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Journal Article

Characterization of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) Using Premixed Gasoline and Direct-Injected Gasoline with a Cetane Improver on a Multi-Cylinder Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0855
The focus of the present study was to characterize Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) using a single-fuel approach of gasoline and gasoline mixed with a commercially available cetane improver on a multi-cylinder engine. RCCI was achieved by port-injecting a certification grade 96 research octane gasoline and direct-injecting the same gasoline mixed with various levels of a cetane improver, 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN). The EHN volume percentages investigated in the direct-injected fuel were 10, 5, and 2.5%. The combustion phasing controllability and emissions of the different fueling combinations were characterized at 2300 rpm and 4.2 bar brake mean effective pressure over a variety of parametric investigations including direct injection timing, premixed gasoline percentage, and intake temperature. Comparisons were made to gasoline/diesel RCCI operation on the same engine platform at nominally the same operating condition.
Technical Paper

Highway Fuel Economy Testing of an RCCI Series Hybrid Vehicle

2015-04-14
2015-01-0837
In the current work, a series-hybrid vehicle has been constructed that utilizes a dual-fuel, Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) engine. The vehicle is a 2009 Saturn Vue chassis and a 1.9L turbo-diesel engine converted to operate with low temperature RCCI combustion. The engine is coupled to a 90 kW AC motor, acting as an electrical generator to charge a 14.1 kW-hr lithium-ion traction battery pack, which powers the rear wheels by a 75 kW drive motor. Full vehicle testing was conducted on chassis dynamometers at the Vehicle Emissions Research Laboratory at Ford Motor Company and at the Vehicle Research Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For this work, the US Environmental Protection Agency Highway Fuel Economy Test was performed using commercially available gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel. Fuel economy and emissions data were recorded over the specified test cycle and calculated based on the fuel properties and the high-voltage battery energy usage.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Variable Valve Actuation, Cylinder Deactivation and Injection Strategies for Low-Load RCCI Operation of a Light Duty Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0843
While Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) strategies such as Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) exhibit high thermal efficiency and produce low NOx and soot emissions, low load operation is still a significant challenge due to high unburnt hydrocarbon (UHC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, which occur as a result of poor combustion efficiencies at these operating points. Furthermore, the exhaust gas temperatures are insufficient to light-off the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), thereby resulting in poor UHC and CO conversion efficiencies by the aftertreatment system. To achieve exhaust gas temperature values sufficient for DOC light-off, combustion can be appropriately phased by changing the ratio of gasoline to diesel in the cylinder, or by burning additional fuel injected during the expansion stroke through post-injection.
Technical Paper

CFD Study of Soot Reduction Mechanisms of Post-Injection in Spray Combustion

2015-04-14
2015-01-0794
The application of close-coupled post injections in diesel engines has been proven to be an effective in-cylinder strategy for soot reduction, without much fuel efficiency penalty. But due to the complexity of in-cylinder combustion, the soot reduction mechanism of post-injections is difficult to explain. Accordingly, a simulation study using a three dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, coupled with the SpeedChem chemistry solver and a semi-detailed soot model, was carried out to investigate post-injection in a constant volume combustion chamber, which is more simple and controllable with respect to the boundary conditions than an engine. A 2-D axisymmetric mesh of radius 2 cm and height 5 cm was used to model the spray. Post-injection durations and initial oxygen concentrations were swept to study the efficacy of post-injection under different combustion conditions.
Journal Article

A Surrogate Fuel Formulation Approach for Real Transportation Fuels with Application to Multi-Dimensional Engine Simulations

2014-04-01
2014-01-1464
Real transportation fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, are mixtures of thousands of different hydrocarbons. For multidimensional engine applications, numerical simulations of combustion of real fuels with all of the hydrocarbon species included exceeds present computational capabilities. Consequently, surrogate fuel models are normally utilized. A good surrogate fuel model should approximate the essential physical and chemical properties of the real fuel. In this work, we present a novel methodology for the formulation of surrogate fuel models based on local optimization and sensitivity analysis technologies. Within the proposed approach, several important fuel properties are considered. Under the physical properties, we focus on volatility, density, lower heating value (LHV), and viscosity, while the chemical properties relate to the chemical composition, hydrogen to carbon (H/C) ratio, and ignition behavior. An error tolerance is assigned to each property for convergence checking.
Journal Article

Improving the Understanding of Intake and Charge Effects for Increasing RCCI Engine Efficiency

