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Overview of Southwest Research Institute Activities in Engine Technology R&D

The worldwide drive to improved energy efficiency for engine systems is being supported by several engine R&D programs at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). This research includes large programs in major-market engine categories, such as heavy-duty, non-road, and light-duty; and includes diesel, gasoline, and alternative fuel aspects. This presentation describes several key diesel engine programs being pursued under the SwRI Clean High Efficiency Diesel Engine consortium (CHEDE-VI), whose goal is to demonstrate future diesel technology exceeding 50% brake thermal efficiency. Additionally, SwRI?s High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engines consortium (HEDGE-II), is reviewed, where advanced technology for ultra-high efficiency gasoline engines is being demonstrated. The HEDGE-II program is built upon dilute gasoline engine research, where brake thermal efficiencies in excess of 42% are being obtained for engines applicable to the light-duty market. Presenter Charles E.
Technical Paper

The Use of Radioactive Tracer Technology to Measure Real-Time Wear in Engines and Other Mechanical Systems

Radioactive tracer technology (RATT™) is an important tool for measuring real-time wear in operating engines and other mechanical systems. The use of this technology provides important wear information that is not available by other, more conventional wear measurement methods. The technology has advanced to the point where several components can be interrogated simultaneously, and new methods have extended the method to materials that are normally not amenable to radioactive tracer evaluation. In addition, sensitivity has increased so that the onset of wear can be detected long before practical with non-tracer methods. This improves the ability to measure and determine cause and effect relationships, thus providing a better understanding of wear responses to specific operating conditions and to changes in operating conditions. This paper reviews the radioactive tracer process and recent improvements that have extended its reach in both automotive and non-automotive applications.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Alternative Combustion Crossing Stoichiometric Air Fuel Ratio for Clean Diesels

Alternative combustion crossing stoichiometric air fuel ratio was investigated to utilize a 4-way catalyst system with LNT (lean NOx trap). The chemical mechanism of restricting soot formation reactions with low combustion temperature was combined with the physical mechanism of reducing smoke by lowering local equivalence ratio to enable low smoke rich and near rich combustion. A new combustion chamber for spatially and timely mixture formation phasing was developed to combine the two mechanisms and allow smooth EGR changing over a wide load range. Through this investigation, rich and near rich combustion to effectively utilize a 4-way catalyst system was realized. In addition, conditions suitable for LNT sulfur regeneration were realized from light to medium load.
Technical Paper

Engine Crankshaft Position Tracking Algorithms Applicable for Given Arbitrary Cam- and Crank-Shaft Position Signal Patterns

This paper describes algorithms that can recognize and track the engine crankshaft position for arbitrary cam- and crank-shaft tooth wheel patterns in both steady-state and transient operating conditions. Crankshaft position tracking resolution is adjustable to accommodate different application requirements. The instantaneous crankshaft position information provided by the position tracking module form the basis for crankshaft angle domain (CAD) engine control and measurement functions such as precise injection / ignition controls and on-line cylinder pressure CAD analyses. The algorithms described make reconfiguration of the tracking module for different and arbitrary cam- and crank-shaft tooth wheel patterns very easy, which is valuable especially for prototyping engine control systems. The effectiveness of the algorithms is shown using test engines with different cam and crank signal patterns.
Technical Paper


An airflow-dominant control system was developed to provide precise engine and exhaust treatment control with low air fuel ratio alternative combustion. The main elements of the control logic include a real-time state observer for in-cylinder oxygen mass estimation, a simplified packaging scheme for all air-handling and fueling parameters, a finite state machine for control mode switching, combustion control models to maintain robust alternative combustion during transients, and smooth rich/lean switching during lean NOx trap (LNT) regeneration without post injection. The control logic was evaluated on a passenger car equipped with a 4-way catalyst system with LNT and was instrumental in achieving US Tier II Bin 5 emission targets with good drivability and low NVH.
Technical Paper

