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Fuelling on demand

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If snippets of information that filter down to me turn out to be true, the average motorsport engine ECU of the future will have to work a lot harder. It's all to do with economy - both in the size of the fuel pump and the amount of power it consumes. While the systems that give these benefits have been fitted on some road vehicles for many years it seems that motorsports, with the emphasis now more on fuel saving than absolute power, is beginning to take notice as well. In a...

Twin injector blending

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Most of the time many of us are quite happy with just one injector per cylinder. The complexity of EFi arrangements and the software necessary to control an engine under the wide range of anticipated conditions are complex enough without going looking for problems. But there are occasions when the one injector is not enough, say when the turndown ratio of any single injector is simply not large enough to cover the anticipated fuelling requirements of the engine. A typical example of this...

X-by-wire

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One of the biggest changes to the engine ECU in recent years has been the rise of the drive-by-wire system. Generically known as 'x-by-wire' or sometimes (incorrectly) as 'fly-by-wire', such systems were introduced by vehicle OEMs in response to more punitive emissions legislation in recent years. Consisting of a throttle pedal device requesting a torque demand from the engine, the engine ECU calculates the ignition and fuelling necessary and requests the appropriate amount...

Control freak

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If there is one area of engineering that has simply exploded over the past 30 years or so it is that of control. Where once we had mechanical or electrical devices to manage what few systems were around, these days almost all mechanical systems are controlled by some measure of electronics and computing such that a whole new subject has evolved - that of mechatronics.In the case of a modern race engine, we are all too familiar with the idea of electronics together with a little help from...

Time for a change

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In these times of political and economic upheavals around the world it seems there is an appetite for change in other areas of life as well. Suggestions for a revamp to the Formula One engine regulations could fill a whole book but it is the latest - including direct injection or gas turbine technology - that have really hit the headlines recently. For those with long memories, gas turbines were all the rage in the late 1960s and early '70s. Undeterred by the experiences of the Rover...
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