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Technical Paper

Prediction of the Knock Limit and Viable Operating Range for a Homogeneous-Charge Compression-Ignition (HCCI) Engine

A method is presented for predicting the viable operating range of homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines. A fundamental criterion for predicting HCCI knock is described and used to predict the minimum air/fuel ratio (and hence maximum torque) available from the engine. The lean (misfire) limit is computed using a modification of the multi-zone method of Aceves et al. [1]. Numerical improvements are described which allow even very complex fuel chemistry to be rapidly modeled on a standard PC. The viable operating range for an HCCI engine burning a primary reference fuel (PRF 95) is predicted and compared with literature experimental data. The new ability to accurately predict the operating range for any given HCCI engine/fuel combination should considerably simplify the tasks of designing a robust engine and identifying suitable fuels for HCCI.
Technical Paper

Increased Power Density via Variable Compression/Displacement And Turbocharging Using The Alvar-Cycle Engine

This paper presents the analysis and design of a variable compression-ratio and displacement engine concept - the Alvar Cycle using a four-stroke engine-performance simulation. The Alvar-Cycle engine uses secondary pistons which reciprocate in auxiliary chambers housed in the cylinder head, at adjustable phase-angle differences from the primary pistons. The phase difference provides both the variable total engine displacement and compression ratio. Results indicate that the Alvar engine can operate at higher power density via a combination of higher intake boost and lower compression ratio to avoid knock at high loads, and capture the better thermal efficiency at higher compression ratios at part loads.
Technical Paper

Research Alliances, A Strategy for Progress

In today's business climate rapid access to, and implementation of, new technology is essential to enhance competitive advantage. In the past, universities have been used for research contracts, but to fully utilize the intellectual resources of education institutions, it is essential to approach these relationships from a new basis: alliance. Alliances permit both parties to become active participants and achieve mutually beneficial goals. This paper will examine the drivers and challenges for industrial -- university alliances from both the industrial and academic perspectives.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Knock in a Spark-Ignition Engine

Spark-ignition engine knock was characterized in terms of when during the engine cycle and combustion process knock occurred and its magnitude or intensity. Cylinder pressure data from a large number of successive individual cycles were generated from a single-cylinder engine of hemispherical chamber design over a range of operating conditions where knock occurred in some or all of these cycles. Mean values and distributions of following parameters were quantified: knock occurrence crank angle, knock intensity, combustion rate and the end-gas thermodynamic state. These parameters were determined from the cylinder pressure data on an individual cycle basis using a mass-burn-rate analysis. The effects of engine operating variables on these parameters were studied, and correlations between these parameters were examined.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Air and Coolant Temperature, Deposits, Spark Timing and Speed on Knock in Spark Ignition Engines

The prediction of knock onset in spark-ignition engines requires a chemical model for the autoignition of the hydrocarbon fuel-air mixture, and a description of the unburned end-gas thermal state. Previous studies have shown that a reduced chemistry model developed by Keck et al. adequately predicts the initiation of autoignition. However, the combined effects of heat transfer and compression on the state of the end gas have not been thoroughly investigated. The importance of end-gas heat transfer was studied with the objective of improving the ability of our knock model to predict knock onset over a wide range of engine conditions. This was achieved through changing the thermal environment of the end gas by either varying the inlet air temperature or the coolant temperature. Results show that there is significant heating of the in-cylinder charge during intake and a substantial part of the compression process.
Technical Paper

Autoignition of Alcohols and Ethers in a Rapid Compression Machine

The autoignition characteristics of methanol, ethanol and MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) have been investigated in a rapid compression machine at pressures in the range 20-40 atm and temperatures within 750-1000 K. All three oxygenated fuels tested show higher autoignition temperatures than paraffins, a trend consistent with the high octane number of these fuels. The autoignition delay time for methanol was slightly lower than predicted values using reported reaction mechanisms. However, the experimental and measured values for the activation energy are in very good agreement around 44 kcal/mol. The measured activation energy for ethanol autoignition is in good agreement with previous shock tube results (31 kcal/mol), although ignition times predicted by the shock tube correlation are a factor of three lower than the measured values. The measured activation energy for MTBE, 41.4 kcal/mol, was significantly higher than the value previously observed in shock tubes (28.1 kcal/mol).
Technical Paper


THE autoignition characteristics of several fuels under various conditions of mixture strength, compression ratio, and temperature have been studied by means of a rapid-compression machine. The behaviors of a knock inhibitor, tetraethyl lead, and a knock inducer, ethyl nitrite, have also been studied. Simultaneous records of pressure, volume, and the inflammation have been obtained. These records show the diverse aspects of the autoignition phenomenon and indicate, among other things, according to the authors, that a comparison of the detonating tendencies of fuels must include not only a consideration of the length of the delay period but also an evaluation of the rate of pressure rise during autoignition. Physical interpretations of the data are presented but chemical interpretations have been avoided. The work was exploratory in nature. The authors hope that the results will stimulate activity in this important branch of combustion research.
Technical Paper

