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.
Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a new engine technology with fundamental differences over conventional engines. HCCI engines are intrinsically fuel flexible and can run on low-grade fuels as long as the fuel can be heated to the point of ignition. In particular, HCCI engines can run on “wet ethanol:” ethanol-in-water mixtures with high concentration of water, such as the high water content ethanol-in-water mixture that results from fermentation of corn mash. Considering that much of the energy required for processing fermented ethanol is spent in distillation and dehydration, direct use of wet ethanol in HCCI engines considerably shifts the energy balance in favor of ethanol.
Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) is a new combustion technology that may develop as an alternative to diesel engines with high efficiency and low NOx and particulate matter emissions. This paper describes the HCCI research activities being currently pursued at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at the University of California Berkeley. Current activities include analysis as well as experimental work. On analysis, we have developed two powerful tools: a single zone model and a multi-zone model. The single zone model has proven very successful in predicting start of combustion and providing reasonable estimates for peak cylinder pressure, indicated efficiency and NOx emissions. This model is being applied to develop detailed engine performance maps and control strategies, and to analyze the problem of engine startability. The multi-zone model is capable of very accurate predictions of the combustion process, including HC and CO emissions.
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.
To facilitate the growing interest in hydrogen combustion for internal combustion engines, computer models are being developed to simulate gaseous fuel injection, air entrainment and the ensuing combustion. This paper introduces a new method for modeling the injection and air entrainment processes for gaseous fuels. Modeling combustion is not covered in this paper. The injection model uses a gaseous sphere injection methodology, similar to liquid droplet injection techniques used for liquid fuel injection. In this paper, the model concept is introduced and model results are compared with correctly- and under-expanded experimental data.
We have developed an artificial neural network (ANN) based combustion model and have integrated it into a fluid mechanics code (KIVA3V) to produce a new analysis tool (titled KIVA3V-ANN) that can yield accurate HCCI predictions at very low computational cost. The neural network predicts ignition delay as a function of operating parameters (temperature, pressure, equivalence ratio and residual gas fraction). KIVA3V-ANN keeps track of the time history of the ignition delay during the engine cycle to evaluate the ignition integral and predict ignition for each computational cell. After a cell ignites, chemistry becomes active, and a two-step chemical kinetic mechanism predicts composition and heat generation in the ignited cells. KIVA3V-ANN has been validated by comparison with isooctane HCCI experiments in two different engines.
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 developed a methodology for predicting combustion and emissions in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine. This methodology combines a detailed fluid mechanics code with a detailed chemical kinetics code. Instead of directly linking the two codes, which would require an extremely long computational time, the methodology consists of first running the fluid mechanics code to obtain temperature profiles as a function of time. These temperature profiles are then used as input to a multi-zone chemical kinetics code. The advantage of this procedure is that a small number of zones (10) is enough to obtain accurate results. This procedure achieves the benefits of linking the fluid mechanics and the chemical kinetics codes with a great reduction in the computational effort, to a level that can be handled with current computers.
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.
We have developed a model of the diesel fuel injection process for application to analysis of low temperature non-sooting combustion. The model uses a simplified mixing correlation and detailed chemical kinetics to analyze a parcel of fuel as it moves along the fuel jet, from injection to evaporation and ignition. The model predicts chemical composition and soot precursors, and is applied at conditions that result in low temperature non-sooting combustion. Production of soot precursors is the first step toward production of soot, and modeling precursor production is expected to give insight into the overall evolution of soot inside the engine. The results of the analysis show that the model has been successful in describing many of the observed characteristics of low temperature combustion.