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Technical Paper

Employing an Ionization Sensor for Combustion Diagnostics in a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

An ionization sensor has been used to study the combustion process in a six-cylinder lean burn, truck-sized engine fueled with natural gas and optimized for low emissions of nitric oxides. The final goal of the investigations is to study the prospects of using the ionization sensor for finding the optimal operating position with respect to low NOx emission and stable engine operation. The results indicate that unstable combustion can be detected by analyzing the coefficient of variation (CoV) of the detector current amplitude. Close relationships between this measure and the CoV of the indicated mean effective pressure have been found during an air-fuel ratio scan with fixed ignition advance.
Technical Paper

Reacting Boundary Layers in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine

An experimental and computational study of the near-wall combustion in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine has been conducted by applying laser based diagnostic techniques in combination with numerical modeling. Our major intent was to characterize the combustion in the velocity- and thermal boundary layers. The progress of the combustion was studied by using fuel tracer LIF, the result of which was compared with LDA measurements of the velocity boundary layer along with numerical simulations of the reacting boundary layer. Time resolved images of the PLIF signal were taken and ensemble averaged images were calculated. In the fuel tracer LIF experiments, acetone was seeded into the fuel as a tracer. It is clear from the experiments that a proper set of backgrounds and laser profiles are necessary to resolve the near-wall concentration profiles, even at a qualitative level.
Technical Paper

Crank Angle Resolved HC-Detection Using LIF in the Exhausts of Small Two-Stroke Engines Running at High Engine Speed

In order to separate the HC-emissions from two-stroke engines into short-circuit losses and emissions due to incomplete combustion, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) measurements were performed on the exhaust gases just outside the exhaust ports of two engines of different designs. The difference between the two engines was the design of the transfer channels. One engine had “finger” transfer channels and one had “cup handle” transfer channels. Apart from that they were similar. The engine with “finger” transfer channels was earlier known to give more short-circuiting losses than the other engine, and that behavior was confirmed by these measurements. Generally, the results show that the emission of hydrocarbons has two peaks, one just after exhaust port opening and one late in the scavenging phase. The spectral information shows differences between the two peaks and it can be concluded that the latter peak is due to short-circuiting and the earlier due to incomplete combustion.
Technical Paper

Investigations of the Influence of Mixture Preparation on Cyclic Variations in a SI-Engine, Using Laser Induced Fluorescence

To study the effect of different injection timings on the charge inhomogeneity, planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) was applied to an operating engine. Quantitative images of the fuel distribution within the engine were obtained. Since the fuel used, iso-octane, does not fluoresce, a dopant was required. Three-pentanone was found to have vapour pressure characteristics similar to those of iso-octane as well as low absorption and suitable spectral properties. A worst case estimation of the total accuracy from the PLIF images gives a maximum error of 0.03 in equivalence ratio. The results show that an early injection timing gives a higher degree of charge inhomogeneity close to the spark plug. It is also shown that charge inhomogeneity gives a more unstable engine operation. A correlation was noted between the combustion on a cycle to cycle basis and the average fuel concentration within a circular area close to the spark plug center.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Transfer Port Geometry on Scavenge Flow Velocities at High Engine Speed

2-D LDV measurements were performed on two different cylinder designs in a fired two-stroke engine running with wide-open throttle at 9000 rpm. The cylinders examined were one with open transfer channels and one with cup handle transfer channels. Optical access to the cylinder was achieved by removing the silencer and thereby gain optical access through the exhaust port. No addition of seeding was made, since the fuel droplets were not entirely vaporized as they entered the cylinder and thus served as seeding. Results show that the loop-scavenging effect was poor with open transfer channels, but clearly detectable with cup handle channels. The RMS-value, “turbulence”, was low close to the transfer ports in both cylinders, but increased rapidly in the middle of the cylinder. The seeding density was used to obtain information about the fuel concentration in the cylinder during scavenging.
Technical Paper

Cycle to Cycle Variations in S.I. Engines - The Effects of Fluid Flow and Gas Composition in the Vicinity of the Spark Plug on Early Combustion