Performance Assessment of Extended Stroke Spark Ignition Engine

The performance of an extended stroke spark ignition engine has been assessed by cycle simulation. The base engine is a modern turbo-charged 4-stroke passenger car spark-ignition engine with 10:1 compression ratio. A complex crank mechanism is used so that the intake stroke remains the same while the expansion-to-intake stroke ratio (SR) is varied by changing the crank geometry. The study is limited to the thermodynamic aspect of the extended stroke; the changes in friction, combustion characteristic, and other factors are not included. When the combustion is not knock limited, an efficiency gain of more than 10 percent is obtained for SR = 1.5. At low load, however, there is an efficiency lost due to over-expansion. At the same NIMEP, the extended stroke renders the engine more resistant to knock. At SR of 1.8, the engine is free from knock up to 14 bar NIMEP at 2000 rpm. Under knocking condition, the required spark retard to prevent knocking is less with the extended stroke.
Technical Paper

Dual-Fuel Gasoline-Alcohol Engines for Heavy Duty Trucks: Lower Emissions, Flexible-Fuel Alternative to Diesel Engines

Long-haul and other heavy-duty trucks, presently almost entirely powered by diesel fuel, face challenges meeting worldwide needs for greatly reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Dual-fuel gasoline-alcohol engines could potentially provide a means to cost-effectively meet this need at large scale in the relatively near term. They could also provide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These spark ignition (SI) flexible fuel engines can provide operation over a wide fuel range from mainly gasoline use to 100% alcohol use. The alcohol can be ethanol or methanol. Use of stoichiometric operation and a three-way catalytic converter can reduce NOx by around 90% relative to emissions from diesel engines with state of the art exhaust treatment.
Technical Paper

Real World Performance of an Onboard Gasoline/Ethanol Separation System to Enable Knock Suppression Using an Octane-On-Demand Fuel System

Higher compression ratio and turbocharging, with engine downsizing can enable significant gains in fuel economy but require engine operating conditions that cause engine knock under high load. Engine knock can be avoided by supplying higher-octane fuel under such high load conditions. This study builds on previous MIT papers investigating Octane-On-Demand (OOD) to enable a higher efficiency, higher-boost higher compression-ratio engine. The high-octane fuel for OOD can be obtained through On-Board-Separation (OBS) of alcohol blended gasoline. Fuel from the primary fuel tank filled with commercially available gasoline that contains 10% by volume ethanol (E10) is separated by an organic membrane pervaporation process that produces a 30 to 90% ethanol fuel blend for use when high octane is needed. In addition to previous work, this paper combines modeling of the OBS system with passenger car and medium-duty truck fuel consumption and octane requirements for various driving cycles.
Technical Paper

Scavenging the 2-Stroke Engine

THE indicated output of a 2-stroke engine is primarily dependent upon the success with which the products of combustion are driven from the cylinder and are replaced by fresh air or mixture during the scavenging period. Such replacement must, of course, be accomplished with a minimum of blower power. This paper deals with various aspects of 2-stroke research conducted at M.I.T. during the past 10 years. Among the subjects discussed are the methods used in the prediction and measurement of scavenging efficiency, and the effect of engine design and operating variables on the scavenging blower requirements as reflected by the scavenging ratio.
Technical Paper

Knock in Spark Ignition Engines

The knocking characteristics of several fuels are studied using a single cylinder test engine with variations in key engine operating parameters. Compression ratio, spark advance, fuel equivalence ratio, exhaust gas recirculation, engine speed, charge inlet pressure and charge inlet temperature were varied to yield a range of engine cylinder pressure-temperature histories as the base for this study. The fuels studied include three reference fuels containing isooctane and heptane with isooctane volume percents of 80, 90 and 100. Two wide boiling range gasolines were also studied. A number of empirical relationships for autoignition times of isooctane and heptane blends are employed in conjunction with the experimentally obtained pressure-temperature histories to predict onset of knock. The accuracies of the predictions with respect to the experimentally determined knock points are discussed.
Technical Paper

The Anatomy of Knock

The combustion process after auto-ignition is investigated. Depending on the non-uniformity of the end gas, auto-ignition could initiate a flame, produce pressure waves that excite the engine structure (acoustic knock), or result in detonation (normal or developing). For the “acoustic knock” mode, a knock intensity (KI) is defined as the pressure oscillation amplitude. The KI values over different cycles under a fixed operating condition are observed to have a log-normal distribution. When the operating condition is changed (over different values of λ, EGR, and spark timing), the mean (μ) of log (KI/GIMEP) decreases linearly with the correlation-based ignition delay calculated using the knock-point end gas condition of the mean cycle. The standard deviation σ of log(KI/GIMEP) is approximately a constant, at 0.63. The values of μ and σ thus allow a statistical description of knock from the deterministic calculation of the ignition delay using the mean cycle properties
Technical Paper

