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Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Natural Gas-Diesel Dual Fuel Engine with End Gas Ignition

The present study helps to understand the local combustion characteristics of PREmixed Mixture Ignition in the End-gas Region (PREMIER) combustion mode while using increasing amount of natural gas as a diesel substitute in conventional CI engine. In order to reduce NOx emission and diesel fuel consumption micro-pilot diesel injection in premixed natural gas-air mixture is a promising technique. New strategy has been employed to simulate dual fuel combustion which uses well established combustion models. Main focus of the simulation is at detection of an end gas ignition, and creating an unified modeling approach for dual fuel combustion. In this study G-equation flame propagation model is used with detailed chemistry in order to detect end-gas ignition in overall low temperature combustion. This combustion simulation model is validated using comparison with experimental data for dual fuel engine.
Technical Paper

Ignition of Propane-Air Mixtures by Miniaturized Resonating Microwave Flat-Panel Plasma Igniter

Recent trend in gasoline-powered automobiles focuses heavily on reducing the CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency. Part of the solutions involve changes in combustion chamber geometry to allow for higher turbulence, higher compression ratio which can greatly improve efficiencies. However, the changes are limited by the ignition-source and its location constraint, especially in the case of direct injection SI engines where mixture stratification is important. A new compact microwave plasma igniter based on the principle of microwave resonance was developed and tested for propane combustion inside a constant volume chamber. The igniter was constructed from a thin ceramic panel with metal inlay tuned to the corresponding resonance frequency. Microwaves generated by semiconductor based oscillator were utilized for initiation of discharge. The small and flat form factor of the flat panel igniter allows it to be installed at any locations on the surface of the combustion chamber.
Journal Article

Application of High-Speed PIV Diagnostics for Simultaneous Investigation of Flow Field and Spark Ignited Flame inside an Optical SI Engine

High speed, time resolved Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) diagnostics was applied to an optical SI engine to study the interactions between in-cylinder flow field and flame development. Optimisation and certain adaptations have been made to the diagnostic setup to enable time-resolved, simultaneous measurements of both PIV data and flame tomography imaging from the same original captured image set. In this particular study, interactions between flow and flame during lean-burn operating conditions at various tumble strength have been investigated and compared to a standard stoichiometric operation. Diagnostics were performed for both the vertical plane (x-y) and the horizontal plane (r-⊖) of the combustion chamber with a particular focus in the pent-roof area. Some major differences in the tumble flow-field prior to ignition has been observed between the lean and stoichiometric conditions.
Technical Paper

Combustion Diagnostics Using Time-Series Analysis of Radical Emissions in a Practical Engine

The objective of this study is to investigate the initial flame propagation characteristics of turbulent flame in an engine cylinder through time-series analysis of radical emissions. A spark plug with optical fiber was developed in this study. The plug sensor is M12 type that makes it possible to mount in practical engine. The spark plug sensor can detect radical emissions in time-resolved spectra through time-series spectroscopic measurement. In this spectra, some kinds of radical emissions such as OH*(306nm), CH*(431nm) and C2*(517nm) based on principle of chemiluminescence are observed. In this study, the spark plug sensor was applied to both compression-expansion machine (CEM) and practical engine. As a result of CEM with bottom viewed high-speed camera, three kinds of spectra could be detected.
Technical Paper

Development of Innovative Microwave Plasma Ignition System with Compact Microwave Discharge Igniter

Extending the lean limit or/and exhaust-gas-recirculation (EGR) limit/s are necessary for improving fuel economy in spark ignition engines. One of the major problems preventing the engine to operate at lean conditions is stable and successful initial ignition kernel formation. A repeatable, stabilized ignition and early flame development are quite important for the subsequent part of the combustion cycle to run smooth without partial burn or cycle misfire. This study aims to develop an innovative plasma ignition system for reciprocating combustion engines with an aim to extend lean limit and for high pressure applications. This ignition system utilizes microwaves to generate plasma as an ignition source. This microwave plasma igniter is much simplified device compared to conventional spark plug. The microwave plasma ignition system consists of microwave oscillator, co-axial cable and microwave discharge igniter (MDI).
Technical Paper

