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Technical Paper

Effects of Spark Discharge Energy Scheduling on Flame Kernel Formation under Quiescent and Flow Conditions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0727
The breakdown phase is considered to have the highest electric-thermal energy transfer efficiency among all the discharge modes in a conventional spark ignition process. In this study, an external capacitor is connected in parallel with the spark plug in order to enhance the discharge energy and power during the breakdown phase. A constant volume combustion chamber is used to investigate the high power spark discharge under different background pressures and with varied flow velocities. Results show that the added parallel capacitance is effective in redistributing the spark energy. With the increase in parallel capacitance, the breakdown power and energy increase, though at the cost of reduced glow phase energy. The breakdown energy also increases with the increased background pressure. Then combustion tests are carried out to study the effects of the breakdown power enhanced spark on flame propagation under both quiescent and flow conditions via optical diagnosis.
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

A Fuel Sensitive Ignition Delay Model for Direct Injection Diesel Engine Operating under EGR Diluted Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0231
This empirical work investigates the impacts of thermodynamic parameters, such as pressure and temperature, and fuel properties, such as fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents on ignition delay in diesel engines. Systematic tests are conducted on a single-cylinder research engine to evaluate the ignition delay changes due to the fuel property differences at low, medium and high engine loads under different EGR dilution ratios. The test fuels offer a range of Cetane numbers from 28 to 54.2 and aromatic contents volume ratios from 19.4% to 46.6%. The experimental results of ignition delays are used to derive an ignition delay model modified from Arrhenius’ expression. Following the same format of Arrhenius’ equation, the model incorporates the pressure and temperature effects, and further includes the impacts of intake oxygen concentration, fuel Cetane number and aromatic contents volume ratio on the ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Early Pilot Injection Strategies for Reactivity Control in Diesel-ethanol Dual Fuel Combustion

2018-04-03
2018-01-0265
This paper examines the diesel-ethanol dual fuel combustion at medium engine loads on a single-cylinder research diesel engine with a compression ratio of 16.5:1. The effect of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and ethanol energy ratio was investigated for the dual fuel combustion to achieve simultaneously ultra-low NOx and soot emissions. A medium ethanol ratio of about 0.6 was found suitable to meet the requirements for mixing enhancement and ignition control, which resulted in the lowest NOx and soot emissions among the tested ethanol ratios. A double-pilot injection strategy was found competent to lower the pressure rise rate owing to the reduced fuel quantity in the close-to-TDC injection. The advancement of pilot injection timing tended to reduce the CO and THC emissions, which is deemed beneficial for high EGR operations. The reactivity mutual-modulation between the diesel pilot and the background ethanol mixture was identified.
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

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

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

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

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.
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.
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.
Technical Paper

An Enabling Study of Neat n-Butanol HCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0001
This work investigates the benefits and challenges of enabling neat n-butanol HCCI combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Minor engine modifications are made to implement n-butanol port injection while other engine components are kept intact. The impacts of the fuel change, from diesel to n-butanol, are examined through steady-state engine tests with independent control of the intake boost and exhaust gas recirculation. As demonstrated by the test results, the HCCI combustion of a thoroughly premixed n-butanol/air lean mixture offers near-zero smoke and ultralow NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation and produces comparable engine efficiencies to those of conventional diesel high temperature combustion. The test results also manifest the control challenges of running a neat alcohol fuel in the HCCI combustion mode.
Technical Paper

Study of Low Temperature Combustion with Neat n-Butanol on a Common-rail Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0003
This study investigates neat n-butanol, as a cleaner power source, to directly replace conventional diesel fuels for enabling low temperature combustion on a modern common-rail diesel engine. Engine tests are performed at medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) with the single-shot injection strategy for both n-butanol and diesel fuels. As indicated by the experimental results, the combustion of neat n-butanol offers comparable engine efficiency to that of diesel while producing substantially lower NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation. The greater resistance to auto-ignition allows n-butanol to undergo a prolonged ignition delay for air-fuel mixing; the high volatility helps to enhance the cylinder charge homogeneity; the fuel-borne oxygen contributes to smoke reduction and, as a result, the smoke emissions of n-butanol combustion are generally at a near-zero level under the tested engine operating conditions.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Intake Dilution and Combustion Phasing on the Combustion Stability of a Diesel Engine

