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Technical Paper

PIV Investigation of High Swirl Flow on Spray Structure and its Effect on Emissions in a Diesel-Like Environment

The paper presents results of an experimental investigation of the fluid dynamic processes during the air/fuel mixture formation period between an evaporating diesel spray and swirl air flow under realistic engine conditions. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) experiments have been carried out using an optically accessible prototype 2-stroke diesel engine equipped with a swirled combustion chamber. The flow within the chamber assumes a well structured swirl motion, similar to that developing in a real diesel engine, operating at high swirl ratio. The engine has been equipped with a common rail injection system and a solenoid-controlled injector, in use on automotive engines for the European market, able to manage multiple injection strategies. Two injector nozzles have been tested: a micro-sac 5-hole nozzle, 0.13 mm diameter, 150° spray angle and a 7-hole, 0.141 mm diameter, 148° spray angle.
Journal Article

UV-visible Optical Characterization of the Early Combustion Stage in a DISI Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Gasoline Blend

Detailed experimental information on the early stages of spark ignition process represent a substantial part for guiding the development of engines with higher efficiencies and reduced pollutant emissions. Flame kernel formation influences strongly combustion development inside the cylinder, especially for a direct injection spark ignition engine. This study presents the analysis of the evolution of spark-ignited flame kernels with detailed view upon cycle-to-cycle variations. Experiments are performed in a SI optical engine equipped with the cylinder head and injection system of a commercial turbocharged engine. Blend of commercial gasoline and butanol (40% by volume) is tested at stoichiometric and lean mixture conditions. Experiments are carried out at 2000 rpm through conventional tests (based on in-cylinder pressure measurements and exhaust emission analysis) and through optical diagnostics. In particular, UV-visible digital imaging and natural emission spectroscopy are applied.
Technical Paper

Spectroscopic Investigation of Post-Injection Strategy Impact on Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Supplied with Diesel/Butanol and Gasoline Blends

In this paper, a high temporal resolution optical technique, based on the multi-wavelength UV-visible-near IR extinction spectroscopy, was applied at the exhaust of an automotive diesel engine to investigate the post-injection strategy impact on the fuel vapor. Experimental investigations were carried out using three fuels: commercial diesel (B5), a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of gasoline (G20) and a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of n-butanol (BU20). Experiments were performed at the engine speed of 2500rpm and 0.8MPa of brake mean effective pressure exploring two post-injection timings and two EGR rates. The optical diagnostic allowed evaluating, during the post-injection activation, the evolution of the fuel vapor in the engine exhaust line. The investigation was focused on the impact of post-injection strategy and fuel properties on the aptitude to produce hydrocarbon rich gaseous exhaust for the regeneration of diesel particulate trap (DPF).
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of the Effect on the Combustion Process of Butanol-Gasoline Blend in a PFI SI Boosted Engine

The addition of alcohol to conventional hydrocarbon fuels for a spark-ignition engine can increase the fuel octane rating and the power for a given engine displacement and compression ratio. In this work, the influence of butanol addition to gasoline was investigated. The experiments were performed in an optical ported fuel injection single-cylinder SI engine with an external boosting device. The engine was equipped with the head of a commercial SI turbocharged engine having the same geometrical specifications (bore, stroke and compression ratio). The effect of a blend of 20% of n-butanol and 80% of gasoline (BU20) on in-cylinder combustion process was investigated by cycle-resolved visualization. The engine worked at low speed, medium boosting and wide open throttle. Changes in spark timing and fuel injection phasing were considered. Comparisons between the flame luminosity and the combustion pressure data were performed.
Technical Paper

Multi-Wavelength Spectroscopic Investigations of the Post-Injection Strategy Effect on the Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Fuelled with B5 and B30

Optical diagnostic was applied to undiluted engine exhaust to supply a low cost and real time evaluation of the oil dilution tendency of selected fuels. Specifically, UV-visible-near IR extinction spectroscopy was applied in the exhaust line of a Euro 5 turbocharged, water cooled, DI diesel engine, equipped with a common rail injection system. The engine was fuelled with commercial B5 fuel and a B30 v/v blend of RME and ultra low sulfur diesel. The proposed experimental methodology allowed to identify the contribution to the multi-wavelength extinction of soot, fuel vapor, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide. Further, the evolution of each species for different post-injection interval settings was followed. On-line optical results were correlated with off-line liquid fuel absorption values. Moreover, spectroscopic measurements were linked to in-cylinder pressure related data and with HC and smoke exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

