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Technical Paper


There are considerable diversities in the techniques used for the steady flow testing of engine cylinder heads, and this paper presents and discusses the important issues involved in the flow bench experiment. The work aims to provide information necessary for setting up or upgrading the experimental system of cylinder head testing. The definitions of discharge/flow coefficients and swirl/tumble ratios are compared and examined, followed by the principles of selecting the test conditions such as pressure drop and flow rate. Techniques for measuring the angular flow momentum in cylinders are discussed and the link between the steady flow parameters and the engine combustion performance is highlighted. Some conclusions and recommendations are drawn from the discussion.
Technical Paper

A CFD Investigation into the Effects of Intake Valves Events on Airflow Characteristics in a Motored 4-Valve Engine Cylinder with Negative Valve Overlapping

This paper presents a computational study of the airflow features within a motored 4-valve direct injection engine cylinder. An unconventional intake valve strategy was investigated; whereby each valve on the pair of intake valves was assumed to be actuated with different lifts and duration. One of the intake valves was assumed to follow a high-lift long duration valve-lift profile while the other was assumed to follow a low-lift short duration valve-lift profile. The pair of exhaust valves was assumed to be actuated with two identical low-lift short duration valve-lift profiles in order to generate the so-called negative valve overlapping (NVO). The in-cylinder flow fields developed with such intake valve strategy were compared to those produced in the same engine cylinder but with the application of identical low-lift short duration intake valve events.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation into HCCI Combustion Using Gasoline and Diesel Blended Fuels

Gasoline and diesel, the two fuels with very different characteristics and with wide availability for conventional engine use, were blended as a HCCI engine fuel. Gasoline, with high volatility, easy vaporization and mixture formation, is used to form the homogeneous charge. Diesel fuel which has good ignitability and fast combustion at the conditions predominating in the HCCI environment, is used to dominate the auto-ignition and restrain the knocking combustion. It is expected that these two different fuels with opposite but complementary properties can be used to reach a good compromise in HCCI combustion. Experiments, conducted with moderate compression ratios (CR) and using two modes of HCCI control, i.e. intake heating with CR 15.0 and negative valve overlap (NVO) with CR 10.4, yielded results that prove this expectation.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Emissions in a Spark-ignition Engine Fueled with Coal-Bed Gas - Modeling and Experimental Results

There is a worldwide interest in the research of various alternative fuels for automotive engines for the purpose of reduction of CO2 and toxically harmful exhaust emissions. Coal-bed gas, the main component of which is methane, has been considered an attractive alternative fuel for combustion engines due to its abundant resources, high hydrogen-carbon ratios and very low soot formation tendency. The composition of available coal-bed gas, however, can vary considerably, and this has made its combustion stability difficult to control in conventional spark ignition engines. To overcome the problem, a combustion system with a swirl chamber connected to the main combustion chamber through an orifice has been developed for the use of coal-bed gas in spark ignition engines, and the corresponding combustion process has been studied using a developed combustion model involving flame kernel formation and flame front propagation.
Technical Paper

An Investigation into the Operating Mode Transitions of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engine Using EGR Trapping

While Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a promising combustion mode with significant advantages in fuel economy improvement and emission reductions for vehicle engines, it is subject to a number of limitations, for example, hardware and control complexity, or NOx and NVH deterioration near its operating upper load boundary, diminishing its advantages. Conventional spark-ignition combustion mode is required for higher loads and speeds, thus the operating conditions near the HCCI boundaries and their corresponding alternatives in SI mode must be studied carefully in order to identify practical strategies to minimise the impact of the combustion mode transition on the performance of the engine. This paper presents the results of an investigation of the combustion mode transitions between SI and HCCI, using a combination of an engine cycle simulation code with a chemical kinetics based HCCI combustion code.
Technical Paper

Residual Gas Trapping for Natural Gas HCCI

With the high auto ignition temperature of natural gas, various approaches such as high compression ratios and/or intake charge heating are required for auto ignition. Another approach utilizes the trapping of internal residual gas (as used before in gasoline controlled auto ignition engines), to lower the thermal requirements for the auto ignition process in natural gas. In the present work, the achievable engine load range is controlled by the degree of internal trapping of exhaust gas supplemented by intake charge heating. Special valve strategies were used to control the internal retention of exhaust gas. Significant differences in the degree of valve overlap were necessary when compared to gasoline operation at the same speeds and loads, resulting in lower amounts of residual gas observed. The dilution effect of residual gas trapping is hence reduced, resulting in higher NOx emissions for the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio operation as compared to gasoline.
Technical Paper

Effect of Hydrogen Addition on Natural Gas HCCI Combustion

Natural gas has a high auto-ignition temperature, requiring high compression ratios and/or intake charge heating to achieve HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition) engine operation. Previous work by the authors has shown that hydrogen addition improves combustion stability in various difficult combustion conditions. It is shown here that hydrogen, together with residual gas trapping, helps also in lowering the intake temperature required for HCCI. It has been argued in literature that the addition of hydrogen advances the start of combustion in the cylinder. This would translate into the lowering of the minimum intake temperature required for auto-ignition to occur during the compression stroke. The experimental results of this work show that, with hydrogen replacing part of the fuel, a decrease in intake air temperature requirement is observed for a range of engine loads, with larger reductions in temperature noted at lower loads.
Technical Paper

