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Journal Article

The Influence of Fuel Cetane Number on Catalyst Light-Off Operation in a Modern Diesel Engine

The design of modern diesel-powered vehicles involves optimization and balancing of trade-offs for fuel efficiency, emissions, and noise. To meet increasingly stringent emission regulations, diesel powertrains employ aftertreatment devices to control nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter emissions and use active exhaust warm-up strategies to ensure those devices are active as quickly as possible. A typical strategy for exhaust warm-up is to operate with retarded combustion phasing, limited by combustion stability and HC emissions. The amount of exhaust enthalpy available for catalyst light-off is limited by the extent to which combustion phasing can be retarded. Diesel cetane number (CN), a measure of fuel ignition quality, has an influence on combustion stability at retarded combustion phasing. Diesel fuel in the United States tends to have a lower CN (both minimum required and average in market) than other countries.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Diesel Combustion and NO Emissions Based on a Modified Eddy Dissipation Concept

This paper reports the development of a model of diesel combustion and NO emissions, based on a modified eddy dissipation concept (EDC), and its implementation into the KIVA-3V multidimensional simulation. The EDC model allows for more realistic representation of the thin sub-grid scale reaction zone as well as the small-scale molecular mixing processes. Realistic chemical kinetic mechanisms for n-heptane combustion and NOx formation processes are fully incorporated. A model based on the normalized fuel mass fraction is implemented to transition between ignition and combustion. The modeling approach has been validated by comparison with experimental data for a range of operating conditions. Predicted cylinder pressure and heat release rates agree well with measurements. The predictions for NO concentration show a consistent trend with experiments. Overall, the results demonstrate the improved capability of the model for predictions of the combustion process.
Technical Paper

Bowl Geometry Effects on Turbulent Flow Structure in a Direct Injection Diesel Engine

Diesel piston bowl geometry can affect turbulent mixing and therefore it impacts heat-release rates, thermal efficiency, and soot emissions. The focus of this work is on the effects of bowl geometry and injection timing on turbulent flow structure. This computational study compares engine behavior with two pistons representing competing approaches to combustion chamber design: a conventional, re-entrant piston bowl and a stepped-lip piston bowl. Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are performed for a part-load, conventional diesel combustion operating point with a pilot-main injection strategy under non-combusting conditions. Two injection timings are simulated based on experimental findings: an injection timing for which the stepped-lip piston enables significant efficiency and emissions benefits, and an injection timing with diminished benefits compared to the conventional, re-entrant piston.
Technical Paper

Piston Bowl Geometry Effects on Combustion Development in a High-Speed Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In this work we studied the effects of piston bowl design on combustion in a small-bore direct-injection diesel engine. Two bowl designs were compared: a conventional, omega-shaped bowl and a stepped-lip piston bowl. Experiments were carried out in the Sandia single-cylinder optical engine facility, with a medium-load, mild-boosted operating condition featuring a pilot+main injection strategy. CFD simulations were carried out with the FRESCO platform featuring full-geometric body-fitted mesh modeling of the engine and were validated against measured in-cylinder performance as well as soot natural luminosity images. Differences in combustion development were studied using the simulation results, and sensitivities to in-cylinder flow field (swirl ratio) and injection rate parameters were also analyzed.