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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

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Using Ethanol and n-Butanol

2019-04-02
2019-01-0737
Reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in lean burn and diesel fueled Compression Ignition (CI) engines is one of the major challenges faced by automotive manufacturers. Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and urea-based Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment systems are well established technologies to reduce NOx emissions. However, each of these technologies has associated advantages and disadvantages for use over a wide range of engine operating conditions. In order to meet future ultra-low NOx emission norms, the use of both alternative fuels and advanced after-treatment technology may be required. The use of an alcohol fuel such as n-butanol or ethanol in a CI engine can reduce the engine-out NOx and soot emissions. In CI engines using LNTs for NOx reduction, the fuel such as diesel is utilized as a reductant for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

A Study of Energy Enhanced Multi-Spark Discharge Ignition in a Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber

2019-04-02
2019-01-0728
Multi-spark discharge (MSD) ignition is widely used in high-speed internal combustion engines such as racing cars, motorcycles and outboard motors in attempts to achieve multiple sparks during each ignition. In contrast to transistor coil ignition (TCI) system, MSD system can be greatly shortened the charging time in a very short time. However, when the engine speed becomes higher, the ignition will be faster, electrical energy stored in the ignition system will certainly become less, especially for MSD system. Once the energy released into the spark plug gap can’t be guaranteed sufficiently, ignition will become more difficult, and it will get worse in some harsh environment such as strong turbulence or lean fuel conditions. With these circumstances, the risks of misfire and partial combustion will increase, which can deteriorate the power outputs and exhaust emissions of internal combustion engine.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Near-Spark-Plug Flow Field and Its Effect on Spark Behavior

2019-04-02
2019-01-0718
In the recent decades, the emission and fuel efficiency regulations put forth by the emission regulation agencies have become increasingly stringent and this trend is expected to continue in future. The advanced spark ignition (SI) engines can operate under lean conditions to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Under such lean conditions, the ignition and complete combustion of the charge mixture is a challenge because of the reduced charge reactivity. Enhancement of the in-cylinder charge motion and turbulence to increase the flame velocity, and consequently reduce the combustion duration is one possible way to improve lean combustion. The role of air motion in better air-fuel mixing and increasing the flame velocity, by enhancing turbulence has been researched extensively. However, during the ignition process, the charge motion can influence the initial spark discharge, resulting flame kernel formation, and flame propagation.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Circuit Model for the Emulation of Glow Phase during Spark Discharge

2018-04-03
2018-01-0092
The ever-growing demand to meet the stringent exhaust emission regulations have driven the development of modern gasoline engines towards lean combustion strategies and downsizing to achieve the reduction of exhaust emission and fuel consumption. Currently, the inductive ignition system is still the dominant ignition system applied in Spark Ignited (SI) engines. It is popular due to its simple design, low cost and robust performance. The new development in spark ignition engines demands higher spark energy to be delivered by the inductive ignition system to overcome the unfavorable ignition conditions caused by the increased and diluted in-cylinder charge. To meet this challenge, better understanding of the inductive ignition system is required. The development of a first principle model for simulation can help in understanding the working mechanism of the system in a better way.
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.
Journal Article

Preliminary Investigation of Exhaust Pressure Waves in a Single Cylinder Diesel Engine and the Impacts on Aftertreatment Sprays

2017-03-28
2017-01-0616
The pressure wave actions were investigated in the exhaust system of a single cylinder diesel engine through both experimental and simulation methods. The characteristics of the exhaust pressure waves under different engine operating conditions, such as engine load and exhaust backpressure, were examined. The results showed that the strength of the exhaust pressure wave was affected by both the in-cylinder pressure and the exhaust backpressure in the exhaust system during the period when the exhaust valves were open. The exhaust gas flow velocity was also estimated by the one dimensional simulation tool AVL BOOST™. The results suggested that the velocity of the exhaust gas fluctuated during the engine cycle, and followed trends similar to the exhaust pressure wave. The transient gas flow velocity was high when there was a strong compression wave, and it was reduced when the pressure fluctuations in the exhaust manifold were small.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Multi-Pole Spark Ignition Under Lean Conditions and with EGR

2017-03-28
2017-01-0679
In order to meet the future carbon dioxide legislation, advanced clean combustion engines are tending to employ low temperature diluted combustion strategies along with intensified cylinder charge motion. The diluted mixtures are made by means of excess air admission or exhaust gas recirculation. A slower combustion speed during the early flame kernel development because of the suppressed mixture reactivity will reduce the reliability of the ignition process and the overall combustion stability. In an effort to address this issue, an ignition strategy using a multi-pole spark igniter is tested in this work. The igniter uses three electrically independent spark gaps to allow three spatially distributed spark discharges. The multi-pole spark strategy displayed more advanced combustion phasing and lower phasing variability compared to single spark discharges.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

2017-03-28
2017-01-0678
Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
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

Measurement of Temperature and Soot (KL) Distributions in Spray Flames of Diesel-Butanol Blends by Two-Color Method Using High-Speed RGB Video Camera