The Full Cycle HD Diesel Engine Simulations Using KIVA-4 Code

With the advent of the KIVA-4 code which employs an unstructured mesh to represent the engine geometry, the gap in flexibility between commercial and research modeling software becomes more narrow. In this study, we tried to perform a full cycle simulation of a 4-stroke HD diesel engine represented by a highly boosted research IF (Isotta Fraschini) engine using the KIVA-4 code. The engine mesh including the combustion chamber, intake and exhaust valves and helical manifolds was constructed using optional O-Grids catching a complex geometry of the engine parts with the help of the ANSYS ICEM CFD software. The KIVA-4 mesh input was obtained by a homemade mesh converter which can read STAR-CD and CFX outputs. The simulations were performed on a full 360 deg mesh consisting of 300,000 unstructured hexahedral cells at BDC. The physical properties of the liquid fuel were taken corresponding to those of real diesel #2 oil.
Technical Paper

Optical Properties Investigation of Alternative Fuels Containing Carbon-Based Nanostructures

Liquids with stable suspensions of nanoscale materials are defined as nanofluids. As reported in recent scientific literature, a very small amount of suspended nanostructures has the potential to enhance the thermo physical, transport and radiative properties of the base fluid. One of the main applications of this technology is in the field of combustion and fuels. In fact, adding nanomaterials (such as metals, oxides, carbides, nitrides, or carbon-based nanostructures) to liquid fuels is able to enhance ignition and combustion. The focus of this research is to gain a fundamental understanding of the characteristics of a nanofluid fuel prepared using carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) dispersed in butanol. This study starts with the investigation of the optical properties of the mixtures. The transmission spectra of the nanofluids are measured in a wide wavelength range from UV (250 nm) to near IR (800 nm).
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Spectroscopic Measurements of Combustion Process in a SI Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Gasoline Blend

In-cylinder optical diagnostic was applied to study butanol-gasoline blend combustion in a SI engine. Spark timing and fuel injection mode were changed to work in normal and knocking conditions. The experiments were realized in a single-cylinder ported fuel injection SI engine with an external boosting device. The engine worked like-stoichiometric mixture at 2000 rpm, medium boosting and wide open throttle. UV-visible natural emission spectroscopy allowed to follow the formation and the evolution of the main compounds and radical species that characterize the combustion process from the spark ignition until the exhaust. Particular interest was devoted to OH and CO₂* evolution, and to the spectral evidence of soot precursors due to fuel deposits burning. OH resulted the best marker for combustion both in normal and abnormal conditions.
Technical Paper

Flame Contour Analysis through UV-Visible Imaging during Regular and Abnormal Combustion in a DISI Engine

Crank angle resolved imaging in the UV-visible spectral range was used to investigate flame front characteristics during normal combustion, surface ignition and light knock conditions. ‘Line of sight’ measurements provided information on local wrinkling: the evaluation was based on a statistical approach, with multiple frames taken at the same crank angle during consecutive cycles. This allowed the results during normal combustion to be representative for the specific operational conditions and to a good degree independent from the effects of cyclic variation. Abnormal combustion on the other hand, was investigated on a cycle-to-cycle basis, given the stochastic nature of such phenomena. The experimental trials were performed at fixed engine speed on an optically accessible direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine equipped with the cylinder head of a four cylinder 16-valves commercial power unit.
Technical Paper

Integral and Micro Time Scales Estimate in a D.I. Diesel Engine

The present paper aims at developing a general method to estimate integral and microtime scales of turbulent in-cylinder flow field in reciprocating engines. The ensemble average technique was used to compute the integral time scale from the single point time autocorrelation function, whereas the microtime scale, representative of the most rapid changes that occur in the fluctuation, was computed as the intercept of the parabola that matches the autocorrelation function at the origin. Further, the microtime scale was also estimated by spectral analysis through the energy spectral density function of the ensemble turbulent fluctuation and the results obtained by the two methods were compared. The procedures were applied to the tangential component of the instantaneous velocity data collected, at different engine speeds (1,000, 1,500, 2,000 rpm), within a motored d.i. diesel engine equipped with a re-entrant combustion chamber, using the Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA) technique.
Technical Paper

