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Overview of Southwest Research Institute Activities in Engine Technology R&D

The worldwide drive to improved energy efficiency for engine systems is being supported by several engine R&D programs at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). This research includes large programs in major-market engine categories, such as heavy-duty, non-road, and light-duty; and includes diesel, gasoline, and alternative fuel aspects. This presentation describes several key diesel engine programs being pursued under the SwRI Clean High Efficiency Diesel Engine consortium (CHEDE-VI), whose goal is to demonstrate future diesel technology exceeding 50% brake thermal efficiency. Additionally, SwRI?s High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engines consortium (HEDGE-II), is reviewed, where advanced technology for ultra-high efficiency gasoline engines is being demonstrated. The HEDGE-II program is built upon dilute gasoline engine research, where brake thermal efficiencies in excess of 42% are being obtained for engines applicable to the light-duty market. Presenter Charles E.
Technical Paper

Factors Affecting Heat Transfer in a Diesel Engine: Low Heat Rejection Engine Revisited

A large amount of the heat generated during the engine combustion process is lost to the coolant system through the surrounding metal parts. Therefore, there is a potential to improve the overall cycle efficiency by reducing the amount of heat transfer from the engine. In this paper, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool has been used to evaluate the effects of a number of design and operating variables on total heat loss from an engine to the coolant system. These parameters include injection characteristics and orientation, shape of the piston bowl, percentage of EGR and material property of the combustion chamber. Comprehensive analyses have been presented to show the efficient use of the heat retained in the combustion chamber and its contribution to improve thermal efficiency of the engine. Finally, changes in design and operating parameters have been suggested based on the analytical results to improve heat loss reduction from an engine.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Water on Soot Formation Chemistry

A combined, experimental and numerical program is presented. This work summarizes an internal research effort conducted at Southwest Research Institute. Meeting new, stringent emissions regulations for diesel engines requires a way to reduce NOx and soot emissions. Most emissions reduction strategies reduce one pollutant while increasing the other. Water injection is one of the few promising emissions reduction techniques with the potential to simultaneously reduce soot and NOx in diesel engines. While it is widely accepted that water reduces NOx via a thermal effect, the mechanisms behind the reduction of soot are not well understood. The water could reduce the soot via physical, thermal, or chemical effects. To aid in developing water injection strategies, this project's goal was to determine how water enters the soot formation chemistry.
Technical Paper

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI): Benefits, Compromises, and Future Engine Applications

Large reductions in low-load NOx emissions can be obtained by replacing conventional Diesel or spark ignited combustion by HCCI combustion in reciprocating engines. Currently, HCCI combustion is limited to operating conditions with lean air/fuel ratios or large amounts of EGR. However, a numerical model shows that, even if high equivalence ratio HCCI operation were satisfactorily attained, the NOx reduction potential vs. DI-Diesel combustion would be much smaller. Thus, high-load HCCI operation may best be obtained through highly boosted fuel-lean operation. Alternatively, HCCI combustion may be suited well for “dual mode” engine applications, in which spark ignition or conventional Diesel combustion is used to obtain full load. Avoiding wall impingement with heavy fuels is critical for achieving good emissions and fuel consumption, and it appears that a large degree of mixture inhomogeneity can be tolerated from a NOx benefit standpoint.
Technical Paper

Further Experiments on the Effects of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting on HC Emissions from Direct Injection Gasoline Engines

A recently developed in-cylinder fuel injection probe was used to deposit a small amount of liquid fuel on various surfaces within the combustion chamber of a 4-valve engine that was operating predominately on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A fast flame ionization detector (FFID) was used to examine the engine-out emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs). Injector shut-off was used to examine the rate of liquid fuel evaporation. The purpose of these experiments was to provide insights into the HC formation mechanism due to in-cylinder wall wetting. The variables investigated were the effects of engine operating conditions, coolant temperature, in-cylinder wetting location, and the amount of liquid wall wetting. The results of the steady state tests show that in-cylinder wall wetting is an important source of HC emissions both at idle and at a part load, cruise-type condition. The effects of wetting location present the same trend for idle and part load conditions.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Intake Timing Effects on the Cold Start Behavior of a Spark Ignition Engine

