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Technical Paper

A New Ignitior for Large-Bore Natural Gas Engines - Railplug Design Improvement and Optimization

2005-04-11
2005-01-0249
It is a very challenging problem to reliably ignite extremely lean mixtures, especially for the low speed, high load conditions of large-bore natural gas engines. If these engines are to be use for the distributed power generation market, it will require operation with higher boost pressures and even leaner mixtures. Both place greater demands on the ignition system. The railplug is a very promising ignition system for lean burn natural gas engines with its high-energy deposition and high velocity plasma arc. It requires care to properly design railplugs for this new application, however. For these engines, in-cylinder pressure and mixture temperature are very high at the time of ignition due to the high boost pressure. Hot spots may exist on the electrodes of the ignitor, causing pre-ignition problems. A heat transfer model is proposed in this paper to aid the railplug design. The electrode temperature was measured in an operating natural gas engine.
Technical Paper

Improving Heavy-Duty Engine Efficiency and Durability: The Rotating Liner Engine

2005-04-11
2005-01-1653
The Rotating Linear Engine (RLE) derives improved fuel efficiency and decreased maintenance costs via a unique lubrication design, which decreases piston assembly friction and the associated wear for heavy-duty natural gas and diesel engines. The piston ring friction exhibited on current engines accounts for 1% of total US energy consumption. The RLE is expected to reduce this friction by 50-70%, an expectation supported by hot motoring and tear-down tests on the UT single cylinder RLE prototype. Current engines have stationary liners where the oil film thins near the ends of the stroke, resulting in metal-to-metal contact. This metal-to-metal contact is the major source of both engine friction and wear, especially at high load. The RLE maintains an oil film between the piston rings and liner throughout the piston stroke due to liner rotation. This assumption has also been confirmed by recent testing of the single cylinder RLE prototype.
Technical Paper

From Spark Plugs to Railplugs – The Characteristics of a New Ignition System

2004-10-25
2004-01-2978
Ignition of extremely lean or dilute mixtures is a very challenging problem. Therefore, it is essential for the engine development engineer to understand the fundamentals and limitations of existing ignition systems. This paper presents a new railplug ignition concept, a high-energy ignition system, which can enhance ignition of very lean mixtures by means of its high-energy deposition and high velocity jet of the plasma. This paper presents initial results of tests using an inductive ignition system, a capacitor discharge ignition system, and a railplug high-energy ignition system. Discharge characteristics, such as time-resolved voltage, current, and luminous emission were measured. Spark plug and railplug ignition are compared for their effects on combustion stability of a natural gas engine. The results show that railplugs have a very strong arc-phase that can ensure the ignition of very dilute mixtures.
Technical Paper

Refinement of a Dedicated E85 1999 Silverado with Emphasis on Cold Start and Cold Drivability

2001-03-05
2001-01-0679
The University of Texas 2000 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge team remains focused on cold start, cold drivability, fuel economy, and emissions reduction for our 2000 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge entry. We used the stock PCM for all control functions except control of an innovative cold-start system our team designed. The primary modifications for improved emissions control involved ceramic coating of the exhaust manifolds, use of close-coupled ethanol-specific catalysts, use of a moddified version of the California Emissions Calibrated PCM, and our cold-start system that eliminates the need to overfuel the engine at the beginning of the FTP. Additionally, we eliminated EGR at high load to improve power density. Major modifications, such as increasing the compression ratio or pressure boosting, were eliminated from consideration due to cost, complexity, reliability, or emissions penalties.
Technical Paper

Conversion of a 1999 Silverado to Dedicated E85 with Emphasis on Cold Start and Cold Driveability

2000-03-06
2000-01-0590
The University of Texas Ethanol Vehicle Challenge team focused upon cold start/driveability, fuel economy, and emissions reduction for our 1999 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge entry. We replaced or coated all fuel system components that were not ethanol compatible. We used the stock PCM for all control functions except control of a novel cold-start system our team designed. The primary modifications for improved emissions control involved ceramic coating of the exhaust manifolds, use of close-coupled ethanol-specific catalysts, increased EGR for the operating conditions of the five longest cruises on the FTP, and our cold-start system that eliminates the need to overfuel the engine at the beginning of the FTP. This EGR control scheme should also benefit urban fuel economy. Additionally, we eliminated EGR at high load to improve power density.
Technical Paper

