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Technical Paper

Boosted Current Spark Strategy for Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-1133
Spark ignition systems with the capability of providing spark event with either higher current level or longer discharge duration has been developed in recent years to help IC engines towards clean combustion with higher efficiency under lean/diluted intake charge. In this research, a boosted current spark strategy was proposed to investigate the effect of spark discharge current level and discharge duration on the combustion process. Firstly, the discharge characteristics of a boosted current spark system were tested with a traditional spark plug under crossflow conditions, and results showed that the spark channel was more stable, and was stretched much longer when the discharge current was boosted. Then the boosted current strategy was used in a spark ignition engine operating under lean conditions. Boosted current was added to the spark channel with different timing, duration, and current levels.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

2018-04-03
2018-01-1134
Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2009-06-15
2009-01-1883
Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Renewable Ethanol Use for Enabling High Load Clean Combustion in a Diesel Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-0904
As a renewable energy source, the ethanol fuel was employed with a diesel fuel in this study to improve the cylinder charge homogeneity for high load operations, targeting on ultra-low nitrogen oxides (NOx) and smoke emissions. A light-duty diesel engine is configured to adapt intake port fuelling of the ethanol fuel while keeping all other original engine components intact. High load experiments are performed to investigate the combustion control and low emission enabling without sacrificing the high compression ratio (18.2:1). The intake boost, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and injection pressure are independently controlled, and thus their effects on combustion and emission characteristics of the high load operation are investigated individually. The low temperature combustion is accomplished at high engine load (16~17 bar IMEP) with regulation compatible NOx and soot emissions.
Technical Paper

Real-time Heat Release Analysis for Model-based Control of Diesel Combustion

2008-04-14
2008-01-1000
A number of cylinder-pressure derived parameters including the crank angles of maximum pressure, maximum rate of pressure rise, and 50% heat released are considered as among the desired feedback for cycle-by-cycle adaptive control of diesel combustion. For real-time computation of these parameters, the heat release analyses based on the first law of thermodynamics are used. This paper intends to identify the operating regions where the simplified heat release approach provides sufficient accuracy for control applications and also highlights those regions where its use can lead to significant errors in the calculated parameters. The effects of the cylinder charge-to-wall heat transfer and the temperature dependence of the specific heat ratio on the model performance are reported. A new computationally efficient algorithm for estimating the crank angle of 50% heat released with adequate accuracy is proposed for computation in real-time.
Technical Paper

Suitability Study of n-Butanol for Enabling PCCI and HCCI and RCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-09-01
2015-01-1816
This work investigates the suitability of n-butanol for enabling PCCI, HCCI, and RCCI combustion modes to achieve clean and efficient combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Systematic engine tests are conducted at low and medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) and at a medium engine speed of 1500 rpm. Test results indicate that n-butanol is more suitable than diesel to enable PCCI and HCCI combustion with the same engine hardware. However, the combustion phasing control for n-butanol is demanding due to the high combustion sensitivity to variations in engine operating conditions where engine safety concerns (e.g. excessive pressure rise rates) potentially arise. While EGR is the primary measure to control the combustion phasing of n-butanol HCCI, the timing control of n-butanol direct injection in PCCI provides an additional leverage to properly phase the n-butanol combustion.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

2015-09-01
2015-01-1889
In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Technical Paper

The Effect of High-Power Capacitive Spark Discharge on the Ignition and Flame Propagation in a Lean and Diluted Cylinder Charge

2016-04-05
2016-01-0707
Research studies have suggested that changes to the ignition system are required to generate a more robust flame kernel in order to secure the ignition process for the future advanced high efficiency spark-ignition (SI) engines. In a typical inductive ignition system, the spark discharge is initiated by a transient high-power electrical breakdown and sustained by a relatively low-power glow process. The electrical breakdown is characterized as a capacitive discharge process with a small quantity of energy coming mainly from the gap parasitic capacitor. Enhancement of the breakdown is a potential avenue effectively for extending the lean limit of SI engine. In this work, the effect of high-power capacitive spark discharge on the early flame kernel growth of premixed methane-air mixtures is investigated through electrical probing and optical diagnosis.
Technical Paper

Distributed Electrical Discharge to Improve the Ignition of Premixed Quiescent and Turbulent Mixtures