Simultaneous measurements of early flame speed and local measurements of the major parameters controlling the process are presented. The early flame growth rate was captured with heat release analysis of the cylinder pressure. The local concentration of fuel or residual gas were measured with laser induced fluorescence (LIF) on isooctane/3-pentanone or water. Local velocity measurements were performed with laser doppler velocimetry (LDV). The results show a significant cycle to cycle correlation between early flame growth rate and several parameters. The experiments were arranged to suppress all but one important factor at a time. When the engine was run without fuel or residual gas fluctuations, the cycle to cycle variations of turbulence were able to explain 50 % of the flame growth rate fluctuations. With a significantly increased fluctuation of F/A, obtained with port fuelling, 65% of the growth rate fluctuation could be explained with local F/A measurements.
Technical Paper

Laser Sheet Droplet Concentration Measurements in a High Speed Two-Stroke Engine

Laser sheet droplet illumination was used to visualize the concentration of fuel droplets over the piston top area. Four different cylinder designs were examined: Open transfer channels and three types of cup handle transfer channels. Optical access to the scavenging area of the engine was achieved by removing the silencer and use a window in the top of the engine. The engines were run at their rated speeds: 9000 rpm for three of the engines and 5800 rpm for one of them. Images of the concentration patterns were captured at various crank positions, −20, −10, 0, 10, 20, 30 Crank Angle Degrees (CAD) from Bottom Dead Center (BDC). Results show that the concentration of fuel droplets is higher close to the back wall of the cylinder with cup handle transfer channels. Late in the scavenging phase, the concentration pattern is more spread over the entire cylinder area, for all types of transfer channels.
Technical Paper

Flow and Temperature Distribution in an Experimental Engine: LES Studies and Thermographic Imaging

Temperature stratification plays an important role in HCCI combustion. The onsets of auto-ignition and combustion duration are sensitive to the temperature field in the engine cylinder. Numerical simulations of HCCI engine combustion are affected by the use of wall boundary conditions, especially the temperature condition at the cylinder and piston walls. This paper reports on numerical studies and experiments of the temperature field in an optical experimental engine in motored run conditions aiming at improved understanding of the evolution of temperature stratification in the cylinder. The simulations were based on Large-Eddy-Simulation approach which resolves the unsteady energetic large eddy and large scale swirl and tumble structures. Two dimensional temperature experiments were carried out using laser induced phosphorescence with thermographic phosphors seeded to the gas in the cylinder.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Comparison Between Optical and All-Metal HSDI Diesel Engines

Experiments are performed in optical engines in order to understand the combustion process in standard engines. In spite of this, little work has been done to verify that the results from optical engines are representative for a standard engine. The wall heat losses in optical engines are lower than in all-metal engines due to the lower heat conductivity of optical parts and a less efficient cooling system. Furthermore, optical engines often have larger crevice volumes due to a lower position of the piston rings. The present investigation studies how these differences affect the heat release and emissions in optical HSDI diesel engines. Five different engine configurations are studied: an optical engine of Bowditch design with two different squish heights, the same engine fitted with a metal piston, the same engine with all quartz parts replaced with metal components and, finally, a standard diesel engine. It is found that the use of optical parts affect the combustion process.
Technical Paper

Impact of Mechanical Deformation due to Pressure, Mass, and Thermal Forces on the In-Cylinder Volume Trace in Optical Engines of Bowditch Design

A detailed investigation is made of the impact of mechanical deformation on the in-cylinder volume as function of crank angle degree in an optical engine of Bowditch design. The squish height is found to change linearly with mass and pressure forces. It increases due to pressure forces and decreases due to mass forces. The thermal forces have an impact on the squish height but it is not clear in what direction. The volume change caused by deformations did not change the calculated load significantly but gave errors during heat release calculations. Two different strategies to reduce these errors are presented.
Technical Paper

Applicability of Ionization Current Sensing Technique with Plasma Jet Ignition Using Pre-Chamber Spark Plug in a Heavy Duty Natural Gas Engine

