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Technical Paper

Diesel Engine Flame Photographs With High Pressure Injection

The effect of high pressure injection (using an accumulator type unit injector with peak injection pressure of approximately 20,000 psi, having a decreasing injection rate profile) on combustion was studied. Combustion results were obtained using a DDA Series 3–53 diesel engine with both conventional analysis techniques and high speed photography. Diesel No. 2 fuel and a low viscosity - high volatility fuel, similar to gasoline were used in the study. Results were compared against baseline data obtained with standard injectors. Some of the characteristics of high pressure injection used with Diesel No. 2 fuel include: substantially improved ignition, shorter ignition delay, and higher pressure rise. Under heavy load - high speed conditions, greater smokemeter readings were achieved with the high pressure injection system with Diesel No. 2 fuel. Higher flame speeds and hence, greater resistance to knock were observed with the high volatility low cetane fuel.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Methanol and Ethanol Sprays from Different DI Injectors by Using Mie-scattering and Laser Induced Fluorescence at Potential Engine Cold-start Conditions

A laser sheet imaging system with Mie-scattering and Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) was used to investigate the spray characteristics of gasoline, methanol and ethanol fuels. A range of conditions found in today's gasoline engines were investigated including that observed during engine cold-start. Both a swirl injector and a multi-hole fuel injector were examined for each of the three fuels. A combination of the second harmonic (532 nm) and the fourth harmonic (266 nm) was generated simultaneously using a Nd:YAG laser system to illuminate the spray. The Mie-scattering technique was used to characterize the liquid phase of the spray while the LIF technique was used to detect a combination of liquid and vapor phases. While gasoline naturally fluoresced, the dopant TEA was added to the methanol and ethanol fuels as a fuel tracer. The Mie-scattering and LIF signals were captured simultaneously using a CCD camera along with an image doubler.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part II - Blend Properties and Target Value Sensitivity

Higher carbon number alcohols offer an opportunity to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and improve the energy content, petroleum displacement, and/or knock resistance of gasoline-alcohol blends from traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part II of this paper builds upon the alcohol selection, fuel implementation scenarios, criteria target values, and property prediction methodologies detailed in Part I. For each scenario, optimization schemes include maximizing energy content, knock resistance, or petroleum displacement. Optimum blend composition is very sensitive to energy content, knock resistance, vapor pressure, and oxygen content criteria target values. Iso-propanol is favored in both scenarios' suitable blends because of its high RON value.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part I - Methodology and Scenario Definition

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) requires an increase in the use of advanced biofuels up to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Longer chain alcohols, in addition to cellulosic ethanol and synthetic biofuels, could be used to meet this demand while adhering to the RFS2 corn-based ethanol limitation. Higher carbon number alcohols can be utilized to improve the energy content, knock resistance, and/or petroleum displacement of gasoline-alcohol blends compared to traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part I of this paper focuses on the development of scenarios by which to compare higher alcohol fuel blends to traditional ethanol blends. It also details the implementation of fuel property prediction methods adapted from literature. Possible combinations of eight alcohols mixed with a gasoline blendstock were calculated and the properties of the theoretical fuel blends were predicted.
Technical Paper

Automotive Materials Engineering Challenges and Solutions for the Use of Ethanol and Methanol Blended Fuels

Economic market forces and increasing environmental awareness of gasoline have led to interest in developing alternatives to gasoline, and extending the current global supply for transportation fuels. One viable strategy is the use of alternative alcohol fuels for combustion engines, with ethanol and methanol in various concentration ranges proposed and in-use. Utilizing and citing data from this review, a comprehensive overview of the materials selection and engineering challenges facing metals, plastics and elastomers are presented. The engineering approach and solution-sets discussed will focus on production feasibility and implementation. The effects from the fuel chemistry and quality of fuel ethanol produced on the related vehicle components are discussed.
Technical Paper

Internal and Near-Nozzle Flow in a Multi-Hole Gasoline Injector Under Flashing and Non-Flashing Conditions