2016-10-17
2016-01-2190
Taking advantages of high speed RGB video cameras, the two-color method can be implemented with a relatively simple setup to obtain the temporal development of the two dimensional temperature and soot (KL) distributions in a reacting diesel jet. However, several issues such as the selection of the two wavelengths, the role of bandpass filters, and the proper optical settings, etc. should be known to obtain a reliable measurement. This paper, at first, discusses about the uncertainties in the measurement of temperature and KL distributions in the diesel flame by the two-color method using the high speed RGB video camera. Since n-butanol, as an alternative renewable fuel, has the potential application in diesel engines, the characteristic of spray combustion of diesel-butanol blends under the diesel-like ambient conditions in a pre-burning constant-volume combustion chamber is studied.
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.
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.
Journal Article

Investigation of Fuel Injection Strategies for Direct Injection of Neat n-Butanol in a Compression Ignition Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0724
In this study, impacts of neat n-butanol fuel injection parameters on direct injection (DI) compression ignition (CI) engine performance were investigated to gain knowledge for understanding the fuel injection strategies for n-butanol. The engine tests were conducted on a four-stroke single-cylinder DI CI engine with a compression ratio of 18.2:1. The effects of fuel injection pressure (40, 60 and 90 MPa) and injection timing in a single injection strategy were investigated. The results showed that an increase in injection pressure significantly reduced nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions which is the opposite trend seen in conventional diesel combustion. The parallel use of a higher injection pressure and retarded injection timing was a proposed method to reduce NOx and cylinder pressure rise rate simultaneously. NOx was further reduced by using exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) while keeping near zero soot emissions.
Technical Paper

The Effect of High-Power Capacitive Spark Discharge on the Ignition and Flame Propagation in a Lean and Diluted Cylinder Charge

2016-04-05
2016-01-0707
Research studies have suggested that changes to the ignition system are required to generate a more robust flame kernel in order to secure the ignition process for the future advanced high efficiency spark-ignition (SI) engines. In a typical inductive ignition system, the spark discharge is initiated by a transient high-power electrical breakdown and sustained by a relatively low-power glow process. The electrical breakdown is characterized as a capacitive discharge process with a small quantity of energy coming mainly from the gap parasitic capacitor. Enhancement of the breakdown is a potential avenue effectively for extending the lean limit of SI engine. In this work, the effect of high-power capacitive spark discharge on the early flame kernel growth of premixed methane-air mixtures is investigated through electrical probing and optical diagnosis.
Technical Paper

Distributed Electrical Discharge to Improve the Ignition of Premixed Quiescent and Turbulent Mixtures

2016-04-05
2016-01-0706
The present work investigates the efficacy of distributed electrical discharge to increase the ignition volume by means of multipole spark discharge and radio frequency (RF) corona discharge. A range of ignition strategies are implemented to evaluate the efficacy of distributed ignition. The multipole spark igniter design has multiple high-voltage electrodes in close proximity to each other. This distributed spark ignition concept has the ability to generate multiple flame kernels either simultaneously or in a staggered mode. A novel elastic breakdown ignition strategy in responsive distribution (eBIRD) high frequency discharge is also implemented via the multipole igniter. The RF corona discharge is generated through an in-house developed ignition system. A form of distributed ignition is initiated along the streamer filaments.
Technical Paper

Emission Analysis of HCCI Combustion in a Diesel Engine Fueled by Butanol

2016-04-05
2016-01-0749
Advances in engine technology in recent years have led to significant reductions in the emission of pollutants and gains in efficiency. As a facet of investigations into clean, efficient combustion, the homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) mode of combustion can improve upon the thermal efficiency and nitrogen oxides emission of conventional spark ignition engines. With respect to conventional diesel engines, the low nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions reduce the requirements on the aftertreatment system to meet emission regulations. In this paper, n-butanol, an alcohol fuel with the potential to be derived from renewable sources, was used in a light-duty diesel research engine in the HCCI mode of combustion. Control of the combustion was implemented using the intake pressure and external exhaust gas recirculation. The moderate reactivity of butanol required the assistance of increased intake pressure for ignition at the lower engine load range.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation of Diesel Ignited Ethanol and Butanol Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0773
Dual fuel applications of alcohol fuels such as ethanol or butanol through port injection with direct injection of diesel can be effective in reduction of NOx. However, these dual fuel applications are usually associated with an increase in the incomplete combustion products such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2) emissions. An analysis of these products of incomplete combustion and the resulting combustion efficiency penalty was made in the diesel ignited alcohol combustion modes. The effect of EGR application was evaluated using ethanol and butanol as the port injected fuel, with varying alcohol fractions at the mid-load condition (10 -12 bar IMEP). The impact of varying the engine load (5 bar to 19 bar IMEP) in the diesel ignited ethanol mode on the incomplete combustion products was also studied. Emission measurements were taken and the net fuel energy loss as a result of the incomplete combustion was estimated.
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.
Technical Paper

Suitability Study of n-Butanol for Enabling PCCI and HCCI and RCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-09-01
2015-01-1816
This work investigates the suitability of n-butanol for enabling PCCI, HCCI, and RCCI combustion modes to achieve clean and efficient combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Systematic engine tests are conducted at low and medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) and at a medium engine speed of 1500 rpm. Test results indicate that n-butanol is more suitable than diesel to enable PCCI and HCCI combustion with the same engine hardware. However, the combustion phasing control for n-butanol is demanding due to the high combustion sensitivity to variations in engine operating conditions where engine safety concerns (e.g. excessive pressure rise rates) potentially arise. While EGR is the primary measure to control the combustion phasing of n-butanol HCCI, the timing control of n-butanol direct injection in PCCI provides an additional leverage to properly phase the n-butanol combustion.
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