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Technical Paper

On-Track Measurement of Road Load Changes in Two Close-Following Vehicles: Methods and Results

As emerging automated vehicle technology is making advances in safety and reliability, engineers are also exploring improvements in energy efficiency with this new paradigm. Powertrain efficiency receives due attention, but also impactful is finding ways to reduce driving losses in coordinated-driving scenarios. Efforts focused on simulation to quantify road load improvements require a sufficient amount of background validation work to support them. This study uses a practical approach to directly quantify road load changes by testing the coordinated driving of two vehicles on a test track at various speeds (64, 88, 113 km/h) and vehicle time gaps (0.3 to 1.3 s). Axle torque sensors were used to directly measure the load required to maintain steady-state speeds while following a lead vehicle at various gap distances.
Technical Paper

Investigating Steady-State Road Load Determination Methods for Electrified Vehicles and Coordinated Driving (Platooning)

Reductions in vehicle drive losses are as important to improving fuel economy as increases in powertrain efficiencies. In order to measure vehicle fuel economy, chassis dynamometer testing relies on accurate road load determinations. Road load is currently determined (with some exceptions) using established test track coastdown testing procedures. Because new vehicle technologies and usage cases challenge the accuracy and applicability of these procedures, on-road experiments were conducted using axle torque sensors to address the suitability of the test procedures in determining vehicle road loads in specific cases. Whereas coastdown testing can use vehicle deceleration to determine load, steady-state testing can offer advantages in validating road load coefficients for vehicles with no mechanical neutral gear (such as plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles).
Technical Paper

A Full-Cycle Multi-Zone Quasi-Dimensional Direct Injection Diesel Engine Model Based on a Conceptual Model Developed from Imaging Experiments

A quasi-dimensional model for a direct injection diesel engine was developed based on experiments at Sandia National Laboratory. The Sandia researchers obtained images describing diesel spray evolution, spray mixing, premixed combustion, mixing controlled combustion, soot formation, and NOx formation. Dec [1] combined all of the available images to develop a conceptual diesel combustion model to describe diesel combustion from the start of injection up to the quasi-steady form of the jet. The end of injection behavior was left undescribed in this conceptual model because no clear image was available due to the chaotic behavior of diesel combustion. A conceptual end-of-injection diesel combustion behavior model was developed to capture diesel combustion throughout its life span. The compression, expansion, and gas exchange stages are modeled via zero-dimensional single zone calculations.
Journal Article

Real-World Thermal Effects on Wheel Assembly Efficiency of Conventional and Electric Vehicles

It is widely understood that cold ambient temperatures negatively impact vehicle system efficiency. This is due to a combination of factors: increased friction (engine oil, transmission, and driveline viscous effects), cold start enrichment, heat transfer, and air density variations. Although the science of quantifying steady-state vehicle component efficiency is mature, transient component efficiencies over dynamic ambient real-world conditions is less understood and quantified. This work characterizes wheel assembly efficiencies of a conventional and electric vehicle over a wide range of ambient conditions. For this work, the wheel assembly is defined as the tire side axle spline, spline housing, bearings, brakes, and tires. Dynamometer testing over hot and cold ambient temperatures was conducted with a conventional and electric vehicle instrumented to determine the output energy losses of the wheel assembly in proportion to the input energy of the half-shafts.
Technical Paper

Performance and Efficiency Assessment of a Production CNG Vehicle Compared to Its Gasoline Counterpart

Two modern light-duty passenger vehicles were selected for chassis dynamometer testing to evaluate differences in performance end efficiency resulting from CNG and gasoline combustion in a vehicle-based context. The vehicles were chosen to be as similar as possible apart from fuel type, sharing similar test weights and identical driveline configurations. Both vehicles were tested over several chassis dynamometer driving cycles, where it was found that the CNG vehicle exhibited 3-9% lower fuel economy than the gasoline-fueled subject. Performance tests were also conducted, where the CNG vehicle's lower tractive effort capability and longer acceleration times were consistent with the lower rated torque and power of its engine as compared to the gasoline model. The vehicles were also tested using quasi-steady-state chassis dynamometer techniques, wherein a series of engine operating points were studied.
Journal Article