Effect of Bio-Gas Contents on SI Combustion for a Co-Generation Engine

Bio-gas as an internal combustion (I.C.) engine fuel has many advantages such as cheaper fuel cost, low emission levels and especially the neutral recirculation loop of carbon dioxide, which is one of the principal factors in global warming. In this study, positive potentialities of bio-gas were investigated using a micro co-generation engine. The mixing ratio of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) was changed to simulate various types of bio-gases. Intake air and fuel flow rates were controlled to change the equivalence ratio. The engine load condition could be changed with the electric output power used. Base on the result, the higher CO2 content rate slowed down the engine speed in the same load condition and the combustion speed generally decreased under the same load condition with maintaining the engine speed. However thermal efficiency increased with lean burn conditions and NOX emission decreased with higher CO2 mixing rates.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Rate and Cylinder Gas Pressure Oscillation in Low and High Speed Knock

One of the authors has proposed to use the decay rate of EHRR, the effective heat release rate, d2Q/dθ2 as an index for the rapid local combustion [1]. In this study, EHRR profiles and the cylinder gas pressure oscillations of the low and high speed knock are analyzed by using this index. A delayed rapid local combustion, such as an autoignition with small burned mass fraction can be detected. In the cases of the low speed knock, it has been agreed that a rapid local combustion is an autoignition. Although whether the cylinder gas oscillation is provoked by an auto ignition in a certain cycle or not is an irregular phenomenon, the auto ignition takes place in almost all of the cycles in the knocking condition. Mixture mass fraction burned by an auto ignition is large. A small auto ignition may induce a secondary auto ignition, in many cases, mass burned by the secondary auto ignition is extremely large.
Technical Paper

Effect of Hydrogen Concentration on Engine Performance, Exhaust Emissions and Operation Range of PREMIER Combustion in a Dual Fuel Gas Engine Using Methane-Hydrogen Mixtures

A single cylinder, supercharged dual fuel gas engine with micro-pilot fuel injection is operated using methane only and methane-hydrogen mixtures. Methane only experiments were performed at various equivalence ratios and equivalence ratio of 0.56 is decided as the optimum operating condition based on engine performance, exhaust emissions and operation stability. Methane-hydrogen experiments were performed at equivalence ratio of 0.56 and 2.6 kJ/cycle energy supply rate. Results show that indicated mean effective pressure is maintained regardless of hydrogen content of the gaseous fuel while thermal efficiency is improved and presence of hydrogen reduces cyclic variations. Increasing the fraction of hydrogen in the fuel mixture replaces hydrocarbon fuels and reduces carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions.
Technical Paper

Mixing Process of Direct Injection Hydrogen Jet in a Constant Volume Vessel by Using Spark-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

Hydrogen spark-ignition (SI) engines based on direct-injection (DI) have been investigated because of their potential for high thermal efficiency and solving the problems related to knocking, backfiring, and pre-ignition. Wide range flammability limits in hydrogen engine enable smooth engine operation for a very lean mixture with low NOX. However, a too lean mixture may increase ignition delay and causes severe cyclic variations. There is a possibility that the turbulence occurred during injection of fuel surround the spark plug in the combustion chamber is major contributor to this phenomenon. To overcome this problem, a better understanding of the spark discharge and spark ignition during transient hydrogen jet is necessary. Therefore, it is very important to study an effect of local equivalence ratio and behavior of spark discharge in SI engine. This paper describes a mixing process of hydrogen jet using spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS) in a constant volume vessel.
Journal Article

High-Pressure Hydrogen Jet and Combustion Characteristics in a Direct-Injection Hydrogen Engine

Hydrogen spark-ignition (SI) engines based on direct-injection (DI) promise significant advantages in terms of thermal efficiency and power output, as well as a means of overcoming problems related to knocking, backfiring, and pre-ignition. In a DI hydrogen engine, the fuel/air mixture is formed by injecting a jet of hydrogen into the air inside the combustion chamber. An Ar-ion laser beam was used as a light source to visualize the hydrogen jet in a constant-volume chamber. This allowed us to study the structure of the jet in addition to other physical processes resulting from hydrogen gas injection. Combustion experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder SI optical research engine equipped with a DI system to detect the early kernel growth assisted by the spark, as well as flame propagation. Various equivalence ratios and fuel injection timings were analyzed to identify the effects on combustion.
Technical Paper