A computational and experimental study was performed to characterize the flow within a gasoline injector and the ensuing sprays. The computations included the effects of turbulence, cavitation, flash-boiling, compressibility, and the presence of non-condensible gases. The flow domain corresponded to the Engine Combustion Network's Spray G, an eight-hole counterbore injector operating in a variety of conditions. First, a rate tube method was used to measure the rate of injection, which was then used to define inlet boundary conditions for simulation. Correspondingly, injection under submerged conditions was simulated for direct comparison with experimental measurements of discharge coefficient. Next, the internal flow and external spray into pressurized nitrogen were simulated under the base spray G conditions. Finally, injection under flashing conditions was simulated, where the ambient pressure was below the vapor pressure of the fuel.
Technical Paper

Spark Ignited Direct Injection Natural Gas Combustion in a Heavy Duty Single Cylinder Test Engine - Start of Injection and Spark Timing Effects

The increased availability of natural gas (NG) in the United States (US), and its relatively low cost compared to diesel fuel has heightened interest in the conversion of medium duty (MD) and heavy duty (HD) engines to NG fueled combustion systems. The aim is to realize fuel cost savings and reduce harmful emissions, while maintaining durability. This is a potential path to help the US reduce dependence on crude oil. Traditionally, port-fuel injection (PFI) or premixed NG spark-ignited (SI) combustion systems have been used for MD and HD engines with widespread use in the US and Europe; however, this technology exhibits poor cycle efficiency and is load limited due to knock phenomenon. Direct Injection of NG during the compression stroke promises to deliver improved thermal efficiency by avoiding excessive premixing and extending the lean limits which helps to extend the knock limit.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Combustion Knock Distribution in a Boosted Methane-Gasoline Blended Fueled SI Engine

The characteristics of combustion knock metrics over a number of engine cycles can be an essential reference for knock detection and control in internal combustion engines. In a Spark-Ignition (SI) engine, the stochastic nature of combustion knock has been shown to follow a log-normal distribution. However, this has been derived from experiments done with gasoline only and applicability of log-normal distribution to dual-fuel combustion knock has not been explored. To evaluate the effectiveness and accuracy of log-normal distributed knock model for methane-gasoline blended fuel, a sweep of methane-gasoline blend ratio was conducted at two different engine speeds. Experimental investigation was conducted on a single cylinder prototype SI engine equipped with two fuel systems: a direct injection (DI) system for gasoline and a port fuel injection (PFI) system for methane.
Technical Paper

A Robust Preignition Rating Methodology: Evaluating the Propensity to Establish Propagating Flames under Real Engine Conditions

In this work, an experimental and analysis methodology was developed to evaluate the preignition propensity of fuels and engine operating conditions in an SI engine. A heated glow plug was introduced into the combustion chamber to induce early propagating flames. As the temperature of the glowplug varied, both the fraction of cycles experiencing these early flames and the phasing of this combustion in the engine cycle varied. A statistical methodology for assigning a single-value to this complex behavior was developed and found to have very good repeatability. The effects of engine operating conditions and fuels were evaluated using this methodology. While this study is not directly studying the so-called stochastic preignition or low-speed preignition problem, it studies one aspect of that problem in a very controlled manner.
Technical Paper

A Rational Approach to Qualifying Materials for Use in Fuel Systems

About 10 years ago in the US, an automotive OEM consortium formed the Oxygenated Fuels Task Force which in turn created the SAE Cooperative Research Project Group 2 to develop a simple rational method for qualifying materials. At that time the focus was Methanol/Gasoline blends. This work resulted in SAE J1681, Gasoline/Methanol Mixtures for Materials Testing. Recently this document was rewritten to make it the single, worldwide, generic source for fuel system test fluids. The paper will describe the rationale for selecting the fuel surrogate fluids and why this new SAE standard should replace all existing test fuel or test fluid standards for fuel system materials testing.
Technical Paper

