Reaching for higher loads and improving combustion-phasing control are important challenges for HCCI research. Although HCCI engines can operate with a variety of fuels, recent research has shown that fuels with two-stage autoignition have some significant advantages for overcoming these challenges. Because the amount of low-temperature heat release (LTHR) is proportional to the local equivalence ratio (ϕ), fuel stratification can be used to adjust the combustion phasing (CA50) and/or burn duration using various fuel-injection strategies. Two-stage ignition fuels also allow stable combustion even for extensive combustion-phasing retard, which reduces the knocking propensity. Finally, the LTHR reduces the required intake temperature, which increases the inducted charge mass for a given intake pressure, allowing higher fueling rates before knocking and NOx emissions become a problem. However, the amount of LTHR is normally highly dependent on the engine speed.
The combustion process in diesel engines deposits soot on the in-cylinder surfaces. Previous works have suggested that these soot deposits eventually break off during cylinder blow-down and the exhaust stroke and contribute significantly to exhaust soot emissions. In order to better understand this potential pathway to soot emissions, the authors recently investigated combusting fuel-jet/wall interactions in a diesel engine. This work, published as a companion paper, showed how soot escaped from the combusting fuel jet and was brought in close proximity to the wall so that it could become a deposit. The current study extends this earlier work with laser-extinction measurements of the soot-deposition rate in the same single-cylinder, heavy-duty DI diesel engine. Measurements were made by passing the beam of a CW-diode laser through a window in the piston bowl rim that was in-line with one of the fuel jets.
Over the past decade, laser diagnostics have improved our understanding of many aspects of diesel combustion. However, interactions between the combusting fuel jet and the piston-bowl wall are not well understood. In heavy-duty diesel engines, with typical fuels, these interactions occur with the combusting vapor-phase region of the jet, which consists of a central region containing soot and other products of rich-premixed combustion, surrounded by a diffusion flame. Since previous work has shown that the OH radical is a good marker of the diffusion flame, planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging of OH was applied to an investigation of the diffusion flame during wall interaction. In addition, simultaneous OH PLIF and planar laser-induced incandescence (PLII) soot imaging was applied to investigate the likelihood for soot deposition on the bowl wall.
Fuel stratification has been investigated as a means of improving the low-load combustion efficiency in an HCCI engine. Several stratification techniques were examined: different GDI injectors, increased swirl, and changes in injection pressure, to determine which parameters are effective for improving the combustion efficiency while maintaining NOx emissions below U.S. 2010 limits. Performance and emission measurements were obtained in an all-metal engine. Corresponding fuel distribution measurements were made with fuel PLIF imaging in a matching optically accessible engine. The fuel used was iso-octane, which is a good surrogate for gasoline. For an idle fueling rate (ϕ = 0.12), combustion efficiency was improved substantially, from 64% to 89% at the NOx limit, using delayed fuel injection with a hollow-cone injector at an injection pressure of 120 bar.
A multi-zone model has been developed that accurately predicts HCCI combustion and emissions. The multi-zone methodology is based on the observation that turbulence does not play a direct role on HCCI combustion. Instead, chemical kinetics dominates the process, with hotter zones reacting first, and then colder zones reacting in rapid succession. Here, the multi-zone model has been applied to analyze the effect of piston crevice geometry on HCCI combustion and emissions. Three different pistons of varying crevice size were analyzed. Crevice sizes were 0.26, 1.3 and 2.1 mm, while a constant compression ratio was maintained (17:1). The results show that the multi-zone model can predict pressure traces and heat release rates with good accuracy. Combustion efficiency is also predicted with good accuracy for all cases, with a maximum difference of 5% between experimental and numerical results.
To better understand the factors affecting soot formation in diesel engines, in-cylinder soot and diffusion flame lift-off were measured in a heavy-duty, direct-injection diesel engine. Measurements were obtained at two operating conditions using two commercial diesel fuels and a range of oxygenated paraffinic fuel blends. A line-of-sight laser extinction diagnostic was improved and employed to measure the relative soot concentration within the jet (“jet-soot”) and the rates of soot-wall deposition on the piston bowl-rim. An OH chemiluminescence imaging technique was developed to determine the location of the diffusion flame and to measure the lift-off lengths of the diffusion flame to estimate the amount of oxygen entrainment in the diesel jets. Both the jet-soot and the rate of soot-wall deposition were found to decrease with increasing fuel oxygen-to-carbon ratio (O/C) over a wide range of O/C.