Extending the Lean Stability Limits of Gasoline Using a Microwave-Assisted Spark Plug

The extension of the lean stability limits of gasoline-air mixtures using a microwave-assisted spark plug has been investigated. Experiments are conducted on a 1200 RPM single-cylinder Waukesha Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine at two compression ratios: 7:1 and 9:1; and four different levels of microwave energy input per cycle (prior to accounting for transmission losses): 0 mJ (spark only), 130 mJ, 900 mJ, and 1640 mJ. For various microwave energy inputs, the effects upon stability limits are explored by gradually moving from stoichiometric conditions to increasingly lean mixtures. The coefficient of variation (COVIMEP) of the indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) is used as an indication of the stability limits. Specific characteristics of microwave-assisted ignition are identified. Microwave enhancement extends stability limits into increasingly lean regions, but slow and partial burning at the leanest mixtures curb efficiency gains.
Technical Paper

Effect of EGR on Combustion and Exhaust Emissions in Supercharged Dual-Fuel Natural Gas Engine Ignited with Diesel Fuel

The combustion and exhaust emissions characteristics of a supercharged dual-fuel natural gas engine with a single cylinder were analyzed. We focused on EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) to achieve higher thermal efficiency and lower exhaust emissions. The combustion of diesel fuel (gas oil) as ignition sources was visualized using a high-speed video camera from the bottom of a quartz piston. The luminous intensity and flame decreased as the EGR rate increased. Furthermore, the ignition delay became longer due to the EGR. Characteristics of the combustion and exhaust emissions were investigated with changing EGR rates under supercharged conditions. The indicated mean effective pressure and thermal efficiency decreased with increasing EGR rate. In addition, NOx emissions decreased due to the EGR. In this study two-stage combustion was observed.
Technical Paper

Mixture Formation Process in a Spark-Ignition Engine with Ethanol Blended Gasoline

In this study, fuel concentration measurements in a spark-ignition (SI) engine with ethanol blended gasoline were carried out using an optical sensor installed in the spark plug with laser infrared absorption technique. The spark plug sensor for in-situ fuel concentration measurement was applied to a port injected SI engine. The molar absorption coefficients of ethanol blended gasoline were determined for various pressures and temperatures in advance using a constant volume vessel with electric heating system. Ethanol blended gasoline with high volumetric ratios shows lower molar absorption coefficients due to lower molar absorption coefficients of ethanol. The molar absorption coefficients of ethanol blended gasoline can be estimated by considering the molar fraction of each component.
Technical Paper

Visualization of Autoignited Kernel and Propagation of Pressure Wave during Knocking Combustion in a Hydrogen Spark-Ignition Engine

Investigation of knocking combustion in a hydrogen spark-ignition engine is one of the major challenges for future vehicle development. The knock phenomenon in a Spark-Ignition (SI) engine is caused by autoignition of the unburned gas ahead of the flame. The explosive combustion of the end-gas creates a pressure wave that leads to damage of the cylinder wall and the piston head of the engine. We observed autoignition in the end-gas region due to compression by the propagating flame front using a high-speed colour video camera through the optically accessible cylindrical quartz window on the top of the cylinder head. Moreover, a high-speed monochrome video camera operating at a speed of 250, 000 frame/s was used to measure the pressure wave propagation. The goal of this research was to improve our ability to describe the effect of the autoignition process on the end-gas and propagating pressure wave during knocking combustion with the help of a high-speed video camera.
Technical Paper

Research and Development of Microwave Plasma Combustion Engine (Part II: Engine Performance of Plasma Combustion Engine)

The objective of this study was to develop an innovative microwave-induced plasma ignition system to improve the fuel economy of a current engine and achieve a higher efficiency without any configuration modifications. A new plasma generation technique was proposed for a stable and intense ignition source. A microwave plasma combustion system was developed consisting of a spark plug, microwave transfer system, and control system. A magnetron, like that found in a microwave oven, was used as a microwave oscillator. The spark plug had a microwave antenna inside that generated plasma in the engine cylinders. The microwave transfer system transmitted microwave power from the oscillator to the antenna. Combustion experiments were performed using a single-cylinder research engine. The microwave plasma expanded the range of lean operating conditions. The single-cylinder engine had an indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) of 275 kPa at an engine speed of 2000 rpm.
Technical Paper

