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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

Transient Emission Predictions With Quasi Stationary Models

Heavy trucks contribute significantly to the overall air pollution, especially NOx and PM emissions. Models to predict the emissions from heavy trucks in real world on road conditions are therefore of great interest. Most such models are based on data achieved from stationary measurements, i.e. engine maps. This type of “quasi stationary” models could also be of interest in other applications where emission models of low complexity are desired, such as engine control and simulation and control of exhaust aftertreatment systems. In this paper, results from quasi stationary calculations of fuel consumption, CO, HC, NOx and PM emissions are compared with time resolved measurements of the corresponding quantities. Measurement data from three Euro 3-class engines is used. The differences are discussed in terms of the conditions during transients and correction models for quasi stationary calculations are presented. Simply using engine maps without transient correction is not sufficient.
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

High-Speed LIF Imaging for Cycle-Resolved Formaldehyde Visualization in HCCI Combustion

High-speed laser diagnostics was utilized for single-cycle resolved studies of the formaldehyde distribution in the combustion chamber of an HCCI engine. A multi-YAG laser system consisting of four individual Q-switched, flash lamp-pumped Nd:YAG lasers has previously been developed in order to obtain laser pulses at 355 nm suitable for performing LIF measurements of the formaldehyde molecule. Bursts of up to eight pulses with very short time separation can be produced, allowing capturing of LIF image series with high temporal resolution. The system was used together with a high-speed framing camera employing eight intensified CCD modules, with a frame-rate matching the laser pulse repetition rate. The diagnostic system was used to study the combustion in a truck-size HCCI engine, running at 1200 rpm using n-heptane as fuel. By using laser pulses with time separations as short as 70 μs, cycle-resolved image sequences of the formaldehyde distribution were obtained.
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

Piston Temperature Measurement by Use of Thermographic Phosphors and Thermocouples in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Run Under Partly Premixed Conditions

Piston temperature experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder heavy-duty Diesel research engine, based on the Volvo Powertrain D12C engine both by use of optical temperature sensitive phosphor and of thermocouples mounted on the piston surface. In the former case, a thin coating of a suitable thermographic phosphor was applied to the areas on the piston surface to be investigated. The optical measurements of piston temperatures made involved use of an optical window and of an endoscope. The possibility of using optical fibres into guide light in and out of the engine was also investigated. Results of the optical and of the thermocouple measurements were compared and were also related to more global data with the aim of exploring the use of thermographic phosphors for piston- temperature measurements in Diesel engines. Thermographic phosphors thermometry was found to represent an alternative to the thermocouple method since it easily can be applied to various piston geometries.
Technical Paper

Laser Spectroscopic Investigation of Flow Fields and NO-Formation in a Realistic SI Engine

This paper presents results from a quantitative characterization of the NO distribution in a SI engine fueled with a stoichiometric iso-octane/air mixture. Different engine operating conditions were investigated and accurate results on NO concentrations were obtained from essentially the whole cylinder for crank angle ranges from ignition to the mid expansion stroke. The technique used to measure the two-dimensional NO concentration distributions was laser induced fluorescence utilizing a KrF excimer laser to excite the NO A-X (0,2) bandhead. Results were achieved with high temporal and spatial resolution. The accuracy of the measurements was estimated to be 30% for absolute concentration values and 20% for relative values. Images of NO distributions could also be used to evaluate the flame development. Both the mean and the variance of a combustion progress variable could be deduced.
Technical Paper

An Ionization Equilibrium Analysis of the Spark Plug as an Ionization Sensor

The use of a spark plug as an ionization sensor in an engine, and its physical and chemical explanation has been investigated. By applying a small constant DC voltage across the electrodes of the spark plug and measuring the current through the electrode gap, the state of the gas can be probed. An analytical expression for the current as a function of temperature is derived, and an inverse relation, where the pressure is a function of the current, is also presented. It is also found that a relatively minor species, NO, seems to be the major agent responsible for the conductivity of the hot gas in the spark gap.
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

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

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

Laser-Rayleigh Imaging of DME Sprays in an Optically Accessible DI Diesel Truck Engine

Laser-Rayleigh imaging has been employed to measure the relative fuel concentration in the gaseous jet region of DME sprays. The measurements were performed in an optically accessible diesel truck engine equipped with a common rail injection system. A one-hole nozzle was used to guarantee that the recorded pressure history was associated with the heat release in the imaged spray. To compensate for the low compression ratio in the modified engine the inlet air was preheated. Spray development was studied for two levels of preheating, from the start of injection to the point where all fuel was consumed. The results indicate that there is a strong correlation between the amount of unburned fuel present in the cylinder and the rate of heat release at a given time. The combustion can not be described as purely premixed or purely mixing-controlled at any time, but always has an element of both. After all fuel appears to have vanished there is still an extended period of heat release.
Technical Paper

Development of High Speed Spectroscopic Imaging Techniques for the Time Resolved Study of Spark Ignition Phenomena

This paper reports on the development of novel time resolved spectroscopic imaging techniques for the study of spark ignition phenomena in combustion cells and an SI-engine. The techniques are based on planar laser induced fluorescence imaging (PLIF) of OH radicals, on fuel tracer PLIF, and on chemiluminescence. The techniques could be achieved at repetition rates reaching several hundreds of kilo-Hz and were cycle resolved. These techniques offer a new path along which engine related diagnostics can be undertaken, providing a wealth of information on turbulent spark ignition.