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Technical Paper

Railplug Ignition Operating Characteristics and Performance:A Review

2007-07-23
2007-01-1832
The basic process of spark ignition in engines has changed little over the more than 100 years since its first application. The rapid evolution of several advanced engine concepts and the refinement of existing engine designs, especially applications of power boost technology, have led to a renewed interest in advanced spark ignition concepts. The increasingly large rates of in-cylinder dilution via EGR and ultra-lean operation, combined with increases in boost pressures are placing new demands on spark ignition systems. The challenge is to achieve strong and consistent ignition of the in-cylinder mixture in every cycle, to meet performance and emissions goals while maintaining or improving the durability of ignitor. The application of railplug ignition to some of these engine systems is seen as a potential alternative to conventional spark ignition systems that may lead to improved ignition performance.
Technical Paper

Further Development of an Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor and Its Application to Diesel Engine Transients

2008-04-14
2008-01-1065
This paper presents the latest developments in the design and performance of an electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor developed at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and suitable, with further development, for applications in active engine control of PM emissions. The sensor detects the carbonaceous mass component of PM in the exhaust and has a time-resolution less than 20 (ms), allowing PM levels to be quantified for engine transients. Sample measurements made with the sensor in the exhaust of a single-cylinder light duty diesel engine are presented for both steady-state and transient operations: a steady-state correlation with gravimetric filter measurements is presented, and the sensor response to rapid increases in PM emission during engine transients is shown for several different tip-in (momentary increases in fuel delivery) conditions.
Technical Paper

Load Leveling Device Selection for Hybrid Electric Vehicles

1998-02-01
981130
An important component in many hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) concepts is the load leveling device (LLD). The best type of LLD for HEVs is under debate. This paper identifies the important concept selection criteria for the three leading types of LLDs being considered for use in HEVs. The performance of electrochemical batteries, ultracapacitors, and flywheels is compared using these criteria. The concept selection methodology indicates that at the present time flywheels show the most promise for development for use in a hybrid electric vehicle. The use of this type of selection methodology is a powerful tool in identifying concepts worthy of development as well as determining performance criteria in need of improvement within each concept.
Technical Paper

Further Development of an On-Board Distillation System for Generating a Highly Volatile Cold-Start Fuel

2005-04-11
2005-01-0233
The On-Board Distillation System (OBDS) extracts, from gasoline, a highly volatile crank fuel that enables simultaneous reduction of start-up fuel enrichment and significant ignition timing retard during cold-starting. In a previous paper we reported reductions in catalyst light-off time of >50% and THC emissions reductions >50% over Phase I of the FTP drive cycle. The research presented herein is a further development of the OBDS concept. For this work, OBDS was improved to yield higher-quality start-up fuel. The PCM calibration was changed as well, in order to improve the response to intake manifold pressure transients. The test vehicle was tested over the 3-phase FTP, with exhaust gases speciated to determine NMOG and exhaust toxics emissions. Also, the effectiveness of OBDS at generating a suitable starting fuel from a high driveability index test gasoline was evaluated.
Technical Paper

A New Ignitior for Large-Bore Natural Gas Engines - Railplug Design Improvement and Optimization

2005-04-11
2005-01-0249
It is a very challenging problem to reliably ignite extremely lean mixtures, especially for the low speed, high load conditions of large-bore natural gas engines. If these engines are to be use for the distributed power generation market, it will require operation with higher boost pressures and even leaner mixtures. Both place greater demands on the ignition system. The railplug is a very promising ignition system for lean burn natural gas engines with its high-energy deposition and high velocity plasma arc. It requires care to properly design railplugs for this new application, however. For these engines, in-cylinder pressure and mixture temperature are very high at the time of ignition due to the high boost pressure. Hot spots may exist on the electrodes of the ignitor, causing pre-ignition problems. A heat transfer model is proposed in this paper to aid the railplug design. The electrode temperature was measured in an operating natural gas engine.
Technical Paper

