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Technical Paper

A Study of Lean Burn Pre-Chamber Concept in a Heavy Duty Engine

Due to stringent emission standards, the demand for higher efficiency engines has been unprecedentedly high in recent years. Among several existing combustion modes, pre-chamber spark ignition (PCSI) emerges to be a potential candidate for high-efficiency engines. Research on the pre-chamber concept exhibit higher indicated efficiency through lean limit extension while maintaining the combustion stability. In this study, a unique pre-chamber geometry was tested in a single-cylinder heavy-duty engine at low load lean conditions. The geometry features a narrow throat, which was designed to be packaged inside a commercial diesel injector pocket. The pre-chamber was fueled with methane while the main chamber was supplied with an ethanol/air mixture.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Gasoline and Primary Reference Fuel in the Transition from HCCI to PPC

Our previous research investigated the sensitivity of combustion phasing to intake temperature and injection timing during the transition from homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) to partially premixed combustion (PPC) fuelled with generic gasoline. The results directed particular attention to the relationship between intake temperature and combustion phasing which reflected the changing of stratification level with the injection timing. To confirm its applicability with the use of different fuels, and to investigate the effect of fuel properties on stratification formation, primary reference fuels (PRF) were tested using the same method: a start of injection sweep from -180° to -20° after top dead center with constant combustion phasing by tuning the intake temperature. The present results are further developed compared with those of our previous work, which were based on generic gasoline.
Technical Paper

Fuel Effect on Combustion Stratification in Partially Premixed Combustion

The literature study on PPC in optical engine reveals investigations on OH chemiluminescence and combustion stratification. So far, mostly PRF fuel is studied and it is worthwhile to examine the effect of fuel properties on PPC. Therefore, in this work, fuel having different octane rating and physical properties are selected and PPC is studied in an optical engine. The fuels considered in this study are diesel, heavy naphtha, light naphtha and their corresponding surrogates such as heptane, PRF50 and PRF65 respectively. Without EGR (Intake O2 = 21%), these fuels are tested at an engine speed of 1200 rpm, fuel injection pressure of 800 bar and pressure at TDC = 35 bar. SOI is changed from late to early fuel injection timings to study PPC and the shift in combustion regime from CI to PPC is explored for all fuels. An increased understanding on the effect of fuel octane number, physical properties and chemical composition on combustion and emission formation is obtained.
Technical Paper

Influence of Injection Timing on Exhaust Particulate Matter Emissions of Gasoline in HCCI and PPC

In order to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot emissions while maintaining high thermal efficiency, more advanced combustion concepts have been developed over the years, such as Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) and Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC), as possible combustion processes in commercial engines. Compared to HCCI, PPC has advantages of lower unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions; however, due to increased fuel stratifications, soot emissions can be a challenge when adding Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR) gas. The current work presents particle size distribution measurements performed from HCCI-like combustion with very early (120 CAD BTDC) to PPC combustion with late injection timing (11 CAD BTDC) at two intake oxygen rates, 21% and 15% respectively. Particle size distributions were measured using a differential mobility spectrometer DMS500.
Technical Paper

Transition from HCCI to PPC: the Sensitivity of Combustion Phasing to the Intake Temperature and the Injection Timing with and without EGR

An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of charge stratification on the combustion phasing in a single cylinder, heavy duty (HD) compression ignition (CI) engine. To do this the start of injection (SOI) was changed from -180° after top dead centre (ATDC) to near top dead centre (TDC) during which CA50 (the crank angle at which 50% of the fuel energy is released) was kept constant by changing the intake temperature. At each SOI, the response of CA50 to a slight increase or decrease of either intake temperature or SOI were also investigated. Afterwards, the experiment was repeated with a different intake oxygen concentration. The results show that, for the whole SOI period, the required intake temperature to keep constant CA50 has a “spoon” shape with the handle on the -180° side.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Investigation of a Multi-Cylinder Engine with Gasoline-Like Fuel towards a High Engine Efficiency

