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Technical Paper

Boosted Current Spark Strategy for Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines

Spark ignition systems with the capability of providing spark event with either higher current level or longer discharge duration has been developed in recent years to help IC engines towards clean combustion with higher efficiency under lean/diluted intake charge. In this research, a boosted current spark strategy was proposed to investigate the effect of spark discharge current level and discharge duration on the combustion process. Firstly, the discharge characteristics of a boosted current spark system were tested with a traditional spark plug under crossflow conditions, and results showed that the spark channel was more stable, and was stretched much longer when the discharge current was boosted. Then the boosted current strategy was used in a spark ignition engine operating under lean conditions. Boosted current was added to the spark channel with different timing, duration, and current levels.
Technical Paper

Cycle Resolved Combustion and Pre-Ignition Diagnostic Employing Ion Current in a PFI Boosted SI Engine

An ion current sensor is employed in a 4 cylinder production SI engine for combustion diagnosis during combustion process, knock, and low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) detection. The results show that the ion current peak value and ion current peak phase have strong correlation with the cylinder pressure and pressure peak phase respectively. The COV of ion current integral value is greater than the COV of IMEP at the same operating condition. Results show that the ion current signal is sensitive to different lambdas. Using ion current signal, the knock in any given cylinder can be detected. Importantly, the ion sensor successfully detected the low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) about more than 20 °CA before spark ignition.
Technical Paper

Spray Characteristics and Wall-impingement Process with Different Piston Tops for the Multi-hole Injector of DISI Gasoline Engines

Spray characteristics and spray wall-impingement events are the key factors for the direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engines, affecting fuel/air mixture preparation and its combustion process. Thus, the spray characteristics of a multi-hole injector for DISI engines, such as spray tip penetration and spray cone angle were investigated in an optical chamber employing the high-speed shadow photography. Furthermore, the effects of the injection pressure, ambient pressure and piston top shape on the impinging spray development were studied in the optical chamber, when the impinging distance is 26.1 mm, corresponding to about 60 CAD ATDC. In addition, the SMD and wall film thickness of the spray impinging on the piston top were studied by means of CFD technique. The results showed that the ambient pressure had the greater effect on the changes of the spray penetration and spray cone angle than the injection pressure.
Technical Paper

Stratified Mixture Formation and Combustion Process for Wall-guided Stratified-charge DISI Engines with Different Piston Bowls by Simulation

This paper presents the simulation of in-cylinder stratified mixture formation, spray motion, combustion and emissions in a four-stroke and four valves direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine with a pent-roof combustion chamber by the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. The Extended Coherent Flame Combustion Model (ECFM), implemented in the AVL-Fire codes, was employed. The key parameters of spray characteristics related to computing settings, such as skew angle, cone angle and flow per pulse width with experimental measurements were compared. The numerical analysis is mainly focused on how the tumble flow ratio and geometry of piston bowls affect the motion of charge/spray in-cylinder, the formation of stratified mixture and the combustion and emissions (NO and CO₂) for the wall-guided stratified-charge spark-ignition DISI engine.
Technical Paper

A Study of Crevice HC Mechanism Based on the Transient HC Test Data and the Double Zone Combustion Model

The effectiveness of after-treatment systems depends on the exhaust gas temperature, which is low during cold-start. As a result, Euro III, Euro IV and FTP75 require that the emissions tests include exhaust from the beginning of cold start. It is proved that 50%∼80% of HC and CO emissions are emitted during the cold start and the amount of unburned fuel from the crevices during starting is much higher than that under warmed engine conditions. The piston crevices is the most part of combustion chamber crevices, and results of mathematical simulations show that the piston crevice contribution to HC emissions is expected to increase during cold engine operation. Based on the transient HC test data and the double zone combustion model, this paper presents the study of the crevice HC Mechanism of the first firing cycle at cold start on an LPG SI Engine. A fast-response flame ionization detector (FFID) was employed to measure transient HC emissions of the first firing cycle.
Technical Paper

Misfiring Control in Current Cycle at Engine Start Employing Ion Sensing Technology

