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Technical Paper

Estimation of Intake Oxygen Mass Fraction for Transient Control of EGR Engines

Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology provides significant benefits such as better cycle efficiency, knock tolerance and lower NOx/PM emissions. However, EGR dilution also poses challenges in terms of combustion stability, power density and control. Conventional control schemes for EGR engines rely on a differential pressure sensor combined with an orifice flow model to estimate EGR flow rate. While EGR rate is an important quantity, intake O2 mass fraction may be a better indication of EGR, capturing quantity as well as “quality” of EGR. SwRI has successfully used intake O2 mass fraction as a controlled state to manage several types of EGR engines - dual loop EGR diesel engines, low pressure loop /dedicated EGR (D-EGR) gasoline engines as well as dual fuel engines. Several suppliers are currently developing intake O2 sensors but they typically suffer from limited accuracy, response time and reliability. Also, addition of a new sensor implies increased production costs.
Technical Paper

Combined Fuel and Lubricant Effects on Low Speed Pre-Ignition

Many studies on low speed pre-ignition have been published to investigate the impact of fuel properties and of lubricant properties. Fuels with high aromatic content or higher distillation temperatures have been shown to increase LSPI activity. The results have also shown that oil additives such as calcium sulfonate tend to increase the occurrence of LSPI while others such as magnesium sulfonate tend to decrease the occurrence. Very few studies have varied the fuel and oil properties at the same time. This approach is useful in isolating only the impact of the oil or the fuel, but both fluids impact the LSPI behavior of the engine simultaneously. To understand how the lubricant and fuel impacts on LSPI interact, a series of LSPI tests were performed with a matrix which combined fuels and lubricants with a range of LSPI activity. This study was intended to determine if a low activity lubricant could suppress the increased LSPI from a high activity fuel, and vice versa.
Technical Paper

Real Fuel Effects on Low Speed Pre-Ignition

To better understand real fuel effects on LSPI, a matrix was developed to vary certain chemical and physical properties of gasoline. The primary focus of the study was the impact of paraffinic, olefinic, and aromatic components upon LSPI. Secondary goals of this testing were to study the impact of ethanol content and fuel volatility as defined by the T90 temperature. The LSPI rate increased with ethanol content but was insensitive to olefin content. Additionally, increased aromatic content uniformly led to increased LSPI rates. For all blends, lower T90 temperatures resulted in decreased LSPI activity. The correlation between fuel octane (as RON or MON) suggests that octane itself does not play a role; however, the sensitivity of the fuel (RON-MON) does have some correlation with LSPI. Finally, the results of this analysis show that there is no correlation between the laminar flame speed of a fuel and the LSPI rate.
Journal Article

The Impact of Lubricant Volatility, Viscosity and Detergent Chemistry on Low Speed Pre-Ignition Behavior

The impact of additive and oil chemistry on low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) was evaluated. An additive metals matrix varied the levels of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP), calcium sulfonate, and molybdenum within the range of commercially available engine lubricants. A separate test matrix varied the detergent chemistry (calcium vs. magnesium), lubricant volatility, and base stock chemistry. All lubricants were evaluated on a LSPI test cycle developed by Southwest Research Institute within its Pre-Ignition Prevention Program (P3) using a GM LHU 2.0 L turbocharged GDI engine. It was observed that increasing the concentration of calcium leads to an increase in the LSPI rate. At low calcium levels, near-zero LSPI rates were observed. The addition of zinc and molybdenum additives had a negative effect on the LSPI rate; however, this was only seen at higher calcium concentrations.
Technical Paper

On-Road Monitoring of Low Speed Pre-Ignition

To meet increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy regulations, many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have recently developed and deployed small, high power density engines. Turbocharging, coupled with gasoline direct injection (GDI) has enabled a rapid engine downsizing trend. While these turbocharged GDI (TGDI) engines have indeed allowed for better fuel economy in many light duty vehicles, TGDI technology has also led to some unintended consequences. The most notable of these is an abnormal combustion phenomenon known as low speed pre-ignition (LSPI). LSPI is an uncontrolled combustion event that takes place prior to spark ignition, often resulting in knock, and has been known to cause catastrophic engine damage. LSPI propensity depends on a number of factors including engine design, calibration, fuel properties and engine oil formulation. Several engine tests have been developed within the industry to better understand the phenomenon of LSPI.