Developing a Utility Factor for Battery Electric Vehicles

As new advanced-technology vehicles are becoming more mainstream, analysts are studying their potential impact on petroleum use, carbon emissions, and smog emissions. Determining the potential impacts of widespread adoption requires testing and careful analysis. PHEVs possess unique operational characteristics that require evaluation in terms of actual in-use driving habits. SAE J2841, “Utility Factor Definitions for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using 2001 U.S. DOT National Household Travel Survey Data,” published by SAE in 2009 with a revision in 2010, is a guide to using DOT's National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data to estimate the relative split between driving in charge-depleting (CD) mode and charge-sustaining (CS) mode for a particular PHEV with a given CD range. Without this method, direct comparisons of the merits of various vehicle designs (e.g., efficiency and battery size) cannot be made among PHEVs, or between PHEVs and other technologies.
Journal Article

Validating Volt PHEV Model with Dynamometer Test Data Using Autonomie

The first commercially available Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), the General Motors (GM) Volt, was introduced into the market in December 2010. The Volt's powertrain architecture provides four modes of operation, including two that are unique and maximize the Volt's efficiency and performance. The electric transaxle has been specially designed to enable patented operating modes both to improve the electric driving range when operating as a battery electric vehicle and to reduce fuel consumption when extending the range by operating with an internal combustion engine (ICE). However, details on the vehicle control strategy are not widely available because the supervisory control algorithm is proprietary. Since it is not possible to analyze the control without vehicle test data obtained from a well-designed Design-of-Experiment (DoE), a highly instrumented GM Volt, including thermal sensors, was tested at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF).
Technical Paper

Design Details of the Compression Ignition Rotating Liner Engine. Reducing Piston Assembly Friction and Ring/Liner Wear in Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines

The Rotating Liner Engine (RLE) is an engine design concept where the cylinder liner rotates in order to reduce piston assembly friction and liner/ring wear. The reduction is achieved by the elimination of the mixed and boundary lubrication regimes that occur near TDC. Prior engines for aircraft developed during WW2 with partly rotating liners (Sleeve Valve Engines or SVE) have exhibited reduction of bore wear by factor of 10 for high BMEP operation, which supports the elimination of mixed lubrication near the TDC area via liner rotation. Our prior research on rotating liner engines experimentally proved that the boundary/mixed components near TDC are indeed eliminated, and a high friction reduction was quantified compared to a baseline engine. The added friction required to rotate the liner is hydrodynamic via a modest sliding speed, and is thus much smaller than the mixed and boundary friction that is eliminated.
Technical Paper

Comparison of an On-Board, Real-Time Electronic PM Sensor with Laboratory Instruments Using a 2009 Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicle

EmiSense Technologies, LLC ( is commercializing its electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor that is based on technology developed at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). To demonstrate the capability of this sensor for real-time PM measurements and on board diagnostics (OBD) for failure detection of diesel particle filters (DPF), independent measurements were performed to characterize the engine PM emissions and to compare with the PM sensor response. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling was performed to characterize the hydrodynamics of the sensor's housing and to develop an improved PM sensor housing with reproducible hydrodynamics and an internal baffle to minimize orientation effects. PM sensors with the improved housing were evaluated in the truck exhaust of a heavy duty (HD) diesel engine tested on-road and on a chassis dynamometer at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) using their Mobile Emissions Laboratory (MEL).
Technical Paper

Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor – Mechanisms and Application in a Modern Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle

An electronic particulate matter sensor (EPMS) developed at the University of Texas was used to characterize exhaust gases from a single-cylinder diesel engine and a light-duty diesel vehicle. Measurements were made during transient tip-in events with multiple sensor configurations in the single-cylinder engine. The sensor was operated in two modes: one with the electric field energized, and the other with no electric field present. In each mode, different characteristic signals were produced in response to a tip-in event, highlighting the two primary mechanisms of sensor operation. The sensor responded to both the natural charge of the particulate matter (PM) emitted from the engine, and was also found to create a signal by charging neutral particles. The characteristics of the two mechanisms of operation are discussed as well as their implications on the placement and operation of the sensor.
Technical Paper

