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Technical Paper

Non-Equilibrium Plasma Ignition for Internal Combustion Engines

High-voltage nanosecond gas discharge has been shown to be an efficient way to ignite ultra-lean fuel air mixtures in a bulk volume, thanks to its ability to produce both high temperature and radical concentration in a large discharge zone. Recently, a feasibility study has been carried out to study plasma-assisted ignition under high-pressure high-temperature conditions similar to those inside an internal combustion engine. Ignition delay times were measured during the tests, and were shown to be decreasing under high-voltage plasma excitation. The discharge allowed instant control of ignition, and specific electrode geometry designs enabled volumetric ignition even at high-pressure conditions.
Technical Paper

Fundamental Analysis of Combustion Initiation Characteristics of Low Temperature Plasma Ignition for Internal Combustion Gasoline Engine

In recent years, the study of volumetric ignition using high-speed (nanosecond) pulsed low temperature plasma for gasoline engines was reported by authors [ 1 ]. However, the fundamental analysis of ignition characteristics of the low temperature plasma ignition and the analysis of combustion initiation mechanism of the low temperature plasma ignition was not enough in the previous paper. In this study, a low temperature plasma igniter of a barrier discharge (silent discharge) model was developed for trial purpose. A fundamental analysis of ignition characteristics was carried out when the low temperature plasma ignition was applied as the ignition system for gasoline engine using single-cylinder. The difference between the ignition characteristics of the low temperature plasma and the thermal plasma of a conventional spark plug was investigated by comparing a combustion characteristic of both in various driving conditions.
Technical Paper

Stabilizations of High Temperature Heat Release CA50 and Combustion Period against Engine Load with the Dosage of Toluene in Fuel

An HCCI combustion has a low temperature heat release (LTHR) and a high temperature heat release (HTHR). During the LTHR period, fuel chemicals break down into radicals and small hydrocarbons, and they assist an initial reaction of HTHR. This is an important role of LTHR. On the contrary, LTHR has a negative aspect. In general, a heating value of LTHR changes depending on HCCI engine load due to the difference of the injected fuel quantity. The heating value of LTHR is low under low load condition, and the heating value of LTHR is high under high load condition. This leads to the changes of the starting crank angle of HTHR against engine load and it is a nuisance problem for the control of HCCI engine operation. Therefore, a fuel which exhibits the constant LTHR phasing against engine load would be preferable.
Journal Article

Realization of Dual Phase High Temperature Heat Release Combustion of Base Gasoline Blends from Oil Refineries and a Study of HCCI Combustion Processes

It was reported that n-heptane and toluene blended fuels (NTL series fuels) showed the dual phase high temperature heat release (DP-HTHR) combustion in a previous SAE paper [1]. DP-HTHR has the potential to enlarge the engine operational range to high load conditions and lower the engine combustion noise. Further research has been reported in this paper. Initial interests were in the combustion characteristics of a second “bump” in the high temperature heat release (2nd HTHR) in DP-HTHR, since this kind of two-stage combustion appears, when CO oxidation radically occurs over the 1450K temperature range.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Gasoline-fueled HCCI Engine∼Mode Changes from SI Combustion to HCCI Combustion∼

Since the stable operating region of a gasoline-fueled HCCI engine is limited to the part load condition, a mode change between SI and HCCI combustion is required, which poses an issue due to the difference in combustion characteristics. This report focuses on the combustion characteristics in the transitional range. The combustion mode in the transitional range is investigated by varying the internal EGR rate, intake air pressure, and spark advance timing in steady-state experiments. In this parametric study, stable SI-CI combustion is observed. This indicates that the combustion mode transition is possible without misfiring or knocking, regardless of the speed of variable valve mechanism which includes VVA, VVEL, VTEC, VVL and so on, though the response of intake air pressure still remains as a subject to be examined in the actual application.
Journal Article

A Study of Volumetric Ignition Using High-Speed Plasma for Improving Lean Combustion Performance in Internal Combustion Engines