This article deals with study of ionization current sensing technique's signal characteristics while operating with pre-chamber spark plug to achieve plasma jet ignition in a 6 cylinder 9 liter turbo-charged natural gas engine under EGR and excess air dilution. Unlike the signal with conventional spark plug which can be divided into distinct chemical and thermal ionization peaks, the signal with pre-chamber spark plug shows a much larger first peak and a negligible second peak thereafter. Many studies in past have found the time of second peak coinciding with the time of maximum cylinder pressure and this correlation has been used as an input to combustion control systems but the absence of second peak makes application of this concept difficult with pre-chamber spark plug.
Technical Paper

Investigating Mode Switch from SI to HCCI using Early Intake Valve Closing and Negative Valve Overlap

This study investigates mode switching from spark ignited operation with early intake valve closing to residual gas enhanced HCCI using negative valve overlap on a port-fuel injected light-duty diesel engine. A mode switch is demonstrated at 3.5 bar IMEPnet and 1500 rpm. Valve timings and fuel amount have to be selected carefully prior to the mode switch. During mode transition, IMEPnet deviates by up to 0.5 bar from the set point. The time required to return to the set point as well as the transient behavior of the engine load varies depending on which control structure that is used. Both a model-based controller and a PI control approach were implemented and evaluated in experiments. The controllers were active in HCCI mode. The model-based controller achieved a smoother transition and while using it, the transition could be accomplished within three engine cycles.
Technical Paper

Spray and Combustion Visualization of Gasoline and Diesel under Different Ambient Conditions in a Constant Volume Chamber

Spray and combustion of gasoline and diesel were visualized under different ambient conditions in terms of pressure, temperature and density in a constant volume chamber. Three different ambient conditions were selected to simulate the three combustion regimes of homogeneous charge compression ignition, premixed charge compression ignition and conventional combustion. Ambient density was varied from 3.74 to 23.39 kg/m3. Ambient temperature at the spray injection were controlled to the range from 474 to 925 K. Intake oxygen concentration was also modulated from 15 % to 21 % in order to investigate the effects of intake oxygen concentrations on combustion characteristics. The injection pressure of gasoline and diesel were modulated from 50 to 150 MPa to analyze the effect of injection pressure on the spray development and combustion characteristics. Liquid penetration length and vapor penetration length were measured based on the methods of Mie-scattering and Schileren, respectively.
Technical Paper

Effect of Jet-Jet Interactions on the Liquid Fuel Penetration in an Optical Heavy-Duty DI Diesel Engine

The liquid phase penetration of diesel sprays under reacting conditions is measured in an optical heavy-duty Direct Injection (DI) diesel engine. Hot gas reservoirs along the diffusion flames have previously been shown to affect the liftoff length on multi hole nozzles. The aim of this study is to see if they also affect the liquid length. The inter-jet spacing is varied together with the Top Dead Center density and the inlet temperature. To avoid unwanted interferences from the natural flame luminosity the illumination wavelength is blue shifted from the black body radiation spectrum and set to 448 nm. Filtered Mie scattered light from the fuel droplets is recorded with a high speed camera. The liquid fuel penetration is evaluated from the start of injection to the quasi steady phase of the jets. Knowledge of jet-jet interaction effects is of interest for transferring fundamental understanding from combustion vessels to practical engine applications.
Technical Paper

Combustion Stratification for Naphtha from CI Combustion to PPC

This study demonstrates the combustion stratification from conventional compression ignition (CI) combustion to partially premixed combustion (PPC). Experiments are performed in an optical CI engine at a speed of 1200 rpm for diesel and naphtha (RON = 46). The motored pressure at TDC is maintained at 35 bar and fuelMEP is kept constant at 5.1 bar to account for the difference in fuel properties between naphtha and diesel. Single injection strategy is employed and the fuel is injected at a pressure of 800 bar. Photron FASTCAM SA4 that captures in-cylinder combustion at the rate of 10000 frames per second is employed. The captured high speed video is processed to study the combustion homogeneity based on an algorithm reported in previous studies. Starting from late fuel injection timings, combustion stratification is investigated by advancing the fuel injection timings. For late start of injection (SOI), a direct link between SOI and combustion phasing is noticed.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of Stratified Combustion in an Optical Diesel Engine