In this paper a method of misfiring control in current cycle at engine start is presented. With this novel method, the high HC emissions of gasoline engine employed in traditional or hybrid electrical vehicles will be avoided. By the feedback of ion current signal, misfire phenomenon is identified within 30 degrees crank angle after spark plug ignited. Then, the ignition coil will be recharged and the plug sparked again to promote air fuel mixture oxidation and deplete the unburned hydrocarbon produces in exhaust gas. On the other hand, too late ignition will not always result in normal combustion, a kind of reaction similar with slow oxidation also occurs in such case.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study on the Characteristics of Knock under DI-HCCI Combustion Mode with Ethanol/Gasoline Mixed Fuel

Gasoline homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) can achieve high efficiency and extremely low NOX emissions. However, the working condition range of HCCI is limited by knock occurring during engine operation. To achieve an expanded HCCI working condition range, it is necessary to explore a method predicting knock cases accurately to avoid knock occurring. Based on a DI-HCCI engine with ethanol/gasoline mixed fuel, the knock cases under different conditions have been investigated. In-cylinder pressure signals are used to identify the knock cases and the knock oscillations are extracted with fast Fourier transform (FFT). The effects of the ethanol proportion in the fuel and air/fuel ratio on the characteristics of knock have been studied. The results have shown that the knock parameters, such as maximum frequency, start point angle and the duration, have close relationship with the knock intensity.
Technical Paper

Transient Characteristics of Combustion and Emissions during Start up at Higher Cranking Speed in a PFI Engine for HEV Application

The transient characteristics of combustion and emissions during the engine start up at different higher cranking speeds for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications were presented in this paper. Cycle-by-cycle analysis was done for each start up case. Intake air mass during the first several cycles decrease as the engine was cranked at higher speed. Ignition timing is delayed with higher cranking speed, which leads to an increase of exhaust temperature. For various start up cases, similar quantity of fuel is injected at the first cycle, but the ignition timing is significantly delayed to meet the acceleration requirement when cranking speed enhanced. Because of the deterioration of intake charge, the air-fuel mixture is over-enriched in the first several cycles for the cases at higher cranking speed. With cranking speed is increased, the in-cylinder residual gas fraction rises, which leads to poor combustion and decrease of mass fraction of burned fuel.
Technical Paper

Effect of Additives on Diesel Spray Flames in a Controllable Active Thermo-Atmosphere

The active components, such as OH and their concentrations in the coflow, have a strong effect on the combustion process of diesel fuel spray flames in the Controllable Active Thermo-Atmosphere (CATA), which then will affect the soot incandescence of the spray flames. CO2 and H2O2, the additives which have contrary effect on the concentration of the active components, were mixed separately into the thermo-atmosphere before the jet spray were issued into the coflow, which changed the boundary condition around the central jet and influenced the combustion characteristics and soot incandescence. The combustion characteristics such as ignition delay and flame liftoff height of the central spray flames are measured and the linkage between these two parameters is investigated at different coflow temperatures.
Technical Paper

A Novel Closed Loop Control based on Ionization Current in Combustion Cycle at Cold Start in a GDI Engine

As the invalidation of the oxygen sensor in the initial cycles at cold start, the engine can not operate based on the closed loop control based on oxygen sensor. And it may result in the misfire events and higher hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during this period. To solve this problem, a novel closed loop control based on ionization current in combustion cycle is proposed. The in-cylinder combustion quality is monitored by means of the ion current detection technique; meanwhile, if the misfire event is detected in the combustion cycle, the spark re-ignition is made in the current combustion cycle. In addition, to optimize the combustion and reduce HC emissions during cold start, the fuel injection quantity and ignition timing in the next cycle are adjusted based on the current ion current signal.
Technical Paper

Effect of First Cycle Fuel Injection Timing on Performance of a PFI Engine during Quick Start for HEV Application

