As a matter of fact, nowadays the optimisation of engine and powertrains towards cleaner, more fuel-efficient and safer vehicles requires virtual tools for the simulation of the whole system well in advance in the design process. Moreover, management and diagnostic issues have a key role in the exploitation of used technologies and solutions (e.g., double-stage turbocharging, high- and low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation, etc.). Without forgetting the importance of experimental investigations, mathematical models are very useful tools to improve both performance and behaviour of engines and powertrains, with applications ranging from the optimisation of the system layout, to the definition and testing of control strategies. Starting from a brief overview of actual mathematical tools for the simulation of transient operation of Diesel engines, several considerations are reported on modelling criteria and approaches with reference to fast 0-D Mean Value Models of engines and powertrains. An original library that the authors built up in recent years for the “real-time” simulation of Diesel engines is described, and several applications are reported. Presented models were validated and used to simulate transient behaviour of typical automotive Diesel engines.
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