2014-04-01
2014-01-1325
The present experimental engine efficiency study explores the effects of intake pressure and temperature, and premixed and global equivalence ratios on gross thermal efficiency (GTE) using the reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion strategy. Experiments were conducted in a heavy-duty single-cylinder engine at constant net load (IMEPn) of 8.45 bar, 1300 rev/min engine speed, with 0% EGR, and a 50% mass fraction burned combustion phasing (CA50) of 0.5°CA ATDC. The engine was port fueled with E85 for the low reactivity fuel and direct injected with 3.5% 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) doped into 91 anti-knock index (AKI) gasoline for the high-reactivity fuel. The resulting reactivity of the enhanced fuel corresponds to an AKI of approximately 56 and a cetane number of approximately 28. The engine was operated with a wide range of intake pressures and temperatures, and the ratio of low- to high-reactivity fuel was adjusted to maintain a fixed speed-phasing-load condition.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation of Piston Heat Transfer in a Light Duty Engine Under Conventional Diesel, Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition, and Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition Combustion Regimes

2014-04-01
2014-01-1182
An experimental study has been conducted to provide insight into heat transfer to the piston of a light-duty single-cylinder research engine under Conventional Diesel (CDC), Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), and Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) combustion regimes. Two fast-response surface thermocouples embedded in the piston top measured transient temperature. A commercial wireless telemetry system was used to transmit thermocouple signals from the moving piston. A detailed comparison was made between the different combustion regimes at a range of engine speed and load conditions. The closed-cycle integrated and peak heat transfer rates were found to be lower for HCCI and RCCI when compared to CDC. Under HCCI operation, the peak heat transfer rate showed sensitivity to the 50% burn location.
Technical Paper

Computational Investigation of Low Load Operation in a Light-Duty Gasoline Direct Injection Compression Ignition [GDICI] Engine Using Single-Injection Strategy

2014-04-01
2014-01-1297
The use of gasoline in a compression ignition engine has been a research focus lately due to the ability of gasoline to provide more premixing, resulting in controlled emissions of the nitrogen oxides [NOx] and particulate matter. The present study assesses the reactivity of 93 RON [87AKI] gasoline in a GM 1.9L 4-cylinder diesel engine, to extend the low load limit. A single injection strategy was used in available experiments where the injection timing was varied from −42 to −9 deg ATDC, with a step-size of 3 deg. The minimum fueling level was defined in the experiments such that the coefficient of variance [COV] of indicated mean effective pressure [IMEP] was less than 3%. The study revealed that injection at −27 deg ATDC allowed a minimum load of 2 bar BMEP. Also, advancement in the start of injection [SOI] timing in the experiments caused an earlier CA50, which became retarded with further advancement in SOI timing.
Technical Paper

Extension of the Lower Load Limit of Gasoline Compression Ignition with 87 AKI Gasoline by Injection Timing and Pressure

2014-04-01
2014-01-1302
Previous work has demonstrated the capabilities of gasoline compression ignition to achieve engine loads as high as 19.5 bar BMEP with a production multi-cylinder diesel engine using gasoline with an anti-knock index (AKI) of 87. In the current study, the low load limit of the engine was investigated using the same engine hardware configurations and 87 AKI fuel that was used to achieve 19.5 bar BMEP. Single injection, “minimum fueling” style injection timing and injection pressure sweeps (where fuel injection quantity was reduced at each engine operating condition until the coefficient of variance of indicated mean effective pressure rose to 3%) found that the 87 AKI test fuel could run under stable combustion conditions down to a load of 1.5 bar BMEP at an injection timing of −30 degrees after top dead center (°aTDC) with reduced injection pressure, but still without the use of intake air heating or uncooled EGR.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Computational Assessment of Inlet Swirl Effects on a Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI) Light-Duty Diesel Engine

2014-04-01
2014-01-1299
The light-medium load operating regime (4-8 bar net IMEP) presents many challenges for advanced low temperature combustion strategies (e.g. HCCI, PPC) in light-duty, high speed engines. In this operating regime, lean global equivalence ratios (Φ<0.4) present challenges with respect to autoignition of gasoline-like fuels. Considering this intake temperature sensitivity, the objective of this work was to investigate, both experimentally and computationally, gasoline compression ignition (GCI) combustion operating sensitivity to inlet swirl ratio (Rs) variations when using a single fuel (87-octane gasoline) in a 0.475-liter single-cylinder engine based on a production GM 1.9-liter high speed diesel engine. For the first part of this investigation, an experimental matrix was developed to determine how changing inlet swirl affected GCI operation at various fixed load and engine speed operating conditions (4 and 8 bar net IMEP; 1300 and 2000 RPM).
Journal Article

