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Journal Article

Visualization of Propane and Natural Gas Spark Ignition and Turbulent Jet Ignition Combustion

This study focuses on the combustion visualization of spark ignition combustion in an optical single cylinder engine using natural gas and propane at several air to fuel ratios and speed-load operating points. Propane and natural gas fuels were compared as they are the most promising gaseous alternative fuels for reciprocating powertrains, with both fuels beginning to find wide market penetration on the fleet level across many regions of the world. Additionally, when compared to gasoline, these gaseous fuels are affordable, have high knock resistance and relatively low carbon content and they do not suffer from the complex re-fueling and storage problems associated with hydrogen.
Technical Paper

Establishment of a Database by Conducting Intake Manifold and In-Cylinder Flow Measurements inside an Internal Combustion Engine Assembly

An experimental study has been conducted to quantify the velocity and pressure inside an idealized intake manifold of a motored internal combustion engine assembly. The aim of this work is to provide the real-time boundary conditions for more accurate multi-dimensional numerical simulations of complex in-cylinder flows in an internal combustion engine as well as the resultant in-cylinder flow patterns. The geometry of the intake manifold is simplified for this purpose. A hot-wire anemometer and a piezoresistive absolute pressure transducer are used to measure the velocity and pressure, respectively, over a plane inside the circular section of the intake manifold. In addition, pressure measurements are performed over an elliptical section near the intake port. Phase-averaged velocity and pressure profiles are then calculated from the instantaneous measurements. Experiments were performed at 900 and 1200 rpm engine speeds with wide open throttle.
Journal Article

A Turbulent Jet Ignition Pre-Chamber Combustion System for Large Fuel Economy Improvements in a Modern Vehicle Powertrain

Turbulent Jet Ignition is an advanced pre-chamber initiated combustion system for an otherwise standard spark ignition engine found in current on-road vehicles. This next-generation pre-chamber design overcomes previous packaging obstacles by simply replacing the spark plug in a modern four-valve, pent roof spark ignition engine. Turbulent Jet Ignition enables very fast burn rates due to the ignition system producing multiple, distributed ignition sites, which consume the main charge rapidly and with minimal combustion variability. The fast burn rates allow for increased levels of dilution (lean burn and/or EGR) when compared to conventional spark ignition combustion, with dilution levels being comparable to other low temperature combustion technologies (homogeneous charge compression ignition - HCCI) without the complex control drawbacks.
Technical Paper

In-cylinder Combustion Visualization of a Direct-injection Spark-ignition Engine with Different Operating Conditions and Fuels

A direct-injection and spark-ignition single-cylinder engine with optical access to the cylinder was used for the combustion visualization study. Gasoline and ethanol-gasoline blended fuels were used in this investigation. Experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of fuel injection pressure, injection timing and the number of injections on the in-cylinder combustion process. Two types of direct fuel injectors were used; (i) high-pressure production injector with fuel pressures of 5 and 10 MPa, and (ii) low-pressure production-intent injector with fuel pressure of 3 MPa. Experiments were performed at 1500 rpm engine speed with partial load. In-cylinder pressure signals were recorded for the combustion analyses and synchronized with the high-speed combustion imaging recording. Visualization results show that the flame growth is faster with the increment of fuel injection pressure.
Technical Paper

Spark Ignition and Pre-Chamber Turbulent Jet Ignition Combustion Visualization

Natural gas is a promising alternative fuel as it is affordable, available worldwide, has high knock resistance and low carbon content. This study focuses on the combustion visualization of spark ignition combustion in an optical single cylinder engine using natural gas at several air to fuel ratios and speed-load operating points. In addition, Turbulent Jet Ignition optical images are compared to the baseline spark ignition images at the world-wide mapping point (1500 rev/min, 3.3 bar IMEPn) in order to provide insight into the relatively unknown phenomenon of Turbulent Jet Ignition combustion. Turbulent Jet Ignition is an advanced spark initiated pre-chamber combustion system for otherwise standard spark ignition engines found in current passenger vehicles. This next generation pre-chamber design simply replaces the spark plug in a conventional spark ignition engine.
Journal Article

