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Technical Paper

Investigation of the Relationship Between DI Diesel Combustion Processes and Engine-Out Soot Using an Oxygenated Fuel

The relationship between combustion processes and engine-out soot was investigated in an optically accessible DI diesel engine using diethylene glycol diethyl ether (DGE) fuel, a viable diesel oxygenate. The high oxygen content of DGE enables operation without soot emissions at higher loads than with a hydrocarbon fuel. The high cetane number of DGE enables operation at charge-gas temperatures below those required for current diesel fuels, which may be advantageous for reducing NOx emissions. In-cylinder optical measurements of flame lift-off length and natural luminosity were obtained simultaneously with engine-out soot measurements while varying charge-gas density and temperature. The local mixture stoichiometry at the lift-off length was characterized by a parameter called the oxygen ratio that was estimated from the measured flame lift-off length using an entrainment correlation for non-reacting sprays.
Technical Paper

Full Cycle CFD Simulations to Study Thermal and Chemical Effects of Fuel Injection during Negative Valve Overlap in an Automotive Research Engine

Recently experiments were conducted on an automotive homogeneous-charge-compression-ignition (HCCI) research engine with a negative-valve-overlap (NVO) cam. In the study two sets of experiments were run. One set injected a small quantity of fuel (HPLC-grade iso-octane) during NVO in varying amounts and timings followed by a larger injection during the intake stroke. The other set of experiments was similar, but did not include an NVO injection. By comparing both sets of results researchers were able to investigate the use of NVO fuel injection to control main combustion phasing under light-load conditions. For this paper a subset of these experiments are modeled with the computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) code KIVA3V [ 6 ] using a multi-zone combustion model. The computational domain includes the combustion chamber, and intake and exhaust valves, ports, and runners. Multiple cycles are run to minimize the influence of initial conditions on final simulated results.
Journal Article

Determination of Cycle Temperatures and Residual Gas Fraction for HCCI Negative Valve Overlap Operation

Fuel injection during negative valve overlap offers a promising method of controlling HCCI combustion, but sorting out the thermal and chemical effects of NVO fueling requires knowledge of temperatures throughout the cycle. Computing bulk temperatures throughout closed portions of the cycle is relatively straightforward using an equation of state, once a temperature at one crank angle is established. Unfortunately, computing charge temperatures at intake valve closing for NVO operation is complicated by a large, unknown fraction of residual gases at unknown temperature. To address the problem, we model blowdown and recompression during exhaust valve opening and closing events, allowing us to estimate in-cylinder charge temperatures based on exhaust-port measurements. This algorithm permits subsequent calculation of crank-angle-resolved bulk temperatures and residual gas fraction over a wide range of NVO operation.
Technical Paper

Overview of Engine Combustion Research at Sandia National Laboratories

The objectives of this paper are to describe the ongoing projects in diesel engine combustion research at Sandia National Laboratories' Combustion Research Facility and to detail recent experimental results. The approach we are employing is to assemble experimental hardware that mimic realistic engine geometries while enabling optical access. For example, we are using multi-cylinder engine heads or one-cylinder versions of production heads mated to one-cylinder engine blocks. Optical access is then obtained through a periscope in an exhaust valve, quartz windows in the piston crown, windows in spacer plates just below the head, or quartz cylinder liners. We have three diesel engine experiments supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Heavy Vehicle Technologies: a one-cylinder version of a Cummins heavy-duty engine, a diesel simulation facility, and a one-cylinder Caterpillar engine to evaluate combustion of alternative diesel fuels.
Technical Paper

Optimizing the Scavenging System for a Two-Stroke Cycle, Free Piston Engine for High Efficiency and Low Emissions: A Computational Approach

A free piston internal combustion (IC) engine operating on high compression ratio (CR) homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is being developed by Sandia National Laboratories to significantly improve the thermal efficiency and exhaust emissions relative to conventional crankshaft-driven SI and Diesel engines. A two-stroke scavenging process recharges the engine and is key to realizing the efficiency and emissions potential of the device. To ensure that the engine's performance goals can be achieved the scavenging system was configured using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), zero- and one-dimensional modeling, and single step parametric variations. A wide range of design options was investigated including the use of loop, hybrid-loop and uniflow scavenging methods, different charge delivery options, and various operating schemes. Parameters such as the intake/exhaust port arrangement, valve lift/timing, charging pressure and piston frequency were varied.
Technical Paper

Large Eddy Simulation of Direct Injection Processes for Hydrogen and LTC Engine Applications

