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Technical Paper

Optimization of Control Parameters for a Heavy-Duty CNG Engine via Co-Simulation Analysis

Internal combustion engines for vehicle propulsion are more and more sophisticated due to increasingly restrictive environmental regulations. In case of heavy-duty engines, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling coupled with Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) can help in meeting the imposed emission limits and preventing from thermal stress of engine components. To cope with the new issues associated with the more complex hardware and to improve powertrain performance and reliability and after-treatment efficiency, the engine control strategies must be reformulated. The paper focuses on the steady-state optimization of control parameters for a heavy-duty engine fueled by CNG and equipped with turbocharger and EGR. The optimization analysis is carried out to design EGR, spark timing and wastegate control, aimed at increasing fuel economy while reducing in-cylinder temperature to prevent from thermal stress of engine components.
Technical Paper

Statistical Investigation of In Use Emissions and Fuel Consumption Measured by PEM on Different Gasoline Cars

In this paper some results relative to tests performed on road with a Fiat Panda Bipower, (CNG and gasoline powered), and a New Panda Twin Air with auto Start & Stop system, are presented. Gaseous emissions are measured with Portable Emission Measurement Systems (PEMS) on two different urban routes, in terms of traffic and slope characteristics during in use experiments. PEMS testing offers an easy and efficient way to evaluate the vehicle emissions over a huge variety of conditions and provides us a direct way to study the in-use emissions of combustion engines, when you want to verify the effect of the traffic and of a particular device on fuel economy and emissions reduction. Moreover now PEMS performances are very comparable to those obtained by standard laboratory instrumentation systems.
Journal Article

Experimental Characterization of Diesel Combustion Using Glycerol Derived Ethers Mixtures

In this paper the characteristics of a mixture of glycerol-based ethers usable in a compression ignition engine are investigated, in terms of efficiency and emissions. Alternative pathways for the energetic exploitation of biodiesel derived glycerol became of increasing interest as the biodiesel production was increased worldwide. Because of its detrimental physical and chemical properties, raw glycerol is hardly usable in conventional internal combustion engines (ICE). However, etherification of glycerol with tert-butyl alcohol and isobutylene allows obtaining a mixture mainly composed of higher glycerol ethers (GEM) suitable for compression ignition engines. Thus, the aim of this research study was to test a mixture of mono-, di- and tri-tert-butyl ethers of glycerol in blend with a commercial diesel fuel in a compression ignition engine, evaluating the fuel efficiency and the impact on the pollutant emissions.
Technical Paper

Towards On-Line Prediction of the In-Cylinder Pressure in Diesel Engines from Engine Vibration Using Artificial Neural Networks

This study aims at building efficient and robust artificial neural networks (ANN) able to reconstruct the in-cylinder pressure of Diesel engines and to identify engine conditions starting from the signal of a low-cost accelerometer placed on the engine block. The accelerometer is a perfect non-intrusive replacement for expensive probes and is prospectively suitable for production vehicles. In this view, the artificial neural network is meant to be efficient in terms of response time, i.e. fast enough for on-line use. In addition, robustness is sought in order to provide flexibility in terms of operation parameters. Here we consider a feed-forward neural network based on radial basis functions (RBF) for signal reconstruction, and a feed-forward multi-layer perceptron network with tan-sigmoid transfer function for signal classification. The networks are trained using measurements from a three-cylinder real engine for various operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Idle Speed Control of GDI-SI Engines via ECU-1D Engine Co-Simulation

Idle Speed Control plays a crucial role to reduce fuel consumption that turns in both a direct economic benefit for customers and CO\d reduction particularly important to tackle the progressive global environmental warming. Typically, control strategies available in the automotive literature solve the idle speed control problem acting both on the throttle position and the spark advance, while the Air-Fuel Ratio (AFR), that strongly affects the indicated engine torque, is kept at the stoichiometric value for the sake of emission reduction. Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines, working lean and equipped with proper mechanisms to reduce NOx emissions, overcome this limitation allowing the AFR to be used for the idle speed regulation.
Technical Paper

Multiple Injection in a Mixed Mode GDI Boosted Engine

A numerical investigation is performed with the aim of understanding the potential benefits of multiple injections in the mixed mode boosting operation of a Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine. The study is carried out by firstly characterizing a high pressure multi-hole injector from the experimental point of view in the split injection operation. Measurements of the fuel injection rate are made through an AVL Meter operating on the Bosch principle. The injector is tested using gasoline in a double pulse strategy. The injection pressure is varied between 5.0 and 25.0 MPa with the pulse durations calibrated for delivering a total mass up to 50 mg/str. The choice of the dwell time between two successive injection events is achieved by firstly defining the minimum time compatible with the mechanical characteristics of both the injector and the injector driver.
Technical Paper

Effects of Premixed Low Temperature Combustion of Fuel Blends with High Resistance to Auto-ignition on Performances and Emissions in a High Speed Diesel Engine

