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Technical Paper

Neat Biodiesel Fuel Engine Tests and Preliminary Modelling

Engine performance and emission comparisons were made between the use of 100% soy, Canola and yellow grease derived biodiesel fuels and an ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel in the oxygen deficient regions, i.e. full or high load engine operations. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was extensively applied to initiate low temperature combustion. An intake throttling valve was implemented to increase the differential pressure between the intake and exhaust in order to increase and enhance the EGR. The intake temperature, pressure, and EGR levels were modulated to improve the engine fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions. Furthermore, a preliminary ignition delay correlation under the influence of EGR was developed. Preliminary low temperature combustion modelling of the biodiesel and diesel fuels was also conducted. The research intends to achieve simultaneous reductions of nitrogen oxides and soot emissions in modern production diesel engines when biodiesel is applied.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of EGR Treatment on the Emission and Operating Characteristics of Modern Diesel Engines

Tests are conducted to improve the use of exhaust gas recirculation on a single cylinder diesel engine with EGR stream treatment techniques that include intake heating, combustible substance oxidation, catalytic fuel reforming, and partial bypass-flow control. In parallel with the empirical work, theoretical modeling analyses are performed to investigate the effectiveness of the reforming process and the combined effects on the overall system efficiency. The research is aimed at stabilizing and expanding the limits of heavy EGR during steady and transient operations so that the individual limiting conditions of EGR can be better identified. Additionally, the heavy EGR is applied to enable in-cylinder low temperature combustion. The effectiveness of EGR treatment on engine emission and operating characteristics are therefore reported.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Energy Efficiency Analyses of Diesel EGR Fuel Reforming with Flow Reversal and Central Fuelling

The diesel fuel reforming process in an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) loop of a diesel engine is capable of utilizing the engine exhaust energy to support the endothermic process of hydrogen gas generation. However, the EGR stream commonly needs to be heated to enable the operation of the reformer and thus to sustain higher yield of hydrogen. A central-fuelling and flow-reversal embedment that is energy-efficient to raise the central temperatures of the catalytic flow-bed is therefore devised and tested to drastically reduce the supplemental heating to the EGR reformer. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions. This research attempts to quantify the energy saving by the catalytic flow-reversal and central-fuelling embedment in comparison to a unidirectional flow EGR reformer.
Technical Paper

Energy Efficiency Analysis between In-cylinder and External Supplemental Fuel Strategies

Preliminary empirical and modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the energy efficiency of in-cylinder and external fuel injection strategies and their impact on the energy required to enable diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration for instance. During the tests, a thermal wave that is generated from the engine propagates along the exhaust pipe to the DPF substrate. The thermal response of the exhaust system is recorded with the thermocouple arrays embedded in the exhaust system. To implement the external fuel injection, an array of thermocouples and pressure sensors in the DPF provide the necessary feedback to the control system. The external fuel injection is dynamically adjusted based on the thermal response of the DPF substrate to improve the thermal management and to reduce the supplemental energy. This research intends to quantify the effectiveness of the supplemental energy utilization on aftertreatment enabling.
Technical Paper

Thermal Efficiency Analyses of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion Cycles

Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles on a common-rail diesel engine with a conventional diesel fuel. Empirical studies have been conducted under independently controlled exhaust gas recirculation, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure. Up to 8 fuel injection pulses per cylinder per cycle have been applied to modulate the homogeneity history of the early injection diesel low temperature combustion operations in order to improve the phasing of the combustion process. The impact of heat release phasing, duration, shaping, and splitting on the thermal efficiency has been analyzed with zero-dimensional engine cycle simulations. This paper intends to identify the major parameters that affect diesel low temperature combustion engine thermal efficiency.
Technical Paper

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

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

Energy Efficiency Analysis of Active-flow Operations in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment

Experiments are carried out with the diesel particulate filter and oxidation catalyst embedded in the active-flow configurations on a single cylinder diesel engine. The combined use of various active flow control schemes are identified to be capable of shifting the exhaust gas temperature, flow rate, and oxygen concentration to favorable windows for filtration, conversion, and regeneration processes. Empirical and theoretical investigations are performed with a transient one-dimensional single channel aftertreatment model developed in FORTRAN and MATLAB. The influence of the supplemental energy distribution along the length of aftertreatment device is evaluated. The theoretical analysis indicates that the active-flow control schemes have fundamental advantages in optimizing the converter thermal management including reduction in supplemental heating, increase in thermal recuperation, and improving overheating protection.
Technical Paper

Influence of Biodiesel Fuel on Diesel Engine Performance and Emissions in Low Temperature Combustion

The exhaust emission and performance characteristics of a 100% biodiesel fuel was evaluated on a single cylinder direct injection diesel engine that had been modified to allow multi-pulse diesel fuel injection at the intake port and independent control of intake heating, exhaust gas recirculation and throttling. Firstly, conventional single-shot direct injection tests were conducted and comparisons made between the use of an ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel and the biodiesel fuel. Secondly, tests for the premixed combustion of neat biodiesel were performed. Exhaust gas recirculation was applied extensively to initiate the low temperature combustion for the conventional in-cylinder single injection operation and to moderate the timing of the homogeneous charge compression ignition for the intake-port sequential injection. Because of the high viscosity and low volatility of the biodiesel, pilot-ignited homogeneous charge compression ignition was used.
Technical Paper

A Preliminary Thermal Response Analysis of Exhaust Pipe Plenums for Diesel Aftertreatment Improvement

