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Technical Paper

Feasibility of Multiple Piston Motion Control Approaches in a Free Piston Engine Generator

2019-10-28
2019-01-2599
The design optimization and control of Free Piston Linear Engine (FPLE) has been found to be difficult as each independent variable changes the dynamics with respect to time. These dynamics, in turn, alters the alternator and engine response to other governing variables. As a result, the FPLE system necessitates an energy balance control algorithm with high-speed dynamic response for stable operation and perhaps optimized system efficiency. The main objective of this control algorithm is to match the power generated by the engine to the power demanded by the alternator. This energy balance control is similar to the use of a governor to control the crankshaft rotational speed in a conventional crankshaft driven engine. In addition to that, when stiff springs are added to the FPLE system, the dynamics becomes more sinusoidal and more consistent with increasing spring stiffness.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Combustion Characteristics in a Heavy-Duty Compression-Ignition Engine Retrofitted to Natural-Gas Spark-Ignition Operation

2019-09-09
2019-24-0124
The conversion of existing diesel engines to natural gas operation can reduce U.S. dependence on petroleum imports and curtail engine-out emissions. Diesel compression ignition engines can be modified to NG spark ignition, by replacing the diesel injector with a NG spark plug and by fumigating NG in the intake manifold, to increase utilization of natural gas heavy-duty transportation sector. As the original diesel piston is maintained during conversion to decrease engine modification cost, the major of this study was to investigate the lean-burn characteristic of natural gas burning in this bowl-in-piston combustion chamber, which can accelerate the introduction of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles. Data analysis from engine experiments that changed spark timing indicated a two-stage combustion process in such retrofitted engines, which is different from traditional spark ignition engines.
Technical Paper

Effect of Methane Number in a Diesel Engine Converted to Natural Gas Spark Ignition

2019-09-09
2019-24-0008
Natural gas (NG) is an alternative fuel for spark-ignition engines. In addition to its cleaner combustion, recent breakthroughs in drilling technologies increased its availability and lowered its cost. NG consists of mostly methane, but it also contains heavier hydrocarbons and inert diluents, the levels of which vary substantially with geographical source, time of year, and treatments applied during production or transportation. To investigate the effects of NG composition on engine performance and emissions, a 3D CFD model of a heavy-duty diesel engine retrofitted to spark ignition operations simulated engine operation under lean-combustion, low-speed, and medium load conditions. To eliminate the effect of different gas energy density, three NG blends of similar lower heating value but different H/C ratio have been investigated at fixed spark timing.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Natural Gas Lean-Burn Spark Ignition Engine with Bowl-in-Piston Combustion Chamber

2019-04-02
2019-01-0559
On- and off-road heavy-duty diesel engines modified to spark-ignition natural gas operation can reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil and enhance national energy security. Engine conversion can be achieved through the addition of a gas injector in the intake manifold and of a spark plug in place of the diesel injector. This paper investigated combustion characteristics and engine performance at several lean-burn operating conditions that changed spark timing, mixture equivalence ratio, and engine speed, using methane as NG surrogate.
Technical Paper

Gaseous Fuels Variation Effects on Combustion and Emissions of a Small Direct Injection Natural Gas Engine

2019-04-02
2019-01-0560
Our research focused on the assessment of fuel variation effects on performance of a 34 cc two-stroke, natural gas combustion engine designed for use as the prime mover in either slider-crank or novel linear generator applications. Nearly two-thirds of US homes have either natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas available at low pressures. We tested the engine with three different natural gas blends, pure methane, and pure propane. In order to reduce fuel compression power, we modified the engine to use low-pressure direct injection (LPDI) of gaseous fuels. We examined regulated gaseous emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and combustion trends over a range of delivered air fuel ratios. Start of Injection (SOI) occurred at either 180 or 190 CA BTDC and efficiency improved by reducing fuel slip. However, for natural gas blends, the predominant emissions were methane - a potent greenhouse gas.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Windage and Vibrational Losses in Flexure Springs of a One kW Two-Stroke Free Piston Linear Engine Alternator