Recent advances in Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) methods have led to development of optimized valve timing strategies for a broad range of engine operating conditions. This study focuses on the cold-start period, which begins at engine cranking and lasts for approximately 1 minute thereafter. Cold-start is characterized by poor mixture preparation due to low component temperatures, aggravated by fixed valve timing which has historically been compromised to give optimal warm engine operation. In this study, intake cam phasing was varied to explore the potential benefit in hydrocarbon emissions and driveability obtainable for cold-start. A simple experimental approach was used to investigate the potential emissions benefits realizable through intake cam phasing. High speed cylinder pressure and Fast Flame Ionization Detector (FFID) engine-out hydrocarbon (HC) measurements were made to characterize instantaneous cold-start emissions and driveability.
Technical Paper

The Heavy-Duty Gasoline Engine - An Alternative to Meet Emissions Standards of Tomorrow

A technology path has been identified for development of a high efficiency, durable, gasoline engine, targeted at achieving performance and emissions levels necessary to meet heavy-duty, on-road standards of the foreseeable future. Initial experimental and numerical results for the proposed technology concept are presented. This work summarizes internal research efforts conducted at Southwest Research Institute. An alternative combustion system has been numerically and experimentally examined. The engine utilizes gasoline as the fuel, with a combination of enabling technologies to provide high efficiency operation at ultra-low emissions levels. The concept is based upon very highly-dilute combustion of gasoline at high compression ratio and boost levels. Results from the experimental program have demonstrated engine-out NOx emissions of 0.06 g/hp/hr, at single-cylinder brake thermal efficiencies (BTE) above thirty-four percent.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Laminar Burning Velocity of Multi-Component Fuel Blends for Use in High-Performance SI Engines

A technique was developed for measuring the Laminar Burning Velocity (LBV) of multi-component fuel blends for use in high-performance spark-ignition engines. This technique involves the use of a centrally-ignited spherical combustion chamber, and a complementary analysis code. The technique was validated by examining several single-component fuels, and the computational procedure was extended to handle multi-component fuels without requiring detailed knowledge of their chemical composition. Experiments performed on an instrumented high-speed engine showed good agreement between the observed heat-release rates of the fuels and their predicted ranking based on the measured LBV parameters.
Technical Paper

Performance Predictions for High Efficiency Stoichiometric Spark Ignited Engines

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is exploring the feasibility of extending the performance and fuel efficiency of the spark ignition (SI) engine to match that of the emission constrained compression (CI) engine, whilst retaining the cost effective 3-way stoichiometric aftertreatment systems associated with traditional SI light duty engines. The engine concept, which has a relatively high compression ratio and uses heavy EGR, is called “HEDGE”, i.e. High Efficiency Durable Gasoline Engine. Whereas previous SwRI papers have been medium and heavy duty development focused, this paper uses results from simulations, with some test bed correlations, to predict multicylinder torque curves, brake thermal efficiency and NOx emissions as well as knock limit for light and medium duty applications.
Technical Paper

Virtual Cylinder Pressure Sensor (VCPS) with Individual Variable-Oriented Independent Estimators

Tremendous amount of useful information can be extracted from the cylinder pressure signal for engine combustion control. However, the physical cylinder pressure sensors are undesirably expensive and their health need to be monitored for fault diagnostic purpose as well. This paper presents the results of the development of a virtual cylinder pressure sensor (VCPS) with individual variable-oriented independent estimators. Two neural network-based independent cylinder pressure related variable estimators were developed and verified at steady state. The results show that these models can predict the variables correctly compared with the extracted variables from the measured physical cylinder pressure sensor signal. Good generalization capabilities of the developed models are observed in the sense that the models work well not only for the training data set but also for the new inputs that they have never been exposed to before.
Technical Paper

The Heavy Duty Gasoline Engine - A Multi-Cylinder Study of a High Efficiency, Low Emission Technology

SwRI has developed a new technology concept involving the use of high EGR rates coupled with a high-energy ignition system in a gasoline engine to improve fuel economy and emissions. Based on a single-cylinder study [1], this study extends the concept of a high compression ratio gasoline engine with EGR rates > 30% and a high-energy ignition system to a multi-cylinder engine. A 2000 MY Isuzu Duramax 6.6 L 8-cylinder engine was converted to run on gasoline with a diesel pilot ignition system. The engine was run at two compression ratios, 17.5:1 and 12.5:1 and with two different EGR systems - a low-pressure loop and a high pressure loop. A high cetane number (CN) diesel fuel (CN=76) was used as the ignition source and two different octane number (ON) gasolines were investigated - a pump grade 91 ON ((R+M)/2) and a 103 ON ((R+M)/2) racing fuel.