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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

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

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

Evaluation of Cold Start Technologies on a 3L Diesel Engine

Increasingly stringent emissions regulations require that modern diesel aftertreatment systems must warm up and begin controlling emissions shortly after startup. While several new aftertreatment technologies have been introduced that focus on lowering the aftertreatment activation temperature, the engine system still needs to provide thermal energy to the exhaust for cold start. A study was conducted to evaluate several engine technologies that focus on improving the thermal energy that the engine system provides to the aftertreatment system while minimizing the impact on fuel economy and emissions. Studies were conducted on a modern common rail 3L diesel engine with a custom dual loop EGR system. The engine was calibrated for low engine-out NOx using various combustion strategies depending on the speed/load operating condition.
Journal Article

The Interaction of Fuel Anti-Knock Index and Cooled EGR on Engine Performance and Efficiency

Experiments were performed on a 2.4L boosted, MPI gasoline engine, equipped with a low-pressure loop (LPL) cooled EGR system and an advanced ignition system, using fuels with varying anti-knock indices. The fuels were blends of 87, 93 and 105 Anti-Knock Index (AKI) gasoline. Ignition timing and EGR sweeps were performed at various loads to determine the tradeoff between EGR level and fuel octane rating. The resulting engine data was analyzed to establish the relationship between the octane requirement and the level of cooled EGR used in a given application. In addition, the combustion difference between fuels was examined to determine the effect that fuel reactivity, in the form of anti-knock index (AKI), has on EGR tolerance and burn rate. The results indicate that the improvement in effective AKI of the fuel from using EGR is constant across commercial grade gasolines at about 0.5 ON per % EGR.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Laminar Burning Velocity of Multi-Component Fuel Blends for Use in High-Performance SI Engines

A technique was developed for measuring the Laminar Burning Velocity (LBV) of multi-component fuel blends for use in high-performance spark-ignition engines. This technique involves the use of a centrally-ignited spherical combustion chamber, and a complementary analysis code. The technique was validated by examining several single-component fuels, and the computational procedure was extended to handle multi-component fuels without requiring detailed knowledge of their chemical composition. Experiments performed on an instrumented high-speed engine showed good agreement between the observed heat-release rates of the fuels and their predicted ranking based on the measured LBV parameters.
Technical Paper

Development of a Transient-Capable Multi-Cylinder HCCI Engine

Southwest Research Institute, as part of the Clean Diesel IV consortium, built a multi-cylinder HCCI engine that ran in the HCCI combustion mode full-time. The engine was used to develop HCCI fuels, demonstrate the potential operating range of HCCI, and to demonstrate the feasibility of transient control of HCCI. As part of the engine design, a hardware based method of decoupling control of air and EGR was developed and patented [ 1 ]. The system utilized a positive displacement supercharger with a controlled bypass valve for air-flow control, and a high-pressure loop EGR system with variable geometry turbocharger to control the EGR rate. By utilizing the system, the required precision from the air and EGR control in the engine controller was reduced.
Journal Article

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

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

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

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 ].