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Technical Paper

Application of Fast Oxygen Sensors for Investigations into Air-Path Dynamics and EGR Distribution in a Diesel Engine

The control of NOX emissions by exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is of widespread application. However, despite dramatic improvements in all aspects of engine control, the subtle mixing processes that determine the cylinder-to-cylinder distribution of the recirculated gas often results in a mal-distribution that is still an issue for the engine designer and calibrator. In this paper we demonstrate the application of a relatively straightforward technique for the measurement of the absolute and relative dilution quantity in both steady state and transient operation. This was achieved by the use of oxygen sensors based on standard UEGO (universal exhaust gas oxygen) sensors but packaged so as to give good frequency response (∼ 10 ms time constant) and be completely insensitivity to the sample pressure and temperature. Measurements can be made at almost any location of interest, for example exhaust and inlet manifolds as well as EGR path(s), with virtually no flow disturbance.
Technical Paper

Impact of Lubricant Composition on Low-speed Pre-Ignition

One of the limits on the maximum fuel efficiency benefit to be gained from turbocharged, downsized gasoline engines is the occurrence of pre-ignitions at low engine speed. These pre-ignitions may lead to high pressures and extreme knock (megaknock or superknock) which can cause severe engine damage. Though the mechanism leading to megaknock is not completely resolved, pre-ignitions are thought to arise from local autoignition of areas in the cylinder which are rich in low ignition delay “contaminants” such as engine oil and/or heavy ends of gasoline. These contaminants are introduced to the combustion chamber at various points in the engine cycle (e.g. entering from the top land crevice during blow-down or washed from the cylinder walls during DI wall impingement).
Journal Article

Measuring the Impact of Engine Oils and Fuels on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in Downsized Engines

One of the limits on the maximum fuel efficiency benefit to be gained from turbocharged, downsized gasoline engines is the occurrence of low speed pre-ignition (LSPI). LSPI may lead to high pressures and extreme knock (megaknock or superknock) which can cause severe engine damage. Though the mechanism leading to megaknock is not completely resolved, LSPI is thought to arise from local auto-ignition of areas in the cylinder which are rich in low ignition delay “contaminants” such as engine oil and/or heavy ends of gasoline. These contaminants are introduced to the combustion chamber at various points in the engine cycle (e.g. entering from the top land crevice during blow-down or washed from the cylinder walls during DI wall impingement). This paper describes a method for testing the propensity of different contaminants to cause a local pre-ignition in a gasoline engine. During one cycle, a small amount of contaminant is injected into one cylinder of a 4 cylinder engine.
Technical Paper

A Novel System for Reducing Turbo-Lag by Injection of Compressed Gas into the Exhaust Manifold

A key challenge in achieving good transient performance of highly boosted engines is the difficulty of accelerating the turbocharger from low air flow conditions (“turbo lag”). Multi-stage turbocharging, electric turbocharger assistance, electric compressors and hybrid powertrains are helpful in the mitigation of this deficit, but these technologies add significant cost and integration effort. Air-assist systems have the potential to be more cost-effective. Injecting compressed air into the intake manifold has received considerable attention, but the performance improvement offered by this concept is severely constrained by the compressor surge limit. The literature describes many schemes for generating the compressed gas, often involving significant mechanical complexity and/or cost. In this paper we demonstrate a novel exhaust assist system in which a reservoir is charged during braking.
Technical Paper

UEGO Based Measurement of EGR Rate and Residual Gas Fraction

A technique is presented for measuring the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and residual gas fraction (RGF) using a fast UEGO-based O₂ measurement of the manifold or in-cylinder gases, and of the exhaust gases. The technique has some advantages over the more common CO₂-based method. In the case of an RGF measurement, fuel interference must be eliminated and special fuelling arrangements are required. It is shown how a UEGO-based measurement, though sensitive to reactive species in the exhaust (such as H₂), as a system reports EGR/RGF rates faithfully. Preliminary tests showed that EGR and RGF measurements using the O₂ approach agreed well with CO₂-based measurements.
Journal Article

