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Technical Paper

Investigation of Combustion Process in a Small Optically Accessible Two Stroke SI Engine

The improvement in engines efficiency and reduction of emissions is the permanent aim of engine industry in order to meet European standards regulation. To optimize small internal combustion engines it is necessary to improve the basic knowledge of thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion. This paper describes the combustion process in an optically accessible two-stroke spark-ignition engine used in a commercial 43 cm3 chainsaw. Two different feeding systems were tested: standard and CWI one. The engine head was modified in order to allow the visualization of the combustion using endoscopic system coupled with a high spatial resolution ICCD camera. Flame front propagation was evaluated through an image processing procedure. The image visualization and chemiluminence allowed to follow the combustion process from the spark ignition to the exhaust phase at high engine speed. All the optical data were correlated with engine parameters and exhaust emissions.
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.
Journal Article

Non-Intrusive Investigation in a Small GDI Optical Engine Fuelled with Gasoline and Ethanol

The aim of this paper is the experimental investigation of the effect of direct fuel injection on the combustion process and pollutant formation in a spark ignition (SI) two-wheel engine. The engine is a 250cc single cylinder, four-stroke spark-ignition firstly equipped with a four-valve PFI head and then with GDI one operating with European commercial gasoline and Bio-ethanol. It is equipped with a wide sapphire window in the bottom of the chamber and quartz cylinder. In the combustion chamber, optical techniques based on 2D-digital imaging were used to follow the injection and flame propagation and spectroscopic measurements were carried out in order to evaluate the main radical species. Radical species such as OH and CH were detected and used to follow the chemical phenomena related to the fuel quality. Measurements were carried out at different engine speeds and combustion strategies based on different injection pressures.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of the Effect on the Combustion Process of Butanol-Gasoline Blend in a PFI SI Boosted Engine

The addition of alcohol to conventional hydrocarbon fuels for a spark-ignition engine can increase the fuel octane rating and the power for a given engine displacement and compression ratio. In this work, the influence of butanol addition to gasoline was investigated. The experiments were performed in an optical ported fuel injection single-cylinder SI engine with an external boosting device. The engine was equipped with the head of a commercial SI turbocharged engine having the same geometrical specifications (bore, stroke and compression ratio). The effect of a blend of 20% of n-butanol and 80% of gasoline (BU20) on in-cylinder combustion process was investigated by cycle-resolved visualization. The engine worked at low speed, medium boosting and wide open throttle. Changes in spark timing and fuel injection phasing were considered. Comparisons between the flame luminosity and the combustion pressure data were performed.
Technical Paper

Design for an Optically Accessible Multicylinder High Performance GDI Engine

In this paper, the modifications realized to make optically accessible a commercial high performance spark ignition and direct injection (DI) 4-cylinder engine are reported. The engine has been designed trying to keep as much as possible its thermo-fluid dynamic configuration in order to maintain its performance and emissions. Two optical accesses have been realized in order to interfere as little as possible with the combustion chamber geometry. A first optical access has been achieved in the piston head and a second by inserting an endoscopic fiber probe in the head. Preliminary results demonstrated that this optical assessment responds to the design targets and allowed a characterization of a commercial GDI engine working with homogeneous and stratified charge mode.
Technical Paper

IR Imaging of Premixed Combustion in a Transparent Euro5 Diesel Engine

In the present paper, infrared (IR) measurements were performed in order to study the development of injection and combustion in a transparent Euro 5 diesel engine operating in premixed mode. An elongated single-cylinder engine equipped with the multi-cylinder head of commercial passenger car and with common rail (CR) injection system, respectively, was used. A sapphire window was set in the bottom of the combustion chamber, and a sapphire ring was placed between the head and the top of the cylinder line. Measurements were carried out through both accesses by a new high-speed infrared (IR) digital imaging system obtaining information that was difficult to achieve by the conventional UV-visible camera. IR camera was able to detect the emitted light in the wavelength range 1.5-5 μm that is relevant for the emission bands of CO₂ and H₂O. The evaporation phase of pre and main injection, and subsequent combustion evolution were analyzed.
Technical Paper

