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Technical Paper

Effects of Prechamber on Efficiency Improvement and Emissions Reduction of a SI Engine Fuelled with Gasoline

The permanent aim of the automotive industry is the further improvement of the engine efficiency and the simultaneous pollutant emissions reduction. The aim of the study was the optimization of the gasoline combustion by means of a passive prechamber. This analysis allowed the improvement of the engine efficiency in lean-burn operation condition too. The investigation was carried out in a commercial small Spark Ignition (SI) engine fueled with gasoline and equipped with a proper designed passive prechamber. It was analyzed the effects of the prechamber on engine performance, Indicated Mean Effective Pressure, Heat Release Rate and Fuel Consumption were used. Gaseous emissions were measured as well. Particulate Mass, Number and Size Distributions were analyzed. Emissions samples were taken from the exhaust flow, just downstream of the valves. Four different engine speeds were investigated, namely 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 rpm.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Fueled Prechamber Combustion in an Optical Small Displacement SI Methane Engine

The constant aim of the automotive industry is the further improvement of engine efficiency and the simultaneous reduction of the exhaust emissions. In order to optimize the internal combustion engines it is necessary to further improve the basic knowledge of the thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion process. In this context, the application of optical diagnostic techniques permits a deep insight into the fundamental processes such as flow development, fuel injection, and combustion process. In this paper the analysis of the combustion process of gaseous fuel ignited by the plasma jets coming from a prechamber was performed. The investigation was carried out in an optically accessible small Direct Injection Spark-Ignition (DI SI) engine fueled with Methane. The ignition was obtained with a properly designed fueled prechamber prototype.
Technical Paper

Quasi-Dimensional Simulation of Downsizing and Inverter Application for Efficient Part Load Operation of Spark Ignition Engine Driven Micro-Cogeneration Systems

Within the context of distributed power generation, small size systems driven by spark ignition engines represent a valid and user-friendly choice, that ensures good fuel flexibility. One issue is that such applications are run at part load for extensive periods, thus lowering fuel economy. Employing an inverter (fitted between the generator and load) allows engine operation within a wide range of crankshaft rotational velocity, therefore improving efficiency. For the purpose of evaluating the benefits of this technology within a co-generation framework, two configurations were modeled by using the GT-Power simulation software. After model calibration based on measurements on a small size engine for two-wheel applications, the downsized version was compared to a larger power unit operated at constant engine speed for a scenario that featured up to 10 kW rated power.
Technical Paper

Influence of Combustion Efficiency on the Operation of Spark Ignition Engines Fueled with Methane and Hydrogen Investigated in a Quasi-Dimensional Simulation Framework

Within the context of widening application of numerical simulations for shortening engine development times, the present work covers the issue of quasi-dimensional simulation of spark ignition engines. Multi-fuel operation was the main goal of the study, with the analysis of methane and its blends with hydrogen; gasoline was also considered as a reference case. Data recorded on two engines with practically the same geometry, was used for calibrating the model. The first power unit was of commercial derivation for small applications, while the second one featured optical accessibility through the piston crown. The relative difference between the two engines allowed the top-land region crevice to be identified as the major contributor to overall combustion evolution, especially during its late stages.
Technical Paper

Ultra-High Speed Fuel Tracer PLIF Imaging in a Heavy-Duty Optical PPC Engine

In order to meet the requirements in the stringent emission regulations, more and more research work has been focused on homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) or partially premixed compression ignition (PCCI) as they have the potential to produce low NOx and soot emissions without adverse effects on engine efficiency. The mixture formation and charge stratification influence the combustion behavior and emissions for PPC/PCCI, significantly. An ultra-high speed burst-mode laser is used to capture the mixture formation process from the start of injection until several CADs after the start of combustion in a single cycle. To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first time that such a high temporal resolution, i.e. 0.2 CAD, PLIF could be accomplished for imaging of the in-cylinder mixing process. The capability of resolving single cycles allows for the influence of cycle-to-cycle variations to be eliminated.
Technical Paper

On the Entrainment Velocity and Characteristic Length Scales Used for Quasi-Dimensional Turbulent Combustion Modeling in Spark Ignition Engines