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) is a promising combustion concept with high thermodynamic efficiency and low emission level, and also with minimal modification of standard engine hardware. To use PPC in a production oriented engine, the optimal intake charge conditions for PPC should be included in the analysis. The experiments in this paper investigated and confirmed that the optimal intake conditions of net indicated efficiency for PPC are EGR between 50% and 55% as possible and the lambda close to 1.4. Heat-transfer energy and exhaust gas waste-energy contribute to the majority of the energy loss in the engine. The low EGR region has high heat-transfer and low exhaust gas enthalpy-waste, while the high EGR region has low heat-transfer and high exhaust gas waste-enthalpy. The optimal EGR condition is around 50% where the smallest energy loss is found as a trade-off between heat transfer and exhaust-gas enthalpy-waste.
Technical Paper

High-Speed Particle Image Velocimetry Measurement of Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) in a Light Duty Engine for Different Injection Strategies

It has been proven that partially premixed combustion (PPC) has the capability of high combustion efficiency with low soot and NOx emissions, which meet the requirements of increasingly restricted emission regulations. In order to obtain more homogenous combustion and longer ignition delay in PPC, different fuel injection strategies were employed which could affect the fuel air mixing and control the combustion. In the present work, a light duty optical diesel engine was used to conduct high speed particle image velocimetry (PIV) for single, double and triple injections with different timings. A quartz piston and a cylinder liner were installed in the Bowditch configuration to enable optical access. The geometry of the quartz piston crown is based on the standard diesel combustion chamber design for this commercial passenger car engine, including a re-entrant bowl shape.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Soot Particles in the Cylinder of a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine with High EGR

When applying high amount of EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) in Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) using diesel fuel, an increase in soot emission is observed as a penalty. To better understand how EGR affects soot particles in the cylinder, a fast gas sampling technique was used to draw gas samples directly out of the combustion chamber in a Scania D13 heavy duty diesel engine. The samples were characterized on-line using a scanning mobility particle sizer for soot size distributions and an aethalometer for black carbon (soot) mass concentrations. Three EGR rates, 0%, 56% and 64% were applied in the study. It was found that EGR reduces both the soot formation rate and the soot oxidation rate, due to lower flame temperature and a lower availability of oxidizing agents. With higher EGR rates, the peak soot mass concentration decreased. However, the oxidation rate was reduced even more.
Journal Article

Automated Detection of Primary Particles from Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) Images of Soot Aggregates in Diesel Engine Environments

The major challenge of the post-processing of soot aggregates in transmission electron microscope (TEM) images is the detection of soot primary particles that have no clear boundaries, vary in size within the fractal aggregates, and often overlap with each other. In this study, we propose an automated detection code for primary particles implementing the Canny Edge Detection (CED) and Circular Hough Transform (CHT) on pre-processed TEM images for particle edge enhancement using unsharp filtering as well as image inversion and self-subtraction. The particle detection code is tested for soot TEM images obtained at various ambient and injection conditions, and from five different combustion facilities including three constant-volume combustion chambers and two diesel engines.
Technical Paper

Transition from HCCI to PPC Combustion by Means of Start of Injection

Partially premixed combustion (PPC) is a promising way to achieve high efficiency and low engine-out emissions simultaneously in a heavy-duty engine. Compared to Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), it can be controlled by injection events and much lower HC and CO emissions can be achieved. This work focuses on the transition from HCCI to PPC and combustion and emissions characteristics during the process are investigated. Injection strategies, EGR and boost pressure were the main parameters used to present the corresponding effect during the transition.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity Analysis of Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) for Control Purposes

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) is a promising advanced combustion mode for future engines. In order to investigate the sensitivity of PPC to exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rate, intake gas temperature, intake gas pressure, and injection timing, these parameters were swept individually at three different loads in a single cylinder diesel engine with gasoline-like fuel. A factor of sensitivity was defined to indicate the combustion's controllability and sensitivity to inlet gas parameters and injection timings. Through analysis of experimental results, a control window of inlet gas parameters and injection timings is obtained at different loads in PPC mode from 5 bar to 10 bar IMEPg load at 1200 rpm. To further study the PPC controllability with injection timing, main injection timing was adjusted to sustain steady combustion phasing subject to perturbation of inlet gas state.
Journal Article

