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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

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

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

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.
Journal Article

An Empirical Study to Extend Engine Load in Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2011-08-30
2011-01-1814
In this work, engine tests were performed to realize EGR-enabled LTC on a single-cylinder common-rail diesel engine with three different compression ratios (17.5, 15 and 13:1). The engine performance was first investigated at 17.5:1 compression ratio to provide baseline results, against which all further testing was referenced. The intake boost and injection pressure were progressively increased to ascertain the limiting load conditions for the compression ratio. To extend the engine load range, the compression ratio was then lowered and EGR sweep tests were again carried out. The strength and homogeneity of the cylinder charge were enhanced by using intake boost up to 3 bar absolute and injection pressure up to 180 MPa. The combustion phasing was locked in a narrow crank angle window (5~10° ATDC), during all the tests.
Journal Article

Efficiency & Stability Improvements of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion through Tightened Intake Oxygen Control

2010-04-12
2010-01-1118
Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. Small variations in the intake charge dilution can significantly increase the unburnt hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions as well as escalate the consecutive cyclic fluctuations of the cylinder charge. This in turn adversely affects the robustness and efficiency of the LTC operation. However, Improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control as well as tightened control on the intake oxygen concentration can enhance the robustness and efficiency of the LTC operation in diesel engines. In this work, a set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations on a cycle-by-cycle basis.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2009-06-15
2009-01-1883
Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Journal Article

An Enabling Study of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion via Adaptive Control

2009-04-20
2009-01-0730
Low temperature combustion (LTC), though effective to reduce soot and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) simultaneously from diesel engines, operates in narrowly close to unstable regions. Adaptive control strategies are developed to expand the stable operations and to improve the fuel efficiency that was commonly compromised by LTC. Engine cycle simulations were performed to better design the combustion control models. The research platform consists of an advanced common-rail diesel engine modified for the intensified single cylinder research and a set of embedded real-time (RT) controllers, field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices, and a synchronized personal computer (PC) control and measurement system.
Journal Article

Fuel Injection Strategies to Improve Emissions and Efficiency of High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

2008-10-06
2008-01-2472
Simultaneous low NOx (< 0.15 g/kWh) & soot (< 0.01 g/kWh) are attainable for enhanced premixed combustion that may lead to higher levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions as the engine cycles move to low temperature combustion, which is a departure from the ultra low hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, typical of the high compression ratio diesel engines. As a result, the fuel efficiency of such modes of combustion is also compromised (up to 5%). In this paper, advanced strategies for fuel injection are devised on a modern 4-cylinder common rail diesel engine modified for single cylinder research. Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles. The fuel injection strategies include single injection with heavy EGR, and early multi-pulse fuel injection under low or medium engine loads respectively.
Journal Article

An Improvement on Low Temperature Combustion in Neat Biodiesel Engine Cycles

2008-06-23
2008-01-1670
Extensive empirical work indicates that the exhaust emission and fuel efficiency of modern common-rail diesel engines characterise strong resilience to biodiesel fuels when the engines are operating in conventional high temperature combustion cycles. However, as the engine cycles approach the low temperature combustion (LTC) mode, which could be implemented by the heavy use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of combustion, the engine performance start to differ between the use of conventional and biodiesel fuels. Therefore, a set of fuel injection strategies were compared empirically under independently controlled EGR, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure in order to improve the neat biodiesel engine cycles.
Journal Article

Heat Release Pattern Diagnostics to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2008-06-23
2008-01-1726
Empirical results indicated that the engine emission and fuel efficiency of low-temperature combustion (LTC) cycles can be optimized by adjusting the fuel-injection scheduling in order to obtain appropriate combustion energy release or heat-release rate patterns. Based on these empirical results the heat-release characteristics were correlated with the regulated emissions such as soot, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen. The transition from conventional combustion to LTC with the desired set of heat-release rate has been implemented. This transition was facilitated with the simplified heat-release characterization wherein each of the consecutive engine cycles was analyzed with a real-time controller embedded with an FPGA (field programmable gate array) device. The analyzed results served as the primary feedback control signals to adjust fuel injection scheduling. The experimental efforts included the boost/backpressure, exhaust gas recirculation, and load transients in the LTC region.
Technical Paper

Fuel Efficiency Improvements of Low Temperature Combustion Diesel Engines

2008-04-14
2008-01-0841
Previous work indicated that low temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines was capable of reducing nitrogen oxides and soot simultaneously, when implemented with highly premixed lean cylinder charge or by the use of high exhaust gas recirculation. However, the fuel efficiency of the low temperature combustion cycles was commonly compromised by the high levels of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. Additionally, in cases of diesel homogeneous charge cycles, the combustion process may even occur before the piston completes the compression stroke, which may cause excessive efficiency reduction and combustion roughness. Empirical procedures were implemented to better phase and complete the combustion process. The impact of heat release phasing, duration, shaping, and splitting on the thermal efficiency has also been analyzed with zero-dimensional engine cycle simulations. This paper intends to identify the pathways to improve the fuel efficiency of diesel LTC cycles.
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