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Technical Paper

A High-Energy Continuous Discharge Ignition System for Dilute Engine Applications

2013-04-08
2013-01-1628
SwRI has developed the DCO® ignition system, a unique continuous discharge system that allows for variable duration/energy events in SI engines. The system uses two coils connected by a diode and a multi-striking controller to generate a continuous current flow through the spark plug of variable duration. A previous publication demonstrated the ability of the DCO system to improve EGR tolerance using low energy coils. In this publication, the work is extended to high current (≻ 300 mA/high energy (≻ 200 mJ) coils and compared to several advanced ignition systems. The results from a 4-cylinder, MPI application demonstrate that the higher current/higher energy coils offer an improvement over the lower energy coils. The engine was tested at a variety of speed and load conditions operating at stoichiometric air-fuel ratios with gasoline and EGR dilution.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuel Testing on a Port Fuel Injected LPL EGR and D-EGR® Engine

2016-10-17
2016-01-2170
A turbocharged 2.0 L PFI engine was modified to operate in a low-pressure loop and Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine configuration. Both engine architectures were operated with a low and high octane gasoline as well as three ethanol blends. The core of this study focused on examining combustion differences at part and high loads between the selected fuels and also the different engine configurations. Specifically, the impact of the fuels on combustion stability, burn rates, knock mitigation, required ignition energy, and efficiency were evaluated. The results showed that the knock resistance generally followed the octane rating of the fuel. At part loads, the burn rates, combustion stability, and EGR tolerance was marginally improved with the high ethanol blends. When combustion was not knock or stability limited, the efficiency differences between the fuels were negligible. The D-EGR engine was much less sensitive to fuel changes in terms of burn rates than the LPL EGR setup.
Technical Paper

Microwave Enhancement of Lean/Dilute Combustion in a Constant-Volume Chamber

2019-04-02
2019-01-1198
High dilution engines have been shown to have a significant fuel economy improvement over their non-dilute counterparts. Much of this improvement comes through an increase in compression ratio enabled by the high knock resistance from high dilution. Unfortunately, the same reduction in reactivity that leads to the knock reduction also reduces flame speed, leading to the engine becoming unstable at high dilution rates. Advanced ignition systems have been shown to improve engine stability, but their impact is limited to the area at, or very near, the spark plug. To further improve the dilute combustion, a system in which a microwave field is established in the combustion chamber is proposed. This standing electric field has been shown, in other applications, to improve dilution tolerance and increase the burning velocity.
Journal Article

A Study Isolating the Effect of Bore-to-Stroke Ratio on Gasoline Engine Combustion Chamber Development

2016-10-17
2016-01-2177
A unique single cylinder engine was used to assess engine performance and combustion characteristics at three different strokes, with all other variables held constant. The engine utilized a production four-valve, pentroof cylinder head with an 86mm bore. The stock piston was used, and a variable deck height design allowed three crankshafts with strokes of 86, 98, and 115mm to be tested. The compression ratio was also held constant. The engine was run with a controlled boost-to-backpressure ratio to simulate turbocharged operation, and the valve events were optimized for each operating condition using intake and exhaust cam phasers. EGR rates were swept from zero to twenty percent under low and high speed conditions, at MBT and maximum retard ignition timings. The increased stroke engines demonstrated efficiency gains under all operating conditions, as well as measurably reduced 10-to-90 percent burn durations.
Journal Article

The Role of EGR in PM Emissions from Gasoline Engines

2010-04-12
2010-01-0353
A dilute spark-ignited engine concept has been developed as a potential low cost competitor to diesel engines by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a goal of diesel-like efficiency and torque for light- and medium-duty applications and low-cost aftertreatment. The targeted aftertreatment method is a traditional three-way catalyst, which offers both an efficiency and cost advantage over typical diesel aftertreatment systems. High levels of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) have been realized using advanced ignition systems and improved combustion, with significant improvements in emissions, efficiency, and torque resulting from using high levels of EGR. The primary motivation for this work was to understand the impact high levels of EGR would have on particulate matter (PM) formation in a port fuel injected (PFI) engine. While there are no proposed regulations for PFI engine PM levels, the potential exists for future regulations, both on a size and mass basis.
Technical Paper