CFD Analysis of Air Intake System with Negative Pressure on Intake Grill

The objective of the current research was to predict and analyze the flow through the grill of air intake system which is positioned behind the front wheel arch of vehicle. Most of the vehicle used today locates the grill of air intake at the front side so to acquire benefit of ram effect. In some cases, however, the grill is located behind the vehicle to improve wading performance. The geometry of air intake system of Land Rover Freelander was used in the modelling approach. The study was focused on different flow speeds on the grill at high load operation where the air speed at the grill side is high and creates negative pressure. The CFD results are validated against experimental data of steady flow test bench.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Temperature on Performance and Emissions of a Common Rail Diesel Engine Operating with Rapeseed Methyl Ester (RME)

The paper presents analysis of performance and emission characteristics of a common rail diesel engine operating with RME, with and without EGR. In both cases, the RME fuel was pre-heated in a heat exchanger to control its temperature before being pumped to the common rail. The studied parameters include the in-cylinder pressure history, rate of heat release, mass fraction burned, and exhaust emissions. The results show that when the fuel temperature increases and the engine is operated without EGR, the brake specific fuel consumption (bsfc) decreases, engine efficiency increases and NOx emission slightly decreases. However, when EGR is used while fuel temperature is increased, the bsfc and engine efficiency is independent of fuel temperature while NOx slightly increases.
Technical Paper

A 1D Analysis into the Effect of Variable Valve Timing on HCCI Engine Parameters

The effects of variable intake-valve-timing on the gas exchange process and performance of a 4-valve direct-injection HCCI engine were computationally investigated using a 1D gas dynamics engine cycle simulation code. A non-typical strategy to actuate the pair of intake valves was examined; whereby each valve was assumed to be actuated independently at different timing. Using such an intake valves strategy, the obtained results showed a considerable improvement of the engine parameters such as load and charging efficiency as compared with the typical identical intake valve pair timings case. Additional benefits of minimizing pumping losses and improving the fuel economy were demonstrated with the use of the non-simultaneous actuation of the intake valve pair having the opening timing of the early intake valve coupled with a symmetric degree of crank angle for the timing of exhaust valve closing.
Technical Paper

Modelling Study of Combustion and Gas Exchange in a HCCI (CAI) Engine

The main obstacle for the development of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines is the control of auto-ignition timing, and one key is to control the trapped gas temperature so as to enable the autoignition at the end of compression stroke. Using special valve mechanisms, very high residual gas mass fraction can be achieved to raise the charge temperature. Gas exchange process hence plays a crucial role in such HCCI engines because of its strong interaction with combustion. The modification of the gas exchange process in a 4-stroke automotive engine for HCCI combustion is not straightforward, since the engine must be able to operate across a considerably wide range of speeds and loads. Intake air temperatures and the valve mechanism need to be controlled in order to deliver optimal engine performance and fuel economy. This paper presents a modelling study of the combustion and gas exchange in a HCCI engine.
Technical Paper

Effect of inlet valve timing on boosted gasoline HCCI with residual gas trapping

With boosted HCCI operation on gasoline using residual gas trapping, the amount of residuals was found to be of importance in determining the boundaries of stable combustion at various boost pressures. This paper represents a development of this approach by concentrating on the effects of inlet valve events on the parameters of boosted HCCI combustion with residual gas trapping. It was found that an optimum inlet valve timing could be found in order to minimize NOx emissions. When the valve timing is significantly advanced or retarded away from this optimum, NOx emissions increase due to the richer air / fuel ratios required for stable combustion. These richer conditions are necessary as a result of either the trapped residual gases becoming cooled in early backflow or because of lowering of the effective compression ratio. The paper also examines the feasibility of using inlet valve timing as a method of controlling the combustion phasing for boosted HCCI with residual gas trapping.
Technical Paper

In-cylinder Flow with Negative Valve Overlapping - Characterised by PIV Measurement

Negative valve overlapping is widely used for trapping residual burned gas within the cylinder to enable controlled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). HCCI has been shown as a promising combustion technology to improve the fuel economy and NOx emissions of gasoline engines. While the importance of in-cylinder flow in the fuel and air mixing process is recognised, the characteristics of air motion with specially designed valve events having reduced valve lift and durations associated with HCCI engines and their effect on subsequent combustion are not yet fully understood. This paper presents an investigation in an optical engine designed for HCCI combustion using EGR trapping. PIV techniques have been used to measure the in-cylinder flow field under motored conditions and a quantitative analysis has been carried out for the flow characterisation with comparison made against the flow in the same engine with conventional valve strategies for SI combustion.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Study of Combustion Initiation and development in an Optical HCCI Engine