Combustion Visualization, Performance, and CFD Modeling of a Pre-Chamber Turbulent Jet Ignition System in a Rapid Compression Machine

Turbulent jet ignition is a pre-chamber ignition enhancement method that produces a distributed ignition source through the use of a chemically active turbulent jet which can replace the spark plug in a conventional spark ignition engine. In this paper combustion visualization and characterization was performed for the combustion of a premixed propane/air mixture initiated by a pre-chamber turbulent jet ignition system with no auxiliary fuel injection, in a rapid compression machine. Three different single orifice nozzles with orifice diameters of 1.5 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm were tested for the turbulent jet igniter pre-chamber over a range of air to fuel ratios. The performance of the turbulent jet ignition system based on nozzle orifice diameter was characterized by considering both the 0-10 % and the 10-90 % burn durations of the pressure rise due to combustion.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of a Turbulent Jet Ignition System for Lean Burn Operation in a Rapid Compression Machine

Fully three-dimensional computational fluid dynamic simulations with detailed chemistry of a single-orifice turbulent jet ignition device installed in a rapid compression machine are presented. The simulations were performed using the computational fluid dynamics software CONVERGE and its RANS turbulence models. Simulations of propane fueled combustion are compared to data collected in the optically accessible rapid compression machine that the model's geometry is based on to establish the validity and limitations of the simulations and to compare the behavior of the different air-fuel ratios that are used in the simulations.
Technical Paper

Parameterization and FEA Approach for the Assessment of Piston Characteristics

Elastohydrodynamic lubrication, piston dynamics and friction are important characteristics determining the performance and efficiency of an internal combustion engine. This paper presents a finite element analysis on a production piston of a gasoline engine performed using commercial software, the COSMOSDesignStar, and a comprehensive cylinder-kit simulation software, the CASE, to demonstrate the advantages of using a reduced, parameterized model analysis in the assessment of piston design characteristics. The full piston model is parameterized according to the CASE specifications. The two are analyzed and compared in the COSMOSDesignStar, considering thermal and mechanical loads. The region of interest is the skirt area on the thrust and anti-thrust sides of the piston.
Journal Article

Air-to-Fuel and Dual-Fuel Ratio Control of an Internal Combustion Engine

Air-to-fuel (A/F) ratio is the mass ratio of the air-to-fuel mixture trapped inside a cylinder before combustion begins, and it affects engine emissions, fuel economy, and other performances. Using an A/F ratio and dual-fuel ratio control oriented engine model, a multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) sliding mode control scheme is used to simultaneously control the mass flow rate of both port fuel injection (PFI) and direct injection (DI) systems. The control target is to regulate the A/F ratio at a desired level (e.g., at stoichiometric) and fuel ratio (ratio of PFI fueling vs. total fueling) to any desired level between zero and one. A MIMO sliding mode controller was designed with guaranteed stability to drive the system A/F and fuel ratios to the desired target under various air flow disturbances.
Technical Paper

Combustion Characteristics of a Single-Cylinder Engine Equipped with Gasoline and Ethanol Dual-Fuel Systems

The requirement of reduced emissions and improved fuel economy led the introduction of direct-injection (DI) spark-ignited (SI) engines. Dual-fuel injection system (direct-injection and port-fuel-injection (PFI)) was also used to improve engine performance at high load and speed. Ethanol is one of the several alternative transportation fuels considered for replacing fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Ethanol offers high octane quality but with lower energy density than fossil fuels. This paper presents the combustion characteristics of a single cylinder dual-fuel injection SI engine with the following fueling cases: a) gasoline for PFI and DI, b) PFI gasoline and DI ethanol, and c) PFI ethanol and DI gasoline. For this study, the DI fueling portion varied from 0 to 100 percentage of the total fueling over different engine operational conditions while the engine air-to-fuel ratio remained at a constant level.
Technical Paper

