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Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Natural Gas Lean-Burn Spark Ignition Engine with Bowl-in-Piston Combustion Chamber

On- and off-road heavy-duty diesel engines modified to spark-ignition natural gas operation can reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil and enhance national energy security. Engine conversion can be achieved through the addition of a gas injector in the intake manifold and of a spark plug in place of the diesel injector. This paper investigated combustion characteristics and engine performance at several lean-burn operating conditions that changed spark timing, mixture equivalence ratio, and engine speed, using methane as NG surrogate.
Technical Paper

Design, Manufacturing, Testing, and Analysis of a Highly-Constrained Single-Use UAV Wing

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design aspects are as broad as the missions they are used to support. In some cases, the UAV mission scope can impose design constraints that can be difficult to achieve. This paper describes recent work performed at West Virginia University (WVU) to support repeated flight testing of a single-use UAV platform with emphasis on the highly specialized wings required to help meet the overall airframe mass properties constrained by the project sponsor. The wings were fabricated using a molded polyurethane (PU) foam as the base material which was supported by several different types of rigid and flexible substructures, skins, and matrix-infused fiber elements. Different ratios of infused fiber mass to PU foam were tested and additional tungsten masses were added to the wings to achieve the correct total mass and mass distribution of the wings.
Technical Paper

Quantification of Energy Pathways and Gas Exchange of a Small Port Injection SI Two-Stroke Natural Gas Engine Operating on Different Exhaust Configurations

This paper examines the energy pathways of a 29cc air-cooled two-stroke engine operating on natural gas with different exhaust geometries. The engine was operated at wide-open-throttle at a constant speed of 5400 RPM with ignition adjusted to yield maximum brake torque while the fueling was adjusted to examine both rich and lean combustion. The exhaust configurations examined included an off-the-shelf (OTS) model and two other custom models designed on Helmholtz resonance theory. The custom designs included both single and multi-cone features. Out of the three exhaust systems tested, the model with maximum trapping efficiency showed a higher overall efficiency due to lower fuel short-circuiting and heat transfer. The heat transfer rate was shown to be 10% lower on the new designs relative to OTS model.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Plasma Exhaust Profile Manipulation Using Magnetic Fields

In this research, the magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) effects of applying a toroidal magnetic field around an ionized exhaust plume were investigated to manipulate the exhaust profile of the plasma jet under near vacuum conditions. Tests for this experiment were conducted using the West Virginia University (WVU) Hypersonic Arc Jet Wind Tunnel. A series of twelve N52 grade neodymium magnets were placed in different orientations around a steel toroid mounted around the arc jet’s exhaust plume. Four different magnet orientations were tested in this experiment. Two additional configurations were run as control tests without any imposed magnetic fields surrounding the plume. Each test was documented using a set of 12 photographs taken from a fixed position with respect to the flow. The photographic data was analyzed by comparing images of the exhaust plume taken 10, 20, and 30 seconds after the plasma jet was activated.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation into the Degradation of Borosilicate Glass Used in Dielectric Barrier Discharge Devices

The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) has seen significantly increased levels of interest for its applications to various aerodynamic problems. The DBD produces stable atmospheric-pressure non-thermal plasma with highly energetic electrons and a variety of ions and neutral species. The resulting plasma often degrades the dielectric barrier between the electrodes of the device, ultimately leading to actuator failure. Several researchers have studied a variety of parameters related to degradation and time-dependent dielectric breakdown of various polymers such as PMMA or PVC that are often used in actuator construction. Many of these studies compare the degradation of these materials to that of borosilicate glass in which it is claimed that there is no observable degradation to the glass. Recent research at West Virginia University has shown that certain actuator operating conditions can lead to degradation of a glass barrier and can ultimately result in failure.
Technical Paper

Influence of Materials Properties on Process Planning Effectiveness

Process planning, whether generative or variant, can be used effectively as through the incorporation of computer aided tools that enhance the evaluator impact of the dialogue between the design and manufacturing functions. Expert systems and algorithms are inherently incorporated into the software tools used herein. This paper examines the materials related implications that influence design for manufacturing issues. Generative process planning software tools are utilized to analyze the sensitivity of the effectiveness of the process plans with respect to changing attributes of material properties. The shift that occurs with respect to cost and production rates of process plans with respect to variations in specific material properties are explored. The research will be analyzing the effect of changes in material properties with respect to the design of a specific product that is prismatic and is produced exclusively by machining processes.
Journal Article

Effect of Combustion Timing and Heat Loss on Spring-Assisted Linear Engine Translator Motion

The free piston linear engine has the potential to achieve high efficiency and might serve as a viable platform for robust implementation of low temperature combustion schemes (such as homogeneous charge compression ignition - HCCI) due to its ability to vary compression and stroke in response to cylinder and load events. A major challenge is control of the translator motion. Lack of geometric constraint on the piston leads to uncertainty about its top dead center position and timing. While combustion control depends on knowledge of the piston motion, the combustion event also affects the motion profile of the piston. To advance understanding of this coupled system, a numeric model was developed to simulate multiple cycles of a dual cylinder, spring assisted, 2-stroke HCCI, free piston linear engine generator.
Journal Article

