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Technical Paper

Preliminary Testing of n-Butanol HCCI on High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0577
The control of combustion phasing in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is investigated with neat n-butanol in this work. HCCI is a commonly researched combustion mode, owing to its improved thermal efficiency over conventional gasoline combustion, as well as its lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions compared to those of diesel combustion. Despite these advantages, HCCI lacks successful widespread implementation with conventional fuels, primarily due to the lack of effective combustion phasing control. In this preliminary study, chemical kinetic simulations are conducted to study the auto-ignition characteristics of n-butanol under varied background pressures, temperatures, and dilution levels using established mechanisms in CHEMKIN software. Increasing the pressure or temperature lead to a shorter ignition delay, whereas increasing the dilution by the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leads to a longer ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

2018-04-03
2018-01-1134
Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement for Ultra-Lean Dilute Gasoline Combustion

2017-10-08
2017-01-2244
In this work, a spatially distributed spark ignition strategy was employed to improve the ignition process of well-mixed ultra-lean dilute gasoline combustion in a high compression ratio (13.1:1) single cylinder engine at partial loads. The ignition energy was distributed in the perimeter of a 3-pole igniter. It was identified that on the basis of similar total spark energy, the 3-pole ignition mode can significantly shorten the early flame kernel development period and reduce the cyclic variation of combustion phasing, for the spark timing sweep tests at λ 1.5. The effect of ignition energy level on lean-burn operation was investigated at λ 1.6. Within a relatively low ignition energy range, i.e. below 46 mJ per pole, the increase in ignition energy via ether 1 pole or 3 pole can improve the controllability over combustion phasing and reduce the variability of lean burn combustion. Higher ignition energy was required in order to enable ultra-lean engine operation with λ above 1.6.
Technical Paper

Design of As-Cast High Strength Al-Si-Cu-Ni-Sr Alloys Using the Taguchi Method

2017-09-30
2017-01-5009
In the present study, a design of experiment (DOE) technique, the Taguchi method, was used to develop as-cast high strength aluminum alloys with element additions of Si, Cu, Ni and Sr. The Taguchi method uses a special design of orthogonal arrays to study all the designed factors with a minimum of experiments at a relatively low cost. The element factors chosen for this study were Si, Cu, Ni and Sr content in the designed aluminum-based alloys. For each factor, three different levels of weight percentages were selected (Si: 6, 9, 12%, Cu: 3, 5, 7%, Ni: 0.5, 1, 1.5% and Sr: 0.01, 0.02, 0.03%). Tensile properties such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength and elongation at failure were selected as three individual responses to evaluate the engineering performance of the designed alloys. The results of the factor response analysis were used to derive the optimal level combinations.
Technical Paper

Load and Lubricating Oil Effects on Friction of a PEO Coating at Different Sliding Velocities

2017-03-28
2017-01-0464
Friction between the piston and cylinder accounts for large amount of the friction losses in an internal combustion (IC) engine. Therefore, any effort to minimize such a friction will also result in higher efficiency, lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is considered as a hard ceramic coating which can provide a dimpled surface for oil retention to bear the wear and reduce the friction from sliding piston rings. In this work, a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to generate the boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. Five different lubricating oils and two different loads were applied to do the tribotests and the COFs of a PEO coating were studied. The results show that the PEO coating indeed had a lower COF in a lower viscosity lubricating oil, and a smaller load was beneficial to form the mixed and hydrodynamic lubricating regimes earlier.
Technical Paper

Study of Heat Release Shaping via Dual-Chamber Piston Bowl Design to Improve Ethanol-Diesel Combustion Performance

2017-03-28
2017-01-0762
In this work, an innovative piston bowl design that physically divides the combustion chamber into a central zone and a peripheral zone is employed to assist the control of the ethanol-diesel combustion process via heat release shaping. The spatial combustion zone partition divides the premixed ethanol-air mixture into two portions, and the combustion event (timing and extent) of each portion can be controlled by the temporal diesel injection scheduling. As a result, the heat release profile of ethanol-diesel dual-fuel combustion is properly shaped to avoid excessive pressure rise rates and thus to improve the engine performance. The investigation is carried out through theoretical simulation study and empirical engine tests. Parametric simulation is first performed to evaluate the effects of heat release shaping on combustion noise and engine efficiency and to provide boundary conditions for subsequent engine tests.
Technical Paper