Empirical and analytical investigations are conducted to evaluate the thermal response of exhaust pipe plenums at different levels of exhaust gas recirculation and through a variety of fuel delivery strategies. The effectiveness of different combustion control techniques is evaluated for moderating the engine-out exhaust temperature. Comparison of the external fuel injection with in-cylinder post injection for enabling aftertreatment is provided which indicates the stronger temperature raising potential of the external fuel injection. This research attempts to quantify the thermal response of the exhaust pipe plenums and its effects on the gas temperature at the inlet of the aftertreatment devices. The measurement and modeling of the dynamic thermal response in this research intend to improve the performance of diesel aftertreatment devices.
Technical Paper

Adaptive Fuel Injection Tests to Extend EGR Limits on Diesel Engines

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is effective to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines. However, when excessive EGR is applied, the engine operation reaches zones with higher combustion instability, carbonaceous emissions, and power losses. In order to improve the engine combustion process with the use of heavy EGR, the influences of boost pressure, intake temperature, and fuel injection timing are evaluated. An adaptive fuel injection strategy is applied as the EGR level is progressively elevated towards the limiting conditions. Additionally, characterization tests are performed to improve the control of the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of engine cycles, especially when heavy EGR levels are applied to increase the load level of HCCI operations. This paper constitutes the preparation work for a variety of algorithms currently being investigated at the authors' laboratory as a part of the model-based NOx control research.
Technical Paper

A Thermal Response Analysis on the Transient Performance of Active Diesel Aftertreatment

Diesel fueling and exhaust flow strategies are investigated to control the substrate temperatures of diesel aftertreatment systems. The fueling control includes the common-rail post injection and the external supplemental fuel injection. The post injection pulses are further specified at the early, mid, or late stages of the engine expansion stroke. In comparison, the external fueling rates are moderated under various engine loads to evaluate the thermal impact. Additionally, the active-flow control schemes are implemented to improve the overall energy efficiency of the system. In parallel with the empirical work, the dynamic temperature characteristics of the exhaust system are simulated one-dimensionally with in-house and external codes. The dynamic thermal control, measurement, and modeling of this research intend to improve the performance of diesel particulate filters and diesel NOx absorbers.
Technical Paper

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

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

Diesel EGR Fuel Reformer Improvement with Flow Reversal and Central Fueling

Empirical work has been conducted with an EGR fuel reformer configured in a flow reversal and central fueling embedment to improve the fuel dispersion quality and the reforming energy efficiency. Comprehensive comparison analyses are made between the unidirectional flow and the periodic reversal flow embodiments of similar substrate size and properties; and between the inlet and central heating schemes. With a unidirectional EGR reformer, a large amount of supplemental heating is commonly required prior to reforming. The central-fueling and flow-reversal embedment in this study is shown to significantly reduce the supplemental heating energy. The EGR cooler loading for the two strategies is also analyzed. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

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

Model Predictive Control of Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve

Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valves have been used in diesel engine operation to reduce NOx emissions. In EGR valve operation, the amount of exhaust gas re-circulating back into the intake manifold is controlled through the open position of the valve plate to keep the combustion temperature lower for NOx emission reduction. Different methods have been proposed to control the EGR valve. However, most of the approaches do not have the desired accuracy and the response time, which is critical for the after-treatment performance in low temperature diesel combustion. In this paper, the model of a motor driven EGR valve is first identified through experiments and then the Generalized Predictive Control (GPC) method which is an effective Model Predictive Control (MPC) method is applied to control the plate position of the valve.
Technical Paper

Ignition Control of Gasoline-Diesel Dual Fuel Combustion

The use of gasoline fuels in compression ignition engines, with or without diesel pilots, has shown encouraging progress in engine efficiency and emissions. The dual fuel combustion of gasoline-diesel offers the flexibility of modulating the cylinder charge reactivity, but an accurate and reliable control over the ignition in the dual fuel applications is more challenging than in classical engines. In this work, the gasoline-diesel dual fuel operation is investigated on a single cylinder research engine. The effects of the intake boost, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates, diesel/gasoline ratio, and diesel injection timing are studied in regard to the ignition control. The results indicate that at low load, a diesel pilot can improve the cylinder charge reactivity and reduce emissions of incomplete combustion products.
Technical Paper

Characteristics of Three-way Catalyst during Quickly Start-up Process in a PFI Engine for HEV Application

The characteristics of three-way-catalyst during engine start process were investigated based on a simulated start/stop test system for HEV application. Although the catalyst has already reached its light-off temperature, the conversion efficiency is poor during engine start process due to the deviation of lambda from stoichiometric. The high concentration hydrocarbon emission spike can be stored by catalyst substrate temporarily, then it is released. This dynamic process decreases the conversion efficiency for the following exhaust hydrocarbon emission. When the initial temperature of catalyst substrate before engine start increased from 150°C to 400°C, the conversion efficiency for both the hydrocarbon and NO are increased.
Technical Paper

Boundary Layer Enhanced Thermal Recuperation for Diesel Particulate Filter Regeneration under a Periodic Flow Reversal Operation

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) are viable to reduce smoke from diesel engines. An oxidation process is usually required to remove the Particulate Matter (PM) loading from the DPF substrates. In cases when the engine exhaust temperature is insufficient to initiate a thermal regeneration, supplemental energy is commonly applied to raise the exhaust gas and/or the DPF substrate temperatures. A flow reversal (FR) mechanism that traps a high temperature region in the DPF substrate by periodically altering the gas flow directions has been identified to be capable of reducing the supplemental energy and thus to improve the overall thermal efficiency of the engine. However, extended operations with low exhaust temperature lowers the DPF boundary temperatures that defers the regeneration processes. Furthermore, the temperature fluctuations caused by the periodic FR operation also increase the thermal stress in the DPF.
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

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

Boosted Current Spark Strategy for Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines

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.