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.
Experiments have been conducted in a laminar flow system and in a research engine to investigate the effect of additives on the combustion of gasoline-like fuels. The purpose of the laminar system is to enable rapid screening of additives to determine which, if any, have an enhancing effect on the early stages of combustion, especially under conditions of poor fuel vaporization which exist during cold-start in a spark ignited engine and which make flame propagation difficult to start and sustain. The base fuel used in the laminar and engine systems was a 9 component mixture formulated to simulate those components of gasoline expected to be present in the vapor phase in the intake system of an engine under cold-start conditions. In the laminar system, the pre-mixed, pre-vaporized fuel-air mixture is ignited and a time history of the combustion generated, hydroxyl radical chemiluminescence is recorded.
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.
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.
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.
The objective of this research was to characterize the effects of fuel component volatility on gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine cold start. Three different fuel components, representing gasoline light end, mid-point and heavy end components, were used to form three fuel blends of different volatility. Performance tests and in-cylinder fuel distribution imaging tests using these fuel blends were carried out in a firing single-cylinder optically-accessible engine following a simulated cold start test schedule. Performance results, based on in-cylinder pressure and engine-out hydrocarbon measurements, during the initial transient phase of GDI cold start showed significantly degraded performance with the low volatility fuel blend, while the high volatility blend showed slightly improved performance. Neither the low nor high volatility fuel, however, showed a discernable effect on the quasi-steady state cold start performance.
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.
Experiments have been conducted in a firing single-cylinder spark-ignition engine employing a Ford Zetec cylinder head that has been modified to operate with either standard port-fuel-injection, air-forced port-fuel-injection or direct-injection. The engine utilizes a fused silica cylinder and therefore provides extensive optical access to the combustion chamber. Tests were conducted using a constant speed simulated cold start procedure, which is composed of an initial start-up transient and a quasi-steady-state idle period. In this procedure, the engine is briefly motored at 889 rpm and then combustion commences shortly after the start of fuel injection. Measurements which were performed include in-cylinder pressure as well as intake valve, exhaust valve, piston, cylinder, head, and intake air temperature throughout each cycle of the test period. The engine-out total hydrocarbon emissions were also measured.
The effects of intake-generated swirl and tumble on cold start performance have been investigated in a firing single-cylinder Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDI) engine. The engine utilizes a Ford Zetec cylinder head modified for GDI operation and a fused silica cylinder which provides extensive optical access to the combustion chamber. Uniquely designed port-inserts were positioned in the intake ports to generate enhanced swirling or tumbling motion inside the cylinder. Experiments were conducted using a constant speed (∼ 900 rpm) simulated cold start procedure, where the engine is motored for approximately 40 cycles, after which fuel injection and spark ignition commence and continue for 190 cycles and then the engine is stopped. Measurements were made of the various engine temperatures, engine-out total hydrocarbon emissions, and in-cylinder pressure throughout the test period.
The effects of injection timing and diluent addition on the late-combustion soot burnout in a direct-injection (DI) diesel engine have been investigated using simultaneous planar imaging of the OH-radical and soot distributions. Measurements were made in an optically accessible DI diesel engine of the heavy-duty size class at a 1680 rpm, high-load operating condition. A dual-laser, dual-camera system was used to obtain the simultaneous “single-shot” images using planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) and planar laser-induced incandescence (PLII) for the OH and soot, respectively. The two laser beams were combined into overlapping laser sheets before being directed into the combustion chamber, and the optical signal was separated into the two cameras by means of an edge filter.
Empirical and analytical data on the minimum possible flame temperatures for combustion processes rapid enough to be effective for engine operation are presented. The fundamental basis for these minimum temperatures is explored with chemical kinetic analysis. The combination of these minimum temperatures and the time scales associated with engine processes yield minimum possible levels of in-cylinder NOx production for both diesel and spark-ignition engines. These minimum NOx levels are identified and validated empirically. Legislated NOx levels lower than those indicated will require exhaust aftertreatment in addition to in-cylinder combustion control.