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Technical Paper

Characterizing the Effect of Combustion Chamber Deposits on a Gasoline HCCI Engine

Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines offer a good potential for achieving high fuel efficiency while virtually eliminating NOx and soot emissions from the exhaust. However, realizing the full fuel economy potential at the vehicle level depends on the size of the HCCI operating range. The usable HCCI range is determined by the knock limit on the upper end and the misfire limit at the lower end. Previously proven high sensitivity of the HCCI process to thermal conditions leads to a hypothesis that combustion chamber deposits (CCD) could directly affect HCCI combustion, and that insight about this effect can be helpful in expanding the low-load limit. A combustion chamber conditioning process was carried out in a single-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine with exhaust re-breathing to study CCD formation rates and their effect on combustion. Burn rates accelerated significantly over the forty hours of running under typical HCCI operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study of NOx Reduction by Passive Ammonia-SCR for Stoichiometric SIDI Engines

As vehicle fuel economy requirements continue to increase it is becoming more challenging and expensive to simultaneously improve fuel consumption and meet emissions regulations. The Passive Ammonia SCR System (PASS) is a novel aftertreatment concept which has the potential to address NOx emissions with application to both lean SI and stoichiometric SI engines. PASS relies on an underfloor (U/F) SCR for storage of ammonia which is generated by the close-coupled (CC) TWCs. For lean SI engines, it is required to operate with occasional rich pulses in order to generate the ammonia, while for stoichiometric application ammonia is passively generated through the toggling of air/fuel ratio. PASS serves as an efficient and cost-effective enhancement to standard aftertreatment systems. For this study, the PASS concept was demonstrated first using lab reactor results which highlight the oxygen tolerance and temperature requirements of the SCR.
Technical Paper

Refining Measurement Uncertainties in HCCI/LTGC Engine Experiments

This study presents estimates for measurement uncertainties for a Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI)/Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) engine testing facility. A previously presented framework for quantifying those uncertainties developed uncertainty estimates based on the transducers manufacturers’ published tolerances. The present work utilizes the framework with improved uncertainty estimates in order to more accurately represent the actual uncertainties of the data acquired in the HCCI/LTGC laboratory, which ultimately results in a reduction in the uncertainty from 30 to less than 1 kPa during the intake and exhaust strokes. Details of laboratory calibration techniques and commissioning runs are used to constrain the sensitivities of the transducers relative to manufacturer supplied values.
Technical Paper

Spark Assist for CA50 Control and Improved Robustness in a Premixed LTGC Engine – Effects of Equivalence Ratio and Intake Boost

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engines can deliver high efficiencies, with ultra-low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). However, controlling the combustion timing and maintaining robust operation remains a challenge for LTGC engines. One promising technique to overcoming these challenges is spark assist (SA). In this work, well-controlled, fully premixed experiments are performed in a single-cylinder LTGC research engine at 1200 rpm using a cylinder head modified to accommodate a spark plug. Compression ratios (CR) of 16:1 and 14:1 were used during the experiments. Two different fuels were also tested, with properties representative of premium- and regular-grade market gasolines. SA was found to work well for both CRs and fuels. The equivalence ratio (ϕ) limits and the effect of intake-pressure boost on the ability of SA to compensate for a reduced Tin were studied. For the conditions studied, ϕ=0.42 was found to be most effective for SA.
Technical Paper

Combustion-Timing Control of Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) Engines by Using Double Direct-Injections to Control Kinetic Rates

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engines can provide high efficiencies and extremely low NOx and particulate emissions, but controlling the combustion timing remains a challenge. This paper explores the potential of Partial Fuel Stratification (PFS) to provide fast control of CA50 in an LTGC engine. Two different compression ratios are used (CR=16:1 and 14:1) that provide high efficiencies and are compatible with mixed-mode SI-LTGC engines. The fuel used is a research grade E10 gasoline (RON 92, MON 85) representative of a regular-grade market gasoline found in the United States. The fuel was supplied with a gasoline-type direct injector (GDI) mounted centrally in the cylinder. To create the PFS, the GDI injector was pulsed twice each engine cycle. First, an injection early in the intake stroke delivered the majority of the fuel (70 - 80%), establishing the minimum equivalence ratio in the charge.
Technical Paper

New Heat Transfer Correlation for an HCCI Engine Derived from Measurements of Instantaneous Surface Heat Flux

An experimental study has been carried out to provide qualitative and quantitative insight into gas to wall heat transfer in a gasoline fueled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine. Fast response thermocouples are embedded in the piston top and cylinder head surface to measure instantaneous wall temperature and heat flux. Heat flux measurements obtained at multiple locations show small spatial variations, thus confirming relative uniformity of in-cylinder conditions in a HCCI engine operating with premixed charge. Consequently, the spatially-averaged heat flux represents well the global heat transfer from the gas to the combustion chamber walls in the premixed HCCI engine, as confirmed through the gross heat release analysis. Heat flux measurements were used for assessing several existing heat transfer correlations. One of the most popular models, the Woschni expression, was shown to be inadequate for the HCCI engine.
Journal Article

