both individually and as an assembly.  This includes changes through both fuel-air mixing and combustion and reductions in friction. See one of our Engine Fuel Economy Case Studies. Our deep product knowledge and experience enables us to

  • Understand your objectives for the product
  • Prepare a model optimised for calculation speed and accuracy
  • Apply appropriate boundary conditions
  • Perform simulation using world-class procedures and tools
  • Make sensible recommendations for design improvements
  • Minimise any negative impact on other attributes

To get more information or to request a quote for engine Fuel Economy CAE please submit an enquiry. For more on why Caepro is the best partner for your outsourced CAE requirements please read our 9 Reasons for Using Caepro article.

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