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Technical Paper

An Optical and Numerical Characterization of Directly Injected Compressed Natural Gas Jet Development at Engine-Relevant Conditions

Compressed natural gas (CNG) is an attractive, alternative fuel for spark-ignited (SI), internal combustion (IC) engines due to its high octane rating, and low energy-specific CO2 emissions compared with gasoline. Directly-injected (DI) CNG in SI engines has the potential to dramatically decrease vehicles’ carbon emissions; however, optimization of DI CNG fueling systems requires a thorough understanding of the behavior of CNG jets in an engine environment. This paper therefore presents an experimental and modeling study of DI gaseous jets, using methane as a surrogate for CNG. Experiments are conducted in a non-reacting, constant volume chamber (CVC) using prototype injector hardware at conditions relevant to modern DI engines. The schlieren imaging technique is employed to investigate how the extent of methane jets is impacted by changing thermodynamic conditions in the fuel rail and chamber.
Technical Paper

The Direct Transition of Fuel Sprays to theDense-Fluid Mixing Regime in the Contextof Modern Compression Ignition Engines

Fuel supercriticality has recently received significant attention due to the elevated pressures and temperatures that directly-injected (DI) fuel sprays encounter in modern internal combustion (IC) engines. This paper presents a theoretical examination of conventional and alternative DI fuels at conditions relevant to the operation of compression ignition (CI) engines. The focus is to identify the conditions under which the injected liquid fuel can bypass the atomization process and directly transition to a diffusional mixing regime with the chamber gas. Evaluating the microscopic length-scales of the phase boundary associated with the injection of liquid nitrogen into its own vapor, it is found that the conventional threshold based on the interfacial Knudsen number (i.e. Kn = 0.1) does not adequately quantify the direct transition between sub- and supercriticality. Instead, a threshold that is an order of magnitude smaller is more appropriate for this purpose.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of Four Methods for Determining the Octane Index and K on a Modern Engine with Upstream, Port or Direct Injection

Combustion in modern spark-ignition (SI) engines is increasingly knock-limited with the wide adoption of downsizing and turbocharging technologies. Fuel autoignition conditions are different in these engines compared to the standard Research Octane Number (RON) and Motor Octane Numbers (MON) tests. The Octane Index, OI = RON - K(RON-MON), has been proposed as a means to characterize the actual fuel anti-knock performance in modern engines. The K-factor, by definition equal to 0 and 1 for the RON and MON tests respectively, is intended to characterize the deviation of modern engine operation from these standard octane tests. Accurate knowledge of K is of central importance to the OI model; however, a single method for determining K has not been well accepted in the literature.
Technical Paper

Optical Characterization of Propane at Representative Spark Ignition, Gasoline Direct Injection Conditions

The focus of internal combustion (IC) engine research is the improvement of fuel economy and the reduction of the tailpipe emissions of CO2 and other regulated pollutants. Promising solutions to this challenge include the use of both direct-injection (DI) and alternative fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This study uses Mie-scattering and schlieren imaging to resolve the liquid and vapor phases of propane and iso-octane, which serve as surrogates for LPG and gasoline respectively. These fuels are imaged in a constant volume chamber at conditions that are relevant to both naturally aspirated and boosted, gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines. It is observed that propane and iso-octane have different spray behaviors across these conditions. Iso-octane is subject to conventional spray breakup and evaporation in nearly all cases, while propane is heavily flash-boiling throughout the GDI operating map.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Trace Knock in a Modern SI Engine Fuelled by Ethanol/Gasoline Blends

This paper presents a numerical study of trace knocking combustion of ethanol/gasoline blends in a modern, single cylinder SI engine. Results are compared to experimental data from a prior, published work [1]. The engine is modeled using GT-Power and a two-zone combustion model containing detailed kinetic models. The two zone model uses a gasoline surrogate model [2] combined with a sub-model for nitric oxide (NO) [3] to simulate end-gas autoignition. Upstream, pre-vaporized fuel injection (UFI) and direct injection (DI) are modeled and compared to characterize ethanol's low autoignition reactivity and high charge cooling effects. Three ethanol/gasoline blends are studied: E0, E20, and E50. The modeled and experimental results demonstrate some systematic differences in the spark timing for trace knock across all three fuels, but the relative trends with engine load and ethanol content are consistent. Possible reasons causing the differences are discussed.
Technical Paper