This paper reports results of an experimental investigation to demonstrate the potential to employ blends of fuels having low cetane numbers that can provide high resistance to auto-ignition to reduce simultaneously NOx and smoke. Because of the higher resistance to auto-ignition, blends of diesel and gasoline at different volume fraction may provide more time for the mixture preparation by increasing the ignition delay. The result produces the potential to operate under partially premixed low temperature combustion with lower levels of EGR without excessive penalties on fuel efficiency. In addition to the diesel fuel, the tested blends were mixed by the baseline diesel with 20% and 40% of commercial EURO IV 98 octane gasoline by volume, denoted G20 and G40. The experimental activity has been performed on a turbocharged, water cooled, DI diesel engine, equipped with a common rail injection system.
Technical Paper

Multi-Dimensional Modeling of Combustion in Compression Ignition Engines Operating with Variable Charge Premixing Levels

Premixed combustion modes in compression ignition engines are studied as a promising solution to meet fuel economy and increasingly stringent emissions regulations. Nevertheless, PCCI combustion systems are not yet consolidated enough for practical applications. The high complexity of such combustion systems in terms of both air-fuel charge preparation and combustion process control requires the employment of robust and reliable numerical tools to provide adequate comprehension of the phenomena. Object of this work is the development and validation of suitable models to evaluate the effects of charge premixing levels in diesel combustion. This activity was performed using the Lib-ICE code, which is a set of applications and libraries for IC engine simulations developed using the OpenFOAM® technology.
Technical Paper

Low Cetane Number Renewable Oxy-fuels for Premixed Combustion Concept Application: Experimental Investigation on a Light Duty Diesel Engine

This paper illustrates the results of an experimental study on the impact of a low cetane number (CN) oxygenated fuel on the combustion process and emissions of a light-duty (LD) single-cylinder research engine. In an earlier study, it was concluded that cyclic oxygenates consistently outperformed their straight and branched counterparts at equal oxygen content and with respect to lowering soot emissions. A clear correlation was reported linking soot and CN, with lower CN fuels leading to more favorable soot levels. It was concluded that a lower CN fuel, when realized by adding low reactive cyclic oxygenates to commercial diesel fuel, manifests in longer ignition delays and thus more premixing. Ultimately, a higher degree of premixing, in turn, was thought to suppress soot formation rates.
Technical Paper

Wall Impingement Process of a Multi-Hole GDI Spray: Experimental and Numerical Investigation

The Direct Injection (DI) of gasoline in Spark Ignition (SI) engines is very attractive for fuel economy and performance improvements in spark ignition engines. Gasoline direct injection (GDI) offers the possibility of multi-mode operation, homogeneous and stratified charge, with benefits respect to conventional SI engines as higher compression ratio, zero pumping losses, control of the ignition process at very lean air-fuel mixture and good cold starting. The impingement of liquid fuel on the combustion chamber wall is generally one of the major drawbacks of GDI engines because its increasing of HC emissions and effects on the combustion process; in the wall guided engines an increasing attention is focusing on the fuel film deposits evolution and their role in the soot formation. Hence, the necessity of a detailed understanding of the spray-wall impingement process and its effects on the fuel distribution. The experimental results provide a fundamental data base for CFD predictions.
Technical Paper

UV-Visible Imaging of PCCI Engine Running with Ethanol/Diesel Fuel

Premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) has been shown to be a promising strategy to simultaneously reduce emissions while realizing improved fuel economy. PCCI combustion uses high levels of pre-combustion mixing to lower both NOx and soot emissions by ensuring low equivalence ratio and low flame temperatures. The high level of pre-combustion mixing results in a primarily kinetics controlled combustion process. In this work, optical diagnostics have been applied in a transparent DI diesel engine equipped with the head of Euro5 commercial engine and the last generation CR injection system. In order to realize the PCCI combustion the injection of neat ethanol has been performed in the intake manifold. The engine run in continuous way at 1500 rpm engine speed and commercial diesel fuel has been injected into the cylinder. The PCCI combustion has been analyzed by means of UV- Visible digital imaging and the mixing process, the autoignition of the charge have been investigated.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Idle Operating Engine Condition for a GDI Engine

The increased limitations to both NOx and soot emissions have pushed engine researchers to rediscover gasoline engines. Among the many technologies and strategies, gasoline direct injection plays a key-role for improving fuel economy and engine performance. The paper aims to investigate an extremely complex task such as the idle operating engine condition when the engine runs at very low engine speeds and low engine loads and during the warm-up. Due to the low injection pressure and to the null contribution of the turbocharger, the engine condition is far from the standard points of investigation. Taking into account the warm-up engine condition, the analyses are performed with a temperature of the coolant of 50°C. The paper reports part of a combined numerical and experimental synergic activity aiming at the understanding of the physics of spray/wall interaction within the combustion chamber and particular care is used for air/fuel mixing and the combustion process analyses.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Diesel Injector Nozzle Flow Number Impact on Emissions and Performance of a Euro5 Automotive Diesel Engine