2019-04-02
2019-01-0816
Methods to quantify the energy losses within linear motion devices that included flexural springs as the main suspension component were investigated. The methods were applied to a two-stroke free-piston linear engine alternator (LEA) as a case study that incorporated flexure springs to add stiffness to the mass-spring system. Use of flexure springs is an enabling mechanism for improving the efficiency and lifespan in linear applications e.g. linear engines and generators, cryocoolers, and linear Stirling engines. The energy loss due to vibrations and windage effects of flexure springs in a free piston LEA was investigated to quantify possible energy losses. A transient finite element solver was used to determine the effects of higher modes of vibration frequencies of the flexure arms at an operational frequency of 65 Hz. Also, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver was used to determine the effects of drag force on the moving surfaces of flexures at high frequencies.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity Analysis and Control Methodology for Linear Engine Alternator

2019-04-02
2019-01-0230
Linear engine alternator (LEA) design optimization traditionally has been difficult because each independent variable alters the motion with respect to time, and therefore alters the engine and alternator response to other governing variables. An analogy is drawn to a conventional engine with a very light flywheel, where the rotational speed effectively is not constant. However, when springs are used in conjunction with an LEA, the motion becomes more consistent and more sinusoidal with increasing spring stiffness. This avoids some attractive features, such as variable compression ratio HCCI operation, but aids in reducing cycle-to-cycle variation for conventional combustion modes. To understand the cycle-to-cycle variations, we have developed a comprehensive model of an LEA with a 1kW target power in MATLAB®/Simulink, and an LEA corresponding to that model has been operated in the laboratory.
Technical Paper

Heavy-Duty Aerodynamic Testing for CO2 Certification: A Methodology Comparison

2019-04-02
2019-01-0649
Aerodynamic drag testing is a key component of the CO2 certification schemes for heavy-duty vehicles around the world. This paper presents and compares the regulatory approaches for measuring the drag coefficient of heavy-duty vehicles in Europe, which uses a constant-speed test, and in the United States and Canada, which use a coastdown test. Two European trucks and one North American truck were tested using the constant-speed and coastdown methods. When corrected to zero yaw angle, a difference of up to 12% was observed in the measured drag coefficients from the US coastdown procedure and the EU constant-speed test.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulation of Metal and Optical Configuration of a Heavy-Duty CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas. Part 1: Combustion Behavior

2019-01-15
2019-01-0002
Internal combustion engines with optical access (a.k.a. optical engines) provide additional information in the quest for understanding the fundamental in-cylinder combustion phenomena. However, most optical engines have flat bowl-in-piston combustion chamber to optimize the visualization process, which is different, for example, from the traditional re-entrant bowl in compression ignition engines. A conventional heavy-duty direct-injection compression ignition engine was converted to spark ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug in both optical and metal setups to investigate the effect of the bowl geometry on flame propagation. Experimental data from steady-state lean-burn conditions was used to develop and validate a 3D CFD model of the engine. Numerical simulation results show that flame propagation in the radial direction was similar for both combustion chambers despite their different geometries.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulation of Metal and Optical Configuration of a Heavy-Duty CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas. Part 2: In-Cylinder Flow and Emissions

2019-01-15
2019-01-0003
Internal combustion diesel engines with optical access (a.k.a. optical engines) increase the fundamental understanding of combustion phenomena. However, optical access requirements result in most optical engines having a different in-cylinder geometry compared with the conventional diesel engine, such as a flat bowl-in-piston combustion chamber. This study investigated the effect of the bowl geometry on the flow motion and emissions inside a conventional heavy-duty direct-injection diesel engine that can operate in both metal and optical-access configurations. This engine was converted to natural-gas spark-ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug and adding a low-pressure gas injector in the intake manifold for fuel delivery, then operated at steady-state lean-burn conditions. A 3D CFD model based on the experimental data predicted that the different bowl geometry did not significantly affect in-cylinder emissions distribution.
Technical Paper

Nearfield Analysis of Low Speed Flow over a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Device for Enhancement of Small UAV Aerodynamics