It is well known that ultra-lean combustion can result in higher thermal efficiency, better fuel economy, and greatly reduced NOx emissions. Accomplishing ultra-lean combustion is very difficult with a conventional spark plug, and ignition instability can be cited as one of the factors. Therefore, it is thought that ignition system innovation is important for the achievement of ultra-lean combustion in gasoline engines. This study investigated high-speed plasma ignition as a new ignition system for internal combustion engines. High-speed plasma refers to the transient (non-equilibrated) phase of plasma before formation of an arc discharge; it is obtained by applying high voltage with an ultra-short pulse between coaxial cylindrical electrodes. High-speed plasma can inherently form a multi-channel discharge, with the electrical discharge spreading over a much larger volume than a spark discharge does.
Journal Article

Dual Phase High Temperature Heat Release Combustion

To allow the HCCI vehicles to enter the market in the future, it is important to investigate the combustion deviations and operational range differences between the same research octane number fuels. In this paper, eighteen kinds of two hydrocarbon blended fuels, which were composed of n-heptane and another hydrocarbon, such as iso-octane, diisobutylene, 4-methyl-1-pentene, toluene or cyclopentane, were evaluated. Those fuels were blended to have the same research octane numbers of 75, 80, 85 and 90 by changing the blending volume ratio of n-heptane and counterpart hydrocarbon. Intake air was supercharged to 155 kPa abs and its temperature was kept at 58 °C. The HCCI engine was operated at 1000 rpm. Neither hot EGR, nor any other combustion stratification system was utilized in order to investigate the purely hydrocarbon effects on HCCI combustion.
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Measurement of In-Cylinder Temperature and Residual Gas Concentration in the Vicinity of the Spark Plug by Wavelength Modulation Infrared Absorption

This paper presents a new measurement technique for in-cylinder gas temperature and residual gas concentration during the compression stroke of an internal combustion (IC) engine. This technique is based on the infrared absorption of water vapor by a wavelength modulated laser. Wavelength modulation spectroscopy with second harmonic detection (WMS-2f) was adopted to enable the short-path measurements over a wide range of temperatures and pressures corresponding to the late compression stroke in a typical automotive engine. The WMS-2f signal is detected through a bandpass filter at a width of 7.5 kHz, enabling crank angle-resolved measurements. The temperature is determined from the ratio of optical absorption for two overtone transitions of water vapor in the intake gas mixture, and the H2O concentration is determined from this inferred temperature and the absorption for one of the transitions.
Technical Paper

Auto-Ignition Characteristics of Hydrocarbons and Development of HCCI Fuel Index

It is known that the regular gasoline and primary reference fuel (PRF), that have the same research octane number, show the different HCCI engine performance, because of the different phasing and heating value of low temperature heat release. This means that the research octane number is not an “all-round” auto-ignition index, and another index must be developed to evaluate the HCCI combustion characteristics. In this paper, eleven pure hydrocarbon components were blended into twenty three different kinds of model fuels (surrogate fuels), labeled BASE, MC01-MC11 and K01-K11, and the HCCI engine tests were performed under five different intake air temperature conditions to change the auto-ignition characteristic of each hydrocarbon component. As HCCI combustion can be described as a lean and slow gasoline knocking phenomenon, an analysis of HCCI combustion data gives us much more important knowledge of gasoline knocking phenomenon.
Technical Paper

The Interaction Between Fuel Chemicals and HCCI Combustion Characteristics Under Heated Intake Air Conditions

To evaluate the relation between the intake air temperature (Tair-in), low temperature heat release (LTHR) and high temperature heat release (HTHR), a supercharged 4-cylinder engine with intake air heating, high compression pistons and a pressure transducer in each cylinder was introduced Eleven pure hydrocarbon components were blended into 23 different model fuels, labeled BASE MC01-MC11, and K01-K11. BASE is a mixture of equal proportion of each of the 11 pure hydrocarbons. The difference between MC series and K series fuels is in the amount of pure hydrocarbon added to the BASE: 6.5vol% for MC series fuels and 17.5vol% for K series fuels. Engine tests were performed with BASE and MC01-MC11 fuels at Tair-in=50°C (IMEP 530kPa), 80°C (IMEP 420kPa), and 100°C (IMEP 380kPa).
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Temperature Distribution Measurement and Its Application to HCCI Combustion

