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Technical Paper

Energy Enhanced Adaptive Spark Ignition for Lean Combustion Initiation

2020-04-14
2020-01-0841
For internal combustion engine systems, lean and diluted combustion is an important technology applied for fuel efficiency improvement. Because of the thermodynamic boundary conditions and the presence of in-cylinder flow, the development of a well-sustained flame kernel for lean combustion is a challenging task. Reliable spark discharge with the addition of enhanced delivered energy is thus needed at certain time durations to achieve successful combustion initiation of the lean air-fuel mixture. For a conventional transistor coil ignition system, only limited amount of energy is stored in the ignition coil. Therefore, both the energy of the spark discharge and the duration of the spark discharge are bounded. To break through the energy limit of the conventional transistor coil ignition system, in this work, an adaptive spark ignition system is introduced. The system has the ability to reconstruct the conductive ion channels whenever it is interrupted during the spark discharge.
Technical Paper

Combustion Characterization of Neat n-Butanol in an SI Engine

2020-04-14
2020-01-0334
Increasingly stringent emission standards have promoted the interest in alternate fuel sources. Because of the comparable energy density to the existing fossil fuels and renewable production, alcohol fuels may be a suitable replacement, or an additive to the gasoline/diesel fuels to meet the future emission standards with minimal modification to current engine geometry. In this research, the combustion characteristics of neat n-butanol are analyzed under spark ignition operation using a single cylinder SI engine. The fuel is injected into the intake manifold using a port-fuel injector. Two modes of charge dilution were used in this investigation to test the limits of stable engine operation, namely lean burn using excess fresh air and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The in-cylinder pressure measurement and subsequently, heat release analysis are used to investigate the combustion characteristics of the fuel under low load SI engine operation.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOX Trap Using Dimethyl Ether

2020-04-14
2020-01-1354
The ever-stringent emission regulations are major challenges for the diesel fueled engines in automotive industry. The applications of advanced after-treatment technologies as well as alternative fuels [1] are considered as promising methodology to reduce exhaust emission from compression ignition (CI) engines. Using dimethyl ether (DME) as an alternative fuel has been extensively studied by many researchers and automotive manufactures since DME has demonstrated enormous potential in terms of emission reduction, such as low CO emission, and soot and sulfur free. However, the effect of employing DME in a lean NOX trap (LNT) based after-treatment system has not been fully addressed yet. In this work, investigations of the long breathing LNT system using DME as a reductant were performed on a heated after-treatment flow bench with simulated engine exhaust condition.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Emission Characteristics of SI and HCCI Combustion Fueled with DME and OME

2020-04-14
2020-01-1355
DME has been considered an alternative fuel to diesel fuel with promising benefits because of its high reactivity and volatility. Research shows that an engine fueled with DME will produce zero smoke emissions. However, the storage and the handling of the fuel are underlying difficulties owing to its high vapour pressure (530 kPa @ 20 °C). In lieu, OME1 fuel, a derivate of DME, offers advantages exhibited with DME fuel, all the while being a liquid fuel for engine application. In this work, engine tests are performed to realize the combustion behaviour of DME and OME1 fuel on a single-cylinder research engine with a compression ratio of 9.2:1. The dilution ratio of the mixture is progressively increased in two manners, allowing more air in the cylinder and applying exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). The high reactivity of DME suits the capability to be used in compression ignition combustion whereas OME1 must be supplied with a supplemental spark to initiate the combustion.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Using Ethanol and n-Butanol

2019-04-02
2019-01-0737
Reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in lean burn and diesel fueled Compression Ignition (CI) engines is one of the major challenges faced by automotive manufacturers. Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and urea-based Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment systems are well established technologies to reduce NOx emissions. However, each of these technologies has associated advantages and disadvantages for use over a wide range of engine operating conditions. In order to meet future ultra-low NOx emission norms, the use of both alternative fuels and advanced after-treatment technology may be required. The use of an alcohol fuel such as n-butanol or ethanol in a CI engine can reduce the engine-out NOx and soot emissions. In CI engines using LNTs for NOx reduction, the fuel such as diesel is utilized as a reductant for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Near-Spark-Plug Flow Field and Its Effect on Spark Behavior

2019-04-02
2019-01-0718
In the recent decades, the emission and fuel efficiency regulations put forth by the emission regulation agencies have become increasingly stringent and this trend is expected to continue in future. The advanced spark ignition (SI) engines can operate under lean conditions to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Under such lean conditions, the ignition and complete combustion of the charge mixture is a challenge because of the reduced charge reactivity. Enhancement of the in-cylinder charge motion and turbulence to increase the flame velocity, and consequently reduce the combustion duration is one possible way to improve lean combustion. The role of air motion in better air-fuel mixing and increasing the flame velocity, by enhancing turbulence has been researched extensively. However, during the ignition process, the charge motion can influence the initial spark discharge, resulting flame kernel formation, and flame propagation.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Circuit Model for the Emulation of Glow Phase during Spark Discharge

2018-04-03
2018-01-0092
The ever-growing demand to meet the stringent exhaust emission regulations have driven the development of modern gasoline engines towards lean combustion strategies and downsizing to achieve the reduction of exhaust emission and fuel consumption. Currently, the inductive ignition system is still the dominant ignition system applied in Spark Ignited (SI) engines. It is popular due to its simple design, low cost and robust performance. The new development in spark ignition engines demands higher spark energy to be delivered by the inductive ignition system to overcome the unfavorable ignition conditions caused by the increased and diluted in-cylinder charge. To meet this challenge, better understanding of the inductive ignition system is required. The development of a first principle model for simulation can help in understanding the working mechanism of the system in a better way.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

