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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

Influence of the Compression Ratio on the Performance and Emissions of a Mini HCCI Engine Fueled Ether with Diethyl

Power supply systems play a very important role in applications of everyday life. Mainly, for low power generation, there are two ways of producing energy: electrochemical batteries and small engines. In the last few years many improvements have been carried out in order to obtain lighter batteries with longer duration but unfortunately the energy density of 1 MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. If the energy source is an organic fuel with an energy density of around 29 MJ/kg and a minimum overall efficiency of only 3.5%, this device can surpass the batteries. Nowadays the most efficient combustion process is HCCI combustion which is able to combine high energy conversion efficiency and low emission levels with a very low fuel consumption. In this paper, an investigation has been carried out concerning the effects of the compression ratio on the performance and emissions of a mini, Vd = 4.11 [cm3], HCCI engine fueled with diethyl ether.
Technical Paper

Mini High Speed HCCI Engine Fueled with Ether: Load Range, Emission Characteristics and Optical Analysis

Power supply systems play a very important role in everyday life applications. There are mainly two ways of producing energy for low power generation: electrochemical batteries and small engines. In the last few years, many improvements have been carried out in order to obtain lighter batteries with longer durations but unfortunately the energy density of 1 MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. An energy source constituted of an organic fuel with an energy density around 29 MJ/kg and a minimum overall efficiency of only 3.5% could surpass batteries. Nowadays, the most efficient combustion process is HCCI combustion which has the ability to combine a high energy conversion efficiency with low emission levels and a very low fuel consumption. The present paper describes an investigation carried out on a modified model airplane engine, on how a pure HCCI combustion behaves in a small volume, Vd = 4.11 cm3, at very high engine speeds (up to 17,500 [rpm]).
Technical Paper

Influence of Inlet Temperature and Hot Residual Gases on the Performances of a Mini High Speed Glow Plug Engine

Nowadays the power supplying systems have a fundamental importance for all small and portable devices. For low power applications, there are two main ways for producing power: electrochemical batteries and mini engines. Even though in recent years many developments have been carried out in improving the design of batteries, the energy density of 1MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. If the energy source is a hydrocarbon fuel, whose energy density is 46 MJ/kg, with an overall efficiency of only 2.5 % it is possible to surpass the electrochemical batteries. On the other hand, having a mini engine, as energy source, implies three main problems: vibrations, noise and emissions. A light (230 g) model airplane engine with a displacement volume of 4.11 cm3 and a geometrical compression ratio of 13.91 has been studied. The work carried out in this paper can be divided basically in three parts.
Technical Paper

Fuel Injection and Mean Swirl Effects on Combustion and Soot Formation in Heavy Duty Diesel Engines

High-speed video imaging in a swirl-supported (Rs = 1.7), direct-injection heavy-duty diesel engine operated with moderate-to-high EGR rates reveals a distinct correlation between the spatial distribution of luminous soot and mean flow vorticity in the horizontal plane. The temporal behavior of the experimental images, as well as the results of multi-dimensional numerical simulations, show that this soot-vorticity correlation is caused by the presence of a greater amount of soot on the windward side of the jet. The simulations indicate that while flow swirl can influence pre-ignition mixing processes as well as post-combustion soot oxidation processes, interactions between the swirl and the heat release can also influence mixing processes. Without swirl, combustion-generated gas flows influence mixing on both sides of the jet equally. In the presence of swirl, the heat release occurs on the leeward side of the fuel sprays.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Glow Plug Ignition Engine by Chemiluminescence Images

An experimental study of a glow plug engine combustion process has been performed by applying chemiluminescence imaging. The major intent was to understand what kind of combustion is present in a glow plug engine and how the combustion process behaves in a small volume and at high engine speed. To achieve this, images of natural emitted light were taken and filters were applied for isolating the formaldehyde and hydroxyl species. Images were taken in a model airplane engine, 4.11 cm3, modified for optical access. The pictures were acquired using a high speed camera capable of taking one photo every second or fourth crank angle degree, and consequently visualizing the progress of the combustion process. The images were taken with the same operating condition at two different engine speeds: 9600 and 13400 rpm. A mixture of 65% methanol, 20% nitromethane and 15% lubricant was used as fuel.
Technical Paper