A Feasibility Study of Using DI Butanol as an Ignition Source for Dual-Fuel Combustion

2017-03-28
2017-01-0770
The combustion of dual-fuel engines usually uses a pilot flame to burn out a background fuel inside a cylinder under high compression. The background fuel can be either a gaseous fuel or a volatile liquid fuel, commonly with low reactivity to prevent premature combustion and engine knocking; whereas the pilot flame is normally set off with the direct injection of a liquid fuel with adequate reactivity that is suitable for deterministic auto-ignition with a high compression ratio. In this work, directly injected butanol is used to generate the pilot flame, while intake port injected ethanol or butanol is employed as the background fuel. Compared with the conventional diesel-only combustion, dual-fuel operations not only broaden the fuel applicability, but also enhance the potential for clean combustion, in high efficiency engines. The amount of background fuel and the scheduling of pilot flame are investigated through extensive laboratory experiments.
Technical Paper

Mode Switching to Improve Low Load Efficiency of an Ethanol-Diesel Dual-Fuel Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0771
The dual-fuel application using ethanol and diesel fuels can substantially improve the classical trade-off between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and smoke, especially at moderate-to-high load conditions. However, at low engine load levels, the use of a low reactivity fuel in the dual-fuel application usually leads to increased incomplete combustion products that in turn result in a significant reduction of the engine thermal efficiency. In this work, engine tests are conducted on a high compression ratio, single cylinder dual-fuel engine that incorporates the diesel direct-injection and ethanol port-injection. Engine load levels are identified, at which, diesel combustion offers better efficiency than the dual-fuel combustion while attaining low NOx and smoke emissions. Thereafter, a cycle-to-cycle based closed-loop controller is implemented for the combustion phasing and engine load control in both the diesel and dual-fuel combustion regimes.
Technical Paper

Fuel Burn Rate Control to Improve Load Capability of Neat n-Butanol Combustion in a Modern Diesel Engine

2016-10-17
2016-01-2301
This research work investigates the control strategies of fuel burn rate of neat n-butanol combustion to improve the engine load capability. Engine tests of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) with neat n-butanol show promising NOx and smoke emissions; however, the rapid burn rate of n-butanol results in excessive pressure rise rates and limits the engine load capability. A multi-event combustion strategy is developed to modulate the fuel burn rate of the combustion cycle and thus to reduce the otherwise high pressure rise rates at higher engine load levels. In the multi-event combustion strategy, the first combustion event is produced near TDC by the compression ignition of the port injected butanol that resembles the HCCI combustion; the second combustion event occurs near 7~12 degrees after TDC, which is produced by butanol direct injection (DI) after the first HCCI-like combustion event.
Technical Paper

High Energy Ignition Strategies for Diluted Mixtures via a Three-Pole Igniter

2016-10-17
2016-01-2175
A three-pole spark igniter, with the concept to broaden the ignition area, is employed in this paper to investigate the effect of spark discharge strategies on the early ignition burning process. The prototyped three-pole igniter has three independent spark gaps arranged in a triangular pattern with a circumradius of 2.3 mm. Direct-capacitor discharge techniques, utilizing close-coupled capacitors parallel to the spark gap, are applied on the three-pole igniter to enhance either the transient spark power or the overall energy. In particular, the simultaneous discharge of high energy plasma on three spark gaps can produce a surface-like ignition process which intensifies the plasma-flame interaction, thereby producing a rapid flame kernel development. The ignition strategies are evaluated in both constant volume combustion vessels and a modified single-cylinder metal engine.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Analysis of Clean Combustion with Ethanol Ignited by Diesel in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0766
The control of nitrogen oxide and smoke emissions in diesel engines has been one of the key researches in both the academia and industry. Nitrogen oxides can be effectively suppressed by the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). However, the introduction of inert exhaust gas into the engine intake is often associated with high smoke emissions. To overcome these issues there have been a number of proposed strategies, one of the more promising being the use of low temperature combustion enabled with heavy EGR. This has the potential to achieve simultaneously low emissions of nitrogen oxide and smoke. However, a quantitative way to identify the transition zone between high temperature combustion and low temperature combustion has still not been fully explored. The combustion becomes even more complicated when ethanol fuel is used as a partial substitution for diesel fuel.
Journal Article

