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Technical Paper

Investigation of a Radio Frequency Plasma Ignitor for Possible Internal Combustion Engine Use

1997-02-24
970071
This paper outlines the development process of a radio frequency (RF) plasma ignitor and its application to internal combustion engines. The system features a high Q quarter-wave coaxial cavity resonator that serves as an electric field magnifier and as a discharge device. The preliminary characteristics of the cavity have been studied by the construction and operation of larger scaled devices. Testing has been performed using these devices in a testing apparatus operating under ambient conditions. Once an analysis of the large-scale device is complete, a smaller device, more inclined to interfacing with a standard engine, will be constructed and tested on a full scale engine. The final device is intended to operate in the 800-1500 MHz range.
Technical Paper

Zero Dimensional Combustion Modeling of an Axial Vane Rotary Engine

1997-02-24
970069
A zero dimensional combustion model of an axial vane rotary engine has been developed. The engine is a positive displacement mechanism that permits the four “stroke” action to occur in one revolution of the shaft with a minimum number of moving components. Current modeling efforts for this engine require improved estimations of engine parameters such as chamber pressure, chamber wall temperature, gas temperature, and heat loss. The purpose of this investigation was to develop a zero dimensional combustion model that predicts the above-mentioned parameters in a quick and accurate manner for a spark ignition or compression ignition version of the engine. For this effort, NASA's ZMOTTO code was modified. Piston engine data and the results from the modified ZMOTTO code are in good agreement.
Technical Paper

Comparative Emissions from Natural Gas and Diesel Buses

1995-12-01
952746
Data has been gathered using the West Virginia University Heavy Duty Transportable Emissions Laboratories from buses operating on diesel and a variety of alternate fuels in the field. Typically, the transportable chassis dynamo meter is set up at a local transit agency and the selected buses are tested using the fuel in the vehicle at the time of the test. The dynamometer may be set up to operate indoors or outdoors depending on the space available at the site. Samples of the fuels being used at the site are collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis and this information is then sent together with emissions data to the Alternate Fuels Data Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Emissions data are acquired from buses using the Central Business District cycle reported in SAE Standard J1376; this cycle has 14 ramps with 20 mph (32.2 km/h) peaks, separated by idle periods.
Technical Paper

Ideal Computer Analysis of a Novel Engine Concept

1996-02-01
960080
A novel engine concept, currently under study, addresses many of the problems commonly associated with conventional internal combustion engines. In its simplest form the novel engine consists of a single crankshaft operating both a piston compressor and a piston expander which are connected by a continuous flame combustion chamber. One might regard this as a Brayton piston engine which is similar to a previous engine investigated by Warren. Also, due to the use of piston cylinders as the compression and expansion devices, this engine varies little mechanically from current engine technology thus allowing for easy implementation. The main improvement from conventional engine design is that the expansion cylinder can have a larger displacement than that of the compression cylinder. This allows more power to be extracted by lowering the loss due to blowdown and this will increase the thermal efficiency.
Technical Paper

A Controller for a Spark Ignition Engine with Bi-Fuel Capability

1994-10-01
942004
A bi-fuel engine with the ability to run optimally on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline is being developed. Such bi-fuel automotive engines are necessary to bridge the gap between gasoline and natural gas as an alternative fuel while natural gas fueling stations are not yet common enough to make a dedicated natural gas vehicle practical. As an example of modern progressive engine design, a Saturn 1.9 liter 4-cylinder dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine has been selected as a base powerplant for this development. Many previous natural gas conversions have made compromises in engine control strategies, including mapped open-loop methods, or resorting to translating the signals to or from the original controller. The engine control system described here, however, employs adaptive closed-loop control, optimizing fuel delivery and spark timing for both fuels.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Composition on the Operation of a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

1995-10-01
952560
With the implementation of a closed loop fuel control system, operation of lean-burn natural gas engines can be optimized in terms of reducing emissions while maximizing efficiency. Such a system would compensate for variations in fuel composition, but also would correct for variations in volumetric efficiency due to immediate engine history and long-term engine component wear. Present day engine controllers perform well when they are operated with the same gas composition for which they were calibrated, but because fuel composition varies geographically as well as seasonally, some method of compensation is required. A closed loop control system on a medium-duty lean-burn engine will enhance performance by maintaining the desired air-fuel ratio to eliminate any unwanted rich or lean excursions (relative to the desired air-fuel ratio) that produce excess engine-out emissions. Such a system can also guard against internal engine damage due to overheating and/or engine knock.
Technical Paper

