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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

Investigation of Boundary Layer Behaviour in HCCI Combustion using Chemiluminescence Imaging

A five-cylinder diesel engine, converted to a single cylinder operated optical engine is run in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) mode. A blend of iso-octane and n-heptane is used as fuel. An experimental study of the horizontal boundary layer between the main combustion and the non-reacting surface of the combustion chamber is conducted as a function of speed, load, swirl and injection strategy. The combustion behaviour is monitored by chemiluminescence measurements. For all cases an interval from -10 to 16 crank angles after top dead center (CAD ATDC) in steps of one CAD are studied. One image-intensified camera observes the boundary layer up close from the side through a quartz cylinder liner while a second camera has a more global view from below to see more large scale structure of the combustion. The averaged chemiluminescence intensity from the HCCI combustion is seen to scale well with the rate of heat release.
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

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

Prediction Tool for the Ion Current in SI Combustion

In this work, constant volume combustion is studied using a zero-dimensional FORTRAN code, which is a wide-ranging chemical kinetic simulation that allows a closed system of gases to be described on the basis of a set of initial conditions. The model provides an engine- or reactor-like environment in which the engine simulations allow for a variable system volume and heat transfer both to and from the system. The combustion chamber is divided into two zones as burned and unburned ones, which are separated by an assumed thin flame front in the combustion model used for this work. Equilibrium assumptions have been adopted for the modeling of the thermal ionization, where Saha's equation was derived for singly ionized molecules. The investigation is focused on the thermal ionization of NO as well as for other species. The outputs generated by the model are temperature profiles, species concentration profiles, ionization degree and an electron density for each zone.
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

Early Swedish Hot-Bulb Engines - Efficiency and Performance Compared to Contemporary Gasoline and Diesel Engines

“Hot Bulb engines” was the popular name of the early direct injected 2-stroke oil engine, invented and patented by Carl W. Weiss 1897. This paper covers engines of this design, built under license in Sweden by various manufacturers. The continuous development is demonstrated through examples of different combustion chamber designs. The material is based on official engine performance evaluations on stationary engines and farm tractors from 1899 to 1995 made by the National Machinery Testing Institute in Sweden (SMP). Hot-bulb, diesel and spark ignited engines are compared regarding efficiency, brake mean effective pressure and specific power (power per displaced volume). The evaluated hot-bulb engines had a fairly good efficiency, well matching the contemporary diesel engines. At low mean effective pressures, the efficiency of the hot-bulb engines was even better than that of subsequent diesel engines.
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

Optical Diagnostics Applied to a Naturally Aspirated Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engine

Basic optical properties have been investigated in order to characterize the HCCI-combustion process. Basic optical properties of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine have been investigated in order to characterize the combustion process. The absorption of light propagating through the combustion chamber has been spectrally resolved for four different fuels. Significant differences between the fuels could be detected. Complementary information could be obtained by recording spontaneous emission of radiation during combustion. Raman point measurements were used to quantify cycle-to-cycle variations of the equivalence ratio. The homogeneity of the charge was monitored by the use of two-dimensional tracer LIF. That method was also utilized to investigate the flame development. The experiments were performed in a six-cylinder, truck-sized engine with one cylinder modified to allow for optical access.
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

Prediction of Heat Transfer to the Walls for Autoignition Related Situations in SI Engines

A theoretical investigation is presented concerning how the heat transfer process from the gas in the combustion chamber, burned as well as the unburned gas regions, to the walls is affected by the autoignition phenomenon in SI engines. The zonal model in ref. [1] is adapted for the calculations. The radiative heat flux during the heat release period and the heat transfer in the thermal boundary layer by convection are predicted for situations when autoignition has occurred. The cylinder wall temperature is also used as a parameter in this study. The effects of engine operating parameters such as engine speed, timing of ignition, duration time of flame propagation and the fuel parameter Research Octane Number, i.e., RON, on the heat flux to the walls have been studied. The heat release is calculated for a detailed chemical kinetic model, refs. [1, 2 and 3].
Technical Paper

The Effect of Knock on the Heat Transfer in an SI Engine: Thermal Boundary Layer Investigation using CARS Temperature Measurements and Heat Flux Measurements

It is generally accepted that knocking combustion influences the heat transfer in SI engines. However, the effects of heat transfer on the onset of knock is still not clear due to lack of experimental data of the thermal boundary layer close to the combustion chamber wall. This paper presents measurements of the temperature in the thermal boundary layer under knocking and non-knocking conditions. The temperature was measured using dual-broadband rotational Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS). Simultaneous time-resolved measurements of the cylinder pressure, at three different locations, and the heat flux to the wall were carried out. Optical access to the region near the combustion chamber wall was achieved by using a horseshoe-shaped combustion chamber with windows installed in the rectangular part of the chamber. This arrangement made CARS temperature measurements close to the wall possible and results are presented in the range 0.1-5 mm from the wall.
Technical Paper

Investigation of the Fuel Distribution and the In-cylinder Flow Field in a Stratified Charge Engine Using Laser Techniques and Comparison with CFD-Modelling

This paper presents an investigation of a Volvo Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine, where the fuel distribution and the in-cylinder flow field have been mapped by the use of laser techniques in an engine with optical access. Along with the experimental work, CFD-modelling of flow and fuel distribution has been performed. Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) visualisation of the fuel distribution in a DI-engine has been performed using an endoscopic detection system. Due to the complex piston crown geometry it was not possible to monitor the critical area around the sparkplug with conventional, through the piston, detection. Therefore, an endoscope inserted in the spark plug hole was used. This approach gave an unrestricted view over the desired area. In addition, the in-cylinder flow fields have been monitored by Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) through cylinder and piston. The results from both the LIF and the PIV measurements have been compared with CFD-modelling at Volvo.
Technical Paper

Local Air-Fuel Ratio Measurements Using the Spark Plug as an Ionization Sensor

The influence of variable air-fuel ratio inside a spark ignition engine is examined by the use of an ionization sensor. The measured ion currents are used for predicting the local air-fuel ratio in the vicinity of the spark plug. In order to support the results, a theoretical analysis has been made. An instationary chemical kinetic model burning a mixture of iso-octane and n-heptane is used for the calculations. The results are used to reconstruct the crank angle resolved ion current that has been measured in an engine. This technique has been developed in order to offer a supplementary low-cost facility of controlling the air-fuel ratio within the combustion chamber of an engine.
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.