From Spark Plugs to Railplugs – The Characteristics of a New Ignition System

2004-10-25
2004-01-2978
Ignition of extremely lean or dilute mixtures is a very challenging problem. Therefore, it is essential for the engine development engineer to understand the fundamentals and limitations of existing ignition systems. This paper presents a new railplug ignition concept, a high-energy ignition system, which can enhance ignition of very lean mixtures by means of its high-energy deposition and high velocity jet of the plasma. This paper presents initial results of tests using an inductive ignition system, a capacitor discharge ignition system, and a railplug high-energy ignition system. Discharge characteristics, such as time-resolved voltage, current, and luminous emission were measured. Spark plug and railplug ignition are compared for their effects on combustion stability of a natural gas engine. The results show that railplugs have a very strong arc-phase that can ensure the ignition of very dilute mixtures.
Technical Paper

Effects of Piston Wetting on Size and Mass of Particulate Matter Emissions in a DISI Engine

2002-03-04
2002-01-1140
We have examined the influence of piston wetting on the size distribution and mass of particulate matter (PM) emissions in a SI engine using several different fuels. Piston wetting was isolated as a source of PM emissions by injecting known amounts of liquid fuel onto the piston top using an injector probe. The engine was run predominantly on propane with approximately 10% of the fuel injected as liquid onto the piston. The liquid fuels were chosen to examine the effects of fuel volatility and molecular structure on the PM emissions. A nephelometer was used to characterize the PM emissions. Mass measurements from the nephelometer were compared with gravimetric filter measurements, and particulate size measurements were compared with scanning electron microscope (SEM) photos of particulates captured on filters. The engine was run at 1500 rpm at the Ford world-wide mapping point with an overall equivalence ratio of 0.9.
Technical Paper

Effects of In-cylinder Flow on Fuel Concentration at the Spark Plug, Engine Performance and Emissions in a DISI Engine

2002-03-04
2002-01-0831
A fiber optic instrumented spark plug was used to make time-resolved measurements of the fuel vapor concentration history near the spark gap in a four-valve DISI engine. Four different bulk flow were investigated. Several early and late injection timings were examined. The fuel concentration at the spark gap was correlated with IMEP. Emissions of CO, HCs, and NOx were related to the type of bulk flow. For both early and late injection the CoVs of fuel concentration were generally lowest for the weakest bulk flow which resulted in a stable stratification. Strong bulk flows convected the inhomogeneities through the measurement area near the spark plug resulting in both large intracycle and cycle-to-cycle variation in equivalence ratio at the time of ignition.
Technical Paper

Improving Heavy-Duty Engine Efficiency and Durability: The Rotating Liner Engine

2005-04-11
2005-01-1653
The Rotating Linear Engine (RLE) derives improved fuel efficiency and decreased maintenance costs via a unique lubrication design, which decreases piston assembly friction and the associated wear for heavy-duty natural gas and diesel engines. The piston ring friction exhibited on current engines accounts for 1% of total US energy consumption. The RLE is expected to reduce this friction by 50-70%, an expectation supported by hot motoring and tear-down tests on the UT single cylinder RLE prototype. Current engines have stationary liners where the oil film thins near the ends of the stroke, resulting in metal-to-metal contact. This metal-to-metal contact is the major source of both engine friction and wear, especially at high load. The RLE maintains an oil film between the piston rings and liner throughout the piston stroke due to liner rotation. This assumption has also been confirmed by recent testing of the single cylinder RLE prototype.
Technical Paper

Engine Friction Reduction Through Liner Rotation

2005-04-11
2005-01-1652
Cylinder liner rotation (Rotating Liner Engine, RLE) is a new concept for reducing piston assembly friction in the internal combustion engine. The purpose of the RLE is to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of boundary and mixed lubrication friction in the piston assembly (specifically, the rings and skirt). This paper reports the results of experiments to quantify the potential of the RLE. A 2.3 L GM Quad 4 SI engine was converted to single cylinder operation and modified for cylinder liner rotation. To allow examination of the effects of liner rotational speed, the rotating liner is driven by an electric motor. A torque cell in the motor output shaft is used to measure the torque required to rotate the liner. The hot motoring method was used to compare the friction loss between the baseline engine and the rotating liner engine. Additionally, hot motoring tear-down tests were used to measure the contribution of each engine component to the total friction torque.
Technical Paper

