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Journal Article

Modeling of Ducted-Fan and Motor in an Electric Aircraft and a Preliminary Integrated Design

Abstract Electric ducted-fans with high power density are widely used in hybrid aircraft, electric aircraft, and VTOL vehicles. For the state-of-the-art electric ducted-fan, motor cooling restricts the power density increase. A motor design model based on the fan hub-to-tip ratio proposed in this article reveals that the thermal coupling effect between fan aerodynamic design and motor cooling design has great potential to increase the power density of the motor in an electric propulsion system. A smaller hub-to-tip ratio is preferred as long as the power balance and cooling balance are satisfied. Parametric study on a current 6 kW electric ducted-fan system shows that the highest motor power density could be increased by 246% based on the current technology. Finally, a preliminary design was obtained and experiments were conducted to prove the feasibility of the model.
Journal Article

Design and Experiment on Aircraft Electromechanical Actuator Fan at Different Altitudes and Rotational Speeds

Abstract For electromechanical actuators (EMAs) and electronic devices cooling on aircraft, there is a need to study cooling fan performance at various altitudes from sea level to 12,000 m where the ambient pressure varies from 1 to 0.2 atm. As fan static pressure head is proportional to air density, the fan’s rotational speed has to be increased significantly to compensate for the low ambient pressure of 0.2 atm at the altitude of 12,000 m. To evaluate fan performance for EMA cooling, a high-rotational-speed, commercially available fan made by Ametek with a diameter of ~82 mm and ~3 m3/min zero-load open cooling flow rate when operating at 20,000 rpm was chosen as the baseline. According to fan scaling laws, this fan was expected to meet the cooling needs for an EMA when operating at 0.2 atm. Using a closed flow loop, the performance of the fan operating in the above ambient pressure range and at a rotational speed between 15,000 and 30,000 rpm was evaluated.
Journal Article

Microturbine Blade Cooling

Abstract The main technical barrier to commercial use of microturbines is its low efficiency, not exceeding 15%. Efficiency and specific power are as high as the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT), generally limited to 950°C in microturbines, as its tiny rotors make internal blade cooling impossible. This work uses Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to develop an external cooling system of the blades of a microturbine by incorporating a compressor into the disk to blow air over the blades’ walls. The engine used as the basis of the work is the FD-3/64. The work was divided into two steps. In the first, Step 1, the reactive flow in the combustor was simulated to obtain the boundary conditions for Step 2. In Step 2, the flow through the turbine wheel during rotation is simulated. Four rotor models were simulated.
Journal Article

Implementation and Optimization of a Variable-Speed Coolant Pump in a Powertrain Cooling System

Abstract This study investigates methods to precisely control a coolant pump in an internal combustion engine. The goal of this research is to minimize power consumption while still meeting optimal performance, reliability and durability requirements for an engine at all engine-operating conditions. This investigation achieves reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions, and improved powertrain performance. Secondary impacts include cleaner air for the earth, reduced operating costs for the owner, and compliance with US regulatory requirements. The study utilizes mathematical modeling of the cooling system using heat transfer, pump laws, and boiling analysis to set limits to the cooling system and predict performance changes.
Journal Article

A Method for Turbocharging Single-Cylinder, Four-Stroke Engines

Abstract Turbocharging can provide a low cost means for increasing the power output and fuel economy of an internal combustion engine. Currently, turbocharging is common in multi-cylinder engines, but due to the inconsistent nature of intake air flow, it is not commonly used in single-cylinder engines. In this article, we propose a novel method for turbocharging single-cylinder, four-stroke engines. Our method adds an air capacitor-an additional volume in series with the intake manifold, between the turbocharger compressor and the engine intake-to buffer the output from the turbocharger compressor and deliver pressurized air during the intake stroke. We analyzed the theoretical feasibility of air capacitor-based turbocharging for a single-cylinder engine, focusing on fill time, optimal volume, density gain, and thermal effects due to adiabatic compression of the intake air.
Journal Article

Energy Consumption Test and Analysis Methodology for Heavy-Duty Vehicle Engine Accessories

Abstract Fuel economy is a crucial parameter in long-haulage heavy-duty vehicles. Researchers tended to focus initially on engine combustion efficiency, while modern researchers turn their attention to the energy consumption of engine accessories in an attempt to enhance fuel economy. The accessories investigated in this study include the cooling fan, water pump, air compressor, power steering pump, air-conditioning (AC) compressor, and generator. Normally, accessory energy consumption analysis is based on rig data and simulation results. Here, we focus on the disparate test environments between the rig and vehicle to establish a novel steady power test method; the proposed method provides accurate accessory power data under different working conditions. A typical highway driving cycle is selected to collect accessory duty-cycle. The heavy-duty vehicle accessories’ energy consumption distribution under highway road conditions is obtained through the repeated road tests.
Journal Article

Homogeneous Charge Reactivity-Controlled Compression Ignition Strategy to Reduce Regulated Pollutants from Diesel Engines

Abstract Reactivity-controlled compression ignition (RCCI) is a dual fuel low temperature combustion (LTC) strategy which results in a wider operating load range, near-zero oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions, and higher thermal efficiency. One of the major shortcomings in RCCI is a higher unburned hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Unlike conventional combustion, aftertreatment control of HC and CO emissions is difficult to achieve in RCCI owing to lower exhaust gas temperatures. In conventional RCCI, an early direct injection (DI) of low volatile diesel fuel into the premixed gasoline-air mixture in the combustion chamber results in charge stratification and fuel spray wall wetting leading to higher HC and CO emissions. To address this limitation, a homogeneous charge reactivity-controlled compression ignition (HCRCCI) strategy is proposed in the present work, wherein the DI of diesel fuel is eliminated.
Journal Article

Optimizing Cooling Fan Power Consumption for Improving Diesel Engine Fuel Efficiency Using CFD Technique

Abstract Fan cooling system of an air-cooled diesel engine is optimized using 3D CFD numerical simulation approach. The main objective of this article is to increase engine fuel efficiency by reducing fan power consumption. It is achieved by optimizing airflow rates and flow distribution over the engine surfaces to keep the maximum temperature of engine oil and engine surfaces well within the lubrication and material limit, respectively, at the expense of lower fan power. Based on basic fan laws, a bigger fan consumes lesser power for the same airflow rate as compared to a smaller fan, provided both fans have similar efficiency. Flow analysis is also conducted with the engine head and block modeled as solid medium and fan cooling system as fluid domain. Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes turbulence (RANS) equations were solved to get the flow field inside the cooling system and on the engine liner fins. The Moving Reference Frame approach was used for simulating the rotation of a fan.
Journal Article

A Contribution to Improving the Thermal Management of Powertrain Systems

Abstract This work presents a generalized methodology for the optimal thermal management of different powertrain devices. The methodology is based on the adoption of an electrically driven pump and on the development of a specifically designed controller algorithm. This is achieved following a Model Predictive Control approach and requires a generalized lumped-parameters model of the thermal exchange between the device walls and the coolant. The methodology is validated at a test rig, with reference to a four-cylinder spark-ignition engine. Results show that the proposed approach allows a reduction in fuel consumption of about 2-3% during the engine warm-up, a decrease in fuel consumption of about 1-2% during fully warmed operation, and an estimated fuel consumption reduction of about 2.5-3% in an NEDC. Finally, the investigation highlights that the proposed approach reduces the risk of after-boiling when the engine is rapidly switched off after a prolonged high-load operation.