A CFD Study of Post Injection Influences on Soot Formation and Oxidation under Diesel-Like Operating Conditions

2014-04-01
2014-01-1256
One in-cylinder strategy for reducing soot emissions from diesel engines while maintaining fuel efficiency is the use of close-coupled post injections, which are small fuel injections that follow the main fuel injection after a short delay. While the in-cylinder mechanisms of diesel combustion with single injections have been studied extensively and are relatively well understood, the in-cylinder mechanisms affecting the performance and efficacy of post injections have not been clearly established. Here, experiments from a single-cylinder heavy-duty optical research engine incorporating close- coupled post injections are modeled with three dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The overall goal is to complement experimental findings with CFD results to gain more insight into the relationship between post-injections and soot. This paper documents the first stage of CFD results for simulating and analyzing the experimental conditions.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Pressure Oscillation Modes and Audible Noise in RCCI, HCCI, and CDC

2013-04-08
2013-01-1652
This study uses Fourier analysis to investigate the relationship between the heat release event and the frequency composition of pressure oscillations in a variety of combustion modes. While kinetically-controlled combustion strategies such as HCCI and RCCI offer advantages over CDC in terms of efficiency and NOX emissions, their operational range is limited by audible knock and the possibility of engine damage stemming from high pressure rise rates and oscillations. Several criteria such as peak pressure rise rate, ringing intensity, and various knock indices have been developed to quantify these effects, but they fail to capture all of the dynamics required to form direct comparisons between different engines or combustion strategies. Experiments were performed with RCCI, HCCI, and CDC on a 2.44 L heavy-duty engine at 1300 RPM, generating a significant diversity of heat release profiles.
Journal Article

Effect of Piston Bowl Geometry on Dual Fuel Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) in a Light-Duty Engine Operated with Gasoline/Diesel and Methanol/Diesel

2013-04-08
2013-01-0264
A single-cylinder light-duty diesel engine was used to investigate dual fuel reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) operated with two different fuel combinations: gasoline/diesel fuel and methanol/diesel fuel. The engine was operated over a range of conditions, from 1500 to 2300 rpm and 3.5 to 17 bar gross IMEP. Using the stock re-entrant piston bowl geometry, both fuel combinations were able to achieve low NOx and PM emissions with a peak gross indicated efficiency of 48%. However, at light load conditions both gasoline and methanol yielded poorer combustion efficiencies. Previous studies have shown that the high-levels of piston induced mixing that are created by the stock piston are not required, and in fact are detrimental due to increased heat transfer losses, for premixed combustion. Thus a modified piston featuring a shallow, flat piston bowl with nearly no squish land was also investigated.
Journal Article

Effects of Biofuel Blends on RCCI Combustion in a Light-Duty, Multi-Cylinder Diesel Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-1653
Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) is an engine combustion strategy that utilizes in-cylinder fuel blending to produce low NOx and PM emissions while maintaining high thermal efficiency. Previous RCCI research has been investigated in single-cylinder heavy-duty engines [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The current study investigates RCCI operation in a light-duty multi-cylinder engine over a wide number of operating points representing vehicle operation over the US EPA FTP test. Similarly, previous RCCI engine experiments have used petroleum based fuels such as ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) and gasoline, with some work done using high percentages of biofuels, namely E85 [7]. The current study was conducted to examine RCCI performance with moderate biofuel blends, such as E20 and B20, as compared to conventional gasoline and ULSD.
Journal Article

Effect of Cetane Improvers on Gasoline, Ethanol, and Methanol Reactivity and the Implications for RCCI Combustion