Increasing the Load Range, Load-to-Boost Ratio, and Efficiency of Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) Engines

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) has the potential to provide gasoline-fueled engines with efficiencies at or above those of diesel engines and extremely low NOx and particulate emissions. Three key performance goals for LTGC are to obtain high loads, reduce the boost levels required for these loads, and achieve high thermal efficiencies (TEs). This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation into the use of partial fuel stratification, produced using early direct fuel injection (Early-DI PFS), and an increased compression ratio (CR) to achieve significant improvements in these performance characteristics. The experiments were conducted in a 0.98-liter single-cylinder research engine. Increasing the CR from 14:1 to 16:1 produced a nominal increase in the TE of about one TE percentage unit for both premixed and Early-DI PFS operation.
Journal Article

Effect of Ignition Improvers on the Combustion Performance of Regular-Grade E10 Gasoline in an HCCI Engine

This study explores the use of two conventional ignition improvers, 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) and di-tert-butyl peroxide (DTBP), to enhance the autoignition of the regular gasoline in an homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine at naturally aspirated and moderately boosted conditions (up to 180 kPa absolute) with a constant engine speed of 1200 rpm. The results showed that both EHN and DTBP are very effective for reducing the intake temperature (Tin) required for autoignition and for enhancing stability to allow a higher charge-mass fuel/air equivalence ratio (ϕm). On the other hand, the addition of these additives can also make the gasoline too reactive at some conditions, so significant exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is required at these conditions to maintain the desired combustion phasing. Thus, there is a trade-off between improving stability and reducing the oxygen available for combustion when using ignition improvers to extend the high-load limit.
Technical Paper

Efficiency Improvement of Boosted Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion Engines (LTGC) Using a Double Direct-Injection Strategy

For lean or dilute, boosted gasoline compression-ignition engines operating in a low-temperature combustion mode, creating a partially stratified fuel charge mixture prior to auto-ignition can be beneficial for reducing the heat-release rate (HRR) and the corresponding maximum rate of pressure rise. As a result, partial fuel stratification (PFS) can be used to increase load and/or efficiency without knock (i.e. without excessive ringing). In this work, a double direct-injection (D-DI) strategy is investigated for which the majority of the fuel is injected early in the intake stroke to create a relatively well-mixed background mixture, and the remaining fuel is injected in the latter part of the compression stroke to produce greater fuel stratification prior auto-ignition. Experiments were performed in a 1-liter single-cylinder engine modified for low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) research.
Technical Paper

Optimal Use of Boosting Configurations and Valve Strategies for High Load HCCI - A Modeling Study

This study investigates a novel approach towards boosted HCCI operation, which makes use of all engine system components in order to maximize overall efficiency. Four-cylinder boosted HCCI engines have been modeled employing valve strategies and turbomachines that enable high load operation with significant efficiency benefits. A commercially available engine simulation software, coupled to the University of Michigan HCCI combustion and heat transfer correlations, was used to model the HCCI engines with three different boosting configurations: turbocharging, variable geometry turbocharging and combined supercharging with turbocharging. The valve strategy features switching from low-lift Negative Valve Overlap (NVO) to high-lift Positive Valve Overlap (PVO) at medium loads. The new operating approach indicates that heating of the charge from external compression is more efficient than heating by residual gas retention strategies.
Technical Paper

Refinement and Validation of the Thermal Stratification Analysis: A post-processing methodology for determining temperature distributions in an experimental HCCI engine

Refinements were made to a post-processing technique, termed the Thermal Stratification Analysis (TSA), that couples the mass fraction burned data to ignition timing predictions from the autoignition integral to calculate an apparent temperature distribution from an experimental HCCI data point. Specifically, the analysis is expanded to include all of the mass in the cylinder by fitting the unburned mass with an exponential function, characteristic of the wall-affected region. The analysis-derived temperature distributions are then validated in two ways. First, the output data from CFD simulations are processed with the Thermal Stratification Analysis and the calculated temperature distributions are compared to the known CFD distributions.
Journal Article