Idle stopping is one of the most important fuel saving methods for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). While the enriched injection strategy which was employed to ensure reliable ignition of first cycle will leads to even more fuel film stayed in the intake port, all of the liquid film will evaporate randomly and interfere the mixture air-fuel ratio of the followed cycles. The fuel transport of the first cycle should be enhanced to reduce the residual fuel film, and then the control of the cycle-by-cycle air-fuel ratio will become easier and the combustion and HC emissions will also be better. In this paper the mixture preparation characteristics of the unfired first cycle, as well as the combustion and HC emissions characteristics of the fired first cycle under various injection timing strategies such as close-valve injection, mid-valve injection, and open-valve injection were investigated.
Technical Paper

Study of Combustion Characteristics of a Quasi Internal Combustion Rankine Cycle Engine

Internal combustion Rankine cycle (ICRC) engine uses oxygen instead of air as oxidant during the combustion process, therefore totally eliminates the emission of NOx. CO2 could be captured after separated from the exhaust gas, the latter are mainly water vapor and CO2, through condensation at a relatively low price, and thus an ultra-low emission working cycle is achieved. Moreover, water is heated up by exhaust gas and injected into the cylinder during the combustion process to control combustion temperature, and evaporation of the water mist would increase working fluid inside the cylinder, therefore enhance indicated thermal efficiency. This study investigates the combustion characteristics of a quasi ICRC on a single-cylinder SI engine fueled with propane. Gas mixture of O2/CO2 is employed to simulate EGR in order to control in-cylinder temperature.
Technical Paper

Closed-loop Control of Low Temperature Combustion Employing Ion Current Detecting Technology

Based on high EGR rate, the low temperature combustion (LTC) has been studied widely, of which the application range is more extensive than the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI). As the high EGR rate would influence the condition of intake charge, it would also affect the combustion process and the HC emissions, thus the combustion stability of LTC would be lower than tradition diesel combustion. In this study, an ion current detecting technology was employed to explore the ion current at different EGR rates. Meanwhile, the combustion parameters were also investigated, which included the in-cylinder pressure and heat release rate. The CA50 and CAI50 were adopted as the phases of combustion and ion current, which respectively represented the crank angle of mid-point for the integrated heat release and integrated ion current. Then the correlation between CA50 and CAI50 was analysed.
Technical Paper

Study of the Combustion and Emission Characteristics of a Quasi ICRC Engine Under Different Engine Loads

A novel reciprocating engine version of oxy-fuel combustion cycle combined with water direct injection (known as internal combustion rankine cycle) is presented in this paper. Water is injected near top dead center to control the reaction rate of the oxy-fuel mixture, as well as the peak in-cylinder temperature. The evaporation of the water mist will increase the mass of working gas inside the cylinder, and enhances the thermo efficiency and MEP. Moreover, the injected water is heated up through heat exchangers by both engine coolant and exhaust gas, and the waste heat is effectively recovered this way. This study investigates the combustion and emission characteristics of ICRC under different engine loads based on a single-cylinder, air-cooled SI engine fueled with propane. An extra diesel injector is employed to inject water with high injection temperature (160°C).
Technical Paper

In-Cycle Knocking Detection and Feedback Control Based on In-Cylinder Pressure and Ion Current Signal in a GDI Engine

Due to much higher pressure and pressure rising rate, knocking is always of potential hazards causing damages in the engine and high NOX emissions. Therefore, the researchers have focused on knocking diagnosis and control for many years. However, there is still lack of fast response sensor detecting in-cycle knocking. Until now, the feedback control based on knocking sensor normally adjusts the injection and ignition parameters of the following cycles after knocking appears. Thus in-cycle knocking feedback control which requires a predictive combustion signal is still hard to see. Ion current signal is feasible for real-time in-cylinder combustion detection, and can be employed for misfiring and knocking detection. Based on incylinder pressure and ion current signals, the in-cycle knocking feedback control is investigated in this research. The 2nd-order differential of in-cylinder pressure, which means the response time of pressure rising rate dPR, is employed for knocking prediction.
Technical Paper

Effect of Stratification on Ion Distribution in HCCI Combustion Using 3D-CFD with Detailed Chemistry