The Psychological and Accident Reconstruction “Thresholds” of Drivers' Detection of Relative Velocity

Relative velocity detection thresholds of drivers are one factor that determines their ability to avoid rear-end crashes. Laboratory, simulator and driving studies show that drivers could scale relative velocity when it exceeded the threshold of about 0.003 rad/sec. Studies using accident reconstruction have suggested that the threshold may be about ten times larger. This paper discusses this divergence and suggests reasons for it and concludes that the lower value should be used as a true measure of the psychological threshold for detection of relative velocity.
Journal Article

Bio-Ketones: Autoignition Characteristics and Their Potential as Fuels for HCCI Engines

This paper studies autoignition characteristics and HCCI engine combustion of ketone fuels, which are important constituents of recently discovered fungi-derived biofuels. Two ketone compounds, 2,4-dimethyl-3-pentanone (DMPN) and cyclopentanone (CPN), are systematically investigated in the Sandia HCCI engine, and the results are compared with conventional gasoline and neat ethanol. It is found that CPN has the lowest autoignition reactivity of all the biofuels and gasoline blends tested in this HCCI engine. The combustion timing of CPN is also the most sensitive to intake-temperature (Tin) variations, and it is almost insensitive to intake-pressure (Pin) variations. These characteristics and the overall HCCI performance of CPN are similar to those of ethanol. In contrast, DMPN shows multi-faceted autoignition characteristics. On the one hand, DMPN has strong temperature-sensitivity, even at boosted Pin, which is similar to the low-reactivity ethanol and CPN.
Journal Article

A Comparative Study of a Spark Ignition Engine Running on Hydrogen, Synthesis Gas and Natural Gas

This paper presents an experimental, numerical and theoretical study of the performance of the same spark ignition engine running on four different gaseous fuels: hydrogen, two synthesis gases and natural gas. Measurements of the brake thermal efficiency, the combustion variability, the engine out emissions and the indicated, pumping and friction mean effective pressures are first presented, with particular interest placed on the lean burn performance. Combustion analysis is then undertaken, with the crank angle resolved in-cylinder turbulence and the flame propagation plotted on the so-called ‘Bradley diagram’ for turbulent premixed combustion. The loci of the combustion events on the Bradley diagram are then used to explain the observed, relative performance of the engine running on these four fuels.
Journal Article

A Technical and Financial Analysis of Potentially Near-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission Passenger Vehicles

This paper presents a technical and financial analysis of several, potentially near-zero greenhouse gas emission passenger vehicles for Australian driving conditions. Conventional, series hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fully electric (BEV) vehicles of class B and class E sizes are considered, with their propulsive energy assumed to originate from a source that is free of net greenhouse gas emissions. Extensions to the vehicle models developed by the authors in our previous works [1, 2, 3] are first developed. These enable estimation of the size of each major component in each powertrain, and therefore the total, in-service energy consumption and in-service greenhouse gas emissions. The component sizing also allows estimation of the each vehicle's purchase price, its embodied energy and its embodied greenhouse gas emissions, the latter assuming scenarios for both the current and a future, low emission intensity of Australian manufacturing.
Technical Paper

Performance Comparison of Engine Down-Sized to High Efficieincy ICEs in Optimized Hybrid Vehicles

A real time energy management (EMS) optimizing algorithm is introduced that performs similar to offline dynamic programming (DP) for parallel HEVs. The EMS and the DP are compared, especially with the addition of a local hill climbing technique, to the example performance prediction of the fuel consumption of a 1.67 tonne large car using a 50 kW Honda Insight engine (representing 65% power reduction from standard) as reference. Then the performance of the vehicle in HEV mode, with a parallel 30 kW motor/generator is examined. The average improvement of this vehicle over five drive cycles from around the world is about 50% reduction in fuel consumption. Next the engine is replaced with an advanced SI turbocharged engine with assisted ignition which returns the performance to that expected of this class of car i.e. 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 7 s. This results in a 14% average reduction in fuel consumption across the five cycles compared with the base Honda engine.
Technical Paper