RF Plasma Ignition System Concept for Lean Burn Internal Combustion Engines

1992-08-03
929416
This paper describes a Radio Frequency (RF) plasma ignitor concept intended for application to internal combustion engines. This system features a high Q quarter-wave coaxial cavity resonator, of simple construction, serving as a tuning element in the RF power supply, a voltage magnifier, and a discharge device attached to the combustion chamber. The resonator is filled with a dielectric and open at the discharge end. The center conductor is terminated with a revolute solid capacitive electrode which concentrates the associated electric field. This non-uniform electric field within the air/fuel mixture creates a corona discharge plasma which is excited at the RF operating frequency and the resulting ionic species recombine to initiate combustion. The RF excitation, relative to DC, reduces breakdown voltage and electrode degradation.
Technical Paper

Analysis of RF Corona Discharge Plasma Ignition

1992-08-03
929502
Corona discharge from a RF quarter wave coaxial cavity resonator is considered as a plasma ignition source for spark ignited (SI) internal combustion (IC) engines. The gaseous discharge processes associated with this device are analyzed using principles of gas kinetics and gaseous electronics, with assumed values for the electric field strength. Corona discharge occurs when the electric field shaped and concentrated by a single electrode exceeds the breakdown potential of the surrounding gas. Ambient electrons, naturally present due to ionizing radiation, drift in the direction of the externally applied field, gaining energy while undergoing elastic collisions with neutral molecules. After gaining sufficient energy they dissociate, excite, or ionize the neutral particles through inelastic collision, creating additional electrons. This process leads to avalanche electrical breakdown of the gas within about 10-8 sec.
Technical Paper

Basic Design of the Rand Cam Engine

1993-03-01
930062
The Rand Cam engine is a novel design which avoids the use of pistons in favor of a cavity of varying size and shape. A set of vanes protrudes from a rotor into a circular trough in a stator. The vanes seal to the walls and base of the trough, which is of varying depth, and progress around the trough with rotation of the rotor. These vanes therefore pass through the rotor and are constrained to move parallel to the rotational axis. Intake and exhaust processes occur through ports in the stator wall which are revealed by the passing vanes. Advantages of the basic design include an absence of valves, reduction in reciprocating masses, presence of an integral flywheel in the rotor and strong fluid movement akin a swirl induced by the relative velocity between the rotor and stator.
Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis and Performance Improvement of a Single Cylinder Direct Injection Turbocharged Low Heat Rejection Engine

1993-03-01
930989
A set of experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance differences between a Low Heat Rejection Engine (LHRE) which is ceramic-insulated and a conventional baseline metal diesel engine which is water-cooled. Both engines were single cylinder, direct injection, and turbocharged. The objective of the study was to investigate the rate of heat release of these engines so that performance improvement procedures could be obtained. In this paper, the difference of the ignition delay between the two engines was determined. Two methods for improving the combustion process of the LHRE were studied: use of mixture fuels and increase the fuel injection rate. Both methods proved effective and reduced the fuel consumption rate of the LHRE.
Technical Paper

Thermodynamic implications of the Stiller-Smith Mechanism

1987-02-01
870615
The Stiller-Smith mechanism is a new mechanism for the translation of linear motion into rotary motion, and has been considered as an alternative to the conventional slider-crank mechanism in the design of internal combustion engines and piston compressors. Piston motion differs between the two mechanisms, being perfectly sinusoidal for the Stiller-Smith case. Plots of dimensionless volume and volume rate-change are presented for one engine cycle. It is argued that the different motion is important when considering rate-based processes such as heat transfer to a cylinder wall and chemical kinetics during combustion. This paper also addresses the fact that a Stiller-Smith engine will be easier to configure for adiabatic operation, with many attendant benefits.
Technical Paper

The Stiller-Smith Engine-The Dewelopment of a New Environment for High-Tech Materials

1987-01-20
870721
New high-tech materials which are anticipated to revolutionize the internal combustion engine are being created everyday. However, their actual utilization in existing engines has encountered numerous stumbling blocks. High piston sidewall forces and thermal stresses are some of the problems of primary concern. The Stiller-Smith Engine should provide an environment more conducive to the use of some of these materials. Absent from the Stiller-Smith Engine is a crankshaft, and thus a very different motion is observed. Since all parts in the Stiller-Smith Engine move in either linear or rotary fashion it is simple to balance. Additionally the use of linear connecting rod bearings changes the location of the sidewall forces thus providing an isolated combustion chamber more tolerant to brittle materials and potential adiabatic designs. Presented herein is the development of this new engine environment, from conceptualization to an outline of present and future research.
Technical Paper

