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Technical Paper

Infrared Borescopic Evaluation of High-Energy and Long-Duration Ignition Systems for Lean/Dilute Combustion in Heavy-Duty Natural-Gas Engines

Natural gas (NG) is attractive for heavy-duty (HD) engines for reasons of cost stability, emissions, and fuel security. NG cannot be reliably compression-ignited, but conventional gasoline ignition systems are not optimized for NG and are challenged to ignite mixtures that are lean or diluted with exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR). NG ignition is particularly challenging in large-bore engines, where completing combustion in the available time is more difficult. Using two high-speed infrared (IR) cameras with borescopic access to one cylinder of an HD NG engine, the effect of ignition system on the early flame-kernel development and cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) was investigated. Imaging in the IR yielded strong signals from water emission lines, which located the flame front and burned-gas regions and obviated image intensifiers. A 9.7-liter, six-cylinder engine was modified to enable exhaust-gas recirculation and to provide optical access.
Journal Article

Control Strategies for Power Quantized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Hybrid Powertrains: In Mobile Robot Applications

This paper addresses scheduling of quantized power levels (including part load operation and startup/shutdown periods) for a propane powered solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) hybridized with a lithium-ion battery for a tracked mobile robot. The military requires silent operation and long duration missions, which cannot be met by batteries alone due to low energy density or with combustion engines due to noise. To meet this need we consider an SOFC operated at a few discrete power levels where maximum system efficiency can be achieved. The fuel efficiency decreases during transients and resulting thermal gradients lead to stress and degradation of the stack; therefore switching power levels should be minimized. Excess generated energy is used to charge the battery, but when it’s fully charged the SOFC should be turned off to conserve fuel.
Journal Article

Powerpack Optimal Design Methodology with Embedded Configuration Benchmarking

Design of military vehicle needs to meet often conflicting requirements such as high mobility, excellent fuel efficiency and survivability, with acceptable cost. In order to reduce the development cost, time and associated risk, as many of the design questions as possible need to be addressed with advanced simulation tools. This paper describes a methodology to design a fuel efficient powerpack unit for a series hybrid electric military vehicle, with emphasis on the e-machine design. The proposed methodology builds on previously published Finite element based analysis to capture basic design features of the generator with three variables, and couples it with a model reduction technique to rapidly re-design the generator with desired fidelity. The generator is mated to an off the shelf engine to form a powerpack, which is subsequently evaluated over a representative military drive cycles.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of a Series Hydraulic Hybrid Propulsion System for a Light Truck

The global energy situation, the dependence of the transportation sector on fossil fuels, and a need for rapid response to the global warming challenge, provide a strong impetus for development of fuel efficient vehicle propulsion. The task is particularly challenging in the case of trucks due to severe weight/size constraints. Hybridization is the only approach offering significant breakthroughs in near and mid-term. In particular, the series configuration decouples the engine from the wheels and allows full flexibility in controlling the engine operation, while the hydraulic energy conversion and storage provides exceptional power density and efficiency. The challenge stems from a relatively low energy density of the hydraulic accumulator, and this provides part of the motivation for a simulation-based approach to development of the system power management. The vehicle is based on the HMMWV platform, a 4×4 off-road truck weighing 5112 kg.
Technical Paper

A Dual-Use Enterprise Context for Vehicle Design and Technology Valuation

Developing a new technology requires decision-makers to understand the technology's implications on an organization's objectives, which depend on user needs targeted by the technology. If these needs are common between two organizations, collaboration could result in more efficient technology development. For hybrid truck design, both commercial manufacturers and the military have similar performance needs. As the new technology penetrates the truck market, the commercial enterprise must quantify how the hybrid's superior fuel efficiency will impact consumer purchasing and, thus, future enterprise profits. The Army is also interested in hybrid technology as it continues its transformation to a more fuel-efficient force. Despite having different objectives, maximizing profit and battlefield performance, respectively, the commercial enterprise and Army can take advantage of their mutual needs.
Technical Paper

Energy and Entropy in Airbag Deployment: The Effect on an Out-Of-Position Occupant

Deployment of an airbag or charging of a tank by an inflator-canister system is a highly dynamic process. Quantification of energy storage, energy flux, work done, flow rates, thermodynamic properties, and energy conservation are essential to describe the deployment process. The concepts of available work and entropy production are presented as useful parameters when evaluating airbag aggressivity from tank test results for different types of inflators. This paper presents a computational methodology to simulate a pyro- and a hybrid-inflator-canister-airbag system to predict the force pattern that could occur on an out-of-position occupant when the airbag deploys. Comparisons with experimental data have been made in all cases where data were available. These include driver-, passenger-, and side-airbag designs.
Technical Paper

Fuel Economy and Power Benefits of Cetane-Improved Fuels in Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines

A program to explore the effects of natural and additive-derived cetane on various aspects of diesel performance and combustion has been carried out. Procedures have been developed to measure diesel engine fuel consumption and power to a high degree of precision. These methods have been used to measure fuel consumption and power in three heavy-duty direct-injection diesel engines. The fuel matrix consisted of three commercial fuels of cetane number (CN) of 40-42, the same fuels raised to CN 48-50 with a cetane improver additive, and three commercial fuels of base CN 47-50. The engines came from three different U.S. manufacturers and were of three different model years and emissions configurations. Both fuel economy and power were found to be significantly higher for the cetane-improved fuels than for the naturally high cetane fuels. These performance advantages derive mainly from the higher volumetric heat content inherent to the cetane-improved fuels.