Practical Considerations for an E85-Fueled Vehicle Conversion

1999-10-25
1999-01-3517
An original equipment gasoline-fueled 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup with a 5.3-liter, V8 engine was converted to operate on E85 (85% denatured ethanol and 15% gasoline). The simplest conversion of a gasoline-fueled vehicle to E85 requires modification to the fuel system, including use of components that are compatible with ethanol and fuel injectors that provide sufficient E85 for the stock engine control module (ECM) to effectively control engine operation. To retain the stock ECM, higher flow rate fuel injectors that provide approximately 40% more E85 than gasoline are required. With no engine modifications and similar engine control strategies, performance predictions show an approximate 7% torque and power increase for E85 over gasoline. The increase is primarily due to the specific energy differences between E85 and gasoline, although there should be a slight charge cooling benefit for E85 as a result of its higher heat of vaporization.
Technical Paper

Further Experiments on the Effects of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting on HC Emissions from Direct Injection Gasoline Engines

1999-10-25
1999-01-3661
A recently developed in-cylinder fuel injection probe was used to deposit a small amount of liquid fuel on various surfaces within the combustion chamber of a 4-valve engine that was operating predominately on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A fast flame ionization detector (FFID) was used to examine the engine-out emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs). Injector shut-off was used to examine the rate of liquid fuel evaporation. The purpose of these experiments was to provide insights into the HC formation mechanism due to in-cylinder wall wetting. The variables investigated were the effects of engine operating conditions, coolant temperature, in-cylinder wetting location, and the amount of liquid wall wetting. The results of the steady state tests show that in-cylinder wall wetting is an important source of HC emissions both at idle and at a part load, cruise-type condition. The effects of wetting location present the same trend for idle and part load conditions.
Technical Paper

The Effect of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting Location on the HC Emissions from SI Engines

1999-03-01
1999-01-0502
The effect of combustion chamber wall-wetting on the emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs) from gasoline-fueled SI engines was investigated experimentally. A spark-plug mounted directional injection probe was developed to study the fate of liquid fuel which impinges on different surfaces of the combustion chamber, and to quantify its contribution to the HC emissions from direct-injected (DI) and port-fuel injected (PFI) engines. With this probe, a controlled amount of liquid fuel was deposited on a given location within the combustion chamber at a desired crank angle while the engine was operated on pre-mixed LPG. Thus, with this technique, the HC emissions due to in-cylinder wall wetting were studied independently of all other HC sources. Results from these tests show that the location where liquid fuel impinges on the combustion chamber has a very important effect on the resulting HC emissions.
Technical Paper

The Texas Project, Part 4 - Final Results: Emissions and Fuel Economy of CNG and LPG Conversions of Light-Duty Vehicles

1998-10-19
982446
The Texas Project was a multi-year study of aftermarket conversions of a variety of light-duty vehicles to CNG or LPG. Emissions and fuel economy when using these fuels are compared to the results for the same vehicles operating on certification gasoline and Federal Phase 1 RFG. Since 1993, 1,040 tests were conducted on 10 models, totally 86 light-duty vehicles. The potential for each vehicle model/kit combination to attain LEV certification was assessed. Also, comparisons of emissions and fuel economy between converted vehicles when operating on gasoline and nominally identical un-converted gasoline control vehicles were analyzed. Additional evaluations were performed for a subfleet that was subjected to exhaust speciations for operation over the Federal Test Procedure cycle and also for off-cycle tests.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Fuel Composition, System Design, and Operating Conditions on In-System Vaporization and Hot Start of a Liquid-Phase LPG Injection System

1998-05-04
981388
A liquid-phase port injection system for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) generally consists of a fuel storage tank with extended capability of operating up to 600 psi, a fuel pump, and suitable fuel lines to and from the LPG fuel injectors mounted in the fuel rail manifold. Port injection of LPG in the liquid phase is attractive due to engine emissions and performance benefits. However, maintaining the LPG in the liquid phase at under-hood conditions and re-starting after hot soak can be difficult. Multiphase behavior within a liquid-phase LPG injection system was investigated computationally and experimentally. A commercial chemical equilibrium code (ASPEN PLUS™) was used to model various LPG compositions under operating conditions.
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