This paper presents a measurement technique to visualize the distribution of the in-cylinder mixture temperature and an experimental approach for analyzing the effect of the temperature distribution prior to ignition on homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion. First, a visualization technique for mixture temperature distribution based on the temperature dependence of laser induced fluorescence (LIF) was developed. As the next step, measurement of the temperature distribution was applied to an analysis of HCCI combustion. Controlled non-uniform temperature distributions in the mixture prior to ignition were generated by a special intake system with a completely divided intake port having separate electrical heaters.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Gasoline-fueled Compression Ignition Engine ∼ Expansion of HCCI Operation Range Using SI Combustion as a Trigger of Compression Ignition ∼

A new combustion concept, called spark-ignited compression ignition (SI-CI) combustion, is proposed for expanding the operation range of homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion. The authors previously showed that raising the mixture temperature before compression so as to induce auto-ignition near top dead center reduces the quantity of trapped gas, resulting in a lower maximum indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP). With the newly proposed combustion concept, auto-ignition of a homogeneous lean mixture is accomplished by the additional compression resulting from SI combustion of a small quantity of stratified mixture instead of raising the intake air temperature. This SI-CI combustion process reduced the necessary increase in intake air temperature compared with conventional HCCI combustion. A higher maximum IMEP was achieved with SI-CI combustion than with conventional HCCI combustion, as was planned.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Low Temperature Heat Release With Fuel Composition and HCCI Engine Combustion

Low temperature heat release (LTHR) in HCCI combustion changes according to fuel chemical composition and engine test conditions. In this study 11 pure hydrocarbon components were blended into 12 different model fuels to evaluate the effects of fuel composition on LTHR heating value, LTHR CA50 (crank angle at 50% completion of LTHR), high temperature heat release (HTHR), and engine performance. From the heat release analysis of the test data from a supercharged 4-cylinder engine, it was determined that the HTHR CA50 (crank angle at 50% completion of HTHR) was strongly indicative of combustion stability and maximum rate of pressure rise. Moreover, the functional dependence of HTHR CA50 on LTHR heating value and LTHR CA50 was quantified. Test fuels denoted MD05, Base, MC05 and MX05 were prepared by adding 5.2vol%, 9.3vol%, 15.0vol%, and 18.2vol% of n-hexane, respectively, to a blend of 10 pure hydrocarbons.
Technical Paper

A Study of a DISI Engine with a Centrally Located High-pressure Fuel Injector

Vehicle manufacturers developed two mixture formation concepts for the first generation of gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines. Both the wall-guided concept with reverse tumble air motion or swirl air motion and the air-guided concept with tumble air motion have the fuel injector located at the side of the combustion chamber between the two intake ports. This paper proposes a new GDI concept. It has the fuel injector located at almost the center of the combustion chamber and with the spark plug positioned nearby. An oval bowl is provided in the piston crown. The fuel spray is injected at high fuel pressures of up to 100 MPa. The spray creates strong air motion in the combustion chamber and reaches the piston bowl. The wall of the piston bowl changes the direction of the spray and air motion, producing an upward flow. The spray and air flow rise and reach the spark plug.
Technical Paper

A Study of Air-Fuel Mixture Formation in Direct-Injection SI Engines

An investigation was made into two approaches to air-fuel mixture formation in direct injection SI engines in which charge stratification is controlled by swirl or tumble gas motions, respectively. Particle image velocimetry (PIV), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and air-fuel ratio measurement by infrared absorption were used to analyze fuel transport from the fuel injector to the spark plug and the fuel vaporization process. The results obtained were then compared with measured data as to combustion stability. As a result, the reason why the effects of injection timing on combustion stability were different between the two approaches was made clear from the standpoint of the mixture formation process.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Fuel Properties on Low and High Temperature Heat Release and Resulting Performance of an HCCI Engine

