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Technical Paper

Methodology to Determine the Fast Burn Period Inside a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Converted to Natural Gas Lean-Burn Spark Ignition Operation

The conversion of existing diesel engines to natural-gas operation can reduce the dependence on petroleum imports and curtail engine-out emissions. A convenient way to perform such conversion is by adding a gas injector in the intake manifold and replacing the diesel fuel injector with a spark plug to initiate and control the combustion process. However, challenges may appear with respect to engine’s efficiency and emissions as natural-gas spark-ignition combustion inside a diesel combustion chamber is different to that in conventional spark ignition engines. For example, major difference is the phasing and duration of the fast burn, defined as the period in which the rate of heat release increases linearly with crank angle. This study presents a methodology to investigate the fast burn inside a diesel geometry using heat release data.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Combustion Characteristics in a Heavy-Duty Compression-Ignition Engine Retrofitted to Natural-Gas Spark-Ignition Operation

Recent development in hydraulic fracking made natural gas (NG) to be a promising alternative gaseous fuel for heavy-duty diesel engines. The existing compression ignition (CI) engine can be retrofitted to NG spark ignition (SI) operation by replacing the diesel injector with a spark plug and fumigating NG into the intake manifold. However, the original diesel piston geometry (flat head and bowl-in-piston chamber) was usually retained to reduce modification cost. The goal of this study was to increase the understanding of the NG lean-burn characteristics in a diesel-like, fast-burn SI combustion chamber. The experimental platform can operate in conventional (i.e., all engine parts are metal) or in optical configuration (i.e., the stock piston and cylinder block are replaced with a see-through piston and an extended cylinder block). The optical data indicated a fast-propagated flame inside the piston bowl.
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

CFD Simulation of Metal and Optical Configuration of a Heavy-Duty CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas. Part 1: Combustion Behavior

Internal combustion engines with optical access (a.k.a. optical engines) provide additional information in the quest for understanding the fundamental in-cylinder combustion phenomena. However, most optical engines have flat bowl-in-piston combustion chamber to optimize the visualization process, which is different, for example, from the traditional re-entrant bowl in compression ignition engines. A conventional heavy-duty direct-injection compression ignition engine was converted to spark ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug in both optical and metal setups to investigate the effect of the bowl geometry on flame propagation. Experimental data from steady-state lean-burn conditions was used to develop and validate a 3D CFD model of the engine. Numerical simulation results show that flame propagation in the radial direction was similar for both combustion chambers despite their different geometries.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulation of Metal and Optical Configuration of a Heavy-Duty CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas. Part 2: In-Cylinder Flow and Emissions

Internal combustion diesel engines with optical access (a.k.a. optical engines) increase the fundamental understanding of combustion phenomena. However, optical access requirements result in most optical engines having a different in-cylinder geometry compared with the conventional diesel engine, such as a flat bowl-in-piston combustion chamber. This study investigated the effect of the bowl geometry on the flow motion and emissions inside a conventional heavy-duty direct-injection diesel engine that can operate in both metal and optical-access configurations. This engine was converted to natural-gas spark-ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug and adding a low-pressure gas injector in the intake manifold for fuel delivery, then operated at steady-state lean-burn conditions. A 3D CFD model based on the experimental data predicted that the different bowl geometry did not significantly affect in-cylinder emissions distribution.
Technical Paper

Nearfield Analysis of Low Speed Flow over a Dielectric Barrier Discharge Device for Enhancement of Small UAV Aerodynamics

As unmanned aerial vehicle applications continue their rise in popularity in the public and private sectors, there is an increasing demand in many cases for smaller, more efficient low speed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Although the primary drivers for the continued performance improvement of smaller UAV platforms tend to be in the areas of electronics miniaturization and improved energy storage, aerodynamics, particularly in the low Reynolds number regime, still have a significant role in the overall performance enhancement of small UAVs. This paper focuses on the study of the nearfield aerodynamic effects of a low-power active flow enhancement technique known as dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) in very low speed/low Reynolds number flows most closely associated with small and micro unmanned aerial vehicles.
Technical Paper

Fuel Composition Effects in a CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas Operation

Low-carbon fuels such as natural gas (NG) have the potential to lower the demand of petroleum-based fuels, reduce engine-out emissions, and increase IC engine thermal efficiency. One of the most rapid and efficient use of NG in the transportation sector would be as a direct replacement of the diesel fuel in compression ignition (CI) engines without any major engine modifications to the combustion chamber such as new pistons and/or engine head. An issue is the large variation in NG composition with the location and age of the gas well across U.S., which would affect engine operation, as well as the technology integration with emissions after treatment systems. This study used a conventional CI engine modified for spark ignition (SI) NG operation to investigate the effects of methane and a C1-C4 alkane blend on main combustion parameters like in-cylinder pressure, apparent heat release rate, IMEP, etc.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of Dielectric Barrier Discharge Driven Duct Flow for Propulsion Applications in Unmanned Aerial Systems

The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) has been studied significantly in the past two decades for its applications to various aerodynamic problems. The most common aerodynamic applications have been stall/separation control and boundary layer modification. Recently several researchers have proposed utilizing the DBD in various configurations to act as viable propulsion systems for micro and nano aerial vehicles. The DBD produces stable atmospheric-pressure non-thermal plasma in a thin sheet with a preferred direction of flow. The plasma flow, driven by electrohydrodynamic body forces, entrains the quiescent air around it and thus develops into a low speed jet on the order of 10-1 to 101 m/s. Several researchers have utilized DBDs in an annular geometric setup as a propulsion device. Other researchers have used them to alter rectangular duct flows and directional jet devices. This study investigates 2-D duct flows for applications in micro plasma thrusters.
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

