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Technical Paper

A computational study of hydrogen direct injection using a pre-chamber in an opposed-piston engine

2024-07-02
2024-01-3010
Opposed-piston two-stroke engines offer numerous advantages over conventional four-stroke engines, both in terms of fundamental principles and technical aspects. The reduced heat losses and large volume-to-surface area ratio inherently result in a high thermodynamic efficiency. Additionally, the mechanical design is simpler and requires fewer components compared to conventional four-stroke engines. When combining this engine concept with alternative fuels such as hydrogen and pre-chamber technology, a potential route for carbon-neutral powertrains is observed. To ensure safe engine operation using hydrogen as fuel, it is crucial to consider strict safety measures to prevent issues such as knock, pre-ignition, and backfiring. One potential solution to these challenges is the use of direct injection, which has the potential to improve engine efficiency and expand the range of load operation.
Technical Paper

Measurements in the Recirculation Path of a Fuel Cell System and Extension to Gas Analysis of the Anode Gas Mixture

2024-07-02
2024-01-3009
When using "green" hydrogen, fuel cell technology plays a key role in emission-free mobility. A powertrain based on fuel cells (FC) shows its advantages over battery-electric powertrains when the requirement profile primarily demands high performance over a longer period of time, high flexible availability and short refueling times. In addition, FC achieves higher effi-ciencies than the combustion of hydrogen in a gas engine, meaning that the chemical energy is used more efficiently than with established combustion engines. When using FC technology, numerous companies in Baden-Württemberg can contribute their specific expertise from the traditional automotive construction and supplier business. This includes auxiliary units in the air (cathode) and hydrogen (anode) path, such as the air com-pressor, the H2 recycling pump, humidifier, cooling system, power electronics, valve and pressure tank technology as well as components of the fuel cell stack itself.
Technical Paper

Effect of Dithering on post-catalyst exhaust gas composition and on short time regeneration of deactivated PdO/Al2O3 catalysts under real engine conditions

2024-06-12
2024-37-0002
Fossil fuels such as natural gas used in engines still play the most important role worldwide despite such measures as the German energy transition which however is also exacerbating climate change as a result of carbon dioxide emissions. One way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions is the choice of energy sources and with it a more favourable chemical composition. Natural gas, for instance, which consist mainly of methane, has the highest hydrogen to carbon ratio of all hydrocarbons, which means that carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by up to 35% when replacing diesel with natural gas. Although natural gas engines show an overall low CO2 and pollutant emissions level, methane slip due to incomplete combustion occurs, causing methane emissions with a more than 20 higher global warming potential than CO2.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of Lignin Fuels for CI Engines

2024-06-12
2024-37-0022
This study explores the feasibility of using a sustainable lignin-based fuel, consisting of 44 % lignin, 50 % ethanol, and 6 % water, in conventional compression ignition (CI) marine engines. Through experimental evaluations on a modified small-bore CI engine, we identified the primary challenges associated with lignin-based fuel, including engine startup and shutdown issues due to solvent evaporation and lignin solidification inside the fuel system, and deposit formation on cylinder walls leading to piston ring seizure. To address these issues, we developed a fuel switching system transitioning from lignin-based fuel to cleaning fuel with 85 vol% of acetone, 10 vol% of water and 5 vol% of ignition improving additive, effectively preventing system clogs.
Technical Paper

Advanced H2 ICE development aiming for full compatibility with classical engines while ensuring zero-impact tailpipe emissions

2024-06-12
2024-37-0006
The societies around the world remain far from meeting the agreed primary goal outlined under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to keep global average temperature rise to well below 20°C by 2100 and making every effort to stay underneath of a 1.5°C elevation. Current emissions are rebounding from a brief decline during the economic downturn related to the Covid-19 pandemic. To get back on track to support the realization of the goal of the Paris Agreement, research suggests that GHG emissions should be roughly halved by 2030 on a trajectory to reach net zero by around mid-century.2 Although these are averaged global targets, every sector and country or market can and must contribute, especially higher-income and more developed countries bear the greater capacity to act. In 2020 direct tailpipe emissions from transport represented around 8 GtC02e, or nearly 15% of total emissions.
Technical Paper

Guided Port Injection of Hydrogen as An Approach for Reducing Cylinder-To-Cylinder Deviations in Spark-Ignited H2 Engines – A Numerical Investigation