2014-04-01
2014-01-1294
Conventionally, the diesel fuel ignites spontaneously following the injection event. The combustion and injection often overlap with a very short ignition delay. Diesel engines therefore offer superior combustion stability characterized by the low cycle-to-cycle variations. However, the enforcement of the stringent emission regulations necessitates the implementation of innovative diesel combustion concepts such as the low temperature combustion (LTC) to achieve ultra-low engine-out pollutants. In stark contrast to the conventional diesel combustion, the enabling of LTC requires enhanced air fuel mixing and hence a longer ignition delay is desired. Such a decoupling of the combustion events from the fuel injection can potentially cause ignition discrepancy and ultimately lead to combustion cyclic variations.
Technical Paper

Clean Combustion in a Diesel Engine Using Direct Injection of Neat n-Butanol

2014-04-01
2014-01-1298
The study investigated the characteristics of the combustion, the emissions and the thermal efficiency of a direct injection diesel engine fuelled with neat n-butanol. Engine tests were conducted on a single cylinder four-stroke direct injection diesel engine. The engine ran at 6.5 bar IMEP and 1500 rpm engine speed. The intake pressure was boosted to 1.0 bar (gauge), and the injection pressure was controlled at 60 or 90 MPa. The injection timing and the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rate were adjusted to investigate the engine performance. The effect of the engine load on the engine performance was also investigated. The test results showed that the n-butanol fuel had significantly longer ignition delay than that of diesel fuel. n-Butanol generally led to a rapid heat release pattern in a short period, which resulted in an excessively high pressure rise rate. The pressure rise rate could be moderated by retarding the injection timing and lowering the injection pressure.
Technical Paper

Renewable Ethanol Use for Enabling High Load Clean Combustion in a Diesel Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-0904
As a renewable energy source, the ethanol fuel was employed with a diesel fuel in this study to improve the cylinder charge homogeneity for high load operations, targeting on ultra-low nitrogen oxides (NOx) and smoke emissions. A light-duty diesel engine is configured to adapt intake port fuelling of the ethanol fuel while keeping all other original engine components intact. High load experiments are performed to investigate the combustion control and low emission enabling without sacrificing the high compression ratio (18.2:1). The intake boost, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and injection pressure are independently controlled, and thus their effects on combustion and emission characteristics of the high load operation are investigated individually. The low temperature combustion is accomplished at high engine load (16~17 bar IMEP) with regulation compatible NOx and soot emissions.
Technical Paper

Ignition Control of Gasoline-Diesel Dual Fuel Combustion

2012-09-24
2012-01-1972
The use of gasoline fuels in compression ignition engines, with or without diesel pilots, has shown encouraging progress in engine efficiency and emissions. The dual fuel combustion of gasoline-diesel offers the flexibility of modulating the cylinder charge reactivity, but an accurate and reliable control over the ignition in the dual fuel applications is more challenging than in classical engines. In this work, the gasoline-diesel dual fuel operation is investigated on a single cylinder research engine. The effects of the intake boost, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates, diesel/gasoline ratio, and diesel injection timing are studied in regard to the ignition control. The results indicate that at low load, a diesel pilot can improve the cylinder charge reactivity and reduce emissions of incomplete combustion products.
Technical Paper

Empirical Study of Energy in Diesel Combustion Emissions with EGR Application

2011-08-30
2011-01-1817
Modern diesel engines were known for producing ultra-low levels of hydrogen and hydrocarbons. However, as emission control techniques such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are implemented to meet stringent NOx standards, the resulting increase in partial-combustion products can be significant in quantity both as pollutants and sources of lost engine efficiency. In this work, a modern common-rail diesel engine was configured to investigate the EGR threshold for elevated carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and hydrogen emissions at fixed loads and fixed heat-release phasing. It is noted that increase in hydrocarbons, in particular light hydrocarbons (such as methane, ethylene, and acetylene) was concurrent with ultra-low NOx emissions. Hydrogen gas can be emitted in significant quantities with the application of very high EGR. Under ultra-low NOx production conditions for medium and high load conditions, the light hydrocarbon species can account for the majority of hydrocarbon emissions.
Journal Article

An Empirical Study to Extend Engine Load in Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2011-08-30
2011-01-1814
In this work, engine tests were performed to realize EGR-enabled LTC on a single-cylinder common-rail diesel engine with three different compression ratios (17.5, 15 and 13:1). The engine performance was first investigated at 17.5:1 compression ratio to provide baseline results, against which all further testing was referenced. The intake boost and injection pressure were progressively increased to ascertain the limiting load conditions for the compression ratio. To extend the engine load range, the compression ratio was then lowered and EGR sweep tests were again carried out. The strength and homogeneity of the cylinder charge were enhanced by using intake boost up to 3 bar absolute and injection pressure up to 180 MPa. The combustion phasing was locked in a narrow crank angle window (5~10° ATDC), during all the tests.
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