Fuel-Spray/Charge-Motion Interaction within the Cylinder of a Direct-Injected, 4-Valve, SI Engine

1998-02-23
980155
The mixture preparation process was investigated in a direct-injected, 4-valve, SI engine under motored conditions. The interaction between the high-pressure fuel jet and the intake air-flow was observed. Laser-sheet droplet imaging was used to visualize the in-cylinder droplet distributions, and a single-component LDV system was used to measure in-cylinder velocities. The fuel spray was visualized with the engine motored at 1500 and 750 rpm, and with the engine stopped. It was observed that the shape of the fuel spray was distorted by the in-cylinder air motion generated by the intake air flow, and that this effect became more pronounced with increasing engine speed. Velocity measurements were made at five locations on the symmetry plane of the cylinder, with the engine motored at 750 rpm. Comparison of these measurements with, and without, injection revealed that the in-cylinder charge motion was significantly altered by the injection event.
Technical Paper

Camshaft Roller Chain Drive with Reduced Meshing Impact Noise Levels

2003-05-05
2003-01-1666
The work presented in this paper outlines the design and development of a new roller chain sprocket tooth form for engine camshaft drives in an effort to reduce the noise levels related to chain-sprocket meshing. The crankshaft sprocket also incorporated inclined plane Nitrile damper rings to further reduce meshing impact noise levels. Previous experimental studies have shown that roller impact during meshing is a dominant noise source in roller chain drives. Noise evaluations were conducted for several camshaft drive configurations on a 4-cylinder DOHC automotive engine in a semi-anechoic dynamometer facility. The tests included measurements of meshing frequency sound power levels and overall sound power levels. This firing engine noise and vibration experiment was done to compare the noise levels of the asymmetrical sprocket tooth profile to that of a standard ISO sprocket tooth profile.
Technical Paper

A Full-Cycle Multi-Zone Quasi-Dimensional Direct Injection Diesel Engine Model Based on a Conceptual Model Developed from Imaging Experiments

2017-03-28
2017-01-0537
A quasi-dimensional model for a direct injection diesel engine was developed based on experiments at Sandia National Laboratory. The Sandia researchers obtained images describing diesel spray evolution, spray mixing, premixed combustion, mixing controlled combustion, soot formation, and NOx formation. Dec [1] combined all of the available images to develop a conceptual diesel combustion model to describe diesel combustion from the start of injection up to the quasi-steady form of the jet. The end of injection behavior was left undescribed in this conceptual model because no clear image was available due to the chaotic behavior of diesel combustion. A conceptual end-of-injection diesel combustion behavior model was developed to capture diesel combustion throughout its life span. The compression, expansion, and gas exchange stages are modeled via zero-dimensional single zone calculations.
Technical Paper

Further Experiments on the Effects of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting on HC Emissions from Direct Injection Gasoline Engines

1999-10-25
1999-01-3661
A recently developed in-cylinder fuel injection probe was used to deposit a small amount of liquid fuel on various surfaces within the combustion chamber of a 4-valve engine that was operating predominately on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A fast flame ionization detector (FFID) was used to examine the engine-out emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs). Injector shut-off was used to examine the rate of liquid fuel evaporation. The purpose of these experiments was to provide insights into the HC formation mechanism due to in-cylinder wall wetting. The variables investigated were the effects of engine operating conditions, coolant temperature, in-cylinder wetting location, and the amount of liquid wall wetting. The results of the steady state tests show that in-cylinder wall wetting is an important source of HC emissions both at idle and at a part load, cruise-type condition. The effects of wetting location present the same trend for idle and part load conditions.
Technical Paper

Design and Testing of a Flywheel Battery for a Transit Bus

1999-03-01
1999-01-1159
The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM) has designed and tested a flywheel energy storage system conventionally referred to as a flywheel battery (FWB) for power averaging on a hybrid electric transit bus. The system incorporates a high speed (40,000 rpm) 150 kW permanent magnet motor generator with magnetic bearings to levitate a 2 kWh composite flywheel. This paper summarizes: design goals, required operating parameters, system design, analysis completed prior to fabrication, and initial performance testing completed in the laboratory. The paper includes information on the motor/generator, power electronics, magnetic bearing sensors and controls, and FWB subsystems (including containment). Finally, recommendations for continued testing are made along with recommendations for improvements to the existing design.
Technical Paper