US 2010 Emissions Capable Camless Heavy-Duty On-Highway Natural Gas Engine

The goal of this project was to demonstrate a low emissions, high efficiency heavy-duty on-highway natural gas engine. The emissions targets for this project are to demonstrate US 2010 emissions standards on the 13-mode steady state test. To meet this goal, a chemically correct combustion (stoichiometric) natural gas engine with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a three way catalyst (TWC) was developed. In addition, a Sturman Industries, Inc. camless Hydraulic Valve Actuation (HVA) system was used to improve efficiency. A Volvo 11 liter diesel engine was converted to operate as a stoichiometric natural gas engine. Operating a natural gas engine with stoichiometric combustion allows for the effective use of a TWC, which can simultaneously oxidize hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide and reduce NOx. High conversion efficiencies are possible through proper control of air-fuel ratio.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Alternative Combustion, Airflow-Dominant Control and Aftertreatment System for Clean Diesel Vehicles

A new diesel engine system adopting alternative combustion with rich and near rich combustion, and an airflow-dominant control system for precise combustion control was used with a 4-way catalyst system with LNT (lean NOx trap) to achieve Tier II Bin 5 on a 2.2L TDI diesel engine. The study included catalyst temperature control, NOx regeneration, desulfation, and PM oxidation with and without post injection. Using a mass-produced lean burn gasoline LNT with 60,000 mile equivalent aging, compliance to Tier II Bin 5 emissions was confirmed for the US06 and FTP75 test cycles with low NVH, minor fuel penalty and smooth transient operation.
Technical Paper

Effects of Water-Fuel Emulsions on Spray and Combustion Processes in a Heavy-Duty DI Diesel Engine

Significant reductions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from diesel engines have been realized through fueling with water-fuel emulsions. However, the physical and chemical in-cylinder mechanisms that affect these pollutant reductions are not well understood. To address this issue, laser-based and chemiluminescence imaging experiments were performed in an optically-accessible, heavy-duty diesel engine using both a standard diesel fuel (D2) and an emulsion of 20% water, by mass (W20). A laser-based Mie-scatter diagnostic was used to measure the liquid-phase fuel penetration and showed 40-70% greater maximum liquid lengths with W20 at the operating conditions tested. At some conditions with low charge temperature or density, the liquid phase fuel may impinge directly on in-cylinder surfaces, leading to increased PM, HC, and CO emissions because of poor mixing.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Improving Fuel Economy and Performance Prediction through Coupled Thermal Systems Simulation

Vehicle designers make use of vehicle performance programs such as RAPTOR™ to predict the performance of concept vehicles over ranges of industry standard drive cycles. However, the accuracy of such predictions may be greatly influenced by factors requiring more specialist simulation capabilities. For example, fuel economy prediction will be heavily influenced by the performance of the engine cooling system and its impact on the vehicle's aerodynamic drag, and the load from the air-conditioning system. To improve the predictions, specialist simulation capabilities need to be applied to these aspects, and brought together with the vehicle performance calculations through co-simulation. This paper describes the approach used to enable this cosimulation and the benefits achieved by the vehicle designer.
Technical Paper

Development of the Sequence IVA Valve Train Wear Lubricant Test: Part 1

The ASTM Sequence VE test evaluates lubricant performance for controlling sludge deposits and minimizing overhead camshaft lobe wear. ILSAC asked JAMA to develop a new valve train wear replacement test since the Sequence VE test engine hardware will become obsolete in the year 2000. JAMA submitted the JASO specification M 328-951) KA24E valve train wear test. This first report presents the results of technical studies conducted when JASO M 328-95 was reviewed and the ASTM standardized version of the KA24E test (the Sequence IVA) was proposed. The cam wear mechanism was studied with the goal of improving reproducibility and repeatability. Engine torque was specified to stabilize the NOx concentration in blow-by, which improved test precision. Additionally, the specifications for induction air humidity and temperature, oil temperature control, and test fuel composition were modified when the ASTM version of the KA24E test was proposed.
Technical Paper

Hybrid Robust Control for Engines Running Low Temperature Combustion and Conventional Diesel Combustion Modes