2018-10-30
2018-01-1953
As unmanned aerial vehicle applications continue their rise in popularity in the public and private sectors, there is an increasing demand in many cases for smaller, more efficient low speed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Although the primary drivers for the continued performance improvement of smaller UAV platforms tend to be in the areas of electronics miniaturization and improved energy storage, aerodynamics, particularly in the low Reynolds number regime, still have a significant role in the overall performance enhancement of small UAVs. This paper focuses on the study of the nearfield aerodynamic effects of a low-power active flow enhancement technique known as dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) in very low speed/low Reynolds number flows most closely associated with small and micro unmanned aerial vehicles.
Technical Paper

Design, Manufacturing, Testing, and Analysis of a Highly-Constrained Single-Use UAV Wing

2018-10-30
2018-01-1958
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design aspects are as broad as the missions they are used to support. In some cases, the UAV mission scope can impose design constraints that can be difficult to achieve. This paper describes recent work performed at West Virginia University (WVU) to support repeated flight testing of a single-use UAV platform with emphasis on the highly specialized wings required to help meet the overall airframe mass properties constrained by the project sponsor. The wings were fabricated using a molded polyurethane (PU) foam as the base material which was supported by several different types of rigid and flexible substructures, skins, and matrix-infused fiber elements. Different ratios of infused fiber mass to PU foam were tested and additional tungsten masses were added to the wings to achieve the correct total mass and mass distribution of the wings.
Book

Prototype Powertrain in Motorsport Endurance Racing

2018-08-01
Racing continues to be the singular, preeminent source of powertrain development for automakers worldwide. Engineering teams rely on motorsports for the latest prototype testing and research. Endurance racing provides the harshest and most illuminating stage for system design validation of any motorsport competition. While advancements throughout the 20th Century brought about dramatic increases in engine power output, the latest developments from endurance racing may be more impactful for fuel efficiency improvements. Hybrid powertrains are a critical area of research for automakers and are being tested on the toughest of scales. Prototype Powertrain in Motorsport Endurance Racing brings together ten vital SAE technical papers and SAE Automotive Engineering magazine articles surrounding the advancements of hybrid powertrains in motorsports.
Technical Paper

Fuel Composition Effects in a CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas Operation

2018-04-03
2018-01-1137
Low-carbon fuels such as natural gas (NG) have the potential to lower the demand of petroleum-based fuels, reduce engine-out emissions, and increase IC engine thermal efficiency. One of the most rapid and efficient use of NG in the transportation sector would be as a direct replacement of the diesel fuel in compression ignition (CI) engines without any major engine modifications to the combustion chamber such as new pistons and/or engine head. An issue is the large variation in NG composition with the location and age of the gas well across U.S., which would affect engine operation, as well as the technology integration with emissions after treatment systems. This study used a conventional CI engine modified for spark ignition (SI) NG operation to investigate the effects of methane and a C1-C4 alkane blend on main combustion parameters like in-cylinder pressure, apparent heat release rate, IMEP, etc.
Technical Paper

Continuously Varying Exhaust Outlet Diameter to Improve Efficiency and Emissions of a Small SI Natural Gas Two-Stroke Engine by Internal EGR

2018-04-03
2018-01-0985
With continuously increasing concern for the emissions from two-stroke engines including regulated hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, non-road engines are implementing proven technologies from the on-road market. For example, four stroke diesel generators now include additional internal exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) via an intake/exhaust valve passage. EGR can offer benefits of reduced HC, NOx, and may even improve combustion stability and fuel efficiency. In addition, there is particular interest in use of natural gas as fuel for home power generation. This paper examines exhaust throttling applied to the Helmholtz resonator of a two-stroke, port injected, natural gas engine. The 34 cc engine was air cooled and operated at wide-open throttle (WOT) conditions at an engine speed of 5400 RPM with fueling adjusted to achieve maximum brake torque. Exhaust throttling served as a method to decrease the effective diameter of the outlet of the convergent cone.
Technical Paper

