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Technical Paper

Influence of the Wall Temperature and Combustion Chamber Geometry on the Performance and Emissions of a Mini HCCI Engine Fueled with Diethyl Ether

Nowadays for small-scale power generation there are electrochemical batteries and mini engines. Many efforts have been done for improving the power density of the batteries but unfortunately the value of 1 MJ/kg seems to be asymptotic. If the energy source is an organic fuel which has an energy density of around 29 MJ/kg with a minimum overall efficiency of only 3.5%, this device would surpass the batteries. This paper is the fifth of a series of publications aimed to study the HCCI combustion process in the milli domain at high engine speed in order to design and develop VIMPA, Vibrating Microengine for Low Power Generation and Microsystems Actuation. Previous studies ranged from general characterization of the HCCI combustion process by using metal and optical engines, to more specific topics for instance the influence of the boundary layer and quenching distance on the quality of the combustion.
Technical Paper

Combustion Chamber Wall Temperature Measurement and Modeling During Transient HCCI Operation

In this paper the combustion chamber wall temperature was measured by the use of thermographic phosphor. The temperature was monitored over a large time window covering a load transient. Wall temperature measurement provide helpful information in all engines. This temperature is for example needed when calculating heat losses to the walls. Most important is however the effect of the wall temperature on combustion. The walls can not heat up instantaneously and the slowly increasing wall temperature following a load transient will affect the combustion events sucseeding the transient. The HCCI combustion process is, due to its dependence on chemical kinetics more sensitive to wall temperature than Otto or Diesel engines. In depth knowledge about transient wall temperature could increase the understanding of transient HCCI control. A “black box” state space model was derived which is useful when predicting transient wall temperature.
Technical Paper

A Novel Model for Computing the Trapping Efficiency and Residual Gas Fraction Validated with an Innovative Technique for Measuring the Trapping Efficiency

The paper describes a novel method for calculating the residual gas fraction and the trapping efficiency in a 2 stroke engine. Assuming one dimensional compressible flow through the inlet and exhaust ports, the method estimates the instantaneous mass flowing in and out from the combustion chamber; later the residual gas fraction and trapping efficiency are estimated combining together the perfect displacement and perfect mixing scavenging models. It is assumed that when the intake port opens, the fresh mixture is pushing out the burned charge without any mixing and after a multiple of the time needed for the largest eddy to perform one rotation, the two gasses are instantly mixed up together and expelled. The result is a very simple algorithm that does not require much computational time and is able to estimate with high level of precision the trapping efficiency and the residual gas fraction in 2 stroke engines.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Displacement on Air-Diluted Multi-Cylinder HCCI Engine Performance

The main benefit of HCCI engines compared to SI engines is improved fuel economy. The drawback is the diluted combustion with a substantially smaller operating range if not some kind of supercharging is used. The reasons for the higher brake efficiency in HCCI engines can be summarized in lower pumping losses and higher thermodynamic efficiency, due to higher compression ratio and higher ratio of specific heats if air is used as dilution. In the low load operating range, where HCCI today is mainly used, other parameters as friction losses, and cooling losses have a large impact on the achieved brake efficiency. To initiate the auto ignition of the in-cylinder charge a certain temperature and pressure have to be reached for a specific fuel. In an engine with high in-cylinder cooling losses the initial charge temperature before compression has to be higher than on an engine with less heat transfer.
Technical Paper

Lean Burn Natural Gas Operation vs. Stoichiometric Operation with EGR and a Three Way Catalyst

Exhaust Emissions from lean burn natural gas engines may not always be as low as the potential permits, especially engines with open loop lambda control. These engines can produce much higher emissions than a comparable diesel engine without exhaust gas after treatment. Even if the engine has closed loop lambda control, emissions are often unacceptably high for future emission regulations. A three way catalyst is, today, the best way to reduce hazardous emissions. The drawback is that the engine has to operate with a stoichiometric mixture and this leads to; higher heat losses, higher pumping work at low to medium loads, higher thermal stress on the engine and higher knock tendency (requiring lower compression ratio, and thus lower brake efficiency). One way to reduce these drawbacks is to dilute the stoichiometric mixture with EGR. This paper compares lean burn operation with operation at stoichiometric conditions diluted with EGR, and using a three way catalyst.
Technical Paper

The Potential of Using the Ion-Current Signal for Optimizing Engine Stability - Comparisons of Lean and EGR (Stoichiometric) Operation