Investigation into Mixed and Hydrodynamic Frictions of PEO Coatings and Cast Iron

2016-04-05
2016-01-0491
A linerless aluminum (Al) engine block has potential to reduce the weight of an automotive engine and improve the fuel economy. However, the Al cylinder surface of an aluminum engine block is not usually strong enough to withstand the sliding wear against piston rings. A few surface processing technologies are used to protect the surface of cylinders. Among them, a thermal spraying coating, such as plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) is already popular. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is also proposed for increasing the wear resistance of aluminum-silicon (Al-Si) alloys and reducing the friction between the cylinder and piston. In this work, two different PEO coatings with a thickness of around 23 μm were prepared on an Al-Si alloy A356, and a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to study the tribological behavior of the coatings at oil lubricant conditions. A cast iron sample was also used to do similar tribological tests for comparison.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation of Diesel-Ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0781
In this work, empirical investigations of the diesel-ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) are carried out on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) single-cylinder diesel engine. The tests focus on determining the minimum ethanol fraction for ultra-low NOx & soot emissions, effect of single-pilot vs. twin-pilot strategies on emissions and ignition controllability, reducing the EGR requirements, enabling clean combustion across the load range and achieving high efficiency full-load operation. The results show that both low NOx and almost zero soot emissions can be achieved but at the expense of higher unburned hydrocarbons. Compared to a single-pilot injection, a twin-pilot strategy reduces the soot emissions significantly and also lowers the NOx emissions, thereby reducing the requirements for EGR. The near-TDC pilot provides excellent control over the combustion phasing, further reducing the need of a higher EGR quantity for phasing control.
Technical Paper

Efficiency and Emission Trade-Off in Diesel-Ethanol Low Temperature Combustion Cycles

2015-04-14
2015-01-0845
An experimental investigation of low temperature combustion (LTC) cycles is conducted with diesel and ethanol fuels on a high compression ratio (18.2:1), common-rail diesel engine. Two LTC modes are studied; near-TDC injection of diesel with up to 60% exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and port injected ethanol ignited by direct injection of diesel with moderate EGR (30-45%). Indicated mean effective pressures up to 10 bar in the diesel LTC mode and 17.6 bar in the dual-fuel LTC mode have been realized. While the NOx and smoke emissions are significantly reduced, a thermal efficiency penalty is observed from the test results. In this work, the efficiency penalty is attributed to increased HC and CO emissions and a non-conventional heat release pattern. The influence of heat release phasing, duration, and shape, on the indicated performance is explained with the help of parametric engine cycle simulations.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Exhaust Gas Speciation Analysis of Diesel and Butanol Post Injection

2015-04-14
2015-01-0803
Experimental testing was done with a modern compression ignition engine to study the effect of the engine load and the effect of different fuels on the post injection characteristics. Two different fuels were utilized; ultra-low sulphur diesel and n-butanol. The results showed that a post injection can be an effective method for increasing the operating range of the engine load. Engine operation at high load can be limited by the peak cylinder pressure but the test results showed that an early post injection can increase the engine load without increasing the peak in-cylinder pressure. Neat butanol combustion may have a very high peak in-cylinder pressure and a very high peak pressure rise rate even at low load conditions. The test results showed that a butanol post injection can contribute to engine power without significantly affecting the peak pressure rise rate and the peak in-cylinder pressure.
Journal Article

A Zero-Dimensional Intake Dilution Tracking Algorithm for Real-Time Feedback on Exhaust Gas Recirculation