Target Based Rapid Prototyping Control System for Engine Research

Today's advanced technology engines have a high content of electronic actuation requiring sophisticated real-time embedded software sensing and control. To enable research on such engines, a system with a flexible engine control unit (ECU) that can be rapidly configured and programmed is desired. Such a system is being used in the Advanced Internal Combustion Engine (AICE) Laboratories at Michigan Tech University (MTU) for research on a multi-cylinder spark-ignited gasoline, a high pressure common rail diesel and a single cylinder alternative fuels research engine. The system combines a production ECU with a software development system utilizing Mathworks Simulink/Stateflow © modeling tools. The interface in the Simulink modeling environment includes a library of modeling and interface blocks to the production Operating System (OS), Low Level Drivers (LLD) and CAN-based calibration tool.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Combustion Knock Metrics in Spark-Ignition Engines

Combustion knock detection and control in internal combustion engines continues to be an important feature in engine management systems. In spark-ignition engine applications, the frequency of occurrence of combustion knock and its intensity are controlled through a closed-looped feedback system to maintain knock at levels that do not cause engine damage or objectionable audible noise. Many methods for determination of the feedback signal for combustion knock in spark-ignition internal combustion engines have been employed with the most common technique being measurement of engine vibration using an accelerometer. With this technique single or multiple piezoelectric accelerometers are mounted on the engine and vibrations resulting from combustion knock and other sources are converted to electrical signals. These signals are input to the engine control unit and are processed to determine the signal strength during a period of crank-angle when combustion knock is expected.
Journal Article

Meeting RFS2 Targets with an E10/E15-like Fuel - Experimental and Analytical Assessment of Higher Alcohols in Multi-component Blends with Gasoline

This paper evaluates the potential of adding higher alcohols to gasoline blendstock in an attempt to improve overall fuel performance. The alcohols considered include ethanol, normal- and iso-structures of propanol, butanol and pentanol as well as normal-hexanol (C2-C6). Fuel performance is quantified based on energy content, knock resistance as well as petroleum displacement and promising multi-component blends are systematically identified based on property prediction methods. These promising multi-component blends, as well as their respective reference fuels, are subsequently tested for efficiency and emissions performance utilizing a gasoline direct injection, spark ignition engine. The engine test results confirm that combustion and efficiency of tailored multi-component blends closely match those of the reference fuels. Regulated emissions stemming from combustion of these blends are equal or lower compared to the reference fuels across the tested engine speed and load regime.
Journal Article

Gasoline Anti-Knock Index Effects on Vehicle Net Power at High Altitude

Automakers are designing smaller displacement engines with higher power densities to improve vehicle fuel economy, while continuing to meet customer expectations for power and drivability. The specific power produced by the spark-ignited engine is constrained by knock and fuel octane. Whereas the lowest octane rating is 87 AKI (antiknock index) for regular gasoline at most service stations throughout the U.S., 85 AKI fuel is widely available at higher altitudes especially in the mountain west states. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of gasoline octane rating on the net power produced by modern light duty vehicles at high altitude (1660 m elevation). A chassis dynamometer test procedure was developed to measure absorbed wheel power at transient and stabilized full power operation. Five vehicles were tested using 85 and 87 AKI fuels.
Journal Article

Comparison of Direct-Injection Spray Development of E10 Gasoline to a Single and Multi-Component E10 Gasoline Surrogate

Optical and laser diagnostics enable in-depth spray characterization in regards to macroscopic spray characteristics and in-situ fuel mixture quality information, which are needed in understanding the spray injection process and for spray model development, validation and calibration. Use of fuel surrogates in spray researches is beneficial in controlling fuel parameters, developing spray and combustion kinetic models, and performing laser diagnostics with known fluorescence characteristics. This study quantifies and evaluates the macroscopic spray characteristics of a single and multi-component surrogate in comparison to a gasoline with 10% ethanol under gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine conditions. In addition, the effect of fuel tracers on spray evolution and vaporization is also investigated. Both diethyl-methyl-amine/fluorobenzene as a laser-induced exciplex (LIEF) fluorescence tracer pair and 3-pentanone as a laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) tracer are examined.
Journal Article