Initial Investigations of a Novel Engine Concept for Use with a Wide Range of Fuel Types

1992-02-01
920057
The recent oil crisis has once again emphasized the need to develop both fuel efficient engines and alternately fueled engines, particularly for automotive applications. Engines which burn coal or coal pyrolysis products are attractive, but ignition delay and metal erosion problems continue to limit high speed operation of such engines. Further, the throttled spark ignition engine often used with methanol and natural gas does not prove an efficient or tolerant device for the combustion of a wide range of fuel. Therefore, an novel approach must be taken in order to achieve the efficient and flexible operation of such an engine. A novel design of a fuel tolerant engine suitable for burning coal fuels separates the combustion from the piston in order to have more careful flame control and to exclude the particulate matter from the engine's piston rings.
Technical Paper

Mutagenic Potential of Particulate Matter from Diesel Engine Operation on Fischer-Tropsch Fuel as a Function of Engine Operating Conditions and Particle Size

2002-05-06
2002-01-1699
Further growth of diesel engines in the light-duty and heavy-duty vehicular market is closely linked to the potential health risks of diesel exhaust. The California Air Resources Board and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment have identified diesel exhaust as a toxic air contaminant. The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that diesel particulate is a probable human carcinogen [1]. Cleaner burning liquid fuels, such as those derived from natural gas via the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process, offer a potentially economically viable alternative to standard diesel fuel while providing reduced particulate emissions. Further understanding of FT operation may be realized by investigating the differences in toxicity and potential health effects between particulate matter(PM) derived from FT fuel and that derived from standard Federal diesel No. 2 (DF).
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Combustion Pressure Characteristics of Fischer-Tropsch and Conventional Diesel Fuels in a Heavy Duty CI Engine

1999-05-03
1999-01-1472
The emissions reduction benefits of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel fuel have been shown in several recent published studies in both engine testing and in-use vehicle testing. FT diesel fuel shows significant advantages in reducing regulated engine emissions over conventional diesel fuel primarily to: its zero sulfur specification, implying reduced particulate matter (PM) emissions, its relatively lower aromaticity, and its relatively high cetane rating. However, the actual effect of FT diesel formulation on the in-cylinder combustion characteristics of unmodified modern heavy-duty diesel engines is not well documented. As a result, a Navistar T444E (V8, 7.3 liter) engine, instrumented for in-cylinder pressure measurement, was installed on an engine dynamometer and subjected to steady-state emissions measurement using both conventional Federal low sulfur pump diesel and a natural gas-derived FT fuel.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Emission Characteristics of Fischer-Tropsch and Standard Diesel Fuel in a Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine

2001-09-24
2001-01-3517
The emissions reduction of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel fuel has been demonstrated in several recent publications in both laboratory engine testing and in-use vehicle testing. Reduced emission levels have been attributed to several chemical and physical characteristics of the FT fuels including reduced density, ultra-low sulfur levels, low aromatic content and high cetane rating. Some of the effects of these attributes on the combustion characteristics in diesel engines have only recently been documented. In this study, a Ricardo Proteous, single-cylinder, 4-stroke DI engine is instrumented for in-cylinder pressure measurements. The engine was run at several steady engine states at multiple timing conditions using both federal low sulfur and natural gas derived FT fuels. The emissions and performance data for each fuel at each steady state operating conditions were compared.
Technical Paper

Effect of Methane Number in a Diesel Engine Converted to Natural Gas Spark Ignition

2019-09-09
2019-24-0008
Natural gas (NG) is an alternative fuel for spark-ignition engines. In addition to its cleaner combustion, recent breakthroughs in drilling technologies increased its availability and lowered its cost. NG consists of mostly methane, but it also contains heavier hydrocarbons and inert diluents, the levels of which vary substantially with geographical source, time of year, and treatments applied during production or transportation. To investigate the effects of NG composition on engine performance and emissions, a 3D CFD model of a heavy-duty diesel engine retrofitted to spark ignition operations simulated engine operation under lean-combustion, low-speed, and medium load conditions. To eliminate the effect of different gas energy density, three NG blends of similar lower heating value but different H/C ratio have been investigated at fixed spark timing.
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