Plasma Assisted Ignition Effects on a DISI Engine Fueled with Gasoline and Butanol under Lean Conditions and with EGR

Considering the generalized diversification of the energy mix, the use of alcohols as gasoline replacement is proposed as a viable option. Also, alternative control strategies for spark ignition engines (SI) such as lean operation and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are used on an ever wider scale for improving fuel economy and reducing the environmental impact of automotive engines. In order to increase the stability of these operating points, alternative ignition systems are currently investigated. Within this context, the present work deals about the use of plasma assisted ignition (PAI) in a direct injection (DI) SI engine under lean conditions and cooled EGR, with gasoline and n-butanol fueling. The PAI system was tested in an optically accessible single-cylinder DISI engine equipped with the head of a commercial turbocharged power unit with similar geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio).
Journal Article

CFD Analysis of Combustion and Knock in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

The occurrence of knock is the most limiting hindrance for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines. In order to understand its origin and move the operating condition as close as possible to onset of this potentially harmful phenomenon, a joint experimental and numerical investigation is the most recommended approach. A preliminary experimental activity was carried out at IM-CNR on a 0.4 liter GDI unit, equipped with a flat transparent piston. The analysis of flame front morphology allowed to correlate high levels of flame front wrinkling and negative curvature to knock prone operating conditions, such as increased spark timings or high levels of exhaust back-pressure. In this study a detailed CFD analysis is carried out for the same engine and operating point as the experiments. The aim of this activity is to deeper investigate the reasons behind the main outcomes of the experimental campaign.
Journal Article

Butanol-Diesel Blend Spray Combustion Investigation by UV-Visible Flame Emission in a Prototype Single Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine

The paper reports the results of an experimental investigation carried out in a prototype optically accessible compression ignition engine fuelled with different blends of commercial diesel and n-butanol. Thermodynamic analysis and exhaust gas measurements were supported by optical investigations performed through a wide optical access to the combustion chamber. UV-visible digital imaging and 2D chemiluminescence were applied to characterize the combustion process in terms of spatial and temporal occurrence of auto-ignition, flame propagation, soot and OH evolution. The paper illustrates the results of the spray combustion for diesel and n-butanol-diesel blends at 20% and 40% volume fraction, exploring a single and double injection strategy (pilot+main) from a common rail multi-jet injection system. Tests were performed setting a pilot+main strategy with a fixed dwell time and different starts of injection.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Investigation of Alcohol/Diesel Fuel Blends on Combustion and Emissions in a Single-Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine

UV-visible digital imaging and 2D chemiluminescence were applied on a single cylinder optically accessible compression ignition engine to investigate the effect of different alcohol/diesel fuel blends on the combustion mechanism. The growing request for greenhouse gas emission reduction imposes to consider the use of alternative fuels with the aim of both partially replacing the diesel fuel and reducing the fossil fuel consumption. To this purpose, the use of ABE (Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol) fermentation could represent an effective solution. Even if the different properties of alcohols compared to Diesel fuel limit the maximum blend concentration, low blend volume fractions can be used for improving combustion efficiency and exhaust emissions. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of the different fuel properties on the combustion evolution within the combustion chamber of a prototype optically accessible compression ignition engine.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Study of the Water Injection to Improve the Fuel Economy of a Small Size Turbocharged SI Engine

In this work, a promising technique, consisting of a liquid Water Injection (WI) at the intake ports, is investigated to overcome over-fueling and delayed combustions typical of downsized boosted engines, operating at high loads. In a first stage, experimental tests are carried out in a spark-ignition twin-cylinder turbocharged engine at a fixed rotational speed and medium-high loads. In particular, a spark timing and a water-to-fuel ratio sweep are both specified, to analyze the WI capability in increasing the knock-limited spark advance. In a second stage, the considered engine is schematized in a 1D framework. The model, developed in the GT-Power™ environment, includes user defined procedures for the description of combustion and knock phenomena. Computed results are compared with collected data for all the considered operating conditions, in terms of average performance parameters, in-cylinder pressure cycles, burn rate profiles, and knock propensity, as well.
Journal Article

A Modeling Study of Cyclic Dispersion Impact on Fuel Economy for a Small Size Turbocharged SI Engine