2018-04-03
2018-01-1134
Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
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

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

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

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

2017-03-28
2017-01-0678
Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Temperature and Soot (KL) Distributions in Spray Flames of Diesel-Butanol Blends by Two-Color Method Using High-Speed RGB Video Camera

2016-10-17
2016-01-2190
Taking advantages of high speed RGB video cameras, the two-color method can be implemented with a relatively simple setup to obtain the temporal development of the two dimensional temperature and soot (KL) distributions in a reacting diesel jet. However, several issues such as the selection of the two wavelengths, the role of bandpass filters, and the proper optical settings, etc. should be known to obtain a reliable measurement. This paper, at first, discusses about the uncertainties in the measurement of temperature and KL distributions in the diesel flame by the two-color method using the high speed RGB video camera. Since n-butanol, as an alternative renewable fuel, has the potential application in diesel engines, the characteristic of spray combustion of diesel-butanol blends under the diesel-like ambient conditions in a pre-burning constant-volume combustion chamber is studied.
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

Distributed Electrical Discharge to Improve the Ignition of Premixed Quiescent and Turbulent Mixtures

2016-04-05
2016-01-0706
The present work investigates the efficacy of distributed electrical discharge to increase the ignition volume by means of multipole spark discharge and radio frequency (RF) corona discharge. A range of ignition strategies are implemented to evaluate the efficacy of distributed ignition. The multipole spark igniter design has multiple high-voltage electrodes in close proximity to each other. This distributed spark ignition concept has the ability to generate multiple flame kernels either simultaneously or in a staggered mode. A novel elastic breakdown ignition strategy in responsive distribution (eBIRD) high frequency discharge is also implemented via the multipole igniter. The RF corona discharge is generated through an in-house developed ignition system. A form of distributed ignition is initiated along the streamer filaments.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation of Diesel-Ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0781
In this work, empirical investigations of the diesel-ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) are carried out on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) single-cylinder diesel engine. The tests focus on determining the minimum ethanol fraction for ultra-low NOx & soot emissions, effect of single-pilot vs. twin-pilot strategies on emissions and ignition controllability, reducing the EGR requirements, enabling clean combustion across the load range and achieving high efficiency full-load operation. The results show that both low NOx and almost zero soot emissions can be achieved but at the expense of higher unburned hydrocarbons. Compared to a single-pilot injection, a twin-pilot strategy reduces the soot emissions significantly and also lowers the NOx emissions, thereby reducing the requirements for EGR. The near-TDC pilot provides excellent control over the combustion phasing, further reducing the need of a higher EGR quantity for phasing control.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation of Diesel Ignited Ethanol and Butanol Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0773
Dual fuel applications of alcohol fuels such as ethanol or butanol through port injection with direct injection of diesel can be effective in reduction of NOx. However, these dual fuel applications are usually associated with an increase in the incomplete combustion products such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2) emissions. An analysis of these products of incomplete combustion and the resulting combustion efficiency penalty was made in the diesel ignited alcohol combustion modes. The effect of EGR application was evaluated using ethanol and butanol as the port injected fuel, with varying alcohol fractions at the mid-load condition (10 -12 bar IMEP). The impact of varying the engine load (5 bar to 19 bar IMEP) in the diesel ignited ethanol mode on the incomplete combustion products was also studied. Emission measurements were taken and the net fuel energy loss as a result of the incomplete combustion was estimated.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Analysis of Clean Combustion with Ethanol Ignited by Diesel in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0766
The control of nitrogen oxide and smoke emissions in diesel engines has been one of the key researches in both the academia and industry. Nitrogen oxides can be effectively suppressed by the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). However, the introduction of inert exhaust gas into the engine intake is often associated with high smoke emissions. To overcome these issues there have been a number of proposed strategies, one of the more promising being the use of low temperature combustion enabled with heavy EGR. This has the potential to achieve simultaneously low emissions of nitrogen oxide and smoke. However, a quantitative way to identify the transition zone between high temperature combustion and low temperature combustion has still not been fully explored. The combustion becomes even more complicated when ethanol fuel is used as a partial substitution for diesel fuel.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

2015-09-01
2015-01-1889
In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Technical Paper

Energy Efficiency Comparison between Butanol and Ethanol Combustion with Diesel Ignition

2015-04-14
2015-01-0859
The use of low temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines tends to suppress the NOx and dry soot emissions from diesel engines. However, due to the limitations of conventional diesel fuel properties, such as the high reactivity and low volatility, implementation of LTC is highly dependent on the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). While the replacement of some of the fresh air intake with the burnt exhaust gas using EGR prevents premature combustion, it also results in a reduction in thermal efficiency. In this work, the use of two different alcohol fuels, ethanol and butanol, in a high compression ratio diesel engine has been investigated to examine their potential as substitutes for conventional diesel fuel when operating under low temperature combustion mode. The effect of diesel injection timing, alcohol fuel ratios, and EGR on engine emissions and efficiency were studied at indicated mean effective pressures in the range 0.8 to 1.2 MPa.
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