Direct injection (DI) has proven to be a promising option in Diesel and low temperature combustion engines. In conventional Diesel and homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) applications, DI lowers soot and NOx production and improves fuel economy. In hydrogen fueled engines, DI provides the appropriate energy density required for high efficiency and low NOx emissions. To realize the full benefit of DI, however, the effect of various injection parameters, such as injection timing, duration, pressure, and dilution, must be investigated and optimized under a range of engine operating conditions. In this work, we have developed a model for high-fidelity calculations of DI processes using the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) technique and an advanced property evaluation scheme. Calculations were performed using an idealized domain to establish a baseline level of validation.
Technical Paper

Quantitative Measurements of Residual and Fresh Charge Mixing in a Modern SI Engine Using Spontaneous Raman Scattering

Line-imaging of Raman scattered light is used to simultaneously measure the mole fractions of CO2, H2O, N2, O2, and fuel (premixed C3H8) in a modern 4-valve spark-ignition engine operating at idle. The measurement volume consists of 16 adjacent sub-volumes, each 0.27 mm in diameter × 0.91 mm long, giving a total measurement length of 14.56 mm. Measurements are made 3 mm under the centrally-located spark plug, offset 3 mm from the spark plug center towards the exhaust valves. Data are taken in 15 crank angle degree increments starting from top center before the intake stroke (-360 CAD) through top center of the compression stroke (0 CAD).
Technical Paper

Modeling Chemistry in Lean NOx Traps Under Reducing Conditions

A set of elementary surface reactions is proposed for modeling the chemistry in a lean NOx trap during regeneration (reduction of stored NOx). The proposed reaction mechanism can account for the observed product distribution from the trap over a range of temperatures and inlet gas compositions similar to those expected for realistic operation. The mechanism includes many reactions already discussed in the literature, together with some hypothesized reactions that are required to match observations from temperature programmed reactor experiments with a commercial lean NOx trap catalyst. Preliminary results indicate that the NOx trap regeneration and byproduct formation rates can be effectively captured by using a relatively compact set of elementary reactions.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Single and Dual Spray Fuel Injectors During Cold Start of a PFI Spark Ignition Engine Using Visualization of Liquid Fuel Films and Pool Fires

Video imaging has been used to investigate the evolution of liquid fuel films on combustion chamber walls during a simulated cold start of a port fuel-injected engine. The experiments were performed in a single-cylinder research engine with a production, four-valve head and a window in the piston crown. Flood-illuminated laser-induced fluorescence was used to observe the fuel films directly, and color video recording of visible emission from pool fires due to burning fuel films was used as an indirect measure of film location. The imaging techniques were applied to a comparative study of single and dual spray fuel injectors for both open and closed valve injection, for coolant temperatures of 20, 40 and 60°C. In general, for all cases it is shown that fuel films form in the vicinity of the intake valve seats.
Technical Paper

Novel Three-Dimensional Ceramic Lattices as Catalyst Supports and Diesel Particulate Traps

A novel direct-fabrication technique (robocasting) was used to produce periodic lattices of ceramic rods. The macrostructure is a three-dimensional mesh with controlled porosity in all dimensions but no line-of-sight pathways. These ceramic lattices can function as catalyst supports for gas combustion, and possibly self-regenerating filters for diesel particulates. Compared to the traditional two-dimensional “honeycomb” structured extrudates, the three-dimensional structures have high surface to volume ratios and highly turbulent flow. The flow behaviors of these ceramic lattices and the resulting enhancements in catalytic performance over traditional supports have been demonstrated for propane and methane combustion. Similar tests are underway for the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) of NOx. The potential utility of these structures for diesel particulate trapping will also be discussed.
Journal Article

Characterization of Flow Asymmetry During the Compression Stroke Using Swirl-Plane PIV in a Light-Duty Optical Diesel Engine with the Re-entrant Piston Bowl Geometry

Flow field asymmetry can lead to an asymmetric mixture preparation in Diesel engines. To understand the evolution of this asymmetry, it is necessary to characterize the in-cylinder flow over the full compression stroke. Moreover, since bowl-in-piston cylinder geometries can substantially impact the in-cylinder flow, characterization of these flows requires the use of geometrically correct pistons. In this work, the flow has been visualized via a transparent piston top with a realistic bowl geometry, which causes severe experimental difficulties due to the spatial and temporal variation of the optical distortion. An advanced optical distortion correction method is described to allow reliable particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements through the full compression stroke. Based on the ensemble-averaged velocity results, flow asymmetry characterized by the swirl center offset and the associated tilting of the vortex axis is quantified.
Technical Paper

LIF and Flame-Emission Imaging of Liquid Fuel Films and Pool Fires in an SI Engine During a Simulated Cold Start

Video imaging has been used to investigate the evolution of liquid fuel films on combustion chamber walls during a simulated cold start of a port fuel-injected engine. The experiments were performed in a single-cylinder research engine with a production, four-valve head and a window in the piston crown. Flood-illuminated laser-induced fluorescence was used to observe the fuel films directly, and color video recording of visible emission from pool fires due to burning fuel films was used as an indirect measure of film location. The imaging techniques were applied to a comparative study of open and closed valve injection, for coolant temperatures of 20, 40 and 60 °C. In general, for all cases it is shown that fuel films form in the vicinity of the intake valve seats.
Journal Article