This paper describes a hybrid robust nonlinear control approach for modern diesel engines running low temperature combustion and conventional diesel combustion modes. Using alternative combustion modes has become a promising approach to reduce engine emissions. However, due to very different in-cylinder conditions and fueling parameters for different combustion modes, control of engines operating multiple combustion modes is very challenging. It becomes difficult for conventional calibration / mapping based approaches to produce satisfactory results in terms of engine torque responses and emissions. Advanced control techniques are then demanded to accomplish the tasks. An innovative hybrid control system is designed to track different key engine operating variables at different combustion modes as well as avoid singularity which is inherent for turbocharged diesel engines running multiple combustion modes.
Technical Paper

Unregulated Exhaust Emissions from Alternate Diesel Combustion Modes

Regulated and unregulated exhaust emissions (individual hydrocarbons, aldehydes and ketones, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAH)) were characterized for the following alternate diesel combustion modes: premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI), and low-temperature combustion (LTC). PCCI and LTC were studied on a PSA light-duty high-speed diesel engine. Engine-out emissions of carbonyl compounds were significantly increased for all LTC modes and for PCCI-Lean conditions as compared to diesel operation; however, PCCI-Rich produced much lower carbonyl emissions than diesel operations. For PAH compounds, emissions were found to be substantially increased over baseline diesel operation for LTC-Lean, LTC-Rich, and PCCI-Lean conditions. PCCI-Rich operation, however, gave PAH emission rates comparable to baseline diesel operation.
Technical Paper

Intentional Failure of a 5000 psig Hydrogen Cylinder Installed in an SUV Without Standard Required Safety Devices

A vehicle's gasoline fuel tank was removed and replaced with a 5,000-psig, Type-III, aluminum-lined hydrogen cylinder. High-pressure cylinders are typically installed with a thermally-activated pressure relief device (PRD) designed to safely vent the contents of the cylinder in the event of accidental exposure to fire. The objective of this research was to assess the results of a catastrophic failure in the event that a PRD were ineffective. Therefore, no PRD was installed on the vehicle to ensure cylinder failure would occur. The cylinder was pressurized and exposed to a propane bonfire in order to simulate the occurrence of a gasoline pool fire on the underside of the vehicle. Measurements included temperature and carbon monoxide concentration inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle to evaluate tenability. Measurements on the exterior of the vehicle included blast wave pressures. Documentation included standard, infrared, and high-speed video.
Technical Paper

Sampling System for Solid and Volatile Exhaust Particle Size, Number, and Mass Emissions

A solid particle sampling system (SPSS) that is equipped with a heated oxidation catalyst, micro-dilution tunnels, filter holders and sampling probes, was designed and developed to collect filter-based solid and total (solid plus volatile) particles from the exhaust of internal combustion engines, and to facilitate the measurement of solid and total particles when equipped with particle measuring instruments for size, number, mass, and other particle characteristics. The SPSS was characterized with laboratory aerosol and showed a very low solid particle loss of less than 5 percent using sodium chloride particles, very high volatile particle removal of better than 98 percent using oil droplets, and no formation of sulfuric acid particles when using ammonium sulfate particles. The SPSS is a useful tool for researchers interested in characterizing the solid and volatile fraction of particles emitted from combustion sources.
Technical Paper

On-Board Fuel Property Classifier for Fuel Property Adaptive Engine Control System

This paper explores the possibility of on-board fuel classification for fuel property adaptive compression-ignition engine control system. The fuel classifier is designed to on-board classify the fuel that a diesel engine is running, including alternative and renewable fuels such as bio-diesel. Based on this classification, the key fuel properties are provided to the engine control system for optimal control of in-cylinder combustion and exhaust treatment system management with respect to the fuel. The fuel classifier employs engine input-output response characteristics measured from standard engine sensors to classify the fuel. For proof-of-concept purposes, engine input-output responses were measured for three different fuels at three different engine operating conditions. Two neural-network-based fuel classifiers were developed for different classification scenarios. Of the three engine operating conditions tested, two conditions were selected for the fuel classifier to be active.
Technical Paper

The Use of Radioactive Tracer Technology to Evaluate Engine Wear Under the Influences of Advanced Combustion System Operation and Lubricant Performance