The present paper describes the results of a research project aimed at studying the impact of nozzle flow number on a Euro5 automotive diesel engine, featuring Closed-Loop Combustion Control. In order to optimize the trade-offs between fuel economy, combustion noise, emissions and power density for the next generation diesel engines, general trend among OEMs is lowering nozzle flow number and, as a consequence, nozzle hole size. In this context, three nozzle configurations have been characterized on a 2.0L Euro5 Common Rail Diesel engine, coupling experimental activities performed on multi-cylinder and optical single cylinder engines to analysis on spray bomb and injector test rigs. More in detail, this paper deeply describes the investigation carried out on the multi-cylinder engine, specifically devoted to the combustion evolution and engine performance analysis, varying the injector flow number.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Impact of the Dual-Fuel Ethanol-Diesel System on the Size, Morphology, and Chemical Characteristics of the Soot Particles Emitted from a LD Diesel Engine

Nowadays, alcohol fuels are of increasing interest as alternative transportation biofuels even in compression ignition engines because they are oxygenated and producible in a sustainable way. In this paper, the experimental research activity was conducted on a single cylinder research engine provided with a modern architecture and properly modified in a dual-fuel (DF) configuration. Looking at ethanol the as one of the future environmental friendly biofuels experimental campaign was aimed to evaluate in detail the effect of the use of the ethanol as port injected fuel in diesel engine on the size, morphology, reactivity and chemical features of the exhaust emitted soot particles. The engine tests were chosen properly in order to represent actual working conditions of an automotive light-duty diesel engine. A proper engine Dual-Fuel calibration was set-up respecting prefixed limits on in-cylinder peak firing pressure, cylinder pressure rise, fuel efficiency and gaseous emissions.
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

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

Experimental Analysis of a Gasoline PFI-Methane DI Dual Fuel and an Air Assisted Combustion of a Transparent Small Displacement SI Engine

The use of direct injection (DI) engines allows a more precise control of the air-fuel ratio, an improvement of fuel economy, and a reduction of exhaust emissions thanks to the ultra-lean combustion due to the charge stratification. These effects can be partially obtained also with an optimized Air Direct Injection that permits to increase the turbulence at low speed and load increasing the combustion stability especially in lean condition. In this paper, a gasoline PFI (named G-PFI), gasoline PFI-methane DI dual fuel (named G-MDF) lean combustion were analyzed. The G-MDF configuration was also compared with a gasoline PFI - air DI (named G-A) configuration in order to distinguish the chemical effect of methane from the direct injection physical effect. The tests were carried out in a small displacement PFI/DI SI engine. The experimental investigation was carried out in a transparent small single-cylinder, spark ignition four-stroke engine.
Technical Paper

Outwardly Opening Hollow-Cone Diesel Spray Characterization under Different Ambient Conditions

The combustion quality in modern diesel engines depends strictly on the quality of the air-fuel mixing and, in turn, from the quality of spray atomization process. So air-fuel mixing is strongly influenced by the injection pressure, geometry of the nozzle duct and the hydraulic characteristics of the injector. In this context, spray concepts alternative to the conventional multi-hole nozzles could be considered as solutions to the extremely high injection pressure increase to assure a higher and faster fuel-air mixing in the piston bowl, with the final target of increasing the fuel efficiency and reducing the engine emissions. The study concerns an experimental depiction of a spray generated through a prototype high-pressure hollow-cone nozzle, under evaporative and non-evaporative conditions, injecting the fuel in a constant-volume combustion vessel controlled in pressure and temperature up to engine-like gas densities in order to measure the spatial and temporal fuel patterns.
Technical Paper

Quasi-Dimensional Simulation of Downsizing and Inverter Application for Efficient Part Load Operation of Spark Ignition Engine Driven Micro-Cogeneration Systems

Within the context of distributed power generation, small size systems driven by spark ignition engines represent a valid and user-friendly choice, that ensures good fuel flexibility. One issue is that such applications are run at part load for extensive periods, thus lowering fuel economy. Employing an inverter (fitted between the generator and load) allows engine operation within a wide range of crankshaft rotational velocity, therefore improving efficiency. For the purpose of evaluating the benefits of this technology within a co-generation framework, two configurations were modeled by using the GT-Power simulation software. After model calibration based on measurements on a small size engine for two-wheel applications, the downsized version was compared to a larger power unit operated at constant engine speed for a scenario that featured up to 10 kW rated power.
Technical Paper

Knock Onset Detection Methods Evaluation by In-Cylinder Direct Observation

Improvement of performance and emission of future internal combustion engine for passenger cars is mandatory during the transition period toward their substitution with electric propulsion systems. In middle time, direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engines could offer a good compromise between fuel economy and exhaust emissions. However, abnormal combustion and particularly knock and super-knock are some of the most important obstacles to the improvement of SI engines efficiency. Although knock has been studied for many years and its basic characteristics are clear, phenomena involved in its occurrence are very complex and are still worth of investigation. In particular, the definition of an absolute knock intensity and the precise determination of the knock onset are arduous and many indexes and methodologies has been proposed. In this work, most used methods for knock onset detection from in- cylinder pressure signal have been considered.