Ion current sensing, which usually employs a spark plug as its sensor to obtain feedback signal from different types of combustion in SI engines, may be applied to HCCI combustion sensing instead of a prohibitively expensive piezoelectric pressure transducer. However, studies showed that the ion current detected by a spark plug sensor is a localized signal within the vicinity of the sensor's electrode gap, being affected by conditions around it. To find out better and feasible ion probe positions, a 3D-CFD model with a detailed surrogate mechanism containing 1423 species and 6106 reactions was employed to study the effect of stratification on ion distribution in HCCI combustion. The simulation results indicate that the monitor probe 1, 8 and 9 are more stable and reliable than the others. IONmax and dIONmax are more accurate to estimate CA50 and dQmax respectively.
Technical Paper

Effect of Water Injection Temperature on Characteristics of Combustion and Emissions for Internal Combustion Rankine Cycle Engine

The present work discusses a novel oxyfuel combustion method named internal combustion rankine cycle (ICRC) used in reciprocating engines. Water is heated up through heat exchanger by exhaust gas and engine cooling system, and then injected into the cylinder near top dead center to control the combustion temperature and in-cylinder pressure rise rate, meanwhile to enhance the thermo efficiency and work of the combustion cycle. That is because injected water increases the mass of the working fluid inside the cylinder, and can make use of the combustion heat more effectively. Waste heat carried away by engine coolant and exhaust gas can be recovered and utilized in this way. This study investigates the effect of water injection temperature on the combustion and emission characteristics of an ICRC engine based on self-designed test bench. The results indicate that both indicated work and thermal efficiency increase significantly due to water injection process.
Technical Paper

Closed Loop Control of SI/HCCI Combustion Mode Switch Based on Ion Current Feedback

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology is admitted to be one of the most effective measures to improve the fuel economy for the spark ignition (SI) engines. Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion has advantages of low fuel consumption and ultra low NOx emissions. But the difficulty in the autoignition control and the narrow operation region inhibit the practical application of this technology. A hybrid combustion mode which combines SI mode and HCCI mode in separated working regions was regarded as a promising technology for HCCI engines. In addition, monitoring and providing feedback to the in-cylinder combustion characteristics is generally considered to be an effective method to improve and to optimize the combustion process. A lot of combustion information is included in the ion current generated by the in-cylinder combustion, and hence the ion current detection technique is considered to be a potential combustion feedback method.
Technical Paper

A Study on Combustion and Emission Characteristics of GDI Engine for HEV at Quick Start

Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines have attracted interest as automotive power-plants because of their potential advantages in down-sizing, fuel efficiency and in emissions reduction. However, GDI engines suffer from elevated unburned hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during start up process, which are sometimes worsened by misfires and partial burns. Moreover, as the engine is cranked to idle speed quickly in HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the transients of quick starts are more dramatically than that in traditional vehicle, which challenge the optimization of combustion and emissions. In this study, test bench had been set up to investigate the GDI engine performances for ISG (Integrated Starter and Generator) HEVs during start up process. Based on the test system, cycle-controlled of the fuel injection mass, fuel injection timing and ignition timing can be obtained, as well as the cycle-resolved measurement of the HC concentrations and NO emissions.
Technical Paper

Effect of Two-Stage Valve Lift for Fuel Economy and Performance on a PFI Gasoline Engine

Reducing the pumping loss, and thus, the fuel consumption of gasoline engine at part load, a two-stage intake valve lift system was implanted into a PFI engine. A corresponding engine model was set up with GT-power as well, which can simulate the effect of two-stage intake valve lift and different EGR rates on fuel economy performance and on combustion condition of a gasoline engine. Based on simulation results, the valve lift control strategy and EGR control strategy was studied in this paper. Results showed that at low engine speed, when SMALL LIFT was used, the tumble flow and the combustion process in cylinder was improved and burn time duration became shorter, resulting in higher indicated efficiency and lower fuel consumption than by LARGE LIFT. With the introduction of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), lower fuel consumption was acquired.