Resonance of a Spring Opposed Free Piston Engine Device

Recent free piston engine research reported in the literature has included development efforts for single and dual cylinder devices through both simulation and prototype operation. A single cylinder, spring opposed, oscillating linear engine and alternator (OLEA) is a suitable architecture for application as a steady state generator. Such a device could be tuned and optimized for peak efficiency and nominal power at unthrottled operation. One of the significant challenges facing researchers is startup of the engine. It could be achieved by operating the alternator in a motoring mode according to the natural system resonant frequency, effectively bouncing the translator between the spring and cylinder, increasing stroke until sufficient compression is reached to allow introduction of fuel and initiation of combustion. To study the natural resonance of the OLEA, a numeric model has been built to simulate multiple cycles of operation.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Braking of a 2015 LMP1-H Racing Car

Regenerative braking coupled to small high power density engines are becoming more and more popular in motorsport applications delivering improved performances while increasing similarities and synergies in between road and track applications. Computer aided engineering (CAE) tools integrated with the telemetry data of the car are an important component of the product development. This paper presents the CAE model developed to describe the race track operation of a LMP1-H racing car covering one lap of the Le Mans circuit. The friction and regenerative braking is discussed.
Technical Paper

Investigating the Potential of Waste Heat Recovery as a Pathway for Heavy-Duty Exhaust Aftertreatment Thermal Management

Heavy-duty diesel (HDD) engines are the primary propulsion source for most heavy-duty vehicle freight movement and have been equipped with an array of aftertreatment devices to comply with more stringent emissions regulations. In light of concerns about the transportation sector's influence on climate change, legislators are introducing requirements calling for significant reductions in fuel consumption and thereby, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission over the coming decades. Advanced engine concepts and technologies will be needed to boost engine efficiencies. However, increasing the engine's efficiency may result in a reduction in thermal energy of the exhaust gas, thus contributing to lower exhaust temperature, potentially affecting aftertreatment activity, and consequently rate of regulated pollutants. This study investigates the possible utilization of waste heat recovered from a HDD engine as a means to offset fuel penalty incurred during thermal management of SCR system.
Technical Paper

Recommendation of Experimental Setup and use of Standardized Electrohydrodynamic Dimensionless Parameters for Optimization of a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Flow Control Device

The high demand for traditional air traffic as well as increased use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) has resulted in researchers examining alternative technologies which would result in safer, more reliable, and better performing aircraft. Active methods of aerodynamic flow control may be the most promising approach to this problem. Research in the area of aerodynamic control is transitioning from traditional mechanical flow control devices to, among other methods, plasma actuators. Plasma actuators offer an inexpensive and energy efficient method of flow control. Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD), one of the most widely studied forms of plasma actuation, employs an electrohydrodynamic (EHD) device which uses dominant electric fields for actuation. Unlike traditional flow control methods, a DBD device operates without moving components or mass injection methods.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Dynamic Roughness Flow Control on NACA 0012 Airfoil at Low Reynolds Number

There is an ever growing need in the aircraft industry to increase the performance of a flight vehicle. To enhance performance of the flight vehicle one active area of research effort has been focused on the control of the boundary layer by both active and passive means. An effective flow control mechanism can improve the performance of a flight vehicle by eliminating boundary layer separation at the leading edge (as long as the energy required to drive the mechanism is not greater than the savings). In this paper the effectiveness of a novel active flow control technique known as dynamic roughness (DR) to eliminate flow separation in a stalled NACA 0012 wing has been explored. As opposed to static roughness, dynamic roughness utilizes small time-dependent deforming elements or humps with amplitudes that are on the order of the local boundary layer height to energize the local boundary layer. DR is primarily characterized by the maximum amplitude and operating frequency.
Technical Paper

Hybrid Projectile Transformation Condition Detection System for Extended Selectable Range

A Hybrid Projectile (HP) is a tube launched munition that transforms into a gliding UAV, and is currently being researched at West Virginia University. In order to properly transform, the moment of transformation needs to be controlled. A simple timer was first envisioned to control transformation point for maximum distance. The distance travelled or range of an HP can directly be modified by varying the launch angle. In addition, an internal timer would need to be reprogrammed for any distance less than maximum range due to the nominal time to deployment varying with launch angle. A method was sought for automatic wing deployment that would not require reprogramming the round. A body angle estimation system was used to estimate the pitch of the HP relative to the Earth to determine when the HP is properly oriented for the designed glide slope angle. It also filters out noise from an inertial measurement unit (IMU).
Journal Article

A De-Spin and Wings-Leveling Controller for a 40 mm Hybrid Projectile

A Hybrid Projectile (HP) is a round that transforms into a UAV after being launched. Some HP's are fired from a rifled barrel and must be de-spun and wings-level for lifting surfaces to be deployed. Control surfaces and controllers for de-spinning and wings-leveling were required for initial design of an HP 40 mm. Wings, used as lifting surfaces after transformation, need to be very close to level with the ground when deployed. First, the tail surface area needed to de-spin a 40 mm HP was examined analytically and simulated. Next, a controller was developed to maintain a steady de-spin rate and to roll-level the projectile in preparation of wing deployment. The controller was split into two pieces, one to control de-spin, and the other for roll-leveling the projectile. An adaptable transition point for switching controllers was identified analytically and then adjusted by using simulations.
Journal Article

