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Technical Paper

Ion Current Sensing in an Optical HCCI Engine with Negative Valve Overlap

Ion current sensors have high potential utility for obtaining feedback signals directly from the combustion chamber in internal combustion engines. This paper describes experiments performed in a single-cylinder optical engine operated in HCCI mode with negative valve overlap to explore this potential. A high-speed CCD camera was used to visualize the combustion progress in the cylinder, and the photographs obtained were compared with the ion current signals. The optical data indicate that the ions responsible for the chemiluminescence from the HCCI combustion have to be in contact with the sensing electrode for an ion current to start flowing through the measurement circuit. This also means that there will be an offset between the time at which 50% of the fuel mass has burned and 50% of the ion current peak value is reached, which is readily explained by the results presented in the paper.
Technical Paper

Reducing Pressure Fluctuations at High Loads by Means of Charge Stratification in HCCI Combustion with Negative Valve Overlap

Future demands for improvements in the fuel economy of gasoline passenger car engines will require the development and implementation of advanced combustion strategies, to replace, or combine with the conventional spark ignition strategy. One possible strategy is homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) achieved using negative valve overlap (NVO). However, several issues need to be addressed before this combustion strategy can be fully implemented in a production vehicle, one being to increase the upper load limit. One constraint at high loads is the combustion becoming too rapid, leading to excessive pressure-rise rates and large pressure fluctuations (ringing), causing noise. In this work, efforts were made to reduce these pressure fluctuations by using a late injection during the later part of the compression. A more appropriate acronym than HCCI for such combustion is SCCI (Stratified Charge Compression Ignition).
Technical Paper

The Influence of PRF and Commercial Fuels with High Octane Number on the Auto-ignition Timing of an Engine Operated in HCCI Combustion Mode with Negative Valve Overlap

A single-cylinder engine was operated in HCCI combustion mode with different kinds of commercial fuels. The HCCI combustion was generated by creating a negative valve overlap (early exhaust valve closing combined with late intake valve opening) thus trapping a large amount of residuals (∼ 55%). Fifteen different fuels with high octane numbers were tested six of which were primary reference fuels (PRF's) and nine were commercial fuels or reference fuels. The engine was operated at constant operational parameters (speed/load, valve timing and equivalence ratio, intake air temperature, compression ratio, etc.) changing only the fuel type while the engine was running. Changing the fuel affected the auto-ignition timing, represented by the 50% mass fraction burned location (CA50). However these changes were not consistent with the classical RON and MON numbers, which are measures of the knock resistance of the fuel. Indeed, no correlation was found between CA50 and the RON or MON numbers.
Technical Paper

Temperature Oscillations in the Wall of a Cooled Multi Pulsejet Propeller for Aeronautic Propulsion

Environmental and economic issues related to the aeronautic transport, with particular reference to the high-speed one are opening new perspectives to pulsejets and derived pulse detonation engines. Their importance relates to high thrust to weight ratio and low cost of manufacturing with very low energy efficiency. This papers presents a preliminary evaluation in the direction of a new family of pulsejets which can be coupled with both an air compression system which is currently in pre-patenting study and a more efficient and enduring valve systems with respect to today ones. This new pulsejet has bee specifically studied to reach three objectives: a better thermodynamic efficiency, a substantial reduction of vibrations by a multi-chamber cooled architecture, a much longer operative life by more affordable valves. Another objective of this research connects directly to the possibility of feeding the pulsejet with hydrogen.