Pros and Cons of Using Different Numerical Techniques for Transmission Loss Evaluation of a Small Engine Muffler

Automotive exhaust systems give a major contribution to the sound quality of a vehicle and must be properly designed in order to produce acceptable acoustic performances. Obviously, noise attenuation is strictly related to the used materials and to its internal geometry. This last influences the wave propagation and the gas-dynamic field. The purpose of this paper is to describe advantages and disadvantages of different numerical approaches in evaluating the acoustic performance in terms of attenuation versus frequency (Transmission Loss) of a commercial two perforated tube muffler under different conditions. At first, a one-dimensional analysis is performed through the 1D GTPower® code, solving the nonlinear flow equations which characterize the wave propagation phenomena. The muffler is characterized as a network of properly connected pipes and volumes starting from 3D CAD information. Then, two different 3D analyses are performed within the commercial STS VNOISE® code.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of High-Pressure Diesel Sprays with Multiple Injections at Engine Conditions

A numerical methodology to simulate the high pressure spray evolution and the fuel-air mixing in diesel engines is presented. Attention is focused on the employed atomization model, a modified version of the Huh and Gosman, on the definition of a turbulence length scale limiter and of an adaptive local mesh refinement technique to minimize the result grid dependency. All the discussed models were implemented into Lib-ICE, which is a set of libraries and solvers, specifically tailored for engine simulations, which runs under the open-source CFD technology OpenFOAM®. To provide a comprehensive assessment of the proposed methodology, the validation procedure consisted into simulating, with a unique and coherent setup of all models, two different sets of experiments: a non-evaporating diesel fuel spray in a constant-volume vessel with optical access and an evaporating non-reacting diesel fuel spray in an optical engine.
Technical Paper

High Spatial Resolution Visualization and Spectroscopic Investigation of the Flame Front Propagation in the Combustion Chamber of a Scooter Engine

The match between the increasing performance demands and stringent requirements of emissions and fuel consumption reduction needs a strong evolution in the 2-wheel vehicle technology. In particular many steps forward should be taken for the optimization of modern small motorcycle and scooter at low engine speeds and low temperature start. To this aim, the detailed understandings of thermal and fluid-dynamic phenomena that occur in the combustion chamber are fundamental. In this work, experimental activities were realized in the combustion chamber of a single-cylinder 4-stroke optical engine. The engine was equipped with a four-valve head of a commercial scooter engine. High spatial resolution imaging was used to follow the flame kernel growth and flame front propagation. Moreover, the effects of an abnormal combustion due to firing of fuel deposition near the intake valves and on the piston surface were investigated.
Technical Paper

Spectroscopic Investigation of Post-Injection Strategy Impact on Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Supplied with Diesel/Butanol and Gasoline Blends

In this paper, a high temporal resolution optical technique, based on the multi-wavelength UV-visible-near IR extinction spectroscopy, was applied at the exhaust of an automotive diesel engine to investigate the post-injection strategy impact on the fuel vapor. Experimental investigations were carried out using three fuels: commercial diesel (B5), a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of gasoline (G20) and a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of n-butanol (BU20). Experiments were performed at the engine speed of 2500rpm and 0.8MPa of brake mean effective pressure exploring two post-injection timings and two EGR rates. The optical diagnostic allowed evaluating, during the post-injection activation, the evolution of the fuel vapor in the engine exhaust line. The investigation was focused on the impact of post-injection strategy and fuel properties on the aptitude to produce hydrocarbon rich gaseous exhaust for the regeneration of diesel particulate trap (DPF).
Technical Paper

Influence of the Nozzle Geometry of a Diesel Single-Hole Injector on Liquid and Vapor Phase Distributions at Engine-Like Conditions