Two fundamental aspects of HCCI engine combustion have been investigated using a single-zone model with time-varying compression and the full chemical-kinetic mechanisms for iso-octane, a representative liquid-phase fuel. This approach allows effects of the kinetics and thermodynamics to be isolated and evaluated in a well-characterized manner, providing an understanding of the selected fundamental processes. The computations were made using the CHEMKIN-III kinetic-rate code for an 1800 rpm operating condition. The study consists of two parts. First, low-load HCCI operation was investigated to determine the role of bulk-gas reactions as a source for HC and CO emissions. The computations show that as fueling is reduced to equivalence ratios of 0.15 and lower (very light load and idle), the bulk-gas reactions do not go to completion, leading to inefficient combustion and high emissions of HC and CO.
Gasoline consists of many different classes of hydrocarbons, such as paraffins, olefins, aromatics, and cycloalkanes. In this study, a surrogate gasoline reaction mechanism is developed, and it has one representative fuel constituent from each of these classes. These selected constituents are iso-octane, n-heptane, 1-pentene, toluene, and methyl-cyclohexane. The mechanism was developed in a step-wise fashion, adding submechanisms to treat each fuel component. Reactions important for low temperature oxidation (<1000K) and cross-reactions among different fuels are incorporated into the mechanism. The mechanism consists of 1328 species and 5835 reactions. A single-zone engine model is used to evaluate how well the mechanism captures autoignition behavior for conditions corresponding to homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine operation.
We have conducted a detailed numerical analysis of HCCI engine operation at low loads to investigate the sources of HC and CO emissions and the associated combustion inefficiencies. Engine performance and emissions are evaluated as fueling is reduced from typical HCCI conditions, with an equivalence ratio ϕ = 0.26 to very low loads (ϕ = 0.04). Calculations are conducted using a segregated multi-zone methodology and a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism for iso-octane with 859 chemical species. The computational results agree very well with recent experimental results. Pressure traces, heat release rates, burn duration, combustion efficiency and emissions of hydrocarbon, oxygenated hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide are generally well predicted for the whole range of equivalence ratios. The computational model also shows where the pollutants originate within the combustion chamber, thereby explaining the changes in the HC and CO emissions as a function of equivalence ratio.
Combustion phasing is one important issue that must be addressed for HCCI operation. The intake temperature can be adjusted to achieve ignition at the desired crank angle. However, heat-transfer during induction will make the effective intake temperature different from the temperature measured in the runner. Also, depending on the engine speed and port configuration, dynamic flow effects cause various degrees of charge heating. Additionally, residuals from the previous cycle can have significant influence on the charge temperature at the beginning of the compression stroke. Finally, direct injection of fuel will influence the charge temperature since heat is needed for vaporization. This study investigates these effects in a systematic manner with a combination of experiment and cycle simulation using WAVE from Ricardo.
We have converted a Caterpillar 3406 natural gas spark ignited engine to HCCI mode and used it as a test bed for demonstrating advanced control methodologies. Converting the engine required modification of most engine systems: piston geometry, starting, fueling, boosting, and (most importantly) controls. We implemented a thermal management system consisting of a recuperator that transfers heat from exhaust to intake gases and a dual intake manifold that permits precise cylinder-by-cylinder ignition control. Advanced control methodologies are used for (1) minimizing cylinder-to-cylinder combustion timing differences caused by small variations in temperature or compression ratio; (2) finding the combustion timing that minimizes fuel consumption; and (3) tuning the controller parameters to improve transient response.
Now more than ever, the increasing strictness of environmental regulation and the stronger need of higher efficiency standards are pushing for the development of cleaner and energy-efficient powertrains. HCCI engines are suitable candidates to achieve these objectives. Understanding the autoignition process and how it is affected by operating conditions is central to the development of these engines. In addition to experiments, detailed kinetic modeling represents a very effective tool for gaining deeper insight into the fundamentals of HCCI autoignition and combustion. Indeed, modeling activities are today widely used in engine design, allowing a significant reduction in prototype development costs and providing a valuable support to the improvement of control strategies.