Effects of Railplugs on the Dilution Tolerance of a Spark Ignition Engine

1993-08-01
931800
The results of continuing investigations of a new type of ignitor, the railplugs are reported. Previous studies have shown that railplugs can produce a high velocity jet of plasma. Additionally, railplugs have the potential of assuring ignition under adverse conditions, such as for very dilute mixtures, because the railplug plasma is both hotter and has a larger mass than the plasma generated by a spark plug. In this paper, engine data are presented to demonstrate the improved dilution tolerance obtainable with railplugs. Data acquired using a railplug are compared to results obtained using a conventional spark plug and a spark plug with a wide spark gap, both using an inductive ignition system. The present results affirm earlier, preliminary findings that railplugs can extend the dilution limit and produce faster combustion.
Technical Paper

Intake and ECM Submodel Improvements for Dynamic SI Engine Models: Examination of Tip-In/Tip-Out

1991-02-01
910074
Improved submodels for use in a dynamic engine/vehicle model have been developed and the resulting code has been used to analyze the tip-in, tip-out behavior of a computer-controlled port fuel injected SI engine. This code consists of four submodels. The intake simulation submodel is similar to prior intake models, but some refinements have been made to the fuel flow model to more properly simulate a timed port injection system, and it is believed that these refinements may be of general interest. A general purpose engine simulation code has been used as a subroutine for the cycle simulation submodel. A conventional vehicle simulation submodel is also included in the model formulation. Perhaps most importantly, a submodel has been developed that explicitly simulates the response of the on-board computer (ECM) control system.
Technical Paper

A Fractal-Based SI Engine Model: Comparisons of Predictions with Experimental Data

1991-02-01
910079
A quasidimensional engine simulation which uses the concepts of fractal geometry to model the effects of turbulence on flame propagation in a homogeneous charge SI engine has been developed. Heat transfer and blowby/crevice flow submodels are included in this code and the submodels chosen are found to be reasonable. The model predictions of cylinder pressure histories are then compared with experimental data over a range of loads, equivalence ratios, and engine speeds. The model is not adjusted in any manner to yield better agreement with the data, other than by tuning the simple turbulence model used so as to yield agreement with data for the nonreacting flow. However, current information about the flame wrinkling scales in an engine is inadequate. Therefore, predictions are made for three different assumptions about the flame wrinkling scales which span the range of physically possible scales.
Technical Paper

The Effect of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting Location on the HC Emissions from SI Engines

1999-03-01
1999-01-0502
The effect of combustion chamber wall-wetting on the emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs) from gasoline-fueled SI engines was investigated experimentally. A spark-plug mounted directional injection probe was developed to study the fate of liquid fuel which impinges on different surfaces of the combustion chamber, and to quantify its contribution to the HC emissions from direct-injected (DI) and port-fuel injected (PFI) engines. With this probe, a controlled amount of liquid fuel was deposited on a given location within the combustion chamber at a desired crank angle while the engine was operated on pre-mixed LPG. Thus, with this technique, the HC emissions due to in-cylinder wall wetting were studied independently of all other HC sources. Results from these tests show that the location where liquid fuel impinges on the combustion chamber has a very important effect on the resulting HC emissions.
Technical Paper

Liquid Film Evaporation Off the Piston of a Direct Injection Gasoline Engine

2001-03-05
2001-01-1204
An optical access engine was used to image the liquid film evaporation off the piston of a simulated direct injected gasoline engine. A directional injector probe was used to inject liquid fuel (gasoline, i-octane and n-pentane) directly onto the piston of an engine primarily fueled on propane. The engine was run at idle conditions (750 RPM and closed throttle) and at the Ford World Wide Mapping Point (1500 RPM and 262 kPa BMEP). Mie scattering images show the liquid exiting the injector probe as a stream and directly impacting the piston top. Schlieren imaging was used to show the fuel vaporizing off the piston top late in the expansion stroke and during the exhaust stroke. Previous emissions tests showed that the presence of liquid fuel on in-cylinder surfaces increases engine-out hydrocarbon emissions.
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