Development of the Texas Drayage Truck Cycle and Its Use to Determine the Effects of Low Rolling Resistance Tires on the NOX Emissions and Fuel Economy

Trucks operating in inter-modal (drayage) operation in and around port and rail terminals, are responsible for a large proportion of the emissions of NOX, which are problematic for the air quality of the Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth metro areas. A standard test cycle, called the Texas Dray Truck Cycle, was developed to represent the operation of heavy-duty diesel trucks in dray operations. The test cycle reflects the substantial time spent at idle (~45%) and the high intensity of the on-road portions. This test cycle was then used in the SAE J1321 test protocol to evaluate the effect on fuel consumption and NOX emissions of retrofitting dray trucks with light-weight, low-rolling resistance wide-single tires. In on-track testing, a reduction in fuel consumption of 8.7% was seen, and NOX emissions were reduced by 3.8% with the wide single tires compared to the conventional tires.
Technical Paper

Evaluating the Effects of Restraint Systems on Four Wheel Drive Testing Methodologies: A Collaborative Effort between NVFEL and ANL

Testing vehicles for emissions and fuel economy has traditionally been conducted with a single-axle chassis dynamometer. The 2006 SAE All Wheel Drive Symposium cited four wheel drive (4WD) and all wheel drive (AWD) sales as climbing from 20% toward 30% of a motor vehicle market share. With an increasing number of four wheel-drive vehicles being introduced to the market place, certification testing for emissions and fuel economy has been changed to allow both two wheel drive and four wheel drive testing [1]. As manufacturers plan to test these vehicles in this mode, test methods need to be developed to allow for these changes. This paper focuses on the tie down methods available for 4WD testing to determine possible effects of test methodologies on a traditional 4WD Vehicle and a hybrid vehicle.
Technical Paper

Further Development of an Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor and Its Application to Diesel Engine Transients

This paper presents the latest developments in the design and performance of an electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor developed at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and suitable, with further development, for applications in active engine control of PM emissions. The sensor detects the carbonaceous mass component of PM in the exhaust and has a time-resolution less than 20 (ms), allowing PM levels to be quantified for engine transients. Sample measurements made with the sensor in the exhaust of a single-cylinder light duty diesel engine are presented for both steady-state and transient operations: a steady-state correlation with gravimetric filter measurements is presented, and the sensor response to rapid increases in PM emission during engine transients is shown for several different tip-in (momentary increases in fuel delivery) conditions.
Technical Paper

Railplug Ignition Operating Characteristics and Performance:A Review

The basic process of spark ignition in engines has changed little over the more than 100 years since its first application. The rapid evolution of several advanced engine concepts and the refinement of existing engine designs, especially applications of power boost technology, have led to a renewed interest in advanced spark ignition concepts. The increasingly large rates of in-cylinder dilution via EGR and ultra-lean operation, combined with increases in boost pressures are placing new demands on spark ignition systems. The challenge is to achieve strong and consistent ignition of the in-cylinder mixture in every cycle, to meet performance and emissions goals while maintaining or improving the durability of ignitor. The application of railplug ignition to some of these engine systems is seen as a potential alternative to conventional spark ignition systems that may lead to improved ignition performance.
Technical Paper

Improved Passage Design for a Spark Plug Mounted Pressure Transducer

Combustion chamber pressure measurement in engines via a passage is an old technique that is still widely used in engine research. This paper presents improved passage designs for an off-set electrode spark plug designed to accept a pressure transducer. The spark plug studied was the Champion model 304-063A. Two acoustic models were developed to compute the resonance characteristics. The new designs have a resonance frequency in a range higher than the fundamental frequency expected from knock so that the signal can be lowpass filtered to remove the resonance and not interfere with pressure signal components associated with combustion phenomena. Engine experiments verified the spark plug resonance behavior. For the baseline engine operating condition approximately 50 of 100 cycles had visible passage resonance in the measured pressure traces, at an average frequency of 8.03 kHz.
Technical Paper

