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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

Virtual Cylinder Pressure Sensor (VCPS) with Individual Variable-Oriented Independent Estimators

Tremendous amount of useful information can be extracted from the cylinder pressure signal for engine combustion control. However, the physical cylinder pressure sensors are undesirably expensive and their health need to be monitored for fault diagnostic purpose as well. This paper presents the results of the development of a virtual cylinder pressure sensor (VCPS) with individual variable-oriented independent estimators. Two neural network-based independent cylinder pressure related variable estimators were developed and verified at steady state. The results show that these models can predict the variables correctly compared with the extracted variables from the measured physical cylinder pressure sensor signal. Good generalization capabilities of the developed models are observed in the sense that the models work well not only for the training data set but also for the new inputs that they have never been exposed to before.
Technical Paper

The Heavy Duty Gasoline Engine - A Multi-Cylinder Study of a High Efficiency, Low Emission Technology

SwRI has developed a new technology concept involving the use of high EGR rates coupled with a high-energy ignition system in a gasoline engine to improve fuel economy and emissions. Based on a single-cylinder study [1], this study extends the concept of a high compression ratio gasoline engine with EGR rates > 30% and a high-energy ignition system to a multi-cylinder engine. A 2000 MY Isuzu Duramax 6.6 L 8-cylinder engine was converted to run on gasoline with a diesel pilot ignition system. The engine was run at two compression ratios, 17.5:1 and 12.5:1 and with two different EGR systems - a low-pressure loop and a high pressure loop. A high cetane number (CN) diesel fuel (CN=76) was used as the ignition source and two different octane number (ON) gasolines were investigated - a pump grade 91 ON ((R+M)/2) and a 103 ON ((R+M)/2) racing fuel.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Intake Timing Effects on the Cold Start Behavior of a Spark Ignition Engine

Recent advances in Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) methods have led to development of optimized valve timing strategies for a broad range of engine operating conditions. This study focuses on the cold-start period, which begins at engine cranking and lasts for approximately 1 minute thereafter. Cold-start is characterized by poor mixture preparation due to low component temperatures, aggravated by fixed valve timing which has historically been compromised to give optimal warm engine operation. In this study, intake cam phasing was varied to explore the potential benefit in hydrocarbon emissions and driveability obtainable for cold-start. A simple experimental approach was used to investigate the potential emissions benefits realizable through intake cam phasing. High speed cylinder pressure and Fast Flame Ionization Detector (FFID) engine-out hydrocarbon (HC) measurements were made to characterize instantaneous cold-start emissions and driveability.
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.
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

Further Experiments on the Effects of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting on HC Emissions from Direct Injection Gasoline Engines

A recently developed in-cylinder fuel injection probe was used to deposit a small amount of liquid fuel on various surfaces within the combustion chamber of a 4-valve engine that was operating predominately on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A fast flame ionization detector (FFID) was used to examine the engine-out emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs). Injector shut-off was used to examine the rate of liquid fuel evaporation. The purpose of these experiments was to provide insights into the HC formation mechanism due to in-cylinder wall wetting. The variables investigated were the effects of engine operating conditions, coolant temperature, in-cylinder wetting location, and the amount of liquid wall wetting. The results of the steady state tests show that in-cylinder wall wetting is an important source of HC emissions both at idle and at a part load, cruise-type condition. The effects of wetting location present the same trend for idle and part load conditions.
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.
Technical Paper

Factors Affecting Heat Transfer in a Diesel Engine: Low Heat Rejection Engine Revisited

A large amount of the heat generated during the engine combustion process is lost to the coolant system through the surrounding metal parts. Therefore, there is a potential to improve the overall cycle efficiency by reducing the amount of heat transfer from the engine. In this paper, a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool has been used to evaluate the effects of a number of design and operating variables on total heat loss from an engine to the coolant system. These parameters include injection characteristics and orientation, shape of the piston bowl, percentage of EGR and material property of the combustion chamber. Comprehensive analyses have been presented to show the efficient use of the heat retained in the combustion chamber and its contribution to improve thermal efficiency of the engine. Finally, changes in design and operating parameters have been suggested based on the analytical results to improve heat loss reduction from an engine.
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.