Analysis of In-Cylinder Hydrocarbons in a Multi-Cylinder Gasoline HCCI Engine Using Gas Chromatography

Gasoline Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion has been studied widely in the past decade. However, in HCCI engines using negative valve overlap (NVO), there is still uncertainty as to whether the effect of pilot injection during NVO on the start of combustion is primarily due to heat release of the pilot fuel during NVO or whether it is due to pilot fuel reformation. This paper presents data taken on a 4-cylinder gasoline direct injection, spark ignition/HCCI engine with a dual cam system, capable of recompressing residual gas. Engine in-cylinder samples are extracted at various points during the engine cycle through a high-speed sampling system and directly analysed with a gas chromatograph and flame ionisation detector. Engine parameter sweeps are performed for different pilot injection timings and quantities at a medium load point.
Journal Article

A Detailed Chemistry Multi-cycle Simulation of a Gasoline Fueled HCCI Engine Operated with NVO

A previously developed Stochastic Reactor Model (SRM) is used to simulate combustion in a four cylinder in-line four-stroke naturally aspirated direct injection Spark Ignition (SI) engine modified to run in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) mode with a Negative Valve Overlap (NVO). A portion of the fuel is injected during NVO to increase the cylinder temperature and enable HCCI combustion at a compression ratio of 12:1. The model is coupled with GT-Power, a one-dimensional engine simulation tool used for the open valve portion of the engine cycle. The SRM is used to model in-cylinder mixing, heat transfer and chemistry during the NVO and main combustion. Direct injection is simulated during NVO in order to predict heat release and internal Exhaust Gas Recycle (EGR) composition and mass. The NOx emissions and simulated pressure profiles match experimental data well, including the cyclic fluctuations.
Technical Paper

Investigation into Partially Premixed Combustion in a Light-Duty Multi-Cylinder Diesel Engine Fuelled Gasoline and Diesel with a Mixture of

Partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) engines operating with a low temperature highly homogeneous charge have been demonstrated previously using conventional diesel fuel. The short ignition delay of conventional diesel fuel requires high fuel injection pressures to achieve adequate premixing along with high levels of EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) to achieve low NOx emissions. Low load operating regions are typified by substantial emissions of CO and HC and there exists an upper operating load limitation due to very high rates of in-cylinder gas pressure rise. In this study mixtures of gasoline and diesel fuel were investigated using a multi-cylinder light duty diesel engine. It was found that an increased proportion of gasoline fuel reduced smoke emissions at higher operating loads through an increase in charge premixing resulting from an increase in ignition delay and higher fuel volatility.
Technical Paper

Air-to-fuel Ratio Modulation Experiments over a Pd/Rh Three-way Catalyst

The benefits of deliberately modulating air-to-fuel ratio over a three-way catalyst are disputed. In this work, engine test cell experiments were carried out to assess the performance of a warmed-up Pd/Rh three-way catalyst. The objectives were threefold: first, to determine the best mode of operation; second, to determine if air-to-fuel ratio modulation enhances robustness to transient air-to-fuel ratio disturbances; third, to determine if the conversion efficiency can be manipulated by controlling the shape of the air-to-fuel ratio oscillation. It was observed that the highest conversion efficiency is obtained using a steady air-to-fuel ratio just rich of stoichiometric; however, this mode of operation lacks robustness with respect to transient disturbances and UEGO sensor errors. Robustness can be improved using an oscillating air-to-fuel ratio, but with a sacrifice in peak conversion efficiency.
Technical Paper

Real Time CO2 Measurement to Determine Transient Intake Gas Composition under EGR Conditions

In a recent paper, a novel fast-response NDIR-based CO2 (fCO2) sensor was described, with applications to automotive engine gas analysis. Certain shortcomings were identified with the sensor. The present paper is concerned with the evolution of the sensor towards a mature instrument and an important application: the measurement of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) rates during rapid transients. The application described concerns transient EGR measurements at unprecedented bandwidths. Essentially, the technique is based on comparing the inlet manifold CO2 concentration with that in the exhaust. Sampling complications caused by the wide range of inlet pressures encountered in the inlet manifold are discussed. A comparison of EGR from the present test is made with those deduced by the engine controller and a standard slow bench instrument. EGR calibration errors are then identified and related to legislated emissions measured with a similar frequency response.
Technical Paper