Start of Injection Strategies for HCCI-combustion

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has a great potential for low NOx emissions but problems with emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (HC). One way of reducing the HC is to use direct injection. The purpose of this paper is to present experimental data on the trade off between NOx and HC. Injection timing, injection pressure and nozzle configuration all effect homogeneity of the mixture and thus the NOx and HC emissions. The engine studied is a single cylinder version of a Scania D12 that represents a modern heavy-duty truck size engine. A common rail (CR) system has been used to control injection pressure and timing. The combustion using injectors with different nozzle hole diameters and spray angle, both colliding and non-colliding, has been studied. The NOx emission level changes with start of injection (SOI) and the levels are low for early injection timing, increasing with retarded SOI. Different injectors produce different NOx levels.
Technical Paper

Comparison Between In-Cylinder PIV Measurements, CFD Simulations and Steady-Flow Impulse Torque Swirl Meter Measurements

In-cylinder flow measurements, conventional swirl measurements and CFD-simulations have been performed and then compared. The engine studied is a single cylinder version of a Scania D12 that represents a modern heavy-duty truck size engine. Bowditch type optical access and flat piston is used. The cylinder head was also measured in a steady-flow impulse torque swirl meter. From the two-dimensional flow-field, which was measured in the interval from -200° ATDC to 65° ATDC at two different positions from the cylinder head, calculations of the vorticity, turbulence and swirl were made. A maximum in swirl occurs at about 50° before TDC while the maximum vorticity and turbulence occurs somewhat later during the compression stroke. The swirl centre is also seen moving around and it does not coincide with the geometrical centre of the cylinder. The simulated flow-field shows similar behaviour as that seen in the measurements.
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

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

The Influence of a Late In-Cylinder Air Injection on In-Cylinder Flow Measured with Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)

During development of an air assisted, direct injection combustion system, it was found that an air pulse during the late part of compression stroke significantly shortened the combustion duration and extended the lean limits of the engine. The effect of an injection of pure air through an air assist direct injector was studied with Particle Image Velocimetry, PIV. Results showed that an air pulse during the compression stroke significantly speeded up in-cylinder velocities, which also was showed in the heat release analysis. A system to use low density seeding particles was developed and is presented in the paper.
Technical Paper

Reacting Boundary Layers in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine

An experimental and computational study of the near-wall combustion in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine has been conducted by applying laser based diagnostic techniques in combination with numerical modeling. Our major intent was to characterize the combustion in the velocity- and thermal boundary layers. The progress of the combustion was studied by using fuel tracer LIF, the result of which was compared with LDA measurements of the velocity boundary layer along with numerical simulations of the reacting boundary layer. Time resolved images of the PLIF signal were taken and ensemble averaged images were calculated. In the fuel tracer LIF experiments, acetone was seeded into the fuel as a tracer. It is clear from the experiments that a proper set of backgrounds and laser profiles are necessary to resolve the near-wall concentration profiles, even at a qualitative level.
Technical Paper

Employing an Ionization Sensor for Combustion Diagnostics in a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

An ionization sensor has been used to study the combustion process in a six-cylinder lean burn, truck-sized engine fueled with natural gas and optimized for low emissions of nitric oxides. The final goal of the investigations is to study the prospects of using the ionization sensor for finding the optimal operating position with respect to low NOx emission and stable engine operation. The results indicate that unstable combustion can be detected by analyzing the coefficient of variation (CoV) of the detector current amplitude. Close relationships between this measure and the CoV of the indicated mean effective pressure have been found during an air-fuel ratio scan with fixed ignition advance.
Technical Paper

Crank Angle Resolved HC-Detection Using LIF in the Exhausts of Small Two-Stroke Engines Running at High Engine Speed

In order to separate the HC-emissions from two-stroke engines into short-circuit losses and emissions due to incomplete combustion, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) measurements were performed on the exhaust gases just outside the exhaust ports of two engines of different designs. The difference between the two engines was the design of the transfer channels. One engine had “finger” transfer channels and one had “cup handle” transfer channels. Apart from that they were similar. The engine with “finger” transfer channels was earlier known to give more short-circuiting losses than the other engine, and that behavior was confirmed by these measurements. Generally, the results show that the emission of hydrocarbons has two peaks, one just after exhaust port opening and one late in the scavenging phase. The spectral information shows differences between the two peaks and it can be concluded that the latter peak is due to short-circuiting and the earlier due to incomplete combustion.
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

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.