2016-04-05
2016-01-0706
The present work investigates the efficacy of distributed electrical discharge to increase the ignition volume by means of multipole spark discharge and radio frequency (RF) corona discharge. A range of ignition strategies are implemented to evaluate the efficacy of distributed ignition. The multipole spark igniter design has multiple high-voltage electrodes in close proximity to each other. This distributed spark ignition concept has the ability to generate multiple flame kernels either simultaneously or in a staggered mode. A novel elastic breakdown ignition strategy in responsive distribution (eBIRD) high frequency discharge is also implemented via the multipole igniter. The RF corona discharge is generated through an in-house developed ignition system. A form of distributed ignition is initiated along the streamer filaments.
Technical Paper

An Enabling Study of Neat n-Butanol HCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0001
This work investigates the benefits and challenges of enabling neat n-butanol HCCI combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Minor engine modifications are made to implement n-butanol port injection while other engine components are kept intact. The impacts of the fuel change, from diesel to n-butanol, are examined through steady-state engine tests with independent control of the intake boost and exhaust gas recirculation. As demonstrated by the test results, the HCCI combustion of a thoroughly premixed n-butanol/air lean mixture offers near-zero smoke and ultralow NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation and produces comparable engine efficiencies to those of conventional diesel high temperature combustion. The test results also manifest the control challenges of running a neat alcohol fuel in the HCCI combustion mode.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Temperature and Soot (KL) Distributions in Spray Flames of Diesel-Butanol Blends by Two-Color Method Using High-Speed RGB Video Camera

2016-10-17
2016-01-2190
Taking advantages of high speed RGB video cameras, the two-color method can be implemented with a relatively simple setup to obtain the temporal development of the two dimensional temperature and soot (KL) distributions in a reacting diesel jet. However, several issues such as the selection of the two wavelengths, the role of bandpass filters, and the proper optical settings, etc. should be known to obtain a reliable measurement. This paper, at first, discusses about the uncertainties in the measurement of temperature and KL distributions in the diesel flame by the two-color method using the high speed RGB video camera. Since n-butanol, as an alternative renewable fuel, has the potential application in diesel engines, the characteristic of spray combustion of diesel-butanol blends under the diesel-like ambient conditions in a pre-burning constant-volume combustion chamber is studied.
Technical Paper

Study of Heat Release Shaping via Dual-Chamber Piston Bowl Design to Improve Ethanol-Diesel Combustion Performance

2017-03-28
2017-01-0762
In this work, an innovative piston bowl design that physically divides the combustion chamber into a central zone and a peripheral zone is employed to assist the control of the ethanol-diesel combustion process via heat release shaping. The spatial combustion zone partition divides the premixed ethanol-air mixture into two portions, and the combustion event (timing and extent) of each portion can be controlled by the temporal diesel injection scheduling. As a result, the heat release profile of ethanol-diesel dual-fuel combustion is properly shaped to avoid excessive pressure rise rates and thus to improve the engine performance. The investigation is carried out through theoretical simulation study and empirical engine tests. Parametric simulation is first performed to evaluate the effects of heat release shaping on combustion noise and engine efficiency and to provide boundary conditions for subsequent engine tests.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

2017-03-28
2017-01-0678
Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Circuit Model for the Emulation of Glow Phase during Spark Discharge

2018-04-03
2018-01-0092
The ever-growing demand to meet the stringent exhaust emission regulations have driven the development of modern gasoline engines towards lean combustion strategies and downsizing to achieve the reduction of exhaust emission and fuel consumption. Currently, the inductive ignition system is still the dominant ignition system applied in Spark Ignited (SI) engines. It is popular due to its simple design, low cost and robust performance. The new development in spark ignition engines demands higher spark energy to be delivered by the inductive ignition system to overcome the unfavorable ignition conditions caused by the increased and diluted in-cylinder charge. To meet this challenge, better understanding of the inductive ignition system is required. The development of a first principle model for simulation can help in understanding the working mechanism of the system in a better way.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement for Ultra-Lean Dilute Gasoline Combustion