In this paper, the results of an extensive experimental analysis regarding a twin-cylinder spark-ignition turbocharged engine are employed to build up an advanced 1D model, which includes the effects of cycle-by-cycle variations (CCVs) on the combustion process. Objective of the activity is to numerically estimate the CCV impact primarily on fuel consumption and knock behavior. To this aim, the engine is experimentally characterized in terms of average performance parameters and CCVs at high and low load operation. In particular, both a spark advance and an air-to-fuel ratio (α) sweep are actuated. Acquired pressure signals are processed to estimate the rate of heat release and the main combustion events. Moreover, the Coefficient of Variation of IMEP (CoVIMEP) and of in-cylinder peak pressure (CoVpmax) are evaluated to quantify the cyclic dispersion and identify its dependency on peak pressure position.
Technical Paper

A Non-Linear Regression Technique to Estimate from Vibrational Engine Data the Instantaneous In-Cylinder Pressure Peak and Related Angular Position

In this paper, a downsized twin-cylinder turbocharged spark-ignition engine is experimentally investigated at test-bench in order to verify the potential to estimate the peak pressure value and the related crank angle position, based on vibrational data acquired by an accelerometer sensor. Purpose of the activity is to provide the ECU of additional information to establish a closed-loop control of the spark timing, on a cycle-by-cycle basis. In this way, an optimal combustion phasing can be more properly accomplished in each engine operating condition. Engine behavior is firstly characterized in terms of average thermodynamic and performance parameters and cycle-by-cycle variations (CCVs) at high-load operation. In particular, both a spark advance and an A/F ratio sweep are actuated. In-cylinder pressure data are acquired by pressure sensors flush-mounted within the combustion chamber of both cylinders.
Journal Article

Experimental Evaluation of an Advanced Ignition System for GDI Engines

A plasma ignition system was tested in a GDI engine with the target of combustion efficiency improvement without modifying engine configuration. The plasma was generated by spark discharge and successively sustained to enhance its duration up to 4 ms. The innovative ignition system was tested in an optically accessible single-cylinder DISI engine to investigate the effects of plasma on kernel stability and flame front propagation under low loads and lean mixture (λ≅1.3). The engine was equipped with the head of a commercial turbocharged engine with similar geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio). All experiments were performed at 2000 rpm and 100 bar injection pressure. UV-visible 2D chemiluminescence was applied in order to study the flame front inception and propagation with particular interest in the early combustion stages. A bandpass filter allowed selecting luminous signal due to OH radicals.
Technical Paper

Identification of a Common-Rail Diesel Jet Contour and Spray Droplet Velocity by Two Different Laser Techniques

Non evaporating diesel sprays from an Electronic Common Rail system are investigated by two different laser light techniques at room temperature within vessels at both ambient and high pressures. Injection is performed by using single-hole injectors of mini-sac type with nozzle orifices 0.18 and 0.22 mm, which operate at injection pressures in the range 40 to 120 MPa. The fuel used is the standard ISO 4113. The densities of ambient gas (nitrogen) are varied in the constant volume vessel within the range 1.2 ÷ 58.4 kg/m3. Two different laser diagnostics are used to infer quantitative information on jet properties. The first is the light Extinction Ratio (ER) method, which is applied at wavelengths 632.8 nm and 832 nm in correspondence of the early instants (∼200÷800 μs) after the end of the liquid injection to infer the average droplet diameter and the number concentration along the line-of-sight. The second experimental technique is the Laser Doppler Anemometry (LDA).
Technical Paper

Intake Valve Flow Measurements Using PIV

Intake valve flow patterns have been measured quantitatively using particle image velocimetry (PIV) for a commercial 4-valve diesel cylinder head and valve system. The measurements have been made for low (600 engine RPM) and higher (1000 engine RPM) speeds, and at several planes in the valve curtain area. The measurements involve double exposure photography of laser light scattered by seed particles (≅1 μm) from a laser light sheet (≅ 0.5 mm by 50 mm) through an imaging system onto silver halide film. Subsequent processing produces the local particle displacement between the two exposures. Combined with the known time interval between exposures, the displacement information can produce velocity vectors at many locations in the field of view. The results of the experiments are shown as vector plots for each operating condition. In the plane of the illuminating laser sheet, velocity vectors representing local gas velocity are produced.