Impact of Swirl Ratio on Combustion Performance of a Non-Pent Roof Combustion Chamber Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0743
In response to the sensitivity to diesel aftertreatment costs in the medium duty market, a John Deere 4045 was converted to burn gasoline with high levels of EGR. This presented some unique challenges not seen in light duty gasoline engines as the flat head and diesel adapted ports do not provide optimum in-cylinder turbulence. As the bore size increases, there is more opportunity for knock or incomplete combustion to occur. Also, the high dilution used to reduce knock slows the burn rates. In order to speed up the burn rates, various levels of swirl were investigated. A four valve head with different levels of port masking showed that increasing the swirl ratio decreased the combustion duration, but ultimately ran into high pumping work required to generate the desired swirl. A two valve head was used to overcome the breathing issue seen in the four valve head with port masking.
Technical Paper

Water-Gas-Shift Catalyst Development and Optimization for a D-EGR® Engine

2015-09-01
2015-01-1968
Dedicated Exhaust Gas Recirculation (D-EGR®) technology provides a novel means for fuel efficiency improvement through efficient, on-board generation of H2 and CO reformate [1, 2]. In the simplest form of the D-EGR configuration, reformate is produced in-cylinder through rich combustion of the gasoline-air charge mixture. It is also possible to produce more H2 by means of a Water Gas Shift (WGS) catalyst, thereby resulting in further combustion improvements and overall fuel consumption reduction. In industrial applications, the WGS reaction has been used successfully for many years. Previous engine applications of this technology, however, have only proven successful to a limited degree. The motivation for this work was to develop and optimize a WGS catalyst which can be employed to a D-EGR configuration of an internal combustion engine. This study consists of two parts.
Journal Article

The Effect of EGR on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in Boosted SI Engines

2011-04-12
2011-01-0339
The spark ignition (SI) engine has been known to exhibit several different abnormal combustion phenomena, such as knock or pre-ignition, which have been addressed with improved engine design or control schemes. However, in highly boosted SI engines - where the engine displacement is reduced and turbocharging is employed to increase specific power - a new combustion phenomenon, described as Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI), has been exhibited. LSPI is characterized as a pre-ignition event typically followed by heavy knock, which has the potential to cause degradation of the engine. However, because LSPI events occur only sporadically and in an uncontrolled fashion, it is difficult to identify the causes for this phenomenon and to develop solutions to suppress it. Some countermeasures exist that OEMs can use to avoid LSPI, such as load limiting, but these have drawbacks.
Journal Article

Engine Operating Condition and Gasoline Fuel Composition Effects on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in High-Performance Spark Ignited Gasoline Engines

2011-04-12
2011-01-0342
Downsizing is an important concept to reduce fuel consumption as well as emissions of spark ignition engines. Engine displacement is reduced in order to shift operating points from lower part load into regions of the operating map with higher efficiency and thus lower specific fuel consumption [ 1 ]. Since maximum power in full load operation decreases due to the reduction of displacement, engines are boosted (turbocharging or supercharging), which leads to a higher specific loading of the engines. Hence, a new combustion phenomenon has been observed at high loads and low engine speed and is referred to as Low-Speed Pre-Ignition or LSPI. In cycles with LSPI, the air/fuel mixture is ignited prior to the spark which results in the initial flame propagation quickly transforming into heavy engine knock. Very high pressure rise rates and peak cylinder pressures could exceed design pressure limits, which in turn could lead to degradation of the engine.
Journal Article

Effect of EGR on Particle Emissions from a GDI Engine

2011-04-12
2011-01-0636
Gasoline direct injected (GDI) engines are becoming a concern with respect to particulate matter (PM) emissions. The upcoming 2014 Euro 6 regulations may require a drastic reduction in solid particle number emissions from GDI engines and the proposed California Air Resources Board (CARB) LEV III regulations for 2014 and 2017 will also require some PM reduction measures. As a result, it is necessary to characterize PM emissions from GDI engines and investigate strategies that suppress particle formation during combustion. The main focus of this work was on using exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) as a means to reduce engine-out particle emissions from a GDI engine with an overall stoichiometric fuel to air mixture. A small displacement, turbocharged GDI engine was operated at a variety of steady-state conditions with differing levels of EGR to characterize total (solid plus volatile) and solid particle emissions with respect to size, number, and soot or black carbon mass.
Journal Article