Ionization Signal Response during Combustion Knock and Comparison to Cylinder Pressure for SI Engines

In-cylinder ion sensing is a subject of interest due to its application in spark-ignited (SI) engines for feedback control and diagnostics including: combustion knock detection, rate and phasing of combustion, and mis-fire On Board Diagnostics (OBD). Further advancement and application is likely to continue as the result of the availability of ignition coils with integrated ion sensing circuitry making ion sensing more versatile and cost effective. In SI engines, combustion knock is controlled through closed loop feedback from sensor metrics to maintain knock near the borderline, below engine damage and NVH thresholds. Combustion knock is one of the critical applications for ion sensing in SI engines and improvement in knock detection offers the potential for increased thermal efficiency. This work analyzes and characterizes the ionization signal in reference to the cylinder pressure signal under knocking and non-knocking conditions.
Technical Paper

Fuel & Lubricant Effects on Stochastic Preignition

In this multi-phase study, fuel and lubricant effects on stochastic preignition (SPI) were examined. First, the behavior of fuels for which SPI data had previously been collected were characterized in terms of their combustion and emissions behavior, and correlations between these characteristics and their SPI behavior were examined. Second, new SPI data was collected for a matrix of fuels that was constructed to test and confirm hypotheses that resulted from interpretation of the earlier data in the study and from data in open literature. Specifically, the extent to which the presence of heavy components in the fuel affected SPI propensity, and the extent to which flame initiation propensity affected SPI propensity, were examined. Finally, the interaction of fuels with lubricants expected to exhibit a range of SPI propensities was examined.
Journal Article

Calculation of Heating Value for Gasoline Containing Ethanol

Ethanol for use in automotive fuels can be made from renewable feedstocks, which contributes to its increased use in recent years. There are many differences in physical and chemical properties between ethanol and petrochemicals refined from fossil oil. One of the differences is its energy content. The energy content, or heating value, is an important property of motor fuel, since it directly affects vehicle fuel economy. While the energy content can be measured by combustion of the fuel in a bomb, the test is time-consuming and expensive. It is generally satisfactory and more convenient to estimate that property from other commonly-measured fuel properties. Several standardized empirical methods have been developed in the past for estimating the energy content of hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Partially Stratified Direct Injection of Natural Gas for Spark-Ignited Engines

The increased availability of natural gas (NG) in the United States (US) and its relatively low cost compared to diesel fuel has heightened interest in the conversion of medium duty (MD) and heavy duty (HD) diesel engines to NG fuel and combustion systems (compressed or liquefied). The intention is to realize fuel cost savings and reduce harmful emissions, while maintaining or improving overall vehicle fuel economy. This is a potential path to help the US achieve energy diversity and reduce dependence on crude oil. Traditionally, port-injected, premixed NG spark-ignited combustion systems have been used for medium and heavy duty engines with widespread use in the US and Europe. But this technology exhibits poor cycle efficiency and is load limited due to knock phenomenon. Direct Injection of NG during the compression stroke promises to deliver improved thermal efficiency by avoiding premixing and extending the lean limits which helps to extend the knock limit.
Technical Paper

Fast Gas Analyzer Observations of Stochastic Preignition Events

The goal of this study was to generate exhaust fast gas data that could be used to identify phenomena that occur before, during, and after stochastic preignition (SPI), also called low-speed preignition (LSPI), events. Crank angle resolved measurement of exhaust hydrocarbons, NO, CO, and CO2 was performed under engine conditions prone to these events. Fuels and engine operating strategies were varied in an attempt to understand similarities and differences in SPI-related behavior that may occur between them. Several different uncommon (typically occurring in less than 1% of engine cycles) features of the fast gas data were identified, and the correlations between them and SPI events were explored. Although the thresholds used to define and identify these observations were arbitrary, they provided a practical means of identifying behavior in the fast gas data and correlating it to SPI occurrence.