2015-04-14
2015-01-1714
This study describes a zero-dimensional algorithm for tracking the intake dilution in real-time. The inputs to the model are the oxygen concentration from the exhaust oxygen sensor, the manifold air pressure and temperature (MAP/MAT), the mass air flow (MAF) and the estimated fuel injected per cycle from the engine control module. The intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and EGR system are discretized into 3 volumes and the detailed concentrations of the gas species comprising the exhaust, EGR and intake streams are tracked at each time step (on a cycle-by-cycle basis). The model does not need the EGR ratio to be known in advance and is also applicable to oxygenated fuels such as ethanol. The model response is tuned to a multi-cylinder engine and the model output is empirically validated against a wide range of engine operations including load and EGR transients.
Journal Article

Active Injection Control for Enabling Clean Combustion in Ethanol-Diesel Dual-Fuel Mode

2015-04-14
2015-01-0858
In this work, an active injection control strategy is developed for enabling clean and efficient combustion on an ethanol-diesel dual-fuel engine. The essence of this active injection control is the minimization of the diffusion burning and resultant emissions associated with the diesel injection while maintaining controllability over the ignition and combustion processes. A stand-alone injection bench is employed to characterize the rate of injection for the diesel injection events, and a regression model is established to describe the injection timings and injector delays. A new combustion control parameter is proposed to characterize the extent of diffusion burning on a cycle-to-cycle basis by comparing the modelled rate of diesel injection with the rate of heat release in real time. The test results show that the proposed parameter, compared with the traditional ignition delay, better correlates to the enabling of low NOx and low smoke combustion.
Journal Article

Impact of Fuelling Techniques on Neat n-Butanol Combustion and Emissions in a Compression Ignition Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0808
This study investigated neat n-butanol combustion, emissions and thermal efficiency characteristics in a compression ignition (CI) engine by using two fuelling techniques - port fuel injection (PFI) and direct injection (DI). Diesel fuel was used in this research for reference. The engine tests were conducted on a single-cylinder four-stroke DI diesel engine with a compression ratio of 18.2 : 1. An n-Butanol PFI system was installed to study the combustion characteristics of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). A common-rail fuel injection system was used to conduct the DI tests with n-butanol and diesel. 90 MPa injection pressure was used for the DI tests. The engine was run at 1500 rpm. The intake boost pressure, engine load, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) ratio, and DI timing were independently controlled to investigate the engine performance.
Technical Paper

Surface Effect of a PEO Coating on Friction at Different Sliding Velocities

2015-04-14
2015-01-0687
In order to reduce the weight of an automotive engine, an aluminum (Al) alloy engine block with cast iron liner has been successfully used to replace the gray cast iron engine. For newly emerging Al linerless engine in which the low surface hardness of the aluminum alloy has to be overcome, a few surface processing technologies are used to protect the surface of cylinders. Among them, plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) thermal spraying coating is becoming popular. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is also proposed for increasing the wear resistance of aluminum alloy and reducing the friction between the cylinder and piston. In this work, a PEO coating with a thickness of ∼20 μm was prepared, and a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to study the tribological behavior of the coating at oil lubricant conditions. Different surface roughness of the coating and a large range of the sliding speeds were employed for the tests.
Technical Paper

Energy Efficiency Comparison between Butanol and Ethanol Combustion with Diesel Ignition

2015-04-14
2015-01-0859
The use of low temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines tends to suppress the NOx and dry soot emissions from diesel engines. However, due to the limitations of conventional diesel fuel properties, such as the high reactivity and low volatility, implementation of LTC is highly dependent on the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). While the replacement of some of the fresh air intake with the burnt exhaust gas using EGR prevents premature combustion, it also results in a reduction in thermal efficiency. In this work, the use of two different alcohol fuels, ethanol and butanol, in a high compression ratio diesel engine has been investigated to examine their potential as substitutes for conventional diesel fuel when operating under low temperature combustion mode. The effect of diesel injection timing, alcohol fuel ratios, and EGR on engine emissions and efficiency were studied at indicated mean effective pressures in the range 0.8 to 1.2 MPa.
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