A Continuous Discharge Ignition System for EGR Limit Extension in SI Engines

2011-04-12
2011-01-0661
A novel continuous inductive discharge ignition system has been developed that allows for variable duration ignition events in SI engines. The system uses a dual-coil design, where two coils are connected by a diode, combined with the multi-striking coil concept, to generate a continuous current flow through the spark plug. The current level and duration can be regulated by controlling the number of re-strikes that each coil performs or the energy density the primary coils are charged to. Compared to other extended duration systems, this system allows for fairly high current levels during the entire discharge event while avoiding the extremely high discharge levels associated with other, shorter duration, high energy ignition systems (e.g. the plasma jet [ 1 , 2 ], railplug [ 3 ] or laser ignition systems [ 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 ].
Journal Article

The Impact of Cooled EGR on Peak Cylinder Pressure in a Turbocharged, Spark Ignited Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0744
The use of cooled EGR as a knock suppression tool is gaining more acceptance worldwide. As cooled EGR become more prevalent, some challenges are presented for engine designers. In this study, the impact of cooled EGR on peak cylinder pressure was evaluated. A 1.6 L, 4-cylinder engine was operated with and without cooled EGR at several operating conditions. The impact of adding cooled EGR to the engine on peak cylinder pressure was then evaluated with an attempt to separate the effect due to advanced combustion phasing from the effect of increased manifold pressure. The results show that cooled EGR's impact on peak cylinder pressure is primarily due to the knock suppression effect, with the result that an EGR rate of 25% leads to an almost 50% increase in peak cylinder pressure at a mid-load condition if the combustion phasing is advanced to Knock Limited Spark Advance (KLSA). When combustion phasing was held constant, increasing the EGR rate had almost no effect on PCP.
Journal Article

LPL EGR and D-EGR® Engine Concept Comparison Part 1: Part Load Operation

2015-04-14
2015-01-0783
The ongoing pursuit of improved engine efficiency and emissions are driving gasoline low-pressure loop EGR systems into production around the globe. To minimize inevitable downsides of cooled EGR while maintaining its advantages, the Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine was developed. The core of the D-EGR engine development focused on a unique concept that combines the efficiency improvements associated with recirculated exhaust gas and the efficiency improvements associated with fuel reformation. To outline the differences of the new engine concept with a conventional low-pressure loop (LPL) EGR setup, a turbocharged 2.0 L PFI engine was modified to operate in both modes and also compared to the baseline. The first part of the cooled EGR engine concept comparison investigates efficiency, emissions, combustion stability, and robustness at throttled part load conditions.
Journal Article

Potential and Challenges for a Water-Gas-Shift Catalyst as a Combustion Promoter on a D-EGR® Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0784
In light of the increasingly stringent efficiency and emissions requirements, several new engine technologies are currently under investigation. One of these new concepts is the Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine. The concept utilizes fuel reforming and high levels of recirculated exhaust gas (EGR) to achieve very high levels of thermal efficiency. While the positive impact of reformate, in particular hydrogen, on gasoline engine performance has been widely documented, the on-board reforming process and / or storage of H2 remains challenging. The Water-Gas-Shift (WGS) reaction is well known and has been used successfully for many years in the industry to produce hydrogen from the reactants water vapor and carbon monoxide. For this study, prototype WGS catalysts were installed in the exhaust tract of the dedicated cylinder of a turbocharged 2.0 L in-line four cylinder MPI engine. The potential of increased H2 production in a D-EGR engine was evaluated through the use of these catalysts.
Journal Article

LPL EGR and D-EGR® Engine Concept Comparison Part 2: High Load Operation

2015-04-14
2015-01-0781
The ongoing pursuit of improved engine efficiency and emissions is driving gasoline low-pressure loop EGR systems into production around the globe. The Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine was developed to minimize some of the challenges of cooled EGR while maintaining its advantages. The D-EGR engine is a high efficiency, low emissions internal combustion engine for automotive and off-highway applications. The core of the engine development focused on a unique concept that combines the efficiency improvements associated with recirculated exhaust gas and the efficiency improvements associated with fuel reformation. To outline the differences of the new engine concept with a conventional LPL EGR setup, a turbocharged 2.0 L PFI engine was modified to operate in both modes. The second part of the cooled EGR engine concept comparison investigates efficiency, knock resistance, combustion stability, and maximum load potential at high load conditions.
Journal Article