2017-10-08
2017-01-2244
In this work, a spatially distributed spark ignition strategy was employed to improve the ignition process of well-mixed ultra-lean dilute gasoline combustion in a high compression ratio (13.1:1) single cylinder engine at partial loads. The ignition energy was distributed in the perimeter of a 3-pole igniter. It was identified that on the basis of similar total spark energy, the 3-pole ignition mode can significantly shorten the early flame kernel development period and reduce the cyclic variation of combustion phasing, for the spark timing sweep tests at λ 1.5. The effect of ignition energy level on lean-burn operation was investigated at λ 1.6. Within a relatively low ignition energy range, i.e. below 46 mJ per pole, the increase in ignition energy via ether 1 pole or 3 pole can improve the controllability over combustion phasing and reduce the variability of lean burn combustion. Higher ignition energy was required in order to enable ultra-lean engine operation with λ above 1.6.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Based Adaptive Control to Improve Low Temperature Diesel Engine Combustion

2007-04-16
2007-01-0771
Heat-release and cylinder pressure based adaptive fuel-injection control tests were performed on a modern common-rail diesel engine to improve the engine operation in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) region. A single shot injection strategy with heavy amount of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was used to modulate the in-cylinder charge conditions to achieve the low-temperature combustion. Adaptive fuel-injection techniques were used to anchor the cylinder pressure characteristics in the desired crank angle window and thereby stabilize the engine operation. The response of the adaptive control to boost, fueling, and engine speed variations was also tested. A combination of adaptive fuel-injection and automatic boost/back-pressure controls had helped to make the transient emissions comparable to the steady-state LTC emissions.
Technical Paper

A Preliminary Study of Ignition Consistency and Heat Release Analysis for a Common-Rail Diesel Engine

2004-03-08
2004-01-0932
Common-rail fuel systems have been recognized as an effective means to shape the heat release rate. In this paper measured cylinder pressure and fuel injection data for a common-rail diesel engine were analyzed to develop an empirical heat release rate model. A set of discrete Wiebe functions, one to describe the pilot injection combustion and the other to describe the main injection combustion, have been proposed to model the heat release data. The coefficients in the model were adjusted to match the observed heat release diagram. An expression for ignition delay for pilot injection and main injection has also been suggested for test conditions.
Journal Article

An Empirical Study to Extend Engine Load in Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2011-08-30
2011-01-1814
In this work, engine tests were performed to realize EGR-enabled LTC on a single-cylinder common-rail diesel engine with three different compression ratios (17.5, 15 and 13:1). The engine performance was first investigated at 17.5:1 compression ratio to provide baseline results, against which all further testing was referenced. The intake boost and injection pressure were progressively increased to ascertain the limiting load conditions for the compression ratio. To extend the engine load range, the compression ratio was then lowered and EGR sweep tests were again carried out. The strength and homogeneity of the cylinder charge were enhanced by using intake boost up to 3 bar absolute and injection pressure up to 180 MPa. The combustion phasing was locked in a narrow crank angle window (5~10° ATDC), during all the tests.
Technical Paper

A Preliminary Study of the Discharge Current and Spark Energy for the Multi-Coil Offset Strategy

2019-04-02
2019-01-0725
To overcome the unfavorable operation conditions caused by lean/diluted charges in modern Spark Ignited (SI) engines, various advanced ignition systems have been proposed in the past. Among them, the dual-coil and multi-coil Transistor Coil Ignition (TCI) systems with offset discharge strategy caused significant attention in literature because they can generate a continuous spark with high spark energy being delivered into the cylinder. Comparing with the dual-coil system, a multi-coil system is capable to apply more flexible control strategies and generate a higher discharge current. However, the spark energy and transfer efficiency of the multi-coil system are still worthy to investigate as they are important performance indicators for a TCI system. In this paper, the discharge characteristics of the dual-coil and triple-coil strategies under both quiescent and flow conditions were studied firstly by experimental methods.
Technical Paper

A Study of Energy Enhanced Multi-Spark Discharge Ignition in a Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber

2019-04-02
2019-01-0728
Multi-spark discharge (MSD) ignition is widely used in high-speed internal combustion engines such as racing cars, motorcycles and outboard motors in attempts to achieve multiple sparks during each ignition. In contrast to transistor coil ignition (TCI) system, MSD system can be greatly shortened the charging time in a very short time. However, when the engine speed becomes higher, the ignition will be faster, electrical energy stored in the ignition system will certainly become less, especially for MSD system. Once the energy released into the spark plug gap can’t be guaranteed sufficiently, ignition will become more difficult, and it will get worse in some harsh environment such as strong turbulence or lean fuel conditions. With these circumstances, the risks of misfire and partial combustion will increase, which can deteriorate the power outputs and exhaust emissions of internal combustion engine.
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