Choice of Tuning Parameters on 3D IC Engine Simulations Using G-Equation

2018-04-03
2018-01-0183
3D CFD spark-ignition IC engine simulations are extremely complex for the regular user. Truly-predictive CFD simulations for the turbulent flame combustion that solve fully coupled transport/chemistry equations may require large computational capabilities unavailable to regular CFD users. A solution is to use a simpler phenomenological model such as the G-equation that decouples transport/chemistry result. Such simulation can still provide acceptable and faster results at the expense of predictive capabilities. While the G-equation is well understood within the experienced modeling community, the goal of this paper is to document some of them for a novice or less experienced CFD user who may not be aware that phenomenological models of turbulent flame combustion usually require heavy tuning and calibration from the user to mimic experimental observations.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Energy Pathways and Gas Exchange of a Small Port Injection SI Two-Stroke Natural Gas Engine Operating on Different Exhaust Configurations

2018-04-03
2018-01-1278
This paper examines the energy pathways of a 29cc air-cooled two-stroke engine operating on natural gas with different exhaust geometries. The engine was operated at wide-open-throttle at a constant speed of 5400 RPM with ignition adjusted to yield maximum brake torque while the fueling was adjusted to examine both rich and lean combustion. The exhaust configurations examined included an off-the-shelf (OTS) model and two other custom models designed on Helmholtz resonance theory. The custom designs included both single and multi-cone features. Out of the three exhaust systems tested, the model with maximum trapping efficiency showed a higher overall efficiency due to lower fuel short-circuiting and heat transfer. The heat transfer rate was shown to be 10% lower on the new designs relative to OTS model.
Technical Paper

The Optimization of MOP Control Strategy for a Range-Extended Electric Vehicle Based on GA

2017-10-08
2017-01-2464
The range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) is a complex nonlinear system powered by internal combustion engine and electricity stored in battery. This research proposed a Multiple Operation Points (MOP) control strategy of REVV based on operation features of REEV and the universal characteristic curve of the engine. The switching logic rules of MOP strategy are designed for the desired transition of the operation mode, which makes the engine running at high efficiency region. A Genetic algorithm (GA) is adapted to search the optimal solution. The fuel consumption is defined as the target cost function. The demand power of engine is defined as optimal variable. The state of charge (SOC) and vehicle speed are selected as the state variables. The dynamic performance of vehicle and cycling life of battery is set as the constraints. The optimal switching parameters are obtained based on this control strategy. Finally, a dynamic simulation model of REEV is developed in Matlab/Simulink.
Technical Paper

Direct Numerical Simulation of Methane Turbulent Premixed Oxy-Fuel Combustion

2017-10-08
2017-01-2192
A 3-D DNS (Three-Dimensional Direct Numerical Simulation) study with detailed chemical kinetic mechanism of methane has been performed to investigate the characteristics of turbulent premixed oxy-fuel combustion in the condition relevant to Spark Ignition (SI) engines. First, 1-D (one-dimensional) laminar freely propagating premixed flame is examined to show a consistent combustion temperature for different dilution cases, such that 73% H2O and 66% CO2 dilution ratios are adopted in the following 3-D DNS cases. Four 3-D DNS cases with various turbulence intensities are conducted. It is found that dilution agents can reduce the overall flame temperature but with an enhancement of density weighted flame speed. CO2 dilution case shows the lowest flame speed both in turbulent and laminar cases.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Plasma Exhaust Profile Manipulation Using Magnetic Fields

2017-09-19
2017-01-2048
In this research, the magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) effects of applying a toroidal magnetic field around an ionized exhaust plume were investigated to manipulate the exhaust profile of the plasma jet under near vacuum conditions. Tests for this experiment were conducted using the West Virginia University (WVU) Hypersonic Arc Jet Wind Tunnel. A series of twelve N52 grade neodymium magnets were placed in different orientations around a steel toroid mounted around the arc jet’s exhaust plume. Four different magnet orientations were tested in this experiment. Two additional configurations were run as control tests without any imposed magnetic fields surrounding the plume. Each test was documented using a set of 12 photographs taken from a fixed position with respect to the flow. The photographic data was analyzed by comparing images of the exhaust plume taken 10, 20, and 30 seconds after the plasma jet was activated.
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