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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

Gaseous Fuels Variation Effects on Combustion and Emissions of a Small Direct Injection Natural Gas Engine

Our research focused on the assessment of fuel variation effects on performance of a 34 cc two-stroke, natural gas combustion engine designed for use as the prime mover in either slider-crank or novel linear generator applications. Nearly two-thirds of US homes have either natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas available at low pressures. We tested the engine with three different natural gas blends, pure methane, and pure propane. In order to reduce fuel compression power, we modified the engine to use low-pressure direct injection (LPDI) of gaseous fuels. We examined regulated gaseous emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and combustion trends over a range of delivered air fuel ratios. Start of Injection (SOI) occurred at either 180 or 190 CA BTDC and efficiency improved by reducing fuel slip. However, for natural gas blends, the predominant emissions were methane - a potent greenhouse gas.
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

Heavy-Duty Aerodynamic Testing for CO2 Certification: A Methodology Comparison

Aerodynamic drag testing is a key component of the CO2 certification schemes for heavy-duty vehicles around the world. This paper presents and compares the regulatory approaches for measuring the drag coefficient of heavy-duty vehicles in Europe, which uses a constant-speed test, and in the United States and Canada, which use a coastdown test. Two European trucks and one North American truck were tested using the constant-speed and coastdown methods. When corrected to zero yaw angle, a difference of up to 12% was observed in the measured drag coefficients from the US coastdown procedure and the EU constant-speed test.
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

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

Continuously Varying Exhaust Outlet Diameter to Improve Efficiency and Emissions of a Small SI Natural Gas Two-Stroke Engine by Internal EGR

With continuously increasing concern for the emissions from two-stroke engines including regulated hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, non-road engines are implementing proven technologies from the on-road market. For example, four stroke diesel generators now include additional internal exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) via an intake/exhaust valve passage. EGR can offer benefits of reduced HC, NOx, and may even improve combustion stability and fuel efficiency. In addition, there is particular interest in use of natural gas as fuel for home power generation. This paper examines exhaust throttling applied to the Helmholtz resonator of a two-stroke, port injected, natural gas engine. The 34 cc engine was air cooled and operated at wide-open throttle (WOT) conditions at an engine speed of 5400 RPM with fueling adjusted to achieve maximum brake torque. Exhaust throttling served as a method to decrease the effective diameter of the outlet of the convergent cone.
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

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

The Influence of High Reactivity Fuel Properties on Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition Combustion

Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) is a form of dual-fuel combustion that exploits the reactivity difference between two fuels to control combustion phasing. This combustion approach limits the formation of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and soot while retaining high thermal efficiency. The research presented herein was performed to determine the influences that high reactivity (diesel) fuel properties have on RCCI combustion characteristics, exhaust emissions, fuel efficiency, and the operable load range. A 4-cylinder, 1.9 liter, light-duty compression-ignition (CI) engine was converted to run on diesel fuel (high reactivity fuel) and compressed natural gas (CNG) (low reactivity fuel). The engine was operated at 2100 revolutions per minute (RPM), and at two different loads, 3.6 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP) and 6 bar BMEP.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Kinetics Process in CFD Model and Its Application in Ignition Process Analysis of a Natural Gas-Diesel Dual Fuel Engine

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been widely applied in internal combustion (IC) engine research. The integration of chemical kinetic model with CFD provides an opportunity for researchers to investigate the detailed chemical reactions for better understanding the combustion process of IC engines. However, the simulation using CFD has generally focused on the examination of primary parameters, such as temperature and species distributions. The detailed investigation on chemical reactions is limited. This paper presents the development of a post-processing tool capable of calculating the rate of production (ROP) of interested species with the known temperature, pressure, and concentration of each species in each cell simulated using CONVERGE-SAGE CFD model.
Journal Article

Development of an Ammonia Reduction Aftertreatment Systems for Stoichiometric Natural Gas Engines

Three-way catalyst equipped stoichiometric natural gas vehicles have proven to be an effective alternative fuel strategy that has shown superior low NOx benefits in comparison to diesels equipped with SCR. However, recent studies have shown the TWC activity to contribute to high levels of tailpipe ammonia emissions. Although a non-regulated pollutant, ammonia is a potent pre-cursor to ambient secondary PM formation. Ammonia (NH3) is an inevitable catalytic byproduct of TWCduring that results also corresponds to lowest NOx emissions. The main objective of the study is to develop a passive SCR based NH3 reduction strategy that results in an overall reduction of NH3 as well as NOx emissions from a stoichiometric spark ignited natural gas engine. The study investigated the characteristics of Fe-based and Cu-based zeolite SCR catalysts in storage, and desorption of ammonia at high exhaust temperature conditions, that are typical of stoichiometric natural gas engines.
Technical Paper

Effects of EGR Addition onto Combustion Stability and Alternator Performance Variability of a Small, Single-Cylinder Diesel Generator

The aim of this investigation was to improve understanding and quantify the impact of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) as an emissions control measure onto cyclic variability of a small-bore, single-cylinder, diesel-fueled compression-ignition (CI) power generation unit. Of special interest were how cycle-to-cycle variations of the CI engine affect steady-state voltage deviations and frequency bandwidths. Furthermore, the study strived to elucidate the impact of EGR addition onto combustion parameters, as well as gaseous and particle phase emissions along with fuel consumption. The power generation unit was operated over five discrete steady-state test modes, representative of nominal 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% engine load (i.e. 0-484kPa BMEP), by absorbing electrical power via a resistive load bank. The engine was equipped with a passive EGR system that directly connected the exhaust and intake runners through a small passage.
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.
Journal Article

Emissions Characterization from Different Technology Heavy-Duty Engines Retrofitted for CNG/Diesel Dual-Fuel Operation

This study was aimed at experimentally investigating the impact of diesel/natural gas (NG) dual-fuel retrofitting onto gaseous emissions emitted by i) legacy, model year (MY) 2005 heavy-duty engines with cooled EGR and no after-treatment system, and ii) a latest technology engine equipped with DPF and urea-SCR after-treatment systems that is compliant with 2010 US-EPA emissions standards. In particular, two different dual-fuel conversion kits were evaluated in this study with pure methane (CH4) being used as surrogate for natural gas. Experiments were conducted on an engine dynamometer over a 13-mode steady-state test cycle as well as the transient FTP required for engine certification while gaseous emissions were sampled through a CVS system. Tailpipe NOx emissions were observed at a comparable level for diesel and diesel/CH4 dual-fuel operation for the 2010 compliant engine downstream the SCR.
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

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.