Quasi-dimensional modeling is used on a wide scale in engine development, given its potential for saving time and resources compared to experimental investigations. Often it is preferred to more complex CFD codes that are much more computationally intensive. Accuracy is one major issue of quasi-dimensional simulations and for this reason sub-models are continuously developed for improving predictive capabilities. This study considers the use of equivalent fluid velocity and characteristic length scales for simulating the processes of fresh charge entrainment and oxidation behind the flame front. Rather than dividing combustion into three different phases (i.e. laminar kernel, turbulent flame propagation and oxidation near the walls), the concept of turbulent heat and mass transfer is imposed throughout the entire process.
Technical Paper

Particle Formation and Emissions in an Optical Small Displacement SI Engine Dual Fueled with CNG DI and Gasoline PFI

Fuel depletion as well as the growing concerns on environmental issues prompt to the use of more eco-friendly fuels. The compressed natural gas (CNG) is considered one of the most promising alternative fuel for engine applications because of the lower emissions. Nevertheless, recent studies highlighted the presence of ultrafine particle emissions at the exhaust of CNG engines. The present study aims to investigate the effect of CNG on particle formation and emissions when it was direct injected and when it was dual fueled with gasoline. In this latter case, the CNG was direct injected and the gasoline port fuel injected. The study was carried out on a transparent single cylinder SI engine in order to investigate the in-cylinder process by real time non-intrusive diagnostics. In-cylinder 2D chemiluminescence measurements from UV to visible were carried out.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigations on the Sources of Particulate Emission within a Natural Gas Spark-Ignition Engine

The aim of the present work is to provide further guidance into better understanding the production mechanisms of soot emissions in Spark-Ignition SI engines fueled with compressed natural gas. In particular, extensive experimental investigations were designed with the aim to isolate the contribution of the fuel from that of lubricant oil to particle emissions. This because the common thought is that particulate emerging from the engine derives mainly from fuel, otherwise the contribute of lubricant oil cannot be neglected or underestimated, especially when the fuel itself produces low levels of soot emissions, such as in the case of premixed natural gas. The fuel-derived contribution was studied by analyzing the influence that natural gas composition has on soot emitted from a single cylinder Spark-Ignition (SI) engine. To achieve this purpose, methane/propane mixtures were realized and injected into the intake manifold of a Single-Cylinder SI engine.
Journal Article

Real Time Prediction of Particle Sizing at the Exhaust of a Diesel Engine by Using a Neural Network Model

In order to meet the increasingly strict emission regulations, several solutions for NOx and PM emissions reduction have been studied. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology has become one of the more used methods to accomplish the NOx emissions reduction. However, actual control strategies do not consider, in the definition of optimal EGR, its effect on particle size and density. These latter have a great importance both for the optimal functioning of after-treatment systems, but also for the adverse effects that small particles have on human health. Epidemiological studies, in fact, highlighted that the toxicity of particulate particles increases as the particle size decreases. The aim of this paper is to present a Neural Network model able to provide real time information about the characteristics of exhaust particles emitted by a Diesel engine.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Soot Formation and Exhaust Particle Emissions in a Small Displacement Spark Ignition Engine Operating with Ethanol Mixed and Dual Fueled with Gasoline

This paper aims to correlate the in-cylinder soot formation and the exhaust particle emissions for different methods of gasoline/ethanol fueling in spark ignition engine. In particular, the engine was fueled with gasoline and ethanol separately and not, in this latter case both blended (E30) and dual fueled (EDF). For E30 the bend was direct injected and for EDF, the ethanol was injected in the combustion chamber and the gasoline into the intake duct. For both the injection configurations, the same percentage of ethanol in gasoline was supplied: 30%v/v. The measurements were carried out at 2000 and 4000 rpm, under full load, and stoichiometric condition, in small single cylinder optical engine. 2D-digital imaging was performed to follow the combustion process with a high spatial and temporal resolution through a full-bore optical piston. The two-color pyrometry was applied for the analysis of the in cylinder soot formation in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Correlation between Simulated Volume Fraction Burned Using a Quasi-Dimensional Model and Flame Area Measured in an Optically Accessible SI Engine