Investigation of the Sources of Combustion Noise in HCCI Engines

This article presents an investigation of the sources combustion-generated noise and its measurement in HCCI engines. Two cylinder-pressure derived parameters, the Combustion Noise Level (CNL) and the Ringing Intensity (RI), that are commonly used to establish limits of acceptable operation are compared along with spectral analyses of the pressure traces. This study focuses on explaining the differences between these two parameters and on investigating the sensitivity of the CNL to the ringing/knock phenomenon, to which the human ear is quite sensitive. Then, the effects of independently varying engine operating conditions such as fueling rate, boost pressure, and speed on both the CNL and RI are studied. Results show that the CNL is not significantly affected by the high-frequency components related to the ringing/knock phenomenon.
Technical Paper

Thermal Characterization of Combustion Chamber Deposits on the HCCI Engine Piston and Cylinder Head Using Instantaneous Temperature Measurements

Extending the operating range of the gasoline HCCI engine is essential for achieving desired fuel economy improvements at the vehicle level, and it requires deep understanding of the thermal conditions in the cylinder. Combustion chamber deposits (CCD) have been previously shown to have direct impact on near-wall phenomena and burn rates in the HCCI engine. Hence, the objectives of this work are to characterize thermal properties of deposits in a gasoline HCCI engine and provide foundation for understanding the nature of their impact on autoignition and combustion. The investigation was performed using a single-cylinder engine with re-induction of exhaust instrumented with fast-response thermocouples on the piston top and the cylinder head surface. The measured instantaneous temperature profiles changed as the deposits grew on top of the hot-junctions.
Journal Article

Boosted Premixed-LTGC / HCCI Combustion of EHN-doped Gasoline for Engine Speeds Up to 2400 rpm

Previous work has shown that conventional diesel ignition improvers, 2-ethylhexyl nitrate (EHN) and di-tert-butyl peroxide (DTBP), can be used to enhance the autoignition of a regular-grade E10 gasoline in a well premixed low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engine, hereafter termed an HCCI engine, at naturally aspirated and moderately boosted conditions (up to 180 kPa absolute) with a constant engine speed of 1200 rpm and a 14:1 compression ratio. In the current work the effect of EHN on boosted HCCI combustion is further investigated with a higher compression ratio (16:1) piston and over a range of engine speeds (up to 2400 rpm). The results show that the higher compression ratio and engine speeds can make the combustion of a regular-grade E10 gasoline somewhat less stable. The addition of EHN improves the combustion stability by allowing combustion phasing to be more advanced for the same ringing intensity.
Technical Paper

Downsized-Boosted Gasoline Engine with Exhaust Compound and Lean Advanced Combustion

This article presents the experimental results obtained with a disruptive engine platform, designed to maximize the engine efficiency through a synergetic implementation of downsizing, high compression-ratio, and importantly exhaust-heat energy recovery in conjunction with advanced lean/dilute low-temperature type combustion. The engine architecture is a supercharged high-power output, 1.1-liter engine with two-firing cylinders and a high compression ratio of 13.5:1. The integrated exhaust heat recovery system is an additional, larger displacement, non-fueled cylinder into which the exhaust gas from the two firing cylinders is alternately transferred to be further expended. The main goal of this work is to implement advanced lean/dilute combustion while minimizing NOx emissions and addressing the transition between the operating modes. The combustion modes include well-mixed charge compression-ignition at low-load, and a mixed-mode combustion strategy at higher loads.
Journal Article

Effects of Gasoline Reactivity and Ethanol Content on Boosted, Premixed and Partially Stratified Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC)

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC), based on the compression ignition of a premixed or partially premixed dilute charge, can provide thermal efficiencies (TE) and maximum loads comparable to those of turbo-charged diesel engines, and ultra-low NOx and particulate emissions. Intake boosting is key to achieving high loads with dilute combustion, and it also enhances the fuel's autoignition reactivity, reducing the required intake heating or hot residuals. These effects have the advantages of increasing TE and charge density, allowing greater timing retard with good stability, and making the fuel ϕ- sensitive so that partial fuel stratification (PFS) can be applied for higher loads and further TE improvements. However, at high boost the autoignition reactivity enhancement can become excessive, and substantial amounts of EGR are required to prevent overly advanced combustion.
Journal Article

Energy Distribution Analysis in Boosted HCCI-like / LTGC Engines - Understanding the Trade-Offs to Maximize the Thermal Efficiency

A detailed understanding of the various factors affecting the trends in gross-indicated thermal efficiency with changes in key operating parameters has been carried out, applied to a one-liter displacement single-cylinder boosted Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) engine. This work systematically investigates how the supplied fuel energy splits into the following four energy pathways: gross-indicated thermal efficiency, combustion inefficiency, heat transfer and exhaust losses, and how this split changes with operating conditions. Additional analysis is performed to determine the influence of variations in the ratio of specific heat capacities (γ) and the effective expansion ratio, related to the combustion-phasing retard (CA50), on the energy split. Heat transfer and exhaust losses are computed using multiple standard cycle analysis techniques. The various methods are evaluated in order to validate the trends.