New Demands from an Older Population: An Integrated Approach to Defining the Future of Older Driver Safety

The nearly 77 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, can say that they are the automobile generation. Now turning 60 one every seven seconds, what are the new safety challenges and opportunities posed by the next generation of older adults? This paper presents a modified Haddon matrix to identify key product development, design and liability issues confronting the automobile industry and related stakeholders. The industry is now at a critical juncture to address the development of key technological innovations as well as the changing policy and liability environments being reshaped by an aging population.
Technical Paper

Phenomena that Determine Knock Onset in Spark-Ignition Engines

Experiments were carried out to collect in-cylinder pressure data and microphone signals from a single-cylinder test engine using spark timingsbefore, at, and after knock onset for toluene reference fuels. The objective was to gain insight into the phenomena that determine knock onset, detected by an external microphone. In particular, the study examines how the end-gas autoignition process changes as the engine's spark timing is advanced through the borderline knock limit into the engine's knocking regime. Fast Fourier transforms (FFT) and bandpass filtering techniques were used to process the recorded cylinder pressure data to determine knock intensities for each cycle. Two characteristic pressure oscillation frequencies were detected: a peak just above 6 kHz and a range of peaks in the 15-22 kHz range. The microphone data shows that the audible knock signal has the same 6 kHz peak.
Technical Paper

Recommendations for Real-Time Decision Support Systems for Lunar and Planetary EVAs

Future human space exploration includes returning to the Moon and continuing to Mars. Essential to these missions is each planetary extravehicular activity, or EVA, where astronauts and robotic agents will explore lunar and planetary surfaces. Real-time decision support systems will help these explorers in efficiently planning and re-planning under time pressure sorties. Information and functional requirements for such a system are recommended and are based on on-going human-computer collaboration research.
Technical Paper

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute Education and Public Outreach Program: Engaging the Public and Inspiring the Next Generation of Space Explorers

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), established in 1997, is a twelve-university consortium dedicated to research that will impact mankind's next exploratory steps. The NSBRI's Education and Public Outreach Program (EPOP), is supporting NASA's education mission to, “Inspire the next generations…as only NASA can,” through a comprehensive Kindergarten through post-doctoral education program. The goals of the EPOP are to: communicate space exploration biology to schools; support undergraduate and graduate space-based courses and degrees; fund postdoctoral fellows to pursue space life sciences research; and engage national and international audiences to promote understanding of how space exploration benefits people on Earth. NSBRI EPOP presents its accomplishments as an educational strategy for supporting science education reform, workforce development, and public outreach.
Technical Paper

Requirements and Potential for Enhanced EVA Information Interfaces

NASA has long recognized the advantages of providing improved information interfaces to EVA astronauts and has pursued this goal through a number of development programs over the past decade. None of these activities or parallel efforts in industry and academia has so far resulted in the development of an operational system to replace or augment the current extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) Display and Controls Module (DCM) display and cuff checklist. Recent advances in display, communications, and information processing technologies offer exciting new opportunities for EVA information interfaces that can better serve the needs of a variety of NASA missions. Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International (HSSSI) has been collaborating with Simon Fraser University and others on the NASA Haughton Mars Project and with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boeing, and Symbol Technologies in investigating these possibilities.
Journal Article

Design Drivers of Energy-Efficient Transport Aircraft

The fuel energy consumption of subsonic air transportation is examined. The focus is on identification and quantification of fundamental engineering design tradeoffs which drive the design of subsonic tube and wing transport aircraft. The sensitivities of energy efficiency to recent and forecast technology developments are also examined.
Journal Article

EGR Effects on Boosted SI Engine Operation and Knock Integral Correlation

The effects of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) on a boosted direct-injection (DI) spark ignition (SI) engine operating at stoichiometric equivalence ratio, gross indicated mean effective pressure of 14-18 bar, and speed of 1500-2500 rpm, are studied under constant fuel condition at each operating point. In the presence of EGR, burn durations are longer and combustion is more retard. At the same combustion phasing, the indicated specific fuel consumption improves because of a decrease in heat loss and an increase in the specific heat ratio. The knock limited spark advance increases substantially with EGR. This increase is due partly to a slower combustion which is equivalent to a spark retard, as manifested by a retarded value of the 50% burn point (CA50), and due partly to a slower ignition chemistry of the diluted charge, as manifested by the knock limited spark advance to beyond the value offered by the retarded CA50.