Design and Implementation of a D-EGR® Mixer for Improved Dilution and Reformate Distribution

2017-03-28
2017-01-0647
The Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine has shown improved efficiency and emissions while minimizing the challenges of traditional cooled EGR. The concept combines the benefits of cooled EGR with additional improvements resulting from in-cylinder fuel reformation. The fuel reformation takes place in the dedicated cylinder, which is also responsible for producing the diluents for the engine (EGR). The D-EGR system does present its own set of challenges. Because only one out of four cylinders is providing all of the dilution and reformate for the engine, there are three “missing” EGR pulses and problems with EGR distribution to all 4 cylinders exist. In testing, distribution problems were realized which led to poor engine operation. To address these spatial and temporal mixing challenges, a distribution mixer was developed and tested which improved cylinder-to-cylinder and cycle-to-cycle variation of EGR rate through improved EGR distribution.
Journal Article

Dedicated EGR Vehicle Demonstration

2017-03-28
2017-01-0648
Dedicated EGR (D-EGR) is an EGR strategy that uses in-cylinder reformation to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. The entire exhaust of a sub-group of power cylinders (dedicated cylinders) is routed directly into the intake. These cylinders are run fuel-rich, producing H2 and CO (reformate), with the potential to improve combustion stability, knock tolerance and burn duration. A 2.0 L turbocharged D-EGR engine was packaged into a 2012 Buick Regal and evaluated on drive cycle performance. City and highway fuel consumption were reduced by 13% and 9%, respectively. NOx + NMOG were 31 mg/mile, well below the Tier 2 Bin 5 limit and just outside the Tier 3 Bin 30 limit (30 mg/mile).
Journal Article

Impact of EGR Quality on the Total Inert Dilution Ratio

2016-04-05
2016-01-0713
A series of tests were performed on a gasoline powered engine with a Dedicated EGR® (D-EGR®) system. The results showed that changes in engine performance, including improvements in burn rates and stability and changes in emissions levels could not be adequately accounted for solely due to the presence of reformate in the EGR stream. In an effort to adequately characterize the engine's behavior, a new parameter was developed, the Total Inert Dilution Ratio (TIDR), which accounts for the changes in the EGR quality as inert gases are replaced by reactive species such as CO and H2.
Journal Article

The Interaction between Fuel Anti-Knock Index and Reformation Ratio in an Engine Equipped with Dedicated EGR

2016-04-05
2016-01-0712
Experiments were performed on a small displacement (< 2 L), high compression ratio, 4 cylinder, port injected gasoline engine equipped with Dedicated EGR® (D-EGR®) technology using fuels with varying anti-knock properties. Gasolines with anti-knock indices of 84, 89 and 93 anti-knock index (AKI) were tested. The engine was operated at a constant nominal EGR rate of ∼25% while varying the reformation ratio in the dedicated cylinder from a ϕD-EGR = 1.0 - 1.4. Testing was conducted at selected engine speeds and constant torque while operating at knock limited spark advance on the three fuels. The change in combustion phasing as a function of the level of overfuelling in the dedicated cylinder was documented for all three fuels to determine the tradeoff between the reformation ratio required to achieve a certain knock resistance and the fuel octane rating.
Journal Article

Methanol Fuel Testing on Port Fuel Injected Internal-Only EGR, HPL-EGR and D-EGR® Engine Configurations

2017-10-08
2017-01-2285
The primary focus of this investigation was to determine the hydrogen reformation, efficiency and knock mitigation benefits of methanol-fueled Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) operation, when compared to other EGR types. A 2.0 L turbocharged port fuel injected engine was operated with internal EGR, high-pressure loop (HPL) EGR and D-EGR configurations. The internal, HPL-EGR, and D-EGR configurations were operated on neat methanol to demonstrate the relative benefit of D-EGR over other EGR types. The D-EGR configuration was also tested on high octane gasoline to highlight the differences to methanol. An additional sub-task of the work was to investigate the combustion response of these configurations. Methanol did not increase its H2 yield for a given D-EGR cylinder equivalence ratio, even though the H:C ratio of methanol is over twice typical gasoline.
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