An investigation has been conducted to determine the relative magnitude of the various factors that cause changes in combustion phasing (or required intake temperature) with changes in fueling rate in HCCI engines. These factors include: fuel autoignition chemistry and thermodynamic properties (referred to as fuel chemistry), combustion duration, wall temperatures, residuals, and heat/cooling during induction. Based on the insight gained from these results, the potential of fuel stratification to control combustion phasing was also investigated. The experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI engine at 1200 rpm using a GDI-type fuel injector. Engine operation was altered in a series of steps to suppress each of the factors affecting combustion phasing with changes in fueling rate, leaving only the effect of fuel chemistry.
This paper illustrates the applicability of a sequential fluid mechanics, multi-zone chemical kinetics model to analyze HCCI experimental data for two combustion chamber geometries with different levels of turbulence: a low turbulence disc geometry (flat top piston), and a high turbulence square geometry (piston with a square bowl). The model uses a fluid mechanics code to determine temperature histories in the engine as a function of crank angle. These temperature histories are then fed into a chemical kinetic solver, which determines combustion characteristics for a relatively small number of zones (40). The model makes the assumption that there is no direct linking between turbulence and combustion. The multi-zone model yields good results for both the disc and the square geometries. The model makes good predictions of pressure traces and heat release rates.
Thermal stratification has the potential to reduce pressure-rise rates and allow increased power output for HCCI engines. This paper systematically examines how the amount of thermal stratification of the core of the charge has to be adjusted to avoid excessive knock as the engine speed and fueling rate are increased. This is accomplished by a combination of multi-zone chemical-kinetics modeling and engine experiments, using iso-octane as the fuel. The experiments show that, for a low-residual engine configuration, the pressure traces are self-similar during changes to the engine speed when CA50 is maintained by adjusting the intake temperature. Consequently, the absolute pressure-rise rate measured as bar/ms increases proportionally with the engine speed. As a result, the knocking (ringing) intensity increases drastically with engine speed, unless counteracted by some means.
This study presents estimates for measurement uncertainties for a Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI)/Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) engine testing facility. A previously presented framework for quantifying those uncertainties developed uncertainty estimates based on the transducers manufacturers’ published tolerances. The present work utilizes the framework with improved uncertainty estimates in order to more accurately represent the actual uncertainties of the data acquired in the HCCI/LTGC laboratory, which ultimately results in a reduction in the uncertainty from 30 to less than 1 kPa during the intake and exhaust strokes. Details of laboratory calibration techniques and commissioning runs are used to constrain the sensitivities of the transducers relative to manufacturer supplied values.
Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engines can deliver high efficiencies, with ultra-low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). However, controlling the combustion timing and maintaining robust operation remains a challenge for LTGC engines. One promising technique to overcoming these challenges is spark assist (SA). In this work, well-controlled, fully premixed experiments are performed in a single-cylinder LTGC research engine at 1200 rpm using a cylinder head modified to accommodate a spark plug. Compression ratios (CR) of 16:1 and 14:1 were used during the experiments. Two different fuels were also tested, with properties representative of premium- and regular-grade market gasolines. SA was found to work well for both CRs and fuels. The equivalence ratio (ϕ) limits and the effect of intake-pressure boost on the ability of SA to compensate for a reduced Tin were studied. For the conditions studied, ϕ=0.42 was found to be most effective for SA.
Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engines can provide high efficiencies and extremely low NOx and particulate emissions, but controlling the combustion timing remains a challenge. This paper explores the potential of Partial Fuel Stratification (PFS) to provide fast control of CA50 in an LTGC engine. Two different compression ratios are used (CR=16:1 and 14:1) that provide high efficiencies and are compatible with mixed-mode SI-LTGC engines. The fuel used is a research grade E10 gasoline (RON 92, MON 85) representative of a regular-grade market gasoline found in the United States. The fuel was supplied with a gasoline-type direct injector (GDI) mounted centrally in the cylinder. To create the PFS, the GDI injector was pulsed twice each engine cycle. First, an injection early in the intake stroke delivered the majority of the fuel (70 - 80%), establishing the minimum equivalence ratio in the charge.
This paper proposes a structure for the diesel combustion process based on a combination of previously published and new results. Processes are analyzed with proven chemical kinetic models and validated with data from production-like direct injection diesel engines. The analysis provides new insight into the ignition and particulate formation processes, which combined with laser diagnostics, delineates the two-stage nature of combustion in diesel engines. Data are presented to quantify events occurring during the ignition and initial combustion processes that form soot precursors. A framework is also proposed for understanding the heat release and emission formation processes.