In-situ Residual Gas Concentration Measurement near a Spark Plug in a Motorcycle SI Engine

This paper describes the development and application of a spark plug sensor using an infrared absorption technique to quantify the instantaneous residual gas concentration near the spark plug. The residual gas fraction inside engine cylinder is assumed to be proportional to CO2 concentration. The relationship between CO2 concentration and absorption strength of CO2 was determined for various pressures and temperatures in advance using a constant volume vessel with electric heating system. The spark plug sensor for in-situ CO2 concentration measurement was applied to a compression-expansion engine and also to a port injected motorcycle SI engine. It was possible to qualify the CO2 concentration inside residual gas during the compression stroke using the developed optical system with new spark plug sensor in compression-expansion machine.
Technical Paper

Gas Temperature Measurement in a DME-HCCI Engine using Heterodyne Interferometry with Spark-Plug-in Fiber-Optic Sensor

Non-intrusive measurement of transient unburned gas temperatures was developed with a fiber-optic heterodyne interferometry system. Using the value of the Gladstone-Dale constant for DME gas and combustion pressure we can calculate the in-cylinder temperature inside unburned and burned region. In this experimental study, it was performed to set up a fiber-optic heterodyne interferometry technique to measure the temperature before and behind the combustion region in a DME-HCCI engine. At first, measured temperature was almost the same as the temperature history assuming that the process that changes of the unburned and the burned are polytropic. In addition, we measured the temperature after combustion which of condition was burned gas with DME-HCCI combustion. The developed heterodyne interferometry used the spark-plug-in fiber-optic sensor has a good feasibility to measure the unburned and burned temperature history.
Technical Paper

Residual Gas Fraction Measurement inside Engine Cylinder Using Infrared Absorption Method with Spark-plug Sensor

In this study, residual gas fraction measurements in a spark-ignition engine were carried out using an optical sensor installed in the spark plug with infrared absorption method. The residual gas fraction inside engine cylinder is proportional to the CO2 concentration. Infrared absorption method was applied and an infrared lamp and optical filter (center wavelength: around 4.3 μm) that coincides with the absorption lines of CO2 was used as a light source.The molar absorption coefficient of CO2 is discussed and compared to results in the HITRAN database. The effect of water vapor absorption doesn't affect the absorption of CO2. The absorption characteristics of CO2 were determined in advance using a constant volume vessel. Molar absorption coefficient depends on the CO2 concentration and ambient pressure and temperature, and wavelength of absorption line.
Technical Paper

In-Situ Fuel Concentration Measurement near Spark Plug by 3.392 mm Infrared Absorption Method - Pressure and Temperature Dependence of the Gasoline Molar Absorption Coefficient

This paper describes the development and application of a spark plug sensor using a 3.392 μm infrared absorption technique to quantify the instantaneous gasoline concentration near the spark plug. We developed an in situ laser infrared absorption method using a spark plug sensor and a 3.392 μm He-Ne laser as the light source; this wavelength coincides with the absorption line of hydrocarbons. First, we established a database of the molar absorption coefficients of premium gasoline at different pressures and temperatures, and determined that the coefficient decreased with increasing pressure above atmospheric pressure. We then demonstrated a procedure for measuring the gasoline concentration accurately using the infrared absorption technique. The history of the molar absorption coefficient of premium gasoline during the experiment was obtained from the established database using measured in-cylinder pressures and temperatures estimated by taking the residual gas into consideration.
Technical Paper

In-situ Unburned Gas Temperature Measurement in a Spark Ignition Engine Using Laser Interferometry

A heterodyne interferometry system with a fiber-optic sensor was developed to measure the temperature history of unburned gas in a spark-ignition engine. A polarization-preserving fiber and metal mirror were used as the fiber-optic sensor to deliver the test beam to and from the measurement region. This fiber-optic sensor can be assembled in an engine cylinder head without a lot of improvements of an actual engine. Adjustment system in the sensor was revised to face the distributed index lens with metal mirror. Before the flame arrived at the developed fiber-optic sensor, measured temperature was almost same with the temperature history after the spark, assuming that the process that changes the unburned gas is adiabatic. In situ unburned gas temperature measurements before knocking in a commercially produced SI engine can be carried out using developed fiber-optic heterodyne interferometry system.