Lean Burn Performance of a Natural Gas Fuelled, Port Injected, Spark Ignition Engine

This paper presents a study of the performance of a lean burn, natural gas-fuelled, naturally aspirated, spark ignition engine for an E class vehicle. Engine performance and exhaust emissions (NO, CO, and UHC) data are first discussed. An energy balance of the engine operating at different loads and air-fuel ratios is then presented, and used to explain why engine efficiency varies with air-fuel ratio. Finally, the hot start drive cycle CO2e (CO2 equivalent) emissions are estimated for a vehicle with this engine. This shows a potential for significant reduction in vehicle greenhouse gas emissions compared to an equivalent gasoline-fuelled vehicle.
Technical Paper

Performance of a Port Fuel Injected, Spark Ignition Engine Optimised for Hydrogen Fuel

This paper presents a study of the performance of a 6-cylinder, spark-ignited, port-fuel-injected, production engine modified for hydrogen fueling. The engine modifications include turbo-charging, multiple fuel injectors per port and charge-dilution control techniques. Pumping losses are reduced through ultra-lean burn and throttle-less operation alongside high charge dilution ratio control achieved by twin independent variable cam timing without external EGR. Lean-burn combustion, engine-out emissions and brake thermal efficiency results are examined in detail. In particular, low NO emissions and brake thermal efficiencies near 38% are observed experimentally at the same operating conditions. The former is explained in terms of the usual thermal NOx pathway. Usage of throttle position, injection timings and cam timings for avoiding preignition and knock over the entire engine map are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen as a Fuel in SI Engines - Towards Best Efficiency for Car Applications

The goal of hydrogen engine research is to achieve highest possible efficiency with low NOx emissions. This is necessary for the hydrogen car to remain competitive with the ever-improving efficiency of conventional fuel's use, to take advantage of the increased availability of hydrogen distribution for fuel cells and to achieve better range than battery electric vehicles. This paper examines the special problems of hydrogen engine combustion and ways to improve efficiency. Central to this are the effects of compression ratio (CR) and lambda (excess air ratio) and ignition system. The results demonstrate highest indicated thermal efficiency at ultra lean condition of lambda ≻ 2 and with central ignition. This need for this lean mixture is partly explained by the higher heat transfer losses.
Journal Article

Development of a Direct Injection High Efficiency Liquid Phase LPG Spark Ignition Engine

Direct Injection (DI) is believed to be one of the key strategies for maximizing the thermal efficiency of Spark Ignition (SI) engines and meet the ever-tightening emissions regulations. This paper explores the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) liquid phase fuel in a 1.5 liter SI four cylinder gasoline engine with double over head camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and centrally located DI injector. The DI injector is a high pressure, fast actuating injector enabling precise multiple injections of the finely atomized fuel sprays. With DI technology, the injection timing can be set to avoid fuel bypassing the engine during valve overlap into the exhaust system prior to combustion. The fuel vaporization associated with DI reduces combustion chamber and charge temperatures, thereby reducing the tendency for knocking. Fuel atomization quality supports an efficient combustion process.
Technical Paper

The Always Lean Burn Spark Ignition (ALSI) Engine – Its Performance and Emissions

This paper is based on extensive experimental research with lean burn, high compression ratio engines using LPG, CNG and gasoline fuels. It also builds on recent experience with highly boosted spark ignition gasoline and LPG engines and single cylinder engine research used for model calibration. The final experimental foundation is an evaluation of jet assisted ignition that generally allows a lean mixture shift of more than one unit in lambda with consequential benefits of improved thermal efficiency and close to zero NOx. The capability of an ultra lean burn spark ignition engine is described. The concept is operation at air-fuel ratios similar to the diesel engine but with essentially homogenous charge, although some stratification may be desirable. To achieve high thermal efficiency this engine has optimized compression ratio but with variable valve timing which enables reduction in the effective compression ratio when desirable.
Technical Paper

