Control Engineering Practice
The replacement of traditional automotive mechanical cooling system components with computer controlled servo-motor driven actuators can improve temperature tracking and reduce parasitic losses. The integration of hydraulic actuators in the engine cooling circuit offers greater power density in a smaller package space when compared with electric actuators. In this paper, a comprehensive nonlinear backstepping robust control technique is developed to regulate the engine coolant temperature by controlling a hydraulic coolant pump and radiator fan. An experimental test bench has been assembled to investigate the hydraulic automotive thermal system performance. Representative numerical and experimental results are presented and discussed. Overall, the proposed controller was successful in tracking prescribed engine temperature proﬁles while harmoniously regulating the power consumption of the coolant pump and radiator fan.
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