The paper describes an experimental activity on the spatial and temporal liquid- and vapor-phase distributions of diesel fuel at engine-like conditions. The influence of the k-factor (0 and 1.5) of a single-hole axial-disposed injector (0.100 mm diameter and 10 L/d ratio) has been studied by spraying fuel in an optically-accessible constant-volume combustion vessel. A high-speed imaging system, capable of acquiring Mie-scattering and Schlieren images in a near simultaneous fashion mode along the same line of sight, has been developed at the Michigan Technological University using a high-speed camera and a pulsed-wave LED system. The time resolved pair of schlieren and Mie-scattering images identifies the instantaneous position of both the vapor and liquid phases of the fuel spray, respectively. The studies have been performed at three injection pressures (70, 120 and 180 MPa), 23.9 kg/m3 ambient gas density and 900 K gas temperature in the vessel.
Technical Paper

Physical-Chemical Characteristics of Diesel-Biodiesel Blends with Additives and Their Effects on the Spray Behavior

A set of additives was selected to improve the durability of the physical-chemical and biological characteristics of mineral diesel and its blend with biodiesel. Two biodiesels were used: soybean (SME) and rapeseed (RME). Both physical-chemical properties and fuel dispersion of fuel blends and their mixtures with additives were measured that could have effects on the combustion process in diesel engines. The dispersion of the fuel is affected by the injection nozzle integrity, influencing the capacity of the fuel to vaporize, while the modification of the fuel molecular structure can cause changes in combustion reaction. A 7 hole Common Rail (CR) 2nd generation injector, 136 μm in diameter, was used at 80 MPa and 1.0 ms injection pressure and duration, respectively. The injection rate was determined using the Bosch's Method, while the fuel dispersion was measured by analyzing the images of spray evolving in an optical accessible quiescent vessel.
Technical Paper

Tomography of a GDI Spray by PolyCO Based X-Ray Technique

In this paper the investigation with X-ray Tomography on the structure of a gasoline spray from a GDI injector for automotive applications based on polycapillary optics is reported. Table-top experiment using a microfocus Cu Kα X-ray source for radiography and tomography has been used in combination with a polycapillary halflens and a CCD detector. The GDI injector is inserted in a high-pressure rotating device actuated with angular steps Δθ = 1° at the injection pressure of 8.0 MPa. The sinogram reconstruction of the jets by slices permits a 360° spray access to the fuel downstream the nozzle tip. A spatial distribution of the fuel is reported along the direction of six jets giving a measure of the droplet concentration in a circle of 16 mm2 below the nozzle tip at atmospheric backpressure and ambient temperature.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Methane-Gasoline Dual-Fuel Combustion in a Small Displacement Optical Engine

In this paper the methane-gasoline dual fuel combustion was investigated. Gasoline was injected in the intake manifold (PFI fuel), while methane was injected in the combustion chamber (DI fuel), in order to reproduce a stratified combustion. The combustion process and the related engine performance and pollutant emissions were analyzed. The measurements were carried out in an optically accessible small single-cylinder four-stroke engine. It was equipped with the cylinder head of a commercial 250 cc engine representative of the most popular two-wheel vehicles in Europe. Optical measurements were performed to analyze the combustion process with high spatial and temporal resolution. In particular, optical techniques based on 2D-digital imaging were used to follow the flame front propagation and the soot and temperature concentration in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Combustion and Emissions of a Propane-Diesel Blend in a Research Diesel Engine

The interest of the vehicle producers in fulfillment emission legislations without adopting after treatment systems is driving to the use of non-conventional energy sources for modern engines. A previous test campaign dealing with the use of blends of diesel and propane in a CI engine has pointed out the potential of this non-conventional fuel for diesel engines. The soft adaptation of the common rail injection system and the potential benefits, in terms of engine performances and pollutant emissions, encourage the use of propane-diesel blends if an optimization of the injection strategies is performed. In this work, the performances of a propane-diesel mixture in a research diesel engine have been investigated. The injection strategies of Euro 5 calibration have been used as reference for the development of optimized strategies. The aim of the optimization process was to ensure the same engine power output and reduce the pollutant emissions.
Technical Paper