The Fast FID as a Velocimeter for Flow Measurements in an Automotive Catalyst

The gas velocity through an automotive catalyst has been determined by measuring the time of flight of a pulse of propane injected at the inlet plane of the catalyst. The arrival time at the exit plane was detected by a fast flame ionization detector. By synchronizing and delaying the injection of propane with respect to the engine crankshaft position, the fluctuations of the exhaust gas velocity during the engine cycle were investigated. A number of tests at different engine load and speed points were carried out. The results show a complex velocity/time characteristic, including flow reversals. The technique is shown to be a viable option for flow measurement in this harsh environment.
Technical Paper

Time Resolved Measurement of Cold Start HC Concentration Using the Fast FID

Understanding mixture formation phenomena during the first few cycles of an engine cold start is extremely important for achieving the minimum engine-out emission levels at the time when the catalytic converter is not yet operational. Of special importance is the structure of the charge (film, droplets and vapour) which enters the cylinder during this time interval as well as its concentration profile. However, direct experimental studies of the fuel behaviour in the inlet port have so far been less than fully successful due to the brevity of the process and lack of a suitable experimental technique. We present measurements of the hydrocarbon (HC) concentration in the manifold and port of a production SI engine using the Fast Response Flame Ionisation Detector (FRFID).
Technical Paper

A Linear Catalyst Temperature Sensor for Exhaust Gas Ignition (EGI) and On Board Diagnostics of Misfire and Catalyst Efficiency

Afterburning of a rich exhaust/air mixture ahead of the catalyst has been shown in earlier papers to offer an effective means of achieving catalyst light-off in very short times. Protection of the catalyst from overheating is an important aspect of systems using EGI, and on board diagnostics will be required to check for proper function of EGI. In this paper, some options for these requirements are discussed, using a high temperature linear thermistor.
Technical Paper

A Catalytic Oxidation Sensor for the On Board Detection of Misfire and Catalyst Efficiency

This paper describes a novel catalytic oxidation sensor which represents an attempt to realise a practical sensor for on vehicle detection of catalyst efficiency and misfire. Via experimental and modelling approaches, promising characteristics are established, which could mean that an application to the on-vehicle detection of catalyst efficiency and misfire is feasible.
Technical Paper

Plug Fouling Investigations on a Running Engine - An Application of a Novel Multi-Purpose Diagnostic System Based on the Spark Plug

A method for non-intrusive measurement of spark plug fouling, burn quality, pre-ignition and spark characteristics is described. The technique relies on a continuous monitoring of the leakage current to the spark plug centre electrode, via a high voltage diode stand off arrangement. By way of demonstration, the system operation is reported for investigations of cold start plug fouling.
Technical Paper

Unburnt Hydrocarbon Measurement by Means of a Surface Ionisation Detector

Recent studies in the USA have revealed that the catalysts (which are universally fitted to gasoline automobiles) are failing in service to an unacceptable extent. Although the reasons for the failures are not completely clear, it seems that misfiring, leading to highly exothermic reaction in the catalyst, may be responsible for the damage. Legislation is to be enacted later in this decade to address this problem by requiring on board diagnostic (OBD) systems which can measure misfire, as well as catalyst hydrocarbon (HC) conversion efficiency. Although some ideas have been suggested for the OBD requirements, no fully satisfactory sensor technology has yet appeared. This paper describes a novel hydrocarbon sensor based on a surface catalysis principle. The fundamental studies reported here have been made with the automobile application in mind. A catalytic chemi-ionisation model is proposed in order to enhance our understanding of this surface ionisation.
Technical Paper

Knock Detection by Means of the Spark Plug

This paper describes a system for knock detection in automobile engines using the spark plug. Operation is based on detection of the effect of the characteristic pressure fluctuations in the cylinder on the conductivity of the slightly ionized combustion gases in the vicinity of the plug gap. A signal processing method is described which gives adequate signal to noise ratio up to high engine speed.