Ion current measurements can give information useful for controlling the combustion stability in a multi-cylinder engine. Operation near the dilution limit (air or EGR) can be achieved and it can be optimized individually for the cylinders, resulting in a system with better engine stability for highly diluted mixtures. This method will also compensate for engine wear, e.g. changes in volumetric efficiency and fuel injector characteristics. Especially in a port injected engine, changes in fuel injector characteristics can lead to increased emissions and deteriorated engine performance when operating with a closed-loop lambda control system. One problem using the ion-current signal to control engine stability near the lean limit is the weak signal resulting in low signal to noise ratio. Measurements presented in this paper were made on a turbocharged 9.6 liter six cylinder natural gas engine with port injection.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Addition For Improved Lean Burn Capability of Slow and Fast Burning Natural Gas Combustion Chambers

One way to extend the lean burn limit of a natural gas engine is by addition of hydrogen to the primary fuel. This paper presents measurements made on a one cylinder 1.6 liter natural gas engine. Two combustion chambers, one slow and one fast burning, were tested with various amounts of hydrogen (0, 5, 10 and 15 %-vol) added to natural gas. Three operating points were investigated for each combustion chamber and each hydrogen content level; idle, part load (5 bar IMEP) and 13 bar IMEP (simulated turbocharging). Air/fuel ratio was varied between stoichiometric and the lean limit. For each operating point, a range of ignition timings were tested to find maximum brake torque (MBT) and/or knock. Heat-release rate calculations were made in order to assess the influence of hydrogen addition on burn rate. Addition of hydrogen showed an increase in burn rate for both combustion chambers, resulting in more stable combustion close to the lean limit.
Technical Paper

The Application of Ceramic and Catalytic Coatings to Reduce the Unburned Hydrocarbon Emissions from a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engine

An experimental and theoretical study of the effect of thermal barriers and catalytic coatings in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine has been conducted. The main intent of the study was to investigate if a thermal barrier or catalytic coating of the wall would support the oxidation of the near-wall unburned hydrocarbons. In addition, the effect of these coatings on thermal efficiency due to changed heat transfer characteristics was investigated. The experimental setup was based on a partially coated combustion chamber. The upper part of the cylinder liner, the piston top including the top land, the valves and the cylinder head were all coated. As a thermal barrier, a coating based on plasma-sprayed Al2O3 was used. The catalytic coating was based on plasma-sprayed ZrO2 doped with Platinum. The two coatings tested were of varying thickness' of 0.15, 0.25 and 0.6 mm. The compression ratio was set to 16.75:1.
Technical Paper

A Study of the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Combustion Process by Chemiluminescence Imaging

An experimental study of the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion process has been conducted by using chemiluminescence imaging. The major intent was to characterize the flame structure and its transient behavior. To achieve this, time resolved images of the naturally emitted light were taken. Emitted light was studied by recording its spectral content and applying different filters to isolate species like OH and CH. Imaging was enabled by a truck-sized engine modified for optical access. An intensified digital camera was used for the imaging. Some imaging was done using a streak-camera, capable of taking eight arbitrarily spaced pictures during a single cycle, thus visualizing the progress of the combustion process. All imaging was done with similar operating conditions and a mixture of n-heptane and iso-octane was used as fuel. Some 20 crank angles before Top Dead Center (TDC), cool flames were found to exist.
Technical Paper

Cylinder to Cylinder and Cycle to Cycle Variations in a Six Cylinder Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

The cylinder to cylinder and cycle to cycle variations were measured in a production type Volvo natural gas engine. Cylinder pressure was measured in all six cylinders. Emission measurements were performed individually after all cylinders, and commonly after the turbocharger. Measurements (ECE R49 13-mode) were performed with different spark gap and two different locations for fuel injection, one before the throttle and one before the turbocharger. Heat-release and lambda calculations show substantial cylinder to cylinder variations, due to lambda variations between the cylinders. The slow burn combustion chamber, with low turbulence, results in high cycle to cycle variations (> 100% COV imep) for some of the load cases.
Technical Paper

Combustion Chambers for Supercharged Natural Gas Engines

This work is a continuation of earlier research conducted on the effects of different combustion chambers on turbulence, combustion, emissions and efficiency for natural gas converted diesel bus engines. In this second measurement series the engine (Volvo TD102) was supercharged to enable bmep up to 18 bar at λ = 1.6-1.9. Six different combustion chambers were used. The results show that different geometrical combustion chambers, with the same compression ratio (12:1), have very different combustion performance. A high rate of heat release is favorable for lean operation, and the design of the combustion chamber is very important for the knock and misfire limits.
Technical Paper