Ultra-High Speed Fuel Tracer PLIF Imaging in a Heavy-Duty Optical PPC Engine

In order to meet the requirements in the stringent emission regulations, more and more research work has been focused on homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) or partially premixed compression ignition (PCCI) as they have the potential to produce low NOx and soot emissions without adverse effects on engine efficiency. The mixture formation and charge stratification influence the combustion behavior and emissions for PPC/PCCI, significantly. An ultra-high speed burst-mode laser is used to capture the mixture formation process from the start of injection until several CADs after the start of combustion in a single cycle. To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first time that such a high temporal resolution, i.e. 0.2 CAD, PLIF could be accomplished for imaging of the in-cylinder mixing process. The capability of resolving single cycles allows for the influence of cycle-to-cycle variations to be eliminated.
Technical Paper

Study of E10 and E85 Effect on Air Fuel Mixing and Combustion Process in Optical Multicylinder GDI Engine and in a Spray Imaging Chamber

The aim of the present work is the study of the combustion process in Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine fuelled with ethanol mixed with gasoline at percentages of 10 and 85. The characterization has been made in terms of performance and emission for different injection pressure conditions and the results correlated to the unperturbed non-evaporating evolution of the fuel injected in a pressurized quiescent vessel. Measurements were performed in the optically accessible combustion chamber made by modifying a real 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, high performance GDI engine. The cylinder head was instrumented by using an endoscopic system coupled to high spatial and temporal resolution camera in order to allow the visualization of the fuel injection and the combustion process. The engine is equipped with solenoid-actuated six-hole GDI injectors, 0.14 mm hole diameter, 9.0 g/s @ 10 MPa static flow.
Technical Paper

A Low Cost System for Active Gear Shift and Clutch Control

The objective of this study is to demonstrate the design and construction of an innovative active gear-shift and clutch for racecars, applied to a Formula Student car, based on the use of DC gear-motors. Racecars require extremely quick gear-shifts and every system to be as light as possible. The proposed solution is designed to reduce energy consumption, weight and improve gear-shift precision compared to traditionally employed electro-hydraulic solutions, although maintaining state of the art performances.
Journal Article

Model-Based Wheel Torque and Backlash Estimation for Drivability Control

To improve torque management algorithms for drivability, the powertrain controller must be able to compensate for the nonlinear dynamics of the driveline. In particular, the presence of backlash in the transmission and drive shafts excites sharp torque fluctuations during tip-in or tip-out transients, leading to a deterioration of the vehicle drivability and NVH. This paper proposes a model-based estimator that predicts the wheel torque in an automotive drivetrain, accounting for the effects of backlash and drive shaft flexibility. The starting point of this work is a control-oriented model of the transmission and vehicle drivetrain dynamics that predicts the wheel torque during tip-in and tip-out transients at fixed gear. The estimator is based upon a switching structure that combines a Kalman Filter and an open-loop prediction based on the developed model.
Technical Paper

Effects of Fuel Temperature and Ambient Pressure on a GDI Swirled Injector Spray

The effects of fuel temperature on both the geometry and the droplet size and velocity of a GDI swirled injector spray were investigated by means of visualizations and PDA measurements. Isooctane was used as model fuel and was injected in a quiescent bomb at injection pressure of 7 MPa. Bomb pressure ranged from 40 kPa to 800 kPa with injector nozzle temperature ranging from 293 K to 393 K. A drastic change in spray geometry was observed when conditions above the vaporization curve were reached. The temperature increase has two macroscopic effects on the spray geometry: at the nozzle exit the liquid flash boiling strongly enlarges the spray angle, at a certain distance from the nozzle the air entrainment collapses the spray. Raising the fuel temperature up to flash boiling conditions causes a significant decrease of the average droplet size.