Combustion Stratification with Partially Premixed Combustion, PPC, using NVO and Split Injection in a LD - Diesel Engine

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) is used to meet the increasing demands of emission legislation and to improve fuel efficiency. PPC with gasoline fuels have the advantage of a longer premixed duration of fuel/air mixture which prevents soot formation at higher loads. The objective of this paper is to investigate the degree of stratification for low load (towards idle) engine conditions using different injection strategies and negative valve overlap (NVO). The question is, how homogenous or stratified is the partially premixed combustion (PPC) for a given setting of NVO and fuel injection strategy. In this work PRF 55 has been used as PPC fuel. The experimental engine is a light duty (LD) diesel engine that has been modified to single cylinder operation to provide optical access into the combustion chamber, equipped with a fully variable valve train system. Hot residual gases were trapped by using NVO to dilute the cylinder mixture.
Journal Article

Study of the Early Flame Development in a Spark-Ignited Lean Burn Four-Stroke Large Bore Gas Engine by Fuel Tracer PLIF

In this work the pre- to main chamber ignition process is studied in a Wärtsilä 34SG spark-ignited lean burn four-stroke large bore optical engine (bore 340 mm) operating on natural gas. Unburnt and burnt gas regions in planar cross-sections of the combustion chamber are identified by means of planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) from acetone seeded to the fuel. The emerging jets from the pre-chamber, the ignition process and early flame propagation are studied. Measurements reveal the presence of a significant temporal delay between the occurrence of a pressure difference across the pre-chamber holes and the appearance of hot burnt/burning gases at the nozzle exit. Variations in the delay affect the combustion timing and duration. The combustion rate in the pre-chamber does not influence the jet propagation speed, although it still has an effect on the overall combustion duration.
Technical Paper

A Study on In-Cycle Control of NOx Using Injection Strategy with a Fast Cylinder Pressure Based Emission Model as Feedback

The emission control in heavy-duty vehicles today is based on predefined injection strategies and after-treatment systems such as SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and DPF (diesel particulate filter). State-of-the-art engine control is presently based on cycle-to-cycle resolution. The introduction of the crank angle resolved pressure measurement, from a piezo-based pressure sensor, enables the possibility to control the fuel injection based on combustion feedback while the combustion is occurring. In this paper a study is presented on the possibility to control NOx (nitrogen oxides) formation with a crank angle resolved NOx estimator as feedback. The estimator and the injection control are implemented on an FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) to manage the inherent time constraints. The FPGA is integrated with the rest of the engine control system for injection control and measurement.
Technical Paper

Loss Analysis of a HD-PPC Engine with Two-Stage Turbocharging Operating in the European Stationary Cycle

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) has demonstrated substantially higher efficiency compared to conventional diesel combustion (CDC) and gasoline engines (SI). By combining experiments and modeling the presented work investigates the underlying reasons for the improved efficiency, and quantifies the loss terms. The results indicate that it is possible to operate a HD-PPC engine with a production two-stage boost system over the European Stationary Cycle while likely meeting Euro VI and US10 emissions with a peak brake efficiency above 48%. A majority of the ESC can be operated with brake efficiency above 44%. The loss analysis reveals that low in-cylinder heat transfer losses are the most important reason for the high efficiencies of PPC. In-cylinder heat losses are basically halved in PPC compared to CDC, as a consequence of substantially reduced combustion temperature gradients, especially close to the combustion chamber walls.
Technical Paper