Multi-fuel operation is one of the main topics of investigative research in the field of internal combustion engines. Spark ignition (SI) power units are relatively easily adaptable to alternative liquid-as well as gaseous-fuels, with mixture preparation being the main modification required. Numerical simulations are used on an ever wider scale in engine research in order to reduce costs associated with experimental investigations. In this sense, quasi-dimensional models provide acceptable accuracy with reduced computational efforts. Within this context, the present study puts under scrutiny the assumption of spherical flame propagation and how calibration of a two-zone combustion simulation is affected when changing fuel type. A quasi-dimensional model was calibrated based on measured in-cylinder pressure, and numerical results related to the two-zone volumes were compared to recorded flame imaging.
Technical Paper

Performance, Gaseous and Particle Emissions of a Small Compression Ignition Engine Operating in Diesel/Methane Dual Fuel Mode

This paper deals with the combustion behavior and exhaust emissions of a small compression ignition engine modified to operate in diesel/methane dual fuel mode. The engine is a three-cylinder, 1028 cm3 of displacement, equipped with a common rail injection system. The engine is provided with the production diesel oxidation catalyst. Intake manifold was modified in order to set up a gas injector managed by an external control unit. Experiments were carried out at different engine speeds and loads. For each engine operating condition, the majority of the total load was supplied by methane while a small percentage of the load was realized using diesel fuel; the latter was necessary to ignite the premixed charge of gaseous fuel. Thermodynamical analysis of the combustion phase was performed by in-cylinder pressure signal. Gas emissions and particulate matter were measured at the exhaust by commercial instruments.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ethanol and Gasoline Blending and Dual Fueling on Engine Performance and Emissions.

Ethanol is the most promising alternative fuel for spark ignition (SI) engines, that is blended with gasoline, typically. Moreover, in the last years great attention is paid to the dual fueling, ethanol and gasoline are injected simultaneously. This paper aims to analyze the better methods, blending or dual fueling in order to best exploit the potential of ethanol in improving engine performance and reducing pollutant emissions. The experimental activity was carried out in a small displacement single cylinder engine, representative of 2-3 wheel vehicle engines or of 3-4 cylinder small displacement automotive engines. It was equipped with a prototype gasoline direct injection (GDI) head. The tests were carried out at 3000, 4000, and 5000 rpm full load. The investigated engine operating conditions are representative of the European homologation urban driving cycle.
Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis of a Gasoline PFI-Methane DI Dual Fuel and an Air Assisted Combustion of a Transparent Small Displacement SI Engine

The use of direct injection (DI) engines allows a more precise control of the air-fuel ratio, an improvement of fuel economy, and a reduction of exhaust emissions thanks to the ultra-lean combustion due to the charge stratification. These effects can be partially obtained also with an optimized Air Direct Injection that permits to increase the turbulence at low speed and load increasing the combustion stability especially in lean condition. In this paper, a gasoline PFI (named G-PFI), gasoline PFI-methane DI dual fuel (named G-MDF) lean combustion were analyzed. The G-MDF configuration was also compared with a gasoline PFI - air DI (named G-A) configuration in order to distinguish the chemical effect of methane from the direct injection physical effect. The tests were carried out in a small displacement PFI/DI SI engine. The experimental investigation was carried out in a transparent small single-cylinder, spark ignition four-stroke engine.
Technical Paper

Experimental Characterization of an Ethanol DI - Gasoline PFI and Gasoline DI - Gasoline PFI Dual Fuel Small Displacement SI Engine

The aim of the paper is the comparison of the performance, gaseous and particle emissions from different injection configurations and fuels. The engine was operated in port fuel injection (PFI), direct injection (DI) and dual fuel (DF). For DF, ethanol DI-gasoline PFI and gasoline DI-gasoline PFI strategies were performed to discern the effect of injection strategy from the effect of the fuel. The experimental activity was carried out in a small displacement single cylinder engine, representative of 2-3 wheel vehicle engines or of 3-4 cylinder small displacement automotive engines. It was equipped with a prototype gasoline direct injection (GDI) head. The tests were carried out at 3000 rpm, 4000 rpm and 5000 rpm full load. The investigated engine operating conditions are representative of the homologation urban driving cycle. The gaseous and particle emissions were measured at the exhaust by means of a gas analyzer and a smoke meter.
Technical Paper

Engine Performance and Emissions of a Small Diesel Engine Fueled with Various Diesel/RME Blends