Further Development of an On-Board Distillation System for Generating a Highly Volatile Cold-Start Fuel

The On-Board Distillation System (OBDS) extracts, from gasoline, a highly volatile crank fuel that enables simultaneous reduction of start-up fuel enrichment and significant ignition timing retard during cold-starting. In a previous paper we reported reductions in catalyst light-off time of >50% and THC emissions reductions >50% over Phase I of the FTP drive cycle. The research presented herein is a further development of the OBDS concept. For this work, OBDS was improved to yield higher-quality start-up fuel. The PCM calibration was changed as well, in order to improve the response to intake manifold pressure transients. The test vehicle was tested over the 3-phase FTP, with exhaust gases speciated to determine NMOG and exhaust toxics emissions. Also, the effectiveness of OBDS at generating a suitable starting fuel from a high driveability index test gasoline was evaluated.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Factors that Affect the Performance of Railplugs

As natural gas engines are designed to operate leaner and with increased boost pressure, durability of the spark plugs becomes problematic. Among the various new ignition devices that have been considered to solve some of the problems facing spark plugs, railplugs appear to hold clear advantages in some areas. There are two types of railplugs: coaxial rail and parallel rail. This paper reports the results of an experimental study of various parameters that affect the performance of parallel railplugs. Their performance was quantified by the distance that the arc traveled along the rails from the initiation point. Travel along the rails is thought to be an important performance metric because rail-travel limits excessive local wear and produces a distributed ignition source which can potentially reduce mixture inhomogeneity induced ignition problems.
Technical Paper

A New Ignitior for Large-Bore Natural Gas Engines - Railplug Design Improvement and Optimization

It is a very challenging problem to reliably ignite extremely lean mixtures, especially for the low speed, high load conditions of large-bore natural gas engines. If these engines are to be use for the distributed power generation market, it will require operation with higher boost pressures and even leaner mixtures. Both place greater demands on the ignition system. The railplug is a very promising ignition system for lean burn natural gas engines with its high-energy deposition and high velocity plasma arc. It requires care to properly design railplugs for this new application, however. For these engines, in-cylinder pressure and mixture temperature are very high at the time of ignition due to the high boost pressure. Hot spots may exist on the electrodes of the ignitor, causing pre-ignition problems. A heat transfer model is proposed in this paper to aid the railplug design. The electrode temperature was measured in an operating natural gas engine.
Technical Paper

Implementation of a Non-Intrusive In-Vehicle Engine Torque Sensor for Benchmarking the Toyota Prius

Vehicle emissions and fuel economy testing applications rely on accurate sensors to track power flow and measure component efficiencies. A non-intrusive in-vehicle torque sensor has been implemented in a hybrid powertrain to directly measure engine torque. Previously used off-the-shelf torque sensors required additional mechanical space, and so chassis modifications were needed to accommodate the sensor, which potentially limited the vehicle to only dynamometer testing. The challenges in implementing this type of sensor in automotive environments are described in detail, as are sensor capabilities and test results.
Technical Paper

Improving Heavy-Duty Engine Efficiency and Durability: The Rotating Liner Engine

The Rotating Linear Engine (RLE) derives improved fuel efficiency and decreased maintenance costs via a unique lubrication design, which decreases piston assembly friction and the associated wear for heavy-duty natural gas and diesel engines. The piston ring friction exhibited on current engines accounts for 1% of total US energy consumption. The RLE is expected to reduce this friction by 50-70%, an expectation supported by hot motoring and tear-down tests on the UT single cylinder RLE prototype. Current engines have stationary liners where the oil film thins near the ends of the stroke, resulting in metal-to-metal contact. This metal-to-metal contact is the major source of both engine friction and wear, especially at high load. The RLE maintains an oil film between the piston rings and liner throughout the piston stroke due to liner rotation. This assumption has also been confirmed by recent testing of the single cylinder RLE prototype.