Investigation of Small Scale Pulsed Detonation Engines and Feasibility Study for Implementation with Disposable Unmanned Aerial Systems

Significant efforts have been made in the research of Pulsed Detonation Engines (PDEs) to increase the reliability and longevity of detonation based propulsion systems for use in manned aircraft. However, the efficiency, durability, and low mechanical complexity of PDEs opens up potential for use in disposable unmanned-vehicles. This paper details the steps taken for producing a miniaturized pulse detonation engine at West Virginia University (WVU) to investigate the numerically generated constraining dimensions for Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) cited in this paper. Initial dimensions for the WVU PDE Demonstrator were calculated using fuel specific DDT spatial properties featured in the work of Dr. Phillip Koshy Panicker, of The University of Texas at Arlington. The WVU demonstrator was powered using oxygen and acetylene mixed in stoichiometric proportions.
Journal Article

Preliminary Systems Evaluation for a Guidable Extended Range Tube Launched-UAV

Tube Launched-Unmanned Air Vehicles (TL-UAV) are munitions that alter their trajectories during flight to enhance the capabilities by possibly extending range, increasing loiter time through gliding, and/or having guided targeting capabilities. Traditional munition systems, specifically the tube-launched mortar rounds, are not guided. Performance of these "dumb" munitions could be enhanced by updating to TL-UAV and still utilize existing launch platforms with standard propellant detonation firing methods. The ability to actively control the flight path and extend range of a TL-UAV requires multiple onboard systems which need to be identified, integrated, assembled, and tested to meet cooperative function requirements. The main systems, for a mortar-based TL-UAV being developed at West Virginia University (WVU), are considered to be a central hub to process information, aerodynamic control devices, flight sensors, a video camera system, power management, and a wireless transceiver.
Journal Article

High Temperature Sampling System for Real Time Measurement of Solid and Volatile Fractions of Exhaust Particulate Matter

This paper discusses the design and qualification of a High Temperature Sampling System (HTSS), capable of stripping the volatile fraction from a sample flow stream in order to provide for quantification of total, solid and volatile particulate matter (PM) on a near real-time basis. The sampling system, which incorporates a heated diesel oxidation catalyst, is designed for temperatures up to 450°C. The design accounts for molecular diffusion of volatile compounds, solid particles diffusion and reaction kinetics inside one channel of the oxidation catalyst. An overall solid particle loss study in the sampling was performed, and numerical results were compared with experimental data gathered at the West Virginia University Engine and Emissions Research Laboratory (EERL) and West Virginia University's Transportable Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Testing Laboratory (THDVETL).
Technical Paper

System Level RBDO for Military Ground Vehicles using High Performance Computing

The Army continues to improve its Reliability-based Design Optimization (RBDO) process, expanding from component optimization to system optimization. We are using the massively parallel computing power of the Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing (HPC) systems to simultaneously optimize multiple components which interact with each other in a mechanical system. Specifically, we have a subsystem of a military ground vehicle, consisting of more than four components and are simultaneously optimizing five components of that subsystem using RBDO methods. We do not simply optimize one component at a time, sequentially, and iterate until convergence. We actually simultaneously optimize all components together. This can be done efficiently using the parallel computing environment. We will discuss the results of this optimization, and the advantages and disadvantages of using HPC systems for this work.
Journal Article

Energy Conservation through Productivity Enhancement in Manufacturing Facilities

The goal of this research work is to explore the energy savings that may result from productivity improvement recommendations. The productivity improvement recommendations on setup time reduction and finished goods inventory reduction were taken from Industrial Assessment Center (IAC-WVU) and Industries of the Future (IOF-WVU) databases at West Virginia University (WVU) and analyzed to evaluate the corresponding energy savings. A simulation analysis was performed to compare the peak energy demands (kW) in the present and proposed scenarios for the setup time reduction recommendation. It was found that productivity improvement recommendations can result in significant energy savings (2% to 4%).
Technical Paper

Low Temperature Combustion with Thermo-Chemical Recuperation

The key to overcoming Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) load range limitations is based on suitable control over the thermo-chemical properties of the in-cylinder charge. The proposed alternative to achieve the required control of LTC is the use of two separate fuel streams to regulate timing and heat release at specific operational points, where the secondary fuel, with different autoignition characteristics, is a reformed product of the primary fuel in the tank. It is proposed in this paper that the secondary fuel is produced using Thermo-Chemical Recuperation (TCR) with steam/fuel reforming. The steam/fuel mixture is heated by sensible heat from the engine exhaust gases in the recuperative reformer, where the original hydrocarbon reacts with water to form a hydrogen rich gas mixture. An equilibrium model developed by Gas Technology Institute (GTI) for n-heptane steam reforming was applied to estimate reformed fuel composition at different reforming temperatures.