Combustion Chambers for Natural Gas SI Engines Part I: Fluid Flow and Combustion

The most economical way to convert truck and bus DI-diesel engines to natural gas operation is to replace the injector with a spark plug and modify the combustion chamber in the piston crown for spark ignition operation. The modification of the piston crown should give a geometry well suited for spark ignition operation with the original swirling inlet port. Ten different geometries were tried on a converted VOLVO TD102 engine and a remarkably large difference in the rate of combustion was noted between the chambers. To find an explanation for this difference a cycle resolved measurement of the in-cylinder mean velocity and turbulence was performed with Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV). The results show a high correlation between in cylinder turbulence and rate of heat release in the main part of combustion.
Technical Paper

Combustion Chambers for Natural Gas SI Engines Part 2: Combustion and Emissions

The objective of this paper is to investigate how the combustion chamber design will influence combustion parameters and emissions in a natural gas SI engine. Ten different geometries were tried on a converted Volvo TD102 engine. For the different combustion chambers emissions and the pressure in the cylinder have been measured. The pressure in the cylinder was then used in a one-zone heat-release model to get different combustion parameters. The engine was operated unthrottled at 1200 rpm with different values of air/fuel ratio and EGR. The air/fuel ratio was varied from stoichiometric to lean limit. EGR values from 0 to 30% at stoichiometric air/fuel ratio were used. The results show a remarkably large difference in the rate of combustion between the chambers. The cycle-to-cycle variations are fairly independent of combustion chamber design as long as there is some squish area and the air and the natural gas are well mixed.
Technical Paper

Investigations of the Influence of Mixture Preparation on Cyclic Variations in a SI-Engine, Using Laser Induced Fluorescence

To study the effect of different injection timings on the charge inhomogeneity, planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) was applied to an operating engine. Quantitative images of the fuel distribution within the engine were obtained. Since the fuel used, iso-octane, does not fluoresce, a dopant was required. Three-pentanone was found to have vapour pressure characteristics similar to those of iso-octane as well as low absorption and suitable spectral properties. A worst case estimation of the total accuracy from the PLIF images gives a maximum error of 0.03 in equivalence ratio. The results show that an early injection timing gives a higher degree of charge inhomogeneity close to the spark plug. It is also shown that charge inhomogeneity gives a more unstable engine operation. A correlation was noted between the combustion on a cycle to cycle basis and the average fuel concentration within a circular area close to the spark plug center.
Technical Paper

Scavenging Flow Velocity in Small Two-Strokes at High Engine Speed

2D-LDV-measurements were made on the flow from one transfer channel into the cylinder in a small two-stroke SI engine. The LDV measuring volume was located just outside the transfer port. The engine was a carburetted piston-ported crankcase compression chainsaw engine and it was run with wide open throttle at 9000 RPM. The muffler was removed to enable access into the cylinder. No additional seeding was used; the fuel and/or oil was not entirely vaporized as it entered the cylinder. Very high velocities (-275 m/s) were detected in the beginning of the scavenging phase. The horizontal velocity was, during the whole scavenging phase, higher than the vertical.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Valve Strategy on In-Cylinder Flow and Combustion

This study is focused on the effect of different valve strategies on the in-cylinder flow and combustion A conventional four-valve pentroof engine was modified to enable optical access to the combustion chamber To get information on the flow, a two-component LDV system was applied The combustion was monitored by the use of cylinder pressure in a one-zone heat release model The results show that the flow in the cylinder with the valves operating in the standard configuration has an expected tumble characteristic In this case the high frequency turbulence is homogeneous and has a peak approximately 20 CAD BTDC With one valve deactivated, the flow shows a swirling pattern The turbulence is then less homogeneous but the level of turbulence is increased When the single inlet valve was phased late against the crankshaft dramatic effects on the flow resulted The late inlet valve opening introduced a low cylinder pressure before the valve opened The high pressure difference across the valve introduced a high-velocity jet into the cylinder Turbulence was increased by a factor of two by this operational mode When two inlet valves were used, a reduction of turbulence resulted from a very late inlet cam phase
Technical Paper

The Effect of Transfer Port Geometry on Scavenge Flow Velocities at High Engine Speed

2-D LDV measurements were performed on two different cylinder designs in a fired two-stroke engine running with wide-open throttle at 9000 rpm. The cylinders examined were one with open transfer channels and one with cup handle transfer channels. Optical access to the cylinder was achieved by removing the silencer and thereby gain optical access through the exhaust port. No addition of seeding was made, since the fuel droplets were not entirely vaporized as they entered the cylinder and thus served as seeding. Results show that the loop-scavenging effect was poor with open transfer channels, but clearly detectable with cup handle channels. The RMS-value, “turbulence”, was low close to the transfer ports in both cylinders, but increased rapidly in the middle of the cylinder. The seeding density was used to obtain information about the fuel concentration in the cylinder during scavenging.