A High Speed Flow Visualization Study of Fuel Spray Pattern Effect on Mixture Formation in a Low Pressure Direct Injection Gasoline Engine

In developing a direct injection gasoline engine, the in-cylinder fuel air mixing is key to good performance and emissions. High speed visualization in an optically accessible single cylinder engine for direct injection gasoline engine applications is an effective tool to reveal the fuel spray pattern effect on mixture formation The fuel injectors in this study employ the unique multi-hole turbulence nozzles in a PFI-like (Port Fuel Injection) fuel system architecture specifically developed as a Low Pressure Direct Injection (LPDI) fuel injection system. In this study, three injector sprays with a narrow 40° spray angle, a 60°spray angle with 5°offset angle, and a wide 80° spray angle with 10° offset angle were evaluated. Image processing algorithms were developed to analyze the nature of in-cylinder fuel-air mixing and the extent of fuel spray impingement on the cylinder wall.
Technical Paper

Multidimensional Predictions of Methanol Combustion in a High-Compression DI Engine

Numerical simulations of lean Methanol combustion in a four-stroke internal combustion engine were conducted on a high-compression ratio engine. The engine had a removable integral injector ignition source insert that allowed changing the head dome volume, and the location of the spark plug relative to the fuel injector. It had two intake valves and two exhaust ports. The intake ports were designed so the airflow into the engine exhibited no tumble or swirl motions in the cylinder. Three different engine configurations were considered: One configuration had a flat head and piston, and the other two had a hemispherical combustion chamber in the cylinder head and a hemispherical bowl in the piston, with different volumes. The relative equivalence ratio (Lambda), injection timing and ignition timing were varied to determine the operating range for each configuration. Lambda (λ) values from 1.5 to 2.75 were considered.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Stage of Combustion in a Direct Injection Methanol Fueled Engine

The paper is based on the premise that the sole purpose of combustion in piston engines is to generate pressure for pushing the expansion process away from the compression process (both expressed in terms of appropriate polytropes) to create a work producing cycle. This essential process, referred to as the dynamic stage of combustion, is carved out of the cycle and its salient properties deduced from the measured pressure profile, as a solution of an inverse problem: deduction of information on an action from its outcome. An analytical technique, construed for this purpose, is first presented and, then, applied to a direct injection, spark-ignition, methanol fueled four-stroke engine.
Technical Paper

Pressure Diagnostics of Closed System in a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine

The sole purpose of combustion in a piston engine is to generate pressure in order to push the piston and produce work. Pressure diagnostics provides means to deduce data on the execution of the exothermic process of combustion in an engine cylinder from a measured pressure profile. Its task is that of an inverse problem: evaluation of the mechanism of a system from its measured output. The dynamic properties of the closed system in a piston engine are expressed in terms of a dynamic stage - the transition between the processes of compression and expansion. All the phenomena taking place in its course were analyzed in the predecessor of this paper, SAE 2002-01-0998. Here, on one hand, its concept is restricted to the purely dynamic effects, while on the other, the transformation of system components, taking place in the course of the exothermic chemical reaction to raise pressure, are taken into account by the exothermic stage.
Technical Paper

Vibration Reduction in a Variable Displacement Engine Using Pendulum Absorbers

This paper describes the design, implementation and testing of crankshaft-mounted pendulum absorbers used for reducing vibrations in a variable displacement engine. The engine can run in V8 and V4 modes, and without absorbers it experiences significant vibration levels, especially in V4 idle. The absorbers are tuned to address the dominant second order vibrations, and are slightly overtuned to account for nonlinear effects. The absorbers were designed to replace the large counterweights at the ends of the crankshaft, and thus serve for both balancing and vibration absorption. The engine was placed in a vehicle and tested for vibration levels at idle under various load conditions, and these results were compared with results obtained from a similar vehicle without absorbers. The tests demonstrate that these absorbers offer an effective means of vibration attenuation in variable displacement engines.
Technical Paper