Effects of EGR and Intake Pressure on PPC of Conventional Diesel, Gasoline and Ethanol in a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) has the potential of simultaneously providing high engine efficiency and low emissions. Previous research has shown that with proper combination of Exhaust-Gas Recirculation (EGR) and Air-Fuel equivalence ratio, it is possible to reduce engine-out emissions while still keeping the engine efficiency high. In this paper, the effect of changes in intake pressure (boost) and EGR fraction on PPC engine performance (e.g. ignition delay, burn duration, maximum pressure rise rate) and emissions (carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbon (UHC), soot and NOX) was investigated in a single-cylinder, heavy-duty diesel engine. Swedish diesel fuel (MK1), RON 69 gasoline fuel and 99.5 vol% ethanol were tested. Fixed fueling rate and single injection strategy were employed.
Journal Article

Sensitivity Analysis Study on Ethanol Partially Premixed Combustion

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) is a combustion concept which aims to provide combustion with low smoke and NOx with high thermal efficiency. Extending the ignition delay to enhance the premixing, avoiding spray-driven combustion and controlling the combustion temperature at an optimum level through use of suitable lambda and EGR levels have been recognized as key factors to achieve such a combustion. Fuels with high ignitability resistance have been proven to be a useful to extend the ignition delay. In this work pure ethanol has been used as a PPC fuel. The objective of this research was initially to investigate the required operating conditions for PPC with ethanol. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis was performed to understand how the required parameters for ethanol PPC such as lambda, EGR rate, injection pressure and inlet temperature influence the combustion in terms of controllability, stability, emissions (i.e.
Technical Paper

Close to Stoichiometric Partially Premixed Combustion -The Benefit of Ethanol in Comparison to Conventional Fuels

Partially Premixed Combustion, PPC, with 50% Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) at lean combustion conditions λ =1.5, has shown good efficiency and low emissions in a heavy-duty single-cylinder engine. To meet emission requirements in all loads and transient operation, aftertreatment devices are likely needed. Reducing λ to unity, when a three-way catalyst can be applied, extremely low emissions possibility exists for stoichiometric PPC. In this study, the possibility to operate clean PPC from lean condition to stoichiometric equivalence ratio with reasonable efficiency and non-excessive soot emission was investigated. Two EGR rates, 48% and 38% with two fuel rates were determined for 99.5 vol% ethanol in comparison with one gasoline fuel and Swedish diesel fuel (MK1). Engine was operated at 1250 rpm and 1600 bar injection pressure with single injection. Results revealed that efficiency was reduced and soot emission increased from lean PPC to stoichiometric PPC operation.
Journal Article

Investigation of Performance and Emission Characteristics of a Heavy Duty Natural Gas Engine Operated with Pre-Chamber Spark Plug and Dilution with Excess Air and EGR

This article deals with application of turbulent jet ignition technique to heavy duty multi-cylinder natural gas engine for mobile application. Pre-chamber spark plugs are identified as a promising means of achieving turbulent jet ignition as they require minimal engine modification with respect to component packaging in cylinder head and the ignition system. Detailed experiments were performed with a 6 cylinder 9.4 liter turbo-charged engine equipped with multi-point gas injection system to compare performance and emissions characteristics of operation with pre-chamber and conventional spark plug. The results indicate that ignition capability is significantly enhanced as flame development angle and combustion duration are reduced by upto 30 % compared to those with conventional spark plugs at certain operating points.
Technical Paper

The Usefulness of Negative Valve Overlap for Gasoline Partially Premixed Combustion, PPC

Partially premixed combustion has the potential of high efficiency and simultaneous low soot and NOx emissions. Running the engine in PPC mode with high octane number fuels has the advantage of a longer premix period of fuel and air which reduces soot emissions, even at higher loads. The problem is the ignitability at low load and idle operating conditions. The objective is to investigate the usefulness of negative valve overlap on a light duty diesel engine running with gasoline partially premixed combustion at low load operating conditions. The idea is to use negative valve overlap to trap hot residual gases to elevate the global in-cylinder temperature to promote auto-ignition of the high octane number fuel. This is of practical interest at low engine speed and load operating conditions because it can be assumed that the available boost is limited. The problem with NVO at low load operating conditions is that the exhaust gas temperature is low.