2024-06-12
2024-37-0008
The reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and ever stricter regulations on pollutant emissions in the transport sector require research and development of new, climate-friendly propulsion concepts. The use of renewable hydrogen as a fuel for internal combustion engines promises to provide a good solution especially for commercial vehicles. For optimum efficiency of the combustion process, hydrogen-specific engine components are required, which need to be tested on the test bench and analysed in simulation studies. This paper deals with the simulation-based investigation and optimisation of fuel injection in a 6-cylinder PFI commercial vehicle engine, which has been modified for hydrogen operation starting from a natural gas engine concept.
Technical Paper

Development of a Hybrid-Electric Medium-HD Demonstrator Vehicle with a Pent-Roof SI Natural Gas Engine

2024-06-12
2024-37-0026
In response to global climate change, there is a widespread push to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector. For the difficult to decarbonize heavy-duty (HD) vehicle sector, lower carbon intensity fuels can offer a low-cost, near-term solution for CO2 reduction. The use of natural gas can provide such an alternative for HD vehicles while the increasing availability of renewable natural gas affords the opportunity for much deeper reductions in net-CO2 emissions. With this in consideration, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory launched the Natural Gas Vehicle Research and Development Project to stimulate advancements in technology and availability of natural gas vehicles. As part of this program, Southwest Research Institute developed a hybrid-electric medium-HD vehicle (class 6) to demonstrate a substantial CO2 reduction over the baseline diesel vehicle and ultra-low NOx emissions.
Technical Paper

Ducted Fuel Injection: Confirmed Re-entrainment Hypothesis

2024-04-09
2024-01-2885
Testing of ducted fuel injection (DFI) in a single-cylinder engine with production-like hardware previously showed that adding a duct structure increased soot emissions at the full load, rated speed operating point [1]. The authors hypothesized that the DFI flame, which travels faster than a conventional diesel combustion (CDC) flame, and has a shorter distance to travel, was being re-entrained into the on-going fuel injection around the lift-off length (LOL), thus reducing air entrainment into the on-going injection. The engine operating condition and the engine combustion chamber geometry were duplicated in a constant pressure vessel. The experimental setup used a 3D piston section combined with a glass fire deck allowing for a comparison between a CDC flame and a DFI flame via high-speed imaging. CH* imaging of the 3D piston profile view clearly confirmed the re-entrainment hypothesis presented in the previous engine work.
Technical Paper

Improving the Performance of Diesel Engines by Bore Profile Control under Operating Conditions

2024-04-09
2024-01-2832
The cylinder bore in an engine block is deformed under the assembling stress of the cylinder head and thermal stress. This distortion exacerbates the piston skirt friction and piston slap. Through a numerical and experimental study, this article analyzes the effect of an optimized bore profile on the engine performance. The piston skirt friction was estimated in a three-dimensional elastohydrodynamic (EHD) friction analysis. An ideal cylindrical bore under the rated load condition was assumed as the optimal bore profile that minimized the piston skirt friction without compromising the piston slap. The simulation study revealed that secondary motion of the piston immediately after firing the top dead center can be mitigated by narrowing the piston–bore clearance at the upper position of the cylinder.
Technical Paper

Enhanced Longitudinal Vehicle Speed Control for an Autonomous Gas-Engine Vehicle: Improving Performance and Efficiency

2024-04-09
2024-01-2059
A linear parameter-varying model predictive control (LPVMPC) is proposed to enhance the longitudinal vehicle speed control of a gas-engine vehicle, with potential application in autonomous vehicles. To achieve this objective, an advanced vehicle dynamic model and a sophisticated fuel consumption model are derived, forming a control-oriented model for the proposed control system. The vehicle dynamic model accurately captures the motions of the tires and the vehicle body. The fuel consumption model incorporates new powertrain modes such as automatic engine stop/start, active fuel management, and deceleration fuel cut-off, etc. The performance of the proposed LPV-MPC is evaluated by comparing it to a PID controller. Both simulation tests and vehicle-in-the-loop tests demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed controller. The results indicate that the LPV-MPC provides improved longitudinal vehicle speed control and reduced fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

Validation of a Two-Parameter Controlled Novel Tribometer for Analysing Durability of Piston Ring-Engine Cylinder Tribo-Pair