Numerical Evaluation of A Methanol Fueled Directly-Injected Engine

A numerical study on the combustion of Methanol in a directly injected (DI) engine was conducted. The study considers the effect of the bowl-in-piston (BIP) geometry, swirl ratio (SR), and relative equivalence ratio (λ), on flame propagation and burn rate of Methanol in a 4-stroke engine. Ignition-assist in this engine was accomplished by a spark plug system. Numerical simulations of two different BIP geometries were considered. Combustion characteristics of Methanol under swirl and no-swirl conditions were investigated. In addition, the amount of injected fuel was varied in order to determine the effect of stoichiometry on combustion. Only the compression and expansion strokes were simulated. The results show that fuel-air mixing, combustion, and flame propagation was significantly enhanced when swirl was turned on. This resulted in a higher peak pressure in the cylinder, and more heat loss through the cylinder walls.
Technical Paper

CFD Modeling of an Auxiliary Fueled Turbulent Jet Ignition System in a Rapid Compression Machine

Three-dimensional numerical simulation of the turbulent jet ignition combustion process of a premixed methane-air mixture in a Rapid Compression Machine (RCM) was performed using the Converge computational software. Turbulent jet ignition is a prechamber initiated combustion system that can replace the spark plug in a spark ignition engine. The prechamber is a small volume chamber where an injector and spark plug are located and is connected to the main combustion chamber via one or multiple small orifices. Turbulent jet ignition is capable of enabling low temperature combustion, through either lean or dilute combustion. A RANS model, which included a k-ε turbulence model to solve the mean flow and the SAGE chemistry solver with a reduced methane mechanism to solve the chemistry, was used to model the turbulent jet ignition system.
Technical Paper

CFD Modeling and Experimental Analysis of a Homogeneously Charged Turbulent Jet Ignition System in a Rapid Compression Machine

Three dimensional numerical simulation of the transient turbulent jet and ignition processes of a premixed methane-air mixture of a turbulent jet ignition (TJI) system is performed using Converge computational software. The prechamber initiated combustion enhancement technique that is utilized in a TJI system enables low temperature combustion by increasing the flame propagation rate and therefore decreasing the burn duration. Two important components of the TJI system are the prechamber where the spark plug and injectors are located and the nozzle which connects the prechamber to the main chamber. In order to model the turbulent jet of the TJI system, RANS k-ε and LES turbulent models and the SAGE chemistry solver with a reduced mechanism for methane are used.
Journal Article

Optical Engine Operation to Attain Piston Temperatures Representative of Metal Engine Conditions

Piston temperature plays a major role in determining details of fuel spray vaporization, fuel film deposition and the resulting combustion in direct-injection engines. Due to different heat transfer properties that occur in optical and all-metal engines, it becomes an inevitable requirement to verify the piston temperatures in both engine configurations before carrying out optical engine studies. A novel Spot Infrared-based Temperature (SIR-T) technique was developed to measure the piston window temperature in an optical engine. Chromium spots of 200 nm thickness were vacuum-arc deposited at different locations on a sapphire window. An infrared (IR) camera was used to record the intensity of radiation emitted by the deposited spots. From a set of calibration experiments, a relation was established between the IR camera measurements of these spots and the surface temperature measured by a thermocouple.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Turbulence Statistics from Engine Cooling Fan Velocity Measurements

The present communication reports on processing and interpreting velocity measurements in the wake of a cooling fan. Velocity data are typically phase averaged to create statistics that would be observed in a rotating frame of reference. The difference between any given instantaneous measurement and the phase mean value is often referred to as the fluctuating component of velocity. These deviations can be caused by a variety of mechanisms (blade vibration for example) and do not necessarily represent “turbulence”. A different approach using an eigenfunction decomposition of the data is used on a sample data set to help distinguish between cycle-to-cycle variations and turbulence.