The major characteristics of the combustion in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines, irrespective of the technological strategy used to enable the ‘controlled auto-ignition’, are that the mixture of fuel and air is preferably premixed and largely homogeneous. Ignition tends to take place simultaneously at multiple points and there is no bulk flame propagation as in conventional spark-ignition (SI) engines. This paper presents an experimental study of flame development in an optical engine operating in HCCI combustion mode. High resolution and high-speed charge coupled device (CCD) cameras were used to take images of the flame during the combustion process. Fuels include gasoline, natural gas (NG) and hydrogen addition to NG all at stoichiometric conditions, permitting the investigation of combustion development for each fuel. The flame imaging data was supplemented by simultaneously recorded in-cylinder pressure data.
Technical Paper

Modelling of HCCI Engines: Comparison of Single-zone, Multi-zone and Test Data

This paper presents a modeling study of a gasoline HCCI engine using a single-zone and a multi-zone engine combustion models coupled with the CHEMKIN chemical kinetics solver for the closed part of the cycle. These combustion models are subsequently combined with a 1-D gas dynamics engine cycle simulation code which calculates the engine gas exchange to supply the boundary conditions for the in-cylinder simulation and also predicts engine performance. The simulated in-cylinder pressure history and charge composition at the time of exhaust valve opening are compared with the data from a parallel engine experimental project. Although the single-zone model is useful for parameter studies by predicting the trend of auto-ignition timing variations as the result of the effect of engine operating conditions, the matching of simulated and test data is good perhaps only if the mixture and temperature distributions in the cylinder are uniform.
Technical Paper

Applying boosting to gasoline HCCI operation with residual gas trapping

The application of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion to naturally aspirated engines has shown a much reduced usable load range as compared to spark ignition (SI) engines. The approach documented here applies inlet charge boosting to gasoline HCCI operation on an engine configuration that is typical for SI gasoline engines, in conjunction with residual gas trapping. The latter helps to retain the benefits of much reduced requirement for external heating. In the present work, the achievable engine load range is controlled by the level of boost pressure while varying the amount of trapped residual gas. In addition, it was found that there is a maximum amount of boost that can be applied without intake heating for any given amount of trapped residuals. NOx emissions decrease with increasing amounts of trapped residual.
Technical Paper

Study on an Electronically Controlled Common-Rail Injection System for Liquefied Alternative Fuels

Liquefied alternative fuels offer great potential benefits in reducing exhaust emissions and improving fuel economy of automotive engines. In order to achieve the best performance of the engine running with such fuels, it is critical to have an appropriate fuel system. In the present work, a new electronically controlled common-rail injection system has been specially designed and tested for the direct injection of liquefied alternative fuels, since a conventional pump-line-injector injection system in the conventional diesel engine was not suitable for the purpose. Experimental work has been carried out to examine and improve matching of the fuel injection system on a new fuel injection pump test bench. The preliminary engine bench test has demonstrated that this arrangement meets the requirement for the operating characteristics of a fuel injection system in a direct injection diesel engine operating with dimethyl ether (DME).
Technical Paper

A Thermally Efficient DOC Configuration to Improve CO and THC Conversion Efficiency

The purpose of this study is to improve the carbon monoxide (CO) and total hydrocarbons (THC) conversion efficiency of a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) by enhancing the monolith thermal behaviour through modification of the substrate cell density and wall thickness. The optimisation is based on catalyst properties (light off performance, conversion efficiency, pressure drop and mechanical durability). These properties were first estimated using theoretical equations derived from literature in order to select commercially available substrates for further modelling studies. The thermal behaviour and conversion efficiency of the selected catalysts under diesel exhaust gas conditions were numerically studied using data from an EU5 diesel engine operating a New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). This simulation was carried out on a commercial exhaust aftertreatment modelling program, AXISUITE. The predictions were compared to a reference coated 400/4 catalyst.
Technical Paper

Study of Near Nozzle Spray Characteristics of Ethanol under Different Saturation Ratios

Atomization of fuel sprays is a key factor in controlling the combustion quality in the direct-injection engines. In this present work, the effect of saturation ratio (Rs) on the near nozzle spray patterns of ethanol was investigated using an ultra-high speed imaging technique. The Rs range covered both flash-boiling and non-flash boiling regions. Ethanol was injected from a single-hole injector into an optically accessible constant volume chamber at a fixed injection pressure of 40 MPa with different fuel temperatures and back pressures. High-speed imaging was performed using an ultrahigh speed camera (1 million fps) coupled with a long-distance microscope. Under non-flash boiling conditions, the effect of Rs on fuel development was small but observable. Clear fuel collision can be observed at Rs=1.5 and 1.0. Under the flash boiling conditions, near-nozzle spray patterns were significant different from the non-flash boiling ones.
Technical Paper

Control of A/F Ratio During Engine Transients

Variations in air-fuel ratio within a 16-valve port-injection spark-ignition engine have been examined as a consequence of rapid transients in load at constant speed with fuel injection controlled by the production engine-management system and by a custom-built controller. The purpose was to minimize excursions from stoichiometry by the use of a controller to impose an injection strategy, guided by results obtained with the production management system. The strategy involves a model that takes account of manifold filling and the delays in transport of fuel from the injectors to the cylinder. The results show that the excursions in air-fuel ratio from stoichiometry were reduced from more than 25% to 6%.