2024-04-09
2024-01-2067
The wear of the piston ring-cylinder liner system in gasoline engines is inevitable and significantly impacts fuel economy. Utilizing a custom-built linear reciprocating tribometer, this study assesses the wear resistance of newly developed engine cylinder coatings. The custom device offers a cost-effective means for tribological evaluation, optimizing coating process parameters with precise control over critical operational factors such as normal load and sliding frequency. Unlike conventional commercial tribometers, it ensures a more accurate simulation of the engine cylinder system. However, existing research lacks a comprehensive comparative analysis and procedure to establish precision limits for such modified devices. This study evaluates the custom tribometer's repeatability compared to a commercial wear-testing instrument, confirming its potential as a valuable tool for advanced wear testing on engine cylinder samples.
Technical Paper

Effects of Spark Plug Operating Conditions on Electrode Erosion and Surface Deformation

2024-04-09
2024-01-2100
An experimental study of the spark ignition process for SI engines was conducted to study spark plug erosion and the effect of breakdown voltage/energy on electrode surface deformation. The experiments were conducted outside of an engine, in both a pressurized constant volume optical chamber and in a high-pressure vessel heated within a furnace with gas temperatures as high as 730°C. J-gap spark plugs designed for natural gas engines were studied at elevated temperature and under a range of pressures to investigate electrode wear characteristics. Both iridium-alloy and platinum-alloy cathode (center electrode) and anode (ground strap) spark plugs were investigated. In addition, single spark events were performed on polished platinum cathode surfaces to allow the visualization of craters from individual spark events in order to quantify how their size and shape were affected by energy deposition and breakdown characteristics.
Technical Paper

A Three-Way Catalyst Model for a Bio-Methane Heavy-Duty Engine: Characterization at Different Lambda

2024-04-09
2024-01-2084
Given the spread of natural gas engines in low-term toward decarbonization and the growing interest in gaseous mixtures as well as the use of hydrogen in Heavy-Duty (HD) engines, appropriate strategies are needed to maximize thermal efficiency and achieve near-zero emissions from these propulsor systems. In this context, some phenomena related to real-world driving operations, such as engine cut-off or misfire, can lead to inadequate control of the Air-to-Fuel ratio, key factor for Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) efficiency. Goal of the present research activity is to investigate the performance of a bio-methane-fueled HD engine and its Aftertreatment System (ATS), consisting of a Three-Way Catalyst, at different Air-to-Fuel ratio. An experimental test bench characterization, in different operating conditions of the engine workplan, was carried out to evaluate the catalyst reactivity to a defined pattern of the Air-to-Fuel ratio.
Technical Paper

Downsizing a Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Engine by Scaling the Air Handling System and Leveraging Phenomenological Combustion Model

2024-04-09
2024-01-2114
A potential route to reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty trucks is to combine low-carbon fuels and a hybrid-electric powertrain to maximize overall efficiency. A hybrid electric powertrain can reduce the peak power required from the internal combustion engine, leading to opportunities to reduce the engine size but still meet vehicle performance requirements. Although engine downsizing in the light-duty sector can offer significant fuel economy savings mainly due to increased part-load efficiency, its benefits and downsides in heavy-duty engines are less clear. As there has been limited published research in this area to date, there is a lack of a standardized engine downsizing procedure.
Technical Paper

Combustion Chamber Development for Flat Firedeck Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Engines

2024-04-09
2024-01-2115
The widely accepted best practice for spark-ignition combustion is the four-valve pent-roof chamber using a central sparkplug and incorporating tumble flow during the intake event. The bulk tumble flow readily breaks up during the compression stroke to fine-scale turbulent kinetic energy desired for rapid, robust combustion. The natural gas engines used in medium- and heavy-truck applications would benefit from a similar, high-tumble pent-roof combustion chamber. However, these engines are invariably derived from their higher-volume diesel counterparts, and the production volumes are insufficient to justify the amount of modification required to incorporate a pent-roof system. The objective of this multi-dimensional computational study was to develop a combustion chamber addressing the objectives of a pent-roof chamber while maintaining the flat firedeck and vertical valve orientation of the diesel engine.
Technical Paper

Effect of In-Cylinder Flow Motion on Fuel-Air Mixture Formation in a Medium-Duty DI-SI H2 Engine: An Experimentally Supported CFD Study

