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Technical Paper

Energy Efficiency Analysis between In-cylinder and External Supplemental Fuel Strategies

Preliminary empirical and modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the energy efficiency of in-cylinder and external fuel injection strategies and their impact on the energy required to enable diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration for instance. During the tests, a thermal wave that is generated from the engine propagates along the exhaust pipe to the DPF substrate. The thermal response of the exhaust system is recorded with the thermocouple arrays embedded in the exhaust system. To implement the external fuel injection, an array of thermocouples and pressure sensors in the DPF provide the necessary feedback to the control system. The external fuel injection is dynamically adjusted based on the thermal response of the DPF substrate to improve the thermal management and to reduce the supplemental energy. This research intends to quantify the effectiveness of the supplemental energy utilization on aftertreatment enabling.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Analysis of Clean Combustion with Ethanol Ignited by Diesel in a High Compression Ratio Engine

The control of nitrogen oxide and smoke emissions in diesel engines has been one of the key researches in both the academia and industry. Nitrogen oxides can be effectively suppressed by the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). However, the introduction of inert exhaust gas into the engine intake is often associated with high smoke emissions. To overcome these issues there have been a number of proposed strategies, one of the more promising being the use of low temperature combustion enabled with heavy EGR. This has the potential to achieve simultaneously low emissions of nitrogen oxide and smoke. However, a quantitative way to identify the transition zone between high temperature combustion and low temperature combustion has still not been fully explored. The combustion becomes even more complicated when ethanol fuel is used as a partial substitution for diesel fuel.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

An Investigation on the Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Using Ethanol and n-Butanol

Reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in lean burn and diesel fueled Compression Ignition (CI) engines is one of the major challenges faced by automotive manufacturers. Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and urea-based Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust after-treatment systems are well established technologies to reduce NOx emissions. However, each of these technologies has associated advantages and disadvantages for use over a wide range of engine operating conditions. In order to meet future ultra-low NOx emission norms, the use of both alternative fuels and advanced after-treatment technology may be required. The use of an alcohol fuel such as n-butanol or ethanol in a CI engine can reduce the engine-out NOx and soot emissions. In CI engines using LNTs for NOx reduction, the fuel such as diesel is utilized as a reductant for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Low Mileage GPF Filtration and Regeneration as Influenced by Soot Morphology, Reactivity, and GPF Loading

As European and Chinese tailpipe emission regulations for gasoline light-duty vehicles impose particulate number limits, automotive manufacturers have begun equipping some vehicles with a gasoline particulate filter (GPF). Increased understanding of how soot morphology, reactivity, and GPF loading affect GPF filtration and regeneration characteristics is necessary for advancing GPF performance. This study investigates the impacts of morphology, reactivity, and filter soot loading on GPF filtration and regeneration. Soot morphology and reactivity are varied through changes in fuel injection parameters, known to affect soot formation conditions. Changes in morphology and reactivity are confirmed through analysis using a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) respectively.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Testing of n-Butanol HCCI on High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

The control of combustion phasing in homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion is investigated with neat n-butanol in this work. HCCI is a commonly researched combustion mode, owing to its improved thermal efficiency over conventional gasoline combustion, as well as its lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter emissions compared to those of diesel combustion. Despite these advantages, HCCI lacks successful widespread implementation with conventional fuels, primarily due to the lack of effective combustion phasing control. In this preliminary study, chemical kinetic simulations are conducted to study the auto-ignition characteristics of n-butanol under varied background pressures, temperatures, and dilution levels using established mechanisms in CHEMKIN software. Increasing the pressure or temperature lead to a shorter ignition delay, whereas increasing the dilution by the application of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) leads to a longer ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Noise Cancellation Technique for Automotive Intake Noise Using A Manifold Bridging Technique

Due to considerable efforts of automobile manufacturers to attenuate various noise sources within the passenger compartment, other sources, including induction noise have become more noticeable. The present study investigates the feasibility of using a non-conventional noise cancellation technique to improve the acoustic performance of an automotive induction system by using acoustic energy derived from the exhaust manifold as the dynamic noise source to cancel intake noise. The validity of this technique was first investigated analytically using a computational engine simulation software program. Using these results, a physical model of the bridge was installed and tested on a motored engine. The realized attenuation of the intake noise was evaluated using conventional FFT analysis techniques as well as psychoacoustic metrics including loudness, sharpness, roughness and fluctuation strength.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) Combustion in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Using Natural Gas

Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion employs two fuels with a large difference in auto-ignition properties that are injected at different times to generate a spatial gradient of fuel-air mixtures and reactivity. Researchers have shown that RCCI offers improved fuel efficiency and lower NOx and Soot exhaust emissions when compared to conventional diesel diffusion combustion. The majority of previous research work has been focused on premixed gasoline or ethanol for the low reactivity fuel and diesel for the high reactivity fuel. The increased availability of natural gas (NG) in the U.S. has renewed interest in the application of compressed natural gas (CNG) to heavy-duty (HD) diesel engines in order to realize fuel cost savings and reduce pollutant emissions, while increasing fuel economy. Thus, RCCI using CNG and diesel fuel warrants consideration.
Technical Paper

Clean Combustion in a Diesel Engine Using Direct Injection of Neat n-Butanol

The study investigated the characteristics of the combustion, the emissions and the thermal efficiency of a direct injection diesel engine fuelled with neat n-butanol. Engine tests were conducted on a single cylinder four-stroke direct injection diesel engine. The engine ran at 6.5 bar IMEP and 1500 rpm engine speed. The intake pressure was boosted to 1.0 bar (gauge), and the injection pressure was controlled at 60 or 90 MPa. The injection timing and the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rate were adjusted to investigate the engine performance. The effect of the engine load on the engine performance was also investigated. The test results showed that the n-butanol fuel had significantly longer ignition delay than that of diesel fuel. n-Butanol generally led to a rapid heat release pattern in a short period, which resulted in an excessively high pressure rise rate. The pressure rise rate could be moderated by retarding the injection timing and lowering the injection pressure.
Technical Paper

Boundary Layer Enhanced Thermal Recuperation for Diesel Particulate Filter Regeneration under a Periodic Flow Reversal Operation

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) are viable to reduce smoke from diesel engines. An oxidation process is usually required to remove the Particulate Matter (PM) loading from the DPF substrates. In cases when the engine exhaust temperature is insufficient to initiate a thermal regeneration, supplemental energy is commonly applied to raise the exhaust gas and/or the DPF substrate temperatures. A flow reversal (FR) mechanism that traps a high temperature region in the DPF substrate by periodically altering the gas flow directions has been identified to be capable of reducing the supplemental energy and thus to improve the overall thermal efficiency of the engine. However, extended operations with low exhaust temperature lowers the DPF boundary temperatures that defers the regeneration processes. Furthermore, the temperature fluctuations caused by the periodic FR operation also increase the thermal stress in the DPF.
Technical Paper

Energy Efficiency Analysis of Active-flow Operations in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment

Experiments are carried out with the diesel particulate filter and oxidation catalyst embedded in the active-flow configurations on a single cylinder diesel engine. The combined use of various active flow control schemes are identified to be capable of shifting the exhaust gas temperature, flow rate, and oxygen concentration to favorable windows for filtration, conversion, and regeneration processes. Empirical and theoretical investigations are performed with a transient one-dimensional single channel aftertreatment model developed in FORTRAN and MATLAB. The influence of the supplemental energy distribution along the length of aftertreatment device is evaluated. The theoretical analysis indicates that the active-flow control schemes have fundamental advantages in optimizing the converter thermal management including reduction in supplemental heating, increase in thermal recuperation, and improving overheating protection.
Journal Article

Fuel Injection Strategies to Improve Emissions and Efficiency of High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

Simultaneous low NOx (< 0.15 g/kWh) & soot (< 0.01 g/kWh) are attainable for enhanced premixed combustion that may lead to higher levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions as the engine cycles move to low temperature combustion, which is a departure from the ultra low hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, typical of the high compression ratio diesel engines. As a result, the fuel efficiency of such modes of combustion is also compromised (up to 5%). In this paper, advanced strategies for fuel injection are devised on a modern 4-cylinder common rail diesel engine modified for single cylinder research. Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles. The fuel injection strategies include single injection with heavy EGR, and early multi-pulse fuel injection under low or medium engine loads respectively.
Technical Paper