Radioactive tracer technology is an important tool for measuring component wear on a real-time basis and is especially useful in measuring engine wear as it is affected by combustion system operation and lubricant performance. Combustion system operation including the use of early and/or late fuel injection and EGR for emissions control can have a profound effect on aftertreatment contamination and engine reliability due to wear. Liner wear caused by localized fuel impingement can lead to excessive oil consumption and fuel dilution can cause excessive wear of rings and bearings. To facilitate typical wear measurement, the engine's compression rings and connecting rod bearings are initially exposed to thermal neutrons in a nuclear reactor to produce artificial radioisotopes that are separately characteristic of the ring and bearing wear surfaces.
Technical Paper

A History of Mack Engine Lubricant Tests from 1985-2005: Mack T-7 through Mack T-12

As on-highway, heavy-duty diesel engine designs have evolved to meet tighter emissions specifications and greater customer requirements, the crankcase environment for heavy-duty engine lubricants has changed. Engine lubricant quality is very important to help ensure engine durability, engine performance, and reduce maintenance downtime. Beginning in the late 1980's, a new Mack genuine oil specification and a new American Petroleum Institute (API) heavy-duty engine lubricant category have been introduced with each new U.S. heavy-duty, on-highway emissions specification. This paper documents the history and development of the Mack T-7, T-8, T-8A, T-8E, T-9, T-10, T-11, and T-12 engine lubricant tests.
Technical Paper

Laser Ignition in a Pre-Mixed Engine: The Effect of Focal Volume and Energy Density on Stability and the Lean Operating Limit

A series of tests using an open beam laser ignition system in an engine run on pre-mixed, gaseous fuels were performed. The ignition system for the engine was a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser. A single cylinder research engine was run on pre-mixed iso-butane and propane to determine the lean limit of the engine using laser ignition. In addition, the effect of varying the energy density of the ignition kernel was investigated by changing the focal volume and by varying laser energy. The results indicate that for a fixed focal volume, there is a threshold beyond which increasing the energy density [kJ/m3] yields little or no benefit. In contrast, increasing the energy density by reducing the focal volume size decreases lean performance once the focal volume is reduced past a certain point. The effect of ignition location relative to different surfaces in the engine was also investigated. The results show a slight bias in favor of igniting closer to a surface with low thermal conductivity.
Technical Paper

The Heavy-Duty Gasoline Engine - An Alternative to Meet Emissions Standards of Tomorrow

A technology path has been identified for development of a high efficiency, durable, gasoline engine, targeted at achieving performance and emissions levels necessary to meet heavy-duty, on-road standards of the foreseeable future. Initial experimental and numerical results for the proposed technology concept are presented. This work summarizes internal research efforts conducted at Southwest Research Institute. An alternative combustion system has been numerically and experimentally examined. The engine utilizes gasoline as the fuel, with a combination of enabling technologies to provide high efficiency operation at ultra-low emissions levels. The concept is based upon very highly-dilute combustion of gasoline at high compression ratio and boost levels. Results from the experimental program have demonstrated engine-out NOx emissions of 0.06 g/hp/hr, at single-cylinder brake thermal efficiencies (BTE) above thirty-four percent.
Technical Paper

Electrification and Integration of Accessories on a Class-8 Tractor

This paper describes installation and testing of electrified engine accessories and fuel cell auxiliary power units for a Class-8 tractor. A 2.4 kW fuel cell APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) has been added to supply a 42 V power supply for electrification of air conditioning and water pump systems. A 42/12 V dual alternator was used to replace the OEM alternator to provide safety back-up in case of fuel cell failure. A QNX Real Time Operating System-based (RTOS) Rapid Prototype Electronic Control System (RPECS™), developed by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI™), is used for supervisory control and coordination between accessories and engine. A Controller Area Network (CAN) interface, from the engine Electronic Control Unit (ECU), and the RS232 interface, from the fuel cell controllers, provide system data and control for RPECS. Custom wiring to the hydrogen, water pump, and air conditioning systems also provide data to RPECS. The water pump system controller is autonomous.