Full cycle simulations of KAUST optical diesel engine were conducted in order to provide insights into the details of fuel spray, mixing, and combustion characteristics at different start of injection (SOI) conditions. Although optical diagnostics provide valuable information, the high fidelity simulations with matched parametric conditions improve fundamental understanding of relevant physical and chemical processes by accessing additional observables such as the local mixture distribution, intermediate species concentrations, and detailed chemical reaction rates. Commercial software, CONVERGE™, was used as the main simulation tool, with the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence model and the multi-zone (SAGE) combustion model to compute the chemical reaction terms. SOI is varied from late compression ignition (CI) to early partially premixed combustion (PPC) conditions.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Transition from HCCI to CI via PPC with Low Octane Gasoline Fuels Using Optical Diagnostics and Soot Particle Analysis

In-cylinder visualization, combustion stratification, and engine-out particulate matter (PM) emissions were investigated in an optical engine fueled with Haltermann straight-run naphtha fuel and corresponding surrogate fuel. The combustion mode was transited from homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) to conventional compression ignition (CI) via partially premixed combustion (PPC). Single injection strategy with the change of start of injection (SOI) from early to late injections was employed. The high-speed color camera was used to capture the in-cylinder combustion images. The combustion stratification was analyzed based on the natural luminosity of the combustion images. The regulated emission of unburned hydrocarbon (UHC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) were measured to evaluate the combustion efficiency together with the in-cylinder rate of heat release.
Technical Paper

FPGA Controlled Pneumatic Variable Valve Actuation

A control system for pneumatic variable valve actuation has been designed, implemented and tested in a single cylinder test engine with valve actuators provided by Cargine Engineering AB. The design goal for the valve control system was to achieve valve lifts between 2 and 12 mm over an engine speed interval of 300 to 2500 rpm. The control system was developed using LabView and implemented on the PCI 7831. The design goals were fulfilled with some limitations. Due to physical limitations in the actuators, stable operation with valve lifts below 2.6 mm were not possible. During the engine testing the valve lift was limited to 7 mm to guarantee piston clearance. Different valve strategies for residual gas HCCI combustion were generated on a single-cylinder test engine.
Technical Paper

Influence of Inlet Temperature and Hot Residual Gases on the Performances of a Mini High Speed Glow Plug Engine

Nowadays the power supplying systems have a fundamental importance for all small and portable devices. For low power applications, there are two main ways for producing power: electrochemical batteries and mini engines. Even though in recent years many developments have been carried out in improving the design of batteries, the energy density of 1MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. If the energy source is a hydrocarbon fuel, whose energy density is 46 MJ/kg, with an overall efficiency of only 2.5 % it is possible to surpass the electrochemical batteries. On the other hand, having a mini engine, as energy source, implies three main problems: vibrations, noise and emissions. A light (230 g) model airplane engine with a displacement volume of 4.11 cm3 and a geometrical compression ratio of 13.91 has been studied. The work carried out in this paper can be divided basically in three parts.
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Formaldehyde and Fuel-Tracer LIF Imaging in a High-Speed Diesel Engine With Optically Accessible Realistic Combustion Chamber

Simultaneous laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) imaging of formaldehyde and a fuel-tracer have been performed in a high-speed diesel engine. N-heptane and isooctane were used as fuel and toluene was used as a tracer. This arrangement made it possible to make simultaneous measurements of toluene by exciting at 266 nm and detecting at 270-320 nm while exciting formaldehyde at 355 nm and detecting at 400-500 nm. The aim of this study is to investigate how traditional fuel tracer and natural-occurring formaldehyde formed in the cool chemistry are transported in the piston bowl. A range of ignition delays were created by running the engine with different amounts of EGR. During this sweep the area where the low-temperature reactions take place were studied. The measurements were performed in a 0.5-l, single-cylinder optical engine running under conditions simulating a cruise-point, i.e., about 2.2 bar imep.