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Technical Paper

Highway Fuel Economy Testing of an RCCI Series Hybrid Vehicle

In the current work, a series-hybrid vehicle has been constructed that utilizes a dual-fuel, Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) engine. The vehicle is a 2009 Saturn Vue chassis and a 1.9L turbo-diesel engine converted to operate with low temperature RCCI combustion. The engine is coupled to a 90 kW AC motor, acting as an electrical generator to charge a 14.1 kW-hr lithium-ion traction battery pack, which powers the rear wheels by a 75 kW drive motor. Full vehicle testing was conducted on chassis dynamometers at the Vehicle Emissions Research Laboratory at Ford Motor Company and at the Vehicle Research Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For this work, the US Environmental Protection Agency Highway Fuel Economy Test was performed using commercially available gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel. Fuel economy and emissions data were recorded over the specified test cycle and calculated based on the fuel properties and the high-voltage battery energy usage.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Fuel Blending of Gasoline/Diesel for Improved Efficiency and Lowest Possible Emissions on a Multi-Cylinder Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In-cylinder fuel blending of gasoline with diesel fuel is investigated on a multi-cylinder light-duty diesel engine as a strategy to control in-cylinder fuel reactivity for improved efficiency and lowest possible emissions. This approach was developed and demonstrated at the University of Wisconsin through modeling and single-cylinder engine experiments. The objective of this study is to better understand the potential and challenges of this method on a multi-cylinder engine. More specifically, the effect of cylinder-to-cylinder imbalances and in-cylinder charge motion as well as the potential limitations imposed by real-world turbo-machinery were investigated on a 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine. This investigation focused on one engine condition, 2300 rpm, 5.5 bar net mean effective pressure (NMEP). Gasoline was introduced with a port-fuel-injection system.
Technical Paper

Efficiency and Emissions Mapping of RCCI in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In-cylinder blending of gasoline and diesel to achieve Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) has been shown to reduce NOX and particulate matter (PM) emissions while maintaining or improving brake thermal efficiency as compared to conventional diesel combustion (CDC). The RCCI concept has an advantage over many advanced combustion strategies in that the fuel reactivity can be tailored to the engine speed and load allowing stable low-temperature combustion to be extended over more of the light-duty drive cycle load range. Varying the premixed gasoline fraction changes the fuel reactivity stratification in the cylinder providing further control of combustion phasing and pressure rise rate than the use of EGR alone. This added control over the combustion process has been shown to allow rapid engine operating point exploration without direct modeling guidance.
Technical Paper

Non-Equilibrium Turbulence Considerations for Combustion Processes in the Simulation of DI Diesel Engines

A correction for the turbulence dissipation, based on non-equilibrium turbulence considerations from rapid distortion theory, has been derived and implemented in combination with the RNG k - ε model in a KIVA-based code. This model correction has been tested and compared with the standard RNG k - ε model for the compression and the combustion phase of two heavy duty DI diesel engines. The turbulence behavior in the compression phase shows clear improvements over the standard RNG k - ε model computations. In particular, the macro length scale is consistent with the corresponding time scale and with the turbulent kinetic energy over the entire compression phase. The combustion computations have been performed with the characteristic time combustion model. With this dissipation correction no additional adjustments of the turbulent characteristic time model constant were necessary in order to match experimental cylinder pressures and heat release rates of the two engines.
Technical Paper

Physical Properties of Bio-Diesel and Implications for Use of Bio-Diesel in Diesel Engines

In this study we identify components of a typical biodiesel fuel and estimate both their individual and mixed thermo-physical and transport properties. We then use the estimated mixture properties in computational simulations to gauge the extent to which combustion is modified when biodiesel is substituted for conventional diesel fuel. Our simulation studies included both conventional diesel combustion (DI) and premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI). Preliminary results indicate that biodiesel ignition is significantly delayed due to slower liquid evaporation, with the effects being more pronounced for DI than PCCI. The lower vapor pressure and higher liquid heat capacity of biodiesel are two key contributors to this slower rate of evaporation. Other physical properties are more similar between the two fuels, and their impacts are not clearly evident in the present study.
Technical Paper

Pressure-Swirl Atomization in the Near Field

To model sprays from pressure-swirl atomizers, the connection between the injector and the downstream spray must be considered. A new model for pressure-swirl atomizers is presented which assumes little knowledge of the internal details of the injector, but instead uses available observations of external spray characteristics. First, a correlation for the exit velocity at the injector exit is used to define the liquid film thickness. Next, the film must be modeled as it becomes a thin, liquid sheet and breaks up, forming ligaments and droplets. A linearized instability analysis of the breakup of a viscous, liquid sheet is used as part of the spray boundary condition. The spray angle is estimated from spray photographs and patternator data. A mass averaged spray angle is calculated from the patternator data and used in some of the calculations.
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