The present paper describes the results of an experimental activity performed on a small diesel engine for quadricycles, a category of vehicles that is spreading in Europe and is recently spreading over Indian countries. The engine is a prototype three-cylinder with 1000 cc of displacement and it is equipped with a direct common-rail injection system that reaches a maximum pressure of 1400 bar. The engine was designed to comply with Euro 4 emission standard that is a future regulation for quadricycles. It is worth underlining that the engine can meet emission limits just with EGR system and a DOC, without DPF. Various diesel/RME blends were tested; pure diesel and biodiesel fuels were also used. The investigation was carried out at the engine speeds of 1400, 2000 and 3400 rpm and full load. Combustion characteristics of both blended and pure RME were analyzed by means of in-cylinder pressure and heat released histories.
Technical Paper

Ethanol Addition Influence on Backfire Phenomena during Kickback in a Spark-Ignition Transparent Small Engine

This paper investigates abnormal combustion during the cranking phase of spark-ignition small engines, specifically the occurrence of backfire at the release of the starter motor during kickback. The research focusses on the influence of fuel composition, mainly in terms of ethanol percentage, on backfire occurrence. Interest in this abnormal combustion is growing due to the increased use of fuels with different chemical-physical properties with respect to gasoline. Moreover, this issue will become even more topical due to the implementation of simple control and fuel supply systems on low cost-engines, which are widely used in developing countries. Experimentation was carried out in an optically accessible engine derived from a 4-stroke spark ignition engine for two-wheel vehicles. The test bench was instrumented and adapted in order to simulate the engine conditions that lead to anomalous ignition in the intake duct (backfire) during the reverse rotation of the engine (kickback).
Technical Paper

Effect of Octane Number Obtained with Different Oxygenated Components on the Engine Performance and Emissions of a Small GDI Engine

Great efforts have been paid to improve engine efficiency as well as to reduce the pollutant emissions. The direct injection allows to improve the engine efficiency; on the other hand, the GDI combustion produces larger particle emissions. The properties of fuels play an important role both on engine performance and pollutant emissions. In particular, great attention was paid to the octane number. Oxygenated compounds allow increasing gasoline's octane number and play an important role in PM emission reduction. In this study was analyzed the effect of fuels with different RON and with ethanol and ethers content. The analysis was performed on a small GDI engine. Two operating conditions, representative of the typical EUDC cycle, were investigated. Both the engine performance and the exhaust emissions were evaluated. The gaseous emissions and particle concentration were measured at the exhaust by means of conventional instruments.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Ethanol-Gasoline Dual Fuel Combustion on the Performance and Exhaust Emissions of a Small SI Engine

The growing concerns over the pollutant emissions as well as the depletion of fossil fuel led to the research of advanced combustion mode and alternative fuels for the reduction both of fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The dual-fuel injection system can be used to improve the engine performance and reduce the fossil fuel consumption performing simultaneously a direct-injection (DI) and a port-fuel-injection (PFI) of different fuels. Ethanol is one of the most promising alternative fuels for SI engines. It offers high anti-knock quality because of the high octane number; moreover, being an oxygenated fuel is very effective in particle emissions reduction. On the other hand, it is characterized by lower energy density mainly because of the low lower heating value (LHV). The aim of the paper is the investigation of the ethanol-gasoline dual fuel combustion on engine performance and emissions.
Technical Paper

Effect of Diesel/RME Blend on Particle Emissions from a Diesel Engine for Quadricycle Vehicle

This paper deals with the combustion characteristics and exhaust emissions of a diesel engine fuelled with conventional diesel fuel and a biodiesel blend, in particular a 20% v/v concentration of rapeseed methyl ester (RME) mixed with diesel fuel. The investigation was carried out on a prototype three-cylinder engine with 1000 cc of displacement for quadricycle applications. The engine is equipped with a direct common-rail injection system that reaches a maximum pressure of 1400 bar. The engine was designed to comply with Euro 4 and BS IV exhaust emission regulations without a diesel particulate filter. Both in-cylinder pressure and rate of heat release traces were analyzed at different engine speeds and loads. Gaseous emissions were measured at the exhaust. A smoke meter was used to measure the particulate matter concentration. The sizing and the counting of the particles were performed by means of an engine exhaust particle sizer spectrometer.