Development of a Fuel Injection Strategy for Diesel LTC

A production V-8 engine was redesigned to run on low temperature combustion (LTC) with conventional Diesel fuel. Two fuel injection strategies were used to attain reduction in soot and NOx; a) early premixed injection strategy: fuel injected early during the compression stroke and b) late premixed injection strategy: fuel injected close to TDC with heavy EGR. The early premixed injection strategy yielded low NOx and soot but struggled to vaporize the fuel as noted in unburned hydrocarbons readings. The late premixed injection strategy introduced the fuel at higher in-cylinder temperatures and densities, improving the fuel's vaporization and limited the unburned hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide. The use of high EGR and high injection pressure for late premixed injection strategy provided sufficiently long ignition delay that resulted in partially premixed cylinder charge before combustion, and thereby prevented high soot, even in presence of high EGR.
Technical Paper

Adaptive Fuel Injection Tests to Extend EGR Limits on Diesel Engines

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is effective to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines. However, when excessive EGR is applied, the engine operation reaches zones with higher combustion instability, carbonaceous emissions, and power losses. In order to improve the engine combustion process with the use of heavy EGR, the influences of boost pressure, intake temperature, and fuel injection timing are evaluated. An adaptive fuel injection strategy is applied as the EGR level is progressively elevated towards the limiting conditions. Additionally, characterization tests are performed to improve the control of the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of engine cycles, especially when heavy EGR levels are applied to increase the load level of HCCI operations. This paper constitutes the preparation work for a variety of algorithms currently being investigated at the authors' laboratory as a part of the model-based NOx control research.
Technical Paper

A Thermal Response Analysis on the Transient Performance of Active Diesel Aftertreatment

Diesel fueling and exhaust flow strategies are investigated to control the substrate temperatures of diesel aftertreatment systems. The fueling control includes the common-rail post injection and the external supplemental fuel injection. The post injection pulses are further specified at the early, mid, or late stages of the engine expansion stroke. In comparison, the external fueling rates are moderated under various engine loads to evaluate the thermal impact. Additionally, the active-flow control schemes are implemented to improve the overall energy efficiency of the system. In parallel with the empirical work, the dynamic temperature characteristics of the exhaust system are simulated one-dimensionally with in-house and external codes. The dynamic thermal control, measurement, and modeling of this research intend to improve the performance of diesel particulate filters and diesel NOx absorbers.
Journal Article

An Improvement on Low Temperature Combustion in Neat Biodiesel Engine Cycles

Extensive empirical work indicates that the exhaust emission and fuel efficiency of modern common-rail diesel engines characterise strong resilience to biodiesel fuels when the engines are operating in conventional high temperature combustion cycles. However, as the engine cycles approach the low temperature combustion (LTC) mode, which could be implemented by the heavy use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of combustion, the engine performance start to differ between the use of conventional and biodiesel fuels. Therefore, a set of fuel injection strategies were compared empirically under independently controlled EGR, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure in order to improve the neat biodiesel engine cycles.
Journal Article

Heat Release Pattern Diagnostics to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Empirical results indicated that the engine emission and fuel efficiency of low-temperature combustion (LTC) cycles can be optimized by adjusting the fuel-injection scheduling in order to obtain appropriate combustion energy release or heat-release rate patterns. Based on these empirical results the heat-release characteristics were correlated with the regulated emissions such as soot, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen. The transition from conventional combustion to LTC with the desired set of heat-release rate has been implemented. This transition was facilitated with the simplified heat-release characterization wherein each of the consecutive engine cycles was analyzed with a real-time controller embedded with an FPGA (field programmable gate array) device. The analyzed results served as the primary feedback control signals to adjust fuel injection scheduling. The experimental efforts included the boost/backpressure, exhaust gas recirculation, and load transients in the LTC region.
Technical Paper

The University of Windsor - St. Clair College E85 Silverado

The fuel called E-85 can be burned effectively in engines similar to the engines currently mass-produced for use with gasoline. Since the ethanol component of this fuel is produced from crops such as corn and sugar cane, the fuel is almost fully renewable. The different physical and chemical properties of E-85, however, do require certain modifications to the common gasoline engine. The Windsor - St. Clair team has focused their attention to modifications that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. Other modifications were also performed to ensure that the vehicle would still operate with the same power and driveability as its gasoline counterpart.