Boosted HCCI - Controlling Pressure-Rise Rates for Performance Improvements using Partial Fuel Stratification with Conventional Gasoline

This study investigates the potential of partial fuel stratification for reducing the knocking propensity of intake-boosted HCCI engines operating on conventional gasoline. Although intake boosting can substantially increase the high-load capability of HCCI, these engines would be more production-viable if the knock/stability load limit could be extended to allow higher loads at a given boost and/or to provide even higher thermal efficiencies. A technique termed partial fuel stratification (PFS) has recently been shown to greatly reduce the combustion-induced pressure-rise rate (PRR), and therefore the knocking propensity of naturally aspirated HCCI, when the engine is fueled with a φ-sensitive, two-stage-ignition fuel. The current work explores the potential of applying PFS to boosted HCCI operation using conventional gasoline, which does not typically show two-stage ignition. Experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liters) at 1200 rpm.
Journal Article

Application of Corona Discharge Ignition in a Boosted Direct-Injection Single Cylinder Gasoline Engine: Effects on Combustion Phasing, Fuel Consumption, and Emissions

The downsizing of internal combustion engines to increase fuel economy leads to challenges in both obtaining ignition and stabilizing combustion at boosted intake pressures and high exhaust gas recirculation dilution conditions. The use of non-thermal plasma ignition technologies has shown promise as a means to more reliably ignite dilute charge mixtures at high pressures. Despite progress in fundamental research on this topic, both the capabilities and operation implications of emerging non-thermal plasma ignition technologies in internal combustion engine applications are not yet fully explored. In this work, we document the effects of using a corona discharge ignition system in a single cylinder gasoline direct injection research engine relative to using a traditional inductive spark ignition system under conditions associated with both naturally aspirated (8 bar BMEP) and boosted (20 bar BMEP) loads at moderate (2000 rpm) and high (4000 rpm) engine speeds.
Journal Article

Combined Effects of Multi-Pulse Transient Plasma Ignition and Intake Heating on Lean Limits of Well-Mixed E85 DISI Engine Operation

Well-mixed lean SI engine operation can provide improvements of the fuel economy relative to that of traditional well-mixed stoichiometric SI operation. This work examines the use of two methods for improving the stability of lean operation, namely multi-pulse transient plasma ignition and intake air preheating. These two methods are compared to standard SI operation using a conventional high-energy inductive ignition system without intake air preheating. E85 is the fuel chosen for this study. The multi-pulse transient plasma ignition system utilizes custom electronics to generate 10 kHz bursts of 10 ultra-short (12ns), high-amplitude pulses (200 A). These pulses were applied to a custom spark plug with a semi-open ignition cavity. High-speed imaging reveals that ignition in this cavity generates a turbulent jet-like early flame spread that speeds up the transition from ignition to the main combustion event.
Journal Article

A Study of Piston Geometry Effects on Late-Stage Combustion in a Light-Duty Optical Diesel Engine Using Combustion Image Velocimetry

In light-duty direct-injection (DI) diesel engines, combustion chamber geometry influences the complex interactions between swirl and squish flows, spray-wall interactions, as well as late-cycle mixing. Because of these interactions, piston bowl geometry significantly affects fuel efficiency and emissions behavior. However, due to lack of reliable in-cylinder measurements, the mechanisms responsible for piston-induced changes in engine behavior are not well understood. Non-intrusive, in situ optical measurement techniques are necessary to provide a deeper understanding of the piston geometry effect on in-cylinder processes and to assist in the development of predictive engine simulation models. This study compares two substantially different piston bowls with geometries representative of existing technology: a conventional re-entrant bowl and a stepped-lip bowl. Both pistons are tested in a single-cylinder optical diesel engine under identical boundary conditions.
Technical Paper

Effects of PuriNOx™ Water-Diesel Fuel Emulsions on Emissions and Fuel Economy in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine

The engine-out emissions and fuel consumption rates for a modern, heavy-duty diesel engine were compared when fueling with a conventional diesel fuel and three water-blend-fuel emulsions. Four different fuels were studied: (1) a conventional diesel fuel, (2) PuriNOx,™ a water-fuel emulsion using the same conventional diesel fuel, but having 20% water by mass, and (3,4) two other formulations of the PuriNOx™ fuel that contained proprietary chemical additives intended to improve combustion efficiency and emissions characteristics. The emissions data were acquired with three different injection-timing strategies using the AVL 8-Mode steady-state test method in a Caterpillar 3176 engine, which had a calibration that met the 1998 nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions standard.