2024-04-09
2024-01-2117
The increased utilization of batteries and fuel-cells for powering electric applications, as well as bio- and e-fuels into internal combustion engines are seen as options to lower the carbon footprint of industry and transportation sectors. When high power outputs and fast refueling are requisites, H2 ICEs may be a relevant choice. Applications include electricity conversion within a genset or mechanical energy in a vehicle. Within this framework, a John Deere 4045 Diesel engine converted to a H2 single-cylinder is studied at relevant operating conditions for the mentioned use cases, which pose high torque and power output requirements. The modified engine integrates a Phinia DI-CHG 10 outward-opening H2 injector instead of the Diesel unit, as well as a spark-plug rather than the glow-plug.
Technical Paper

Combustion Analysis of Hydrogen-DDF Mode Based on OH* Chemiluminescence Images

2024-04-09
2024-01-2367
Hydrogen–diesel dual-fuel combustion processes were visualized using an optically accessible rapid compression and expansion machine (RCEM). A hydrogen-air mixture was introduced into the combustion chamber, and a pilot injection of diesel fuel was used as the ignition source. A small amount of diesel fuel was injected as the pilot fuel at injection pressures of 40, 80, and 120 MPa using a common rail injection system. The injection amounts of diesel fuel were varied as 3, 6, and 13 mm3. The amount of hydrogen was manipulated by varying the total excess air ratio (λtotal) at 3 and 4. The RCEM was operated at a constant speed of 900 rpm, and the in-cylinder pressure and temperature at the top dead center (TDC) were set as 5 MPa and 700 K, respectively. The combustion processes were visualized via direct photography and hydroxyl (OH*) chemiluminescence photography using a high-speed camera and an image intensifier.
Technical Paper

Elucidation of Deteriorating Oil Consumption Mechanism Due to Piston Top Ring Groove Wear

2024-04-09
2024-01-2269
The piston and piston ring are used in a severe contact environment in engine durability tests, which causes severe wear to the piston ring groove, leading to significant development costs for countermeasures. Conventionally, in order to ensure functional feasibility through wear on the piston top ring groove (hereinafter “ring groove”), only functional evaluations through actual engine durability testing were performed, and there was an issue in determining the limit value for the actual amount of wear itself. Because of this, the mechanism that may cause wear on the ring groove was clarified through past research, but this resulted in judgment criteria with some leeway from the perspective of functional assurance. To establish judgment criteria, it was necessary to understand both functional effect from ring groove wear and the mechanism behind it.
Technical Paper

Optimization of the IC Engine Piston Skirt Design Via Neural Network Surrogate and Genetic Algorithms

2024-04-09
2024-01-2603
Internal combustion (IC) engines still power most of the vehicles on road and will likely to remain so in the near future, especially for heavy duty applications in which electrification is typically more challenging. Therefore, continued improvements on IC engines in terms of efficiency and longevity are necessary for a more sustainable transportation sector. Two important design objectives for heavy duty engines with wet liners are to reduce friction loss and to lower the risks of cavitation damages, both of which can be greatly influenced by the piston-liner clearance and the design of the piston skirt. However, engine design optimization is difficult due to the nonlinear interactions between the key design variables and the design objectives, as well as the multi-physics and multi-scale nature of the mechanisms that are relevant to the design objectives.
Technical Paper

Investigation on Fuel Economy Benefits by Lubrication System Optimization for a High Performance 2.2 L Diesel Engine

2024-04-09
2024-01-2415
Lubrication systems play a major role not only in the durability of modern IC engines but also in performance and emissions. The design of the lubrication system influences the brake thermal efficiency of the engine. Also, efficient lubrication reduces the engine's CO2 emissions significantly. Thus, it is critical for an IC engine to have a well-designed lubrication system that performs efficiently at all engine operating conditions. The conventional lubrication system has a fixed-displacement oil pump that can cater to a particular speed range. However, a fully variable displacement oil pump can cater to a wide range of speeds, thereby enhancing the engine fuel efficiency as the oil flow rates can be controlled precisely based on the engine speed and load conditions. This paper primarily discusses the optimization of a lubrication system with a Variable Displacement Oil Pump (VDOP) and a map-controlled Piston Cooling Jet (PCJ) for a passenger car diesel engine.
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