2013-04-08
2013-01-1678
The focus of the present study was to characterize the fuel reactivity of high octane number fuels (i.e., low fuel reactivity), namely gasoline, ethanol, and methanol when mixed with cetane improvers under lean, premixed combustion conditions. Two commercially available cetane improvers, 2-ethylhexyl nitrate and di-tert-butyl peroxide, were used in the study. First, blends of the primary reference fuels iso-octane and n-heptane were port injected under fixed operating conditions. The resulting combustion phasings were used to generate effective PRF number maps. Then, blends of the aforementioned base fuels and cetane improvers were tested under the same lean premixed conditions as the PRF blends. Based on the combustion phasing results of the base fuel and cetane improver mixture, the effective PRF number, or octane number, could be determined.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Light-Medium Load Operating Sensitivity in a Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI) Light-Duty Diesel Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-0896
The light-medium load operating range (4-7 bar net IMEP) presents many challenges for advanced low temperature combustion strategies utilizing low cetane fuels (specifically, 87-octane gasoline) in light-duty, high-speed engines. The overly lean overall air-fuel ratio (Φ≺0.4) sometimes requires unrealistically high inlet temperatures and/or high inlet boost conditions to initiate autoignition at engine speeds in excess of 1500 RPM. The objective of this work is to identify and quantify the effects of variation in input parameters on overall engine operation. Input parameters including inlet temperature, inlet pressure, injection timing/duration, injection pressure, and engine speed were varied in a ~0.5L single-cylinder engine based on a production General Motors 1.9L 4-cylinder high-speed diesel engine.
Technical Paper

Efficiency and Emissions Mapping of RCCI in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-0289
In-cylinder blending of gasoline and diesel to achieve Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) has been shown to reduce NOX and particulate matter (PM) emissions while maintaining or improving brake thermal efficiency as compared to conventional diesel combustion (CDC). The RCCI concept has an advantage over many advanced combustion strategies in that the fuel reactivity can be tailored to the engine speed and load allowing stable low-temperature combustion to be extended over more of the light-duty drive cycle load range. Varying the premixed gasoline fraction changes the fuel reactivity stratification in the cylinder providing further control of combustion phasing and pressure rise rate than the use of EGR alone. This added control over the combustion process has been shown to allow rapid engine operating point exploration without direct modeling guidance.
Journal Article

Use of Low-Pressure Direct-Injection for Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) Light-Duty Engine Operation

2013-04-08
2013-01-1605
Reactivity-controlled compression ignition (RCCI) has been shown to be capable of providing improved engine efficiencies coupled with the benefit of low emissions via in-cylinder fuel blending. Much of the previous body of work has studied the benefits of RCCI operation using high injection pressures (e.g., 500 bar or greater) with common rail injection (CRI) hardware. However, low-pressure fueling technology is capable of providing significant cost savings. Due to the broad market adoption of gasoline direct injection (GDI) fueling systems, a market-type prototype GDI injector was selected for this study. Single-cylinder light-duty engine experiments were undertaken to examine the performance and emissions characteristics of the RCCI combustion strategy with low-pressure GDI technology and compared against high injection pressure RCCI operation. Gasoline and diesel were used as the low-reactivity and high-reactivity fuels, respectively.
Technical Paper

A Computational Investigation of the Effects of Swirl Ratio and Injection Pressure on Mixture Preparation and Wall Heat Transfer in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-1105
In a recent study, quantitative measurements were presented of in-cylinder spatial distributions of mixture equivalence ratio in a single-cylinder light-duty optical diesel engine, operated with a non-reactive mixture at conditions similar to an early injection low-temperature combustion mode. In the experiments a planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) methodology was used to obtain local mixture equivalence ratio values based on a diesel fuel surrogate (75% n-heptane, 25% iso-octane), with a small fraction of toluene as fluorescing tracer (0.5% by mass). Significant changes in the mixture's structure and composition at the walls were observed due to increased charge motion at high swirl and injection pressure levels. This suggested a non-negligible impact on wall heat transfer and, ultimately, on efficiency and engine-out emissions.
Journal Article

Heavy-Duty RCCI Operation Using Natural Gas and Diesel

2012-04-16
2012-01-0379
Many recent studies have shown that the Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) combustion strategy can achieve high efficiency with low emissions. However, it has also been revealed that RCCI combustion is difficult at high loads due to its premixed nature. To operate at moderate to high loads with gasoline/diesel dual fuel, high amounts of EGR or an ultra low compression ratio have shown to be required. Considering that both of these approaches inherently lower thermodynamic efficiency, in this study natural gas was utilized as a replacement for gasoline as the low-reactivity fuel. Due to the lower reactivity (i.e., higher octane number) of natural gas compared to gasoline, it was hypothesized to be a better fuel for RCCI combustion, in which a large reactivity gradient between the two fuels is beneficial in controlling the maximum pressure rise rate.
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