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Technical Paper

SI Engine Trends: A Historical Analysis with Future Projections

It is well known that spark ignited engine performance and efficiency is closely coupled to fuel octane number. The present work combines historical and recent trends in spark ignition engines to build a database of engine design, performance, and fuel octane requirements over the past 80 years. The database consists of engine compression ratio, required fuel octane number, peak mean effective pressure, specific output, and combined unadjusted fuel economy for passenger vehicles and light trucks. Recent trends in engine performance, efficiency, and fuel octane number requirement were used to develop correlations of fuel octane number utilization, performance, specific output. The results show that historically, engine compression ratio and specific output have been strongly coupled to fuel octane number.
Technical Paper

Direct Measurement and Chemical Speciation of Top Ring Zone Liquid During Engine Operation

The present manuscript consists of proof of concept experiments involving direct measurements and detailed chemical speciation from the top ring zone of a running engine. The work uses a naturally aspirated single cylinder utility engine that has been modified to allow direct liquid sample acquisition from behind the top ring. Samples were analyzed and speciated using gas chromatographic techniques. Results show that the liquid mixture in the top ring zone is neither neat lubricant nor fuel but a combination of the two with unique chemical properties. At the tested steady state no-load operating condition, the chemical species of the top ring zone liquid were found to be highly dependent on boiling point, where both low reactivity higher boiling point fuel species and lubricant are observed to be the dominant constituents.
Journal Article

Piston Bowl Optimization for RCCI Combustion in a Light-Duty Multi-Cylinder Engine

Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) is an engine combustion strategy that produces low NO and PM emissions with high thermal efficiency. Previous RCCI research has been investigated in single-cylinder heavy-duty engines. The current study investigates RCCI operation in a light-duty multi-cylinder engine at 3 operating points. These operating points were chosen to cover a range of conditions seen in the US EPA light-duty FTP test. The operating points were chosen by the Ad Hoc working group to simulate operation in the FTP test. The fueling strategy for the engine experiments consisted of in-cylinder fuel blending using port fuel-injection (PFI) of gasoline and early-cycle, direct-injection (DI) of diesel fuel. At these 3 points, the stock engine configuration is compared to operation with both the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and custom-machined pistons designed for RCCI operation.
Journal Article

The Reduced Effectiveness of EGR to Mitigate Knock at High Loads in Boosted SI Engines

Numerous studies have demonstrated that exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) can attenuate knock propensity in spark ignition (SI) engines at naturally aspirated or lightly boosted conditions [1]. In this study, we investigate the role of cooled EGR under higher load conditions with multiple fuel compositions, where highly retarded combustion phasing typical of modern SI engines was used. It was found that under these conditions, EGR attenuation of knock is greatly reduced, where EGR doesn’t allow significant combustion phasing advance as it does under lighter load conditions. Detailed combustion analysis shows that when EGR is added, the polytropic coefficient increases causing the compressive pressure and temperature to increase. At sufficiently highly boosted conditions, the increase in polytropic coefficient and additional trapped mass from EGR can sufficiently reduce fuel ignition delay to overcome knock attenuation effects.
Journal Article

Engine Operating Conditions and Fuel Properties on Pre-Spark Heat Release and SPI Promotion in SI Engines

This work explores the dependence of fuel ignition delay on stochastic pre-ignition (SPI). Findings are based on bulk gas thermodynamic state, where the effects of kinetically controlled bulk gas pre-spark heat release (PSHR) are correlated to SPI tendency and magnitude. Specifically, residual gas and low temperature PSHR chemistry effects and observations are explored, which are found to be indicative of bulk gas conditions required for strong SPI events. Analyzed events range from non-knocking SPI to knocking SPI and even detonation SPI events in excess of 325 bar peak cylinder pressure. The work illustrates that singular SPI event count and magnitude are found to be proportional to PSHR of the bulk gas mixture and residual gas fraction. Cycle-to-cycle variability in trapped residual mass and temperature are found to impose variability in singular SPI event count and magnitude.
Journal Article

Effects of Fuel Composition on EGR Dilution Tolerance in Spark Ignited Engines

Fuel-specific differences in exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) dilution tolerance are studied in a modern, direct-injection single-cylinder research engine. A total of 6 model fuel blends are examined at a constant research octane number (RON) of 95 using n-heptane, isooctane, toluene, and ethanol. Laminar flame speeds for these mixtures, which are calculated using two different methods (an energy fraction mixing rule and a detailed kinetic simulation), span a range of about 6 cm/s. A nominal load of 350 kPa IMEPg at 2000 rpm is maintained with constant fueling and varying CA50 from 8-20 CAD aTDCf. EGR is increased until a COV of IMEP of 5% is reached. The results illustrate that flame speed affects EGR dilution tolerance; fuels with increased flame speeds have increased EGR tolerance. Specifically, flame speed correlates most closely to the initial flame kernel growth, measured as the time of ignition to 5% mass fraction burned.