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Future potential: psg pressure sensor glow plug from beru facilitates optimum combustion

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Press information

Future potential: PSG pressure sensor glow plug from BERU facilitates optimum combustion

BERU 274_en

Date 31.01.2008

Ref. 5.970

The diesel is more popular than ever. To maintain this status, a
reduction in untreated engine emissions is already compulsory due to drastic exhaust limits planned for the future. As a key component of controlled combustion, the BERU PSG is helping to reduce NOx and CO2 emissions.
(Ludwigsburg, 31 January 2008) The future of the diesel has only just begun. Among the 3.47 million brand-new cars delivered in Germany in 2006, 1.54 million vehicles had a diesel engine under the bonnet according to Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) statistics. Increase compared with the previous year: 7.7 per cent. In 2006, the diesel share of all new vehicles amounted to 44.2 per cent. When it came to new registrations of CI engines in 2006, France reached around 1.43 million vehicles (diesel share: 71.4 per cent). France is followed by Italy with 1.36 million new diesel cars (diesel share: 58.2 per cent) and Spain with 1.02 million vehicles (diesel share: 68.2 per cent). The trend is continuing on an upward path everywhere. In the USA, experts are likewise predicting enormous potential for CI engines. The current study of a leading American market research organisation is forecasting a US market share of around 12 per cent for diesel drives in cars and light trucks by 2015; worldwide it is then projected to be just under 25 per cent.

Milestone in combustion technology
In order for the diesel to increase its popularity still further, today and in the future it must comply with the strictest emissions guidelines.

Take the example of Europe: from 2009 Euro 5 limits will apply, reducing the discharge of nitric oxides in diesels to 180 mg/km. From 2014, under Euro 6, only 80 mg/km will be permitted by law. In the USA the challenges for engine developers are likewise growing, with the tightening of BIN 8 to BIN 5. Instead of 200 milligrams of nitric oxides per mile, only 70 milligrams will then be allowed.

“These demanding limits can only be achieved technically if the untreated emissions of the diesel engines are already as low as possible”, explains Dipl.-Ing. Hans Houben, Development Director of Ludwigsburg company BERU AG. “Because the realistic conversion level of a nitric oxide after-treatment system is limited”. For the partial load area, according to Houben, alternative combustion methods present themselves. They avoid the area of thermal nitric oxide formation, but are no longer controllable on an “open loop” basis.
“In order to be able to build a closed loop control system and thereby control the combustion processes in the engine even more precisely, the BERU PSG intelligent pressure sensor glow plug is of outstanding importance”. Dr. Leopold Mikulic, Head of Car Engine Development at Mercedes, confirms the key role of cylinder pressure sensors in the trade magazine Automotive Engineer: “Sensors for measuring cylinder pressure are key components in highly efficient and low-emission combustion systems, irrespective of whether they are for diesels or petrol-driven cars”. To this end, the multiple award-winning PSG, featuring the particularly robust heating rod of the BERU ISS diesel instant start system combined with a piezo-resistive sensor, determines the pressure in the combustion chamber which changes rapidly on a cyclical basis and relays it continuously to the engine’s electronics control system.
Euro 6 with no expensive NOx after-treatment
One of the proofs of the enormous potential possessed by the BERU pressure sensor glow plug comes in the form of a co-operation agreement covering applications of cylinder pressure-based

combustion control, between BERU AG and Grazer AVL, the world’s largest independent organisation for the development of drive systems with combustion engines. Houben: “Using the BERU PSG and the AVL CYPRESS control system in demonstration vehicles, it was possible to achieve low emission combustion design with untreated NOx emissions which are still below the Euro 6 limit currently being discussed”.

For BERU’s Head of Development, the possibilities of the PSG are therefore by no means exhausted. “Thanks to the exact recording of cylinder pressure using the PSG, higher peak pressures can be achieved and thus standard combustion processes can be taken to their limits without causing problems, especially in the new generation of downsizing engines“. Result: higher engine performance, higher efficiency. Houben sees a further benefit of the PSG in the compensation of different ignition delays: “Each cylinder is unique. Thanks to the data provided by the PSG, ignition can be optimised based on cylinder selection. Cylinder balancing is technically feasible, the engine runs like clockwork, cold start and cold running quality is again improved. Particularly also for US applications with a broader dispersion of the cetane number of the fuel, stable long-term emissions control is therefore finally representable”.
Further major innovation potential offered by the BERU PSG:

  • effective compensation of different grades of fuel and injector ageing,

  • optimum emissions control over the entire service life of the engine,

  • possible savings on cost-intensive NOx sensors and air mass measuring devices,

  • reduction in engine-dependent vibration and acoustic problems (noise, vibration, harshness, NVH),

  • optimum control of torque,

  • minimisation and optimisation of exhaust after-treatment.

PSG production at BERU’s Ludwigsburg site
With PSG production at group headquarters in Ludwigsburg, the
specialists in Ignition Technology, Diesel Cold-Start Technology,
Electronics and Sensors are once again declaring their support for Germany as a location. The pressure sensor glow plugs are produced on a mid-volume line with the aid of expensive process technology. This includes a total of twelve operating stations with complex jointing, casting and laser welding processes, features state-of-the-art technology and is designed for extreme flexibility. Improvements can therefore be implemented rapidly and in a commercially viable manner.
From the middle of 2008 a large European car maker is installing the pressure sensor glow plug for the first time as standard. Further series start-ups for the North American and European markets are already definitely scheduled.
274_1: As a key component of controlled combustion, the BERU PSG helps to reduce NOx and CO2 emissions. In addition, with the pressure sensor glow plug higher peak pressures can be achieved and thus standard combustion processes can be taken to their limits without causing problems. Optimum emissions control over the entire service life of the engine is technically possible with the PSG, as are savings on cost-intensive NOx sensors and air mass measuring devices.
274_2: BERU’s new pressure sensor glow plugs are being produced at the Ludwigsburg site with the aid of expensive process technology -for the time being on a mid-volume line.

With a world market share of over 40% for glow plugs and electronically

controlled instant-start systems for diesel engines, BERU AG is the world’s leading supplier of Diesel Cold-Start Technology. It is also one of Europe´s four leading suppliers in the field of ignition technology for gasoline engines. And BERU is rapidly expanding in the electronics sector with a focus on complete electronic systems for the automotive industry. This long-established company, founded in 1912, also produces sensors and ignition systems for the oil and gasburner sector. BERU´s customers include nearly all of the world’s car and engine manufacturers. BERU AG is represented at 23 locations on three continents, and the company´s headquarters are in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Further information available from:

BERU AG – Hans-Peter Vater,

Director – Head Office Marketing Communications, Product Press

Mörikestr. 155, D-71636 Ludwigsburg, Tel.:++49 (0)7141-132-233,

Fax: -385, E-Mail:
Or visit us on the Internet: There you'll find more illustrations in the BERU image database at
Reprinting free of charge, courtesy copy requested.

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