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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.
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

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

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.
Technical Paper

Engine Friction Reduction Through Liner Rotation

Cylinder liner rotation (Rotating Liner Engine, RLE) is a new concept for reducing piston assembly friction in the internal combustion engine. The purpose of the RLE is to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of boundary and mixed lubrication friction in the piston assembly (specifically, the rings and skirt). This paper reports the results of experiments to quantify the potential of the RLE. A 2.3 L GM Quad 4 SI engine was converted to single cylinder operation and modified for cylinder liner rotation. To allow examination of the effects of liner rotational speed, the rotating liner is driven by an electric motor. A torque cell in the motor output shaft is used to measure the torque required to rotate the liner. The hot motoring method was used to compare the friction loss between the baseline engine and the rotating liner engine. Additionally, hot motoring tear-down tests were used to measure the contribution of each engine component to the total friction torque.
Technical Paper

From Spark Plugs to Railplugs – The Characteristics of a New Ignition System

Ignition of extremely lean or dilute mixtures is a very challenging problem. Therefore, it is essential for the engine development engineer to understand the fundamentals and limitations of existing ignition systems. This paper presents a new railplug ignition concept, a high-energy ignition system, which can enhance ignition of very lean mixtures by means of its high-energy deposition and high velocity jet of the plasma. This paper presents initial results of tests using an inductive ignition system, a capacitor discharge ignition system, and a railplug high-energy ignition system. Discharge characteristics, such as time-resolved voltage, current, and luminous emission were measured. Spark plug and railplug ignition are compared for their effects on combustion stability of a natural gas engine. The results show that railplugs have a very strong arc-phase that can ensure the ignition of very dilute mixtures.
Technical Paper

Direct Measurement of Powertrain Component Efficiencies for a Light-Duty Vehicle with a CVT Operating Over a Driving Cycle

In order to determine the factors that affect fuel economy quantitatively, the power flows through the major powertrain components were measured during operation over transient cycles. The fuel consumption rate and torque and speed of the engine output and axle shafts were measured to assess the power flows in a vehicle with a CVT. The measured power flows were converted to energy loss for each component to get the efficiency. Tests were done at Phase 1 and Phase 3 of the FTP and for two different CVT shift modes. The measured energy distributions were compared with those from the ADVISOR simulation and to results from the PNGV study. For both the Hot 505 and the Cold 505, and for both shift modes, the major powertrain loss occurs in the engine, including or excluding standby losses. However, the efficiency of the drivetrain/transmission is important because it influences the efficiency of the engine.
Technical Paper

Impact of Railplug Circuit Parameters on Energy Deposition and Durability

A railplug is a new type of ignitor for SI engines. A model for optimizing energy deposition in a railplug ignition system is developed. The model is experimentally validated using a low voltage railplug ignition circuit. The effect of various ignition circuit parameters on the energy deposition and its rate are discussed. Durability of railplugs is an important factor in railplug circuit design. As for all spark ignitors, durability of a railplug decreases as energy deposition is increased. Therefore recommendations are made to minimize wear and increase durability, while depositing sufficient energy to attain ignition, using a railplug.
Technical Paper

Effects of Piston Wetting on Size and Mass of Particulate Matter Emissions in a DISI Engine

We have examined the influence of piston wetting on the size distribution and mass of particulate matter (PM) emissions in a SI engine using several different fuels. Piston wetting was isolated as a source of PM emissions by injecting known amounts of liquid fuel onto the piston top using an injector probe. The engine was run predominantly on propane with approximately 10% of the fuel injected as liquid onto the piston. The liquid fuels were chosen to examine the effects of fuel volatility and molecular structure on the PM emissions. A nephelometer was used to characterize the PM emissions. Mass measurements from the nephelometer were compared with gravimetric filter measurements, and particulate size measurements were compared with scanning electron microscope (SEM) photos of particulates captured on filters. The engine was run at 1500 rpm at the Ford world-wide mapping point with an overall equivalence ratio of 0.9.
Technical Paper

Effects of In-cylinder Flow on Fuel Concentration at the Spark Plug, Engine Performance and Emissions in a DISI Engine

A fiber optic instrumented spark plug was used to make time-resolved measurements of the fuel vapor concentration history near the spark gap in a four-valve DISI engine. Four different bulk flow were investigated. Several early and late injection timings were examined. The fuel concentration at the spark gap was correlated with IMEP. Emissions of CO, HCs, and NOx were related to the type of bulk flow. For both early and late injection the CoVs of fuel concentration were generally lowest for the weakest bulk flow which resulted in a stable stratification. Strong bulk flows convected the inhomogeneities through the measurement area near the spark plug resulting in both large intracycle and cycle-to-cycle variation in equivalence ratio at the time of ignition.
Technical Paper

Effects of Fuel Volatility, Load, and Speed on HC Emissions Due to Piston Wetting

Piston wetting can be isolated from the other sources of HC emissions from DISI engines by operating the engine predominantly on a gaseous fuel and using an injector probe to impact a small amount of liquid fuel on the piston top. This results in a marked increase in HC emissions. In a previous study, we used a variety of pure liquid hydrocarbon fuels to examine the influence of fuel volatility and structure on the HC emissions due to piston wetting. It was shown that the HC emissions correspond to the Leidenfrost effect: fuels with very low boiling points yield high HCs and those with a boiling point near or above the piston temperature produce much lower HCs. All of these prior tests of fuel effects were performed at a single operating condition: the Ford World Wide Mapping Point (WWMP). In the present study, the effects of load and engine speed are examined.
Technical Paper

Particulate Characterization of a DISI Research Engine using a Nephelometer and In-Cylinder Visualization

A nephelometer system was developed to characterize engine particulate emissions from DISI engines. Results were correlated with images showing the location and history of particulates in the cylinder of an optical engine. The nephelometer's operation is based upon the dependence of scattered laser light on particulate size from a flow sampled from the exhaust of an engine. The nephelometer simultaneously measured the scattered light from angles of 20° to 160° from the forward scattering direction in 4° increments. The angular scattering measurements were then compared with calculations using a Mie scattering code to infer information regarding particulate size. Measurements of particulate mass were made based upon a correlation developed between the scattered light intensity and particulate mass samples trapped in a 0.2-micron filter. Measurements were made in a direct injection single-cylinder spark ignition research engine having a transparent quartz cylinder.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Fuel Volatility and Structure on HC Emissions from Piston Wetting in DISI Engines

Piston wetting can be isolated from the other sources of HC emissions from DISI engines by operating the engine predominantly on a gaseous fuel and using an injector probe to impact a small amount of liquid fuel on the piston top. This results in a marked increase in HC emissions. All of our prior tests with the injector probe used California Phase 2 reformulated gasoline as the liquid fuel. In the present study, a variety of pure liquid hydrocarbon fuels are used to examine the influence of fuel volatility and structure. Additionally, the exhaust hydrocarbons are speciated to differentiate between the emissions resulting from the gaseous fuel and those resulting from the liquid fuel. It is shown that the HC emissions correspond to the Leidenfrost effect: fuels with very low boiling points yield high HCs and those with a boiling point near or above the piston temperature produce much lower HCs.