A supercharged 4-cylinder engine was introduced to evaluate how fuel properties affect engine combustion and performance in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) operation. In this study, choosing from 12 hydrocarbon constituents, model fuels were mixed to have the same distillation but different octane numbers (RON=70, 80, 92). For each fuel, RON distribution against distillation is same to keep the same octane number in cylinder vapor during the air-fuel compression process. To confirm the appropriateness of model fuels and test procedures, regular gasoline (RON=90) was also included. From the combustion analysis it was clear that the low temperature heat release depends on fuel characteristics. RON92 fuel has a small low temperature heat release, and a high temperature heat release combusts slowly.
Technical Paper

Study of Antiknock Performance Under Various Octane Numbers and Compression Ratios in a DISI Engine

This paper presents a study of antiknock performance under various octane numbers and compression ratios in a direct injection spark ignition (DISI) gasoline engine. The relationship between the octane number and engine performance in the DISI engine-the engine torque and the break specific fuel consumption (BSFC)-was investigated in comparison with a multipoint injection (MPI) engine. Due to the improvement in the charging efficiency and the advance of the ignition timing by cooled aspiration, the engine torque of the DISI engine was improved over that of the MPI engine. It was also found that the octane number requirement (ONR) was reduced. In addition, the possibility of engine performance enhancement at high compression ratios was studied. At high compression ratios, the engine torque is reduced due to the heavy knocking when low octane gasoline is used. However, an improvement in the engine torque has been observed with high octane gasoline.
Technical Paper

Expansion of HCCI Operating Region by the Combination of Direct Fuel Injection, Negative Valve Overlap and Internal Fuel Reformation

A gasoline-fueled homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine with both direct fuel injection and negative valve overlap for exhaust gas retention was examined. The fuel was injected directly into the residual in-cylinder gas during the negative valve overlap interval for the purpose of reforming it by using the high temperature resulting from exhaust gas recompression. With this injection strategy, the HCCI combustion region was expanded dramatically without any increase in NOx emissions which were seen in the case of compression stroke injection. Injection timing during the negative valve overlap was found to be an important parameter that affects the HCCI region width. The injection timing also had the most suitable value in each engine load for the best fuel consumption. From this result, A new injection strategy in which only a portion of the fuel was injected during the negative valve overlap interval, while the rest of fuel was injected in intake stroke, was proposed.
Technical Paper

A Study on Gasoline Fueled Compression Ignition Engine ∼ A Trial of Operation Region Expansion ∼

A fundamental examination was made of gasoline-fueled homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion under various compression ratios, intake temperatures and intake gas compositions. The results revealed the basic combustion characteristics, and the ignition timing and combustion duration were found for every set of conditions. Suitable intake air temperatures were also determined for every operating condition. Internal residual gas was used to raise the mixture temperature in the cylinder. The region of maximum engine speed was expanded without heating the intake air. Minimum and maximum indicated mean effective pressures (IMEP) were found in several engine speed regions under several residual gas rates. Based on the results, a comprehensive interpretation is given of conventional HCCI combustion in 2- and 4-stroke gasoline engines.
Technical Paper

Characteristics of Mixture Formation in a Direct Injection SI Engine with Optimized In-Cylinder Swirl Air Motion

This paper presents a study of mixture formation in the combustion chamber of a direct-injection SI engine. In-cylinder flow measurement was conducted using laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and particle image velocimetry (PIV), and visualization of fuel vapor behavior was done using laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). Further, fast response flame ionization detector (FID) was used to measure the hydrocarbon (HC) concentrations in the vicinity of the spark plug. Thereby mixture concentrations in the vicinity of the spark plug, within the mixture distribution observed using LIF, were quantified. Results revealed that an upward flow forms near the center of the cylinder in the latter half of the compression stroke and goes from the piston crown toward the cylinder head. This upward flow is caused by the synergistic effect of the swirl motion generated in the cylinder and the cylindrical bowl provided in the piston crown eccentrically to the central axis of the cylinder.