Exploring the Charge Composition of SI Engine Lean Limits

In this paper the experimental performance of the lean limits is examined for two different types of engines the first a dedicated LPG high compression ratio 2-valve per cylinder engine (Ford of Australia MY 2001 AU Falcon) and the second a gasoline moderate compression 4-valve per cylinder variant of the same engine (Ford of Australia MY 2006 BF Falcon). The in-cylinder composition at the lean limit over a range of steady state operating conditions is estimated using a quasi-dimensional model. This makes it possible to take into account the effects of both residual fraction and fresh charge diluents (EGR and excess air) that allow the exploration of a modeled lean limit performance [1, 2]. The results are compared to the predictions from a model for combustion variability applied to the quasi-dimensional model operating in optimization mode.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Pfi and Di Superbike Engines

Gasoline Direct Injection (DI) is a technique that was successful in motor sports several decades ago and is now relatively popular in passenger car applications only. DI gasoline fuel injectors have been recently improved considerably, with much higher fuel flow rates and much finer atomization enabled by the advances in fuel pressure and needle actuation. These improved injector performance and the general interest in reducing fuel consumption also in motor sports have made this option interesting again. This paper compares Port Fuel Injection (PFI) and DI of gasoline fuel in a high performance, four cylinder spark ignition engine for super bike racing. Computations are performed with a code for gas exchange, heat transfer and combustion, simulating turbulent combustion and knock.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Engine Gas Exchange, Combustion and Heat Transfer during Warm-Up

This paper presents experimental and computational results obtained on an in line, six cylinder, naturally aspirated, gasoline engine. Steady state measurements were first collected for a wide range of cam and spark timings versus throttle position and engine speed at part and full load. Simulations were performed by using an engine thermo-fluid model. The model was validated with measured steady state air and fuel flow rates and indicated and brake mean effective pressures. The model provides satisfactory accuracy and demonstrates the ability of the approach to produce fairly accurate steady state maps of BMEP and BSFC. However, results show that three major areas still need development especially at low loads, namely combustion, heat transfer and friction modeling, impacting respectively on IMEP and FMEP computations. Satisfactory measurement of small IMEP and derivation of FMEP at low loads is also a major issue.
Technical Paper

The Feasibility of Downsizing a 1.25 Liter Normally Aspirated Engine to a 0.43 Liter Highly Turbocharged Engine

In this paper, performance, efficiency and emission experimental results are presented from a prototype 434 cm3, highly turbocharged (TC), two cylinder engine with brake power limited to approximately 60 kW. These results are compared to current small engines found in today's automobile marketplace. A normally aspirated (NA) 1.25 liter, four cylinder, modern production engine with similar brake power output is used for comparison. Results illustrate the potential for downsized engines to significantly reduce fuel consumption while still maintaining engine performance. This has advantages in reducing vehicle running costs together with meeting tighter carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards. Experimental results highlight the performance potential of smaller engines with intake boosting. This is demonstrated with the test engine achieving 25 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP).
Technical Paper

Compression Ratio Effects on Performance, Efficiency, Emissions and Combustion in a Carbureted and PFI Small Engine

This paper compares the performance, efficiency, emissions and combustion parameters of a prototype two cylinder 430 cm3 engine which has been tested in a variety of normally aspirated (NA) modes with compression ratio (CR) variations. Experiments were completed using 98-RON pump gasoline with modes defined by alterations to the induction system, which included carburetion and port fuel injection (PFI). The results from this paper provide some insight into the CR effects for small NA spark ignition (SI) engines. This information provides future direction for the development of smaller engines as engine downsizing grows in popularity due to rising oil prices and recent carbon dioxide (CO2) emission regulations. Results are displayed in the engine speed, manifold absolute pressure (MAP) and CR domains, with engine speeds exceeding 10000 rev/min and CRs ranging from 9 to 13. Combustion analysis is also included, allowing mass fraction burn (MFB) comparison.