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

E-KERS Energy Management Crucial to Improved Fuel Economy

The operation of a conventional passenger car is characterised by increasing or maintaining the kinetic energy, when accelerating or cruising the vehicle, and reducing the kinetic energy by using the brakes. While the energy taken by the friction brakes to slow the vehicle is dissipated into heat, the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) has permitted the recovery of part of the braking energy. This reduces the amount of energy needed from the internal combustion engine (ICE). The contribution reviews the latest developments in electric KERS (E-KERS), with emphasis to round trip efficiency wheels to wheels and electrification of the powertrain. The contribution considers the opportunity to connect the E-KERS traction battery to other electric machines, such as an electrically assisted turbocharger (E-TC) connected to a motor/generator unit, or an electric water pump (EWP), to further optimise the vehicle operation.
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

Numerical Investigation of Dual Fuel Diesel-CNG Combustion on Engine Performance and Emission

With the purpose of reducing emission level while maintaining the high torque character of diesel engine, various solutions have been proposed by researchers over the world. One of the most attractive methods is to use dual fuel technique with premixed gaseous fuel ignited by a relatively small amount of diesel. In this study, Methane (CH4), which is the main component of natural gas, was premixed with intake air and used as the main fuel, and diesel fuel was used as ignition source to initiate the combustion. By varying the proportion of diesel and CH4, the combustion and emissions characteristics of the dual fuel (diesel/CH4) combustion system were investigated. Different cases of CFD studies with various concentration of CH4 were carried out. A validated 3D quarter chamber model of a single cylinder engine (diesel fuel only) generated by using AVL Fire ESE was modified into dual fuel mode in this study.
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

Evaluation of Sensor Failure Detection, Identification and Accommodation (SFDIA) Performance Following Common-Mode Failures of Pitot Tubes

Recent catastrophic air crashes have shown that physical redundancy is not a foolproof option for failures on Air Data Systems (ADS) on an aircraft providing airspeed measurements. Since all the redundant sensors are subjected to the same environmental conditions in flight, a failure on one sensor could occur on the other sensors under certain conditions such as extreme weather; this class of failure is known in the literature as “common mode” failure. In this paper, different approaches to the problem of detection, identification and accommodation of failures on the Air Data System (ADS) of an aircraft are evaluated. This task can be divided into component tasks of equal criticality as Sensor Failure Detection and Identification (SFDI) and Sensor Failure Accommodation (SFA). Data from flight test experiments conducted using the WVU YF-22 unmanned research aircraft are used.
Technical Paper

Number Concentration and Size Distributions of Nanoparticle Emissions during Low Temperature Combustion using Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE)

Due to tightening emission legislations, both within the US and Europe, including concerns regarding greenhouse gases, next-generation combustion strategies for internal combustion diesel engines that simultaneously reduce exhaust emissions while improving thermal efficiency have drawn increasing attention during recent years. In-cylinder combustion temperature plays a critical role in the formation of pollutants as well as in thermal efficiency of the propulsion system. One way to minimize both soot and NOx emissions is to limit the in-cylinder temperature during the combustion process by means of high levels of dilution via exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) combined with flexible fuel injection strategies. However, fuel chemistry plays a significant role in the ignition delay; hence, influencing the overall combustion characteristics and the resulting emissions.
Journal Article

Diesel Exhaust Aftertreatment with Scrubber Process: NOx Destruction

Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, produced by engines that burn fuels with atmospheric air, are known to cause negative health and environmental effects. Increasingly stringent emissions regulations for marine engines have caused newer engines to be developed with inherent NOx reduction technologies. Older marine engines typically have a useful life of over 20 years and produce a disproportionate amount of NOx emissions when compared with their newer counterparts. Wet scrubbing as an aftertreatment method for emissions reduction was applied to ocean-going marine vessels for the reduction of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. The gaseous absorption process was explored in the laboratory as an option for reducing NOx emissions from older diesel engines of harbor craft operating in ports of Houston and Galveston. A scrubber system was designed, constructed, and evaluated to provide the basis for a real-world design.
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.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Lightweighting Design Alternatives for Automotive Components

Gasoline-powered vehicles compose the vast majority of all light-duty vehicles in the United States. Improving fuel economy is currently a topic of great interest due to the rapid rise in gasoline costs as well as new fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emissions standards. The Chevrolet Silverado is currently one of the top selling trucks in the U.S. and has been previously modeled using the commercial finite element code LS-DYNA by the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC). This state-of the art model was employed to examine alternative weight saving configurations using material alternatives and replacement of traditional steel with composite panels. Detailed mass distribution analysis demonstrated the chassis assembly to be an ideal candidate for weight reduction and was redesigned using Aluminum 7075-T6 Alloy and Magnesium Alloy HM41A-F.
Technical Paper

Advanced Modeling of Diesel Particulate Filters to Predict Soot Accumulation and Pressure Drop

Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) are recognized as the most efficient technology for particulate matter (PM) reduction, with filtration efficiencies in excess of 90%. Design guidelines for DPFs typically are: high removal efficiency, low pressure drop, high durability and capacity to resist high temperature excursions during regeneration events. The collected mass inside the trap needs to be periodically oxidized to regenerate the DPF. Thus, an in-depth understanding of filtration and regeneration mechanisms, together with the ability of predicting actual DPF conditions, could play a key role in optimizing the duration and number of regeneration events in case of active DPFs. Thus, the correct estimation of soot loading during operation is imperative for effectively controlling the whole engine-DPF assembly and simultaneously avoidingany system failure due to a malfunctioning DPF. A viable way to solve this problem is to use DPF models.