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Technical Paper

Using Pilot Diesel Injection in a Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engine

Previous research has shown that the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion concept holds promise for reducing pollutants (i.e. NOx, soot) while maintaining high thermal efficiency. However, it can be difficult to control the operation of the HCCI engines even under steady state running conditions. Power density may also be limited if high inlet air temperatures are used for achieving ignition. A methodology using a small pilot quantity of diesel fuel injected during the compression stroke to improve the power density and operation control is considered in this paper. Multidimensional computations were carried out for an HCCI engine based on a CAT3401 engine. The computations show that the required initial temperature for ignition is reduced by about 70 K for the cases of the diesel pilot charge and a 25∼35% percent increase in power density was found for those cases without adversely impacting the NOx emissions.
Technical Paper

An Approach for Modeling the Effects of Gas Exchange Processes on HCCI Combustion and Its Application in Evaluating Variable Valve Timing Control Strategies

The present study introduces a modeling approach for investigating the effects of valve events and gas exchange processes in the framework of a full-cycle HCCI engine simulation. A multi-dimensional fluid mechanics code, KIVA-3V, is used to simulate exhaust, intake and compression up to a transition point, before which chemical reactions become important. The results are then used to initialize the zones of a multi-zone, thermo-kinetic code, which computes the combustion event and part of the expansion. After the description and the validation of the model against experimental data, the application of the method is illustrated in the context of variable valve actuation. It has been shown that early exhaust valve closing, accompanied by late intake valve opening, has the potential to provide effective control of HCCI combustion.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Simulated Results Detailing the Sensitivity of Natural Gas HCCI Engines to Fuel Composition

Natural gas quality, in terms of the volume fraction of higher hydrocarbons, strongly affects the auto-ignition characteristics of the air-fuel mixture, the engine performance and its controllability. The influence of natural gas composition on engine operation has been investigated both experimentally and through chemical kinetic based cycle simulation. A range of two component gas mixtures has been tested with methane as the base fuel. The equivalence ratio (0.3), the compression ratio (19.8), and the engine speed (1000 rpm) were held constant in order to isolate the impact of fuel autoignition chemistry. For each fuel mixture, the start of combustion was phased near top dead center (TDC) and then the inlet mixture temperature was reduced. These experimental results have been utilized as a source of data for the validation of a chemical kinetic based full-cycle simulation.
Journal Article

Phenomenological Autoignition Model for Diesel Sprays Using Reduced Chemical Kinetics and a Characteristic Scalar Dissipation Rate

This study focuses on the development of an autoignition model for diesel sprays that is applicable to phenomenological multi-zone combustion models. These models typically use a single-step Arrhenius expression to represent the low-temperature chemistry leading up to autoignition. There has been a substantial amount of work done in the area of n-heptane autoignition in homogeneous mixtures. Reduced kinetic mechanisms with ten reactions or less have been proposed in the literature to represent the complex low-temperature oxidation of n-heptane. These kinetic models are attractive for multi-zone simulations because of the low number of reactions involved. However, these kinetic mechanisms and the multi-zone treatment of the fuel spray do not account for the effect of turbulence/chemistry interactions on the chemical reaction rate.