Effects of Biofuel Blends on RCCI Combustion in a Light-Duty, Multi-Cylinder Diesel Engine

Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) is an engine combustion strategy that utilizes in-cylinder fuel blending to produce low NOx and PM emissions while maintaining high thermal efficiency. Previous RCCI research has been investigated in single-cylinder heavy-duty engines [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The current study investigates RCCI operation in a light-duty multi-cylinder engine over a wide number of operating points representing vehicle operation over the US EPA FTP test. Similarly, previous RCCI engine experiments have used petroleum based fuels such as ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) and gasoline, with some work done using high percentages of biofuels, namely E85 [7]. The current study was conducted to examine RCCI performance with moderate biofuel blends, such as E20 and B20, as compared to conventional gasoline and ULSD.
Journal Article

Load Limit Extension in Pre-Mixed Compression Ignition Using a 2-Zone Combustion System

A novel 2-zone combustion system was examined at medium load operation consistent with loads in the light duty vehicle drive cycle (7.6 bar BMEP and 2600 rev/min). Pressure rise rate and noise can limit the part of the engine map where pre-mixed combustion strategies such as HCCI or RCCI can be used. The present 2-zone pistons have an axial projection that divides the near TDC volume into two regions (inner and outer) joined by a narrow communication channel defined by the squish height. Dividing the near TDC volume provides a means to prepare two fuel-air mixtures with different ignition characteristics. Depending on the fuel injection timing, the reactivity of the inner or outer volume can be raised to provide an ignition source for the fuel-air mixture in the other, less reactive volume. Multi-dimensional CFD modeling was used to design the 2-zone piston geometry examined in this study.
Journal Article

Characterization of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) Using Premixed Gasoline and Direct-Injected Gasoline with a Cetane Improver on a Multi-Cylinder Engine

The focus of the present study was to characterize Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) using a single-fuel approach of gasoline and gasoline mixed with a commercially available cetane improver on a multi-cylinder engine. RCCI was achieved by port-injecting a certification grade 96 research octane gasoline and direct-injecting the same gasoline mixed with various levels of a cetane improver, 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN). The EHN volume percentages investigated in the direct-injected fuel were 10, 5, and 2.5%. The combustion phasing controllability and emissions of the different fueling combinations were characterized at 2300 rpm and 4.2 bar brake mean effective pressure over a variety of parametric investigations including direct injection timing, premixed gasoline percentage, and intake temperature. Comparisons were made to gasoline/diesel RCCI operation on the same engine platform at nominally the same operating condition.
Journal Article

Effects of Fuel Physical Properties on Diesel Engine Combustion using Diesel and Bio-diesel Fuels

A computational study using multi-dimensional CFD modeling was performed to investigate the effects of physical properties on diesel engine combustion characteristics with bio-diesel fuels. Properties of typical bio-diesel fuels that were either calculated or measured are used in the study and the simulation results are compared with those of conventional diesel fuels. The sensitivity of the computational results to individual physical properties is also investigated, and the results provide information about the desirable characteristics of the blended fuels. The properties considered in the study include liquid density, vapor pressure, surface tension, liquid viscosity, liquid thermal conductivity, liquid specific heat, latent heat, vapor specific heat, vapor diffusion coefficient, vapor viscosity and vapor thermal conductivity. The results show significant effects of the fuel physical properties on ignition delay and burning rates at various engine operating conditions.
Journal Article

Development and Validation of a Reduced Reaction Mechanism for Biodiesel-Fueled Engine Simulations

In the present study a reduced chemical reaction mechanism for biodiesel surrogate fuel was developed and validated for multi-dimensional engine combustion simulations. An existing detailed methyl butanoate mechanism that contained 264 species and 1219 reactions was chosen to represent the oxygenated portion of the fuel. The reduction process included flux analysis, ignition sensitivity analysis, and optimization of reaction rate constants under constant volume conditions. The current reduced mechanism consists of 41 species and 150 reactions and gives predictions in excellent agreement with those of the comprehensive mechanism. In order to validate the mechanism under biodiesel-fueled engine conditions, it was combined with another skeletal mechanism for n-heptane oxidation. This combined reaction mechanism can be used to adjust the energy content of the fuel, and account for diesel/biodiesel blend engine simulations.