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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

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

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

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

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.
Journal Article

Spray Characteristics Study of DMF Using Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer

2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF) is currently regarded as a potential alternative fuel to gasoline due to the development of new production technology. In this paper, the spray characteristics of DMF and its blends with gasoline were studied from a high pressure direct injection gasoline injector using the shadowgraph and Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) techniques, This includes the spray penetration, droplet velocity and size distribution of the various mixtures. In parallel commercial gasoline and ethanol were measured in order to compare the characteristics of DMF. A total of 52 points were measured along the spray so that the experimental results could be used for subsequent numerical modeling. In summary, the experimental results showed that DMF and its blends have similar spray properties to gasoline, compared to ethanol. The droplet size of DMF is generally smaller than ethanol and decreases faster with the increase of injection pressure.
Journal Article

The Particle Emissions Characteristics of a Light Duty Diesel Engine with 10% Alternative Fuel Blends

In this study, the particle emission characteristics of 10% alternative diesel fuel blends (Rapeseed Methyl Ester and Gas-to-Liquid) were investigated through the tests carried out on a light duty common-rail Euro 4 diesel engine. Under steady engine conditions, the study focused on particle number concentration and size distribution, to comply with the particle metrics of the European Emission Regulations (Regulation NO 715/2007, amended by 692/2008 and 595/2009). The non-volatile particle characteristics during the engine warming up were also investigated. They indicated that without any modification to the engine, adding selected alternative fuels, even at a low percentage, can result in a noticeable reduction of the total particle numbers; however, the number of nucleation mode particles can increase in certain cases.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of GDI Injector Nozzle Geometry on Spray Characteristics

The large eddy simulation (LES) with Volume of Fluid (VOF) interface tracking method in Ansys-FLUENT has been used to study the effects of nozzle hole geometrical parameters on gasoline direct injection (GDI) fuel injectors, namely the effect of inner hole length/diameter (L/D) ratio and counter-bore diameters on near field spray characteristics. Using iso-octane as a model fuel at the fuel injection pressure of 200 bar, the results showed that the L/D ratio variation of the inner hole has a more significant influence on the spray characteristics than the counter-bore diameter variation. Reducing the L/D ratio effectively increases the mass flow rate, velocity, spray angle and reduces the droplet size and breakup length. The increased spray angle results in wall impingements inside the counter-bore cavity, particularly for L/D=1 which can potentially lead to increased deposit accumulation inside fuel injectors.
Journal Article

Transient Emissions Characteristics of a Turbocharged Engine Fuelled by Biodiesel Blends

The effects of different biodiesel blends on engine-out emissions under various transient conditions were investigated in this study using fast response diagnostic equipment. The experimental work was conducted on a modern 3.0 L, V6 high pressure common rail diesel engine fuelled with mineral diesel (B0) and three different blends of rapeseed methyl esters (RME) (B30, B60, B100 by volume) without any modifications of engine parameters. DMS500, Fast FID and Fast CLD were used to measure particulate matter (PM), total hydrocarbon (THC) and nitrogen monoxide (NO) respectively. The tests were conducted during a 12 seconds period with two tests in which load and speed were changed simultaneously and one test with only load changing. The results show that as biodiesel blend ratio increased, total particle number (PN) and THC were decreased whereas NO was increased for all the three transient conditions.
Technical Paper

Flame Kernel Growth and Propagation in an Optical Direct Injection Engine Using Laser Ignition

The demand for more efficient and clean engines have prompted the research and development of new engine technologies. Automotive engines expected to run with leaner mixtures and higher compression ratios. Lean burn is effective to increase fuel economy whilst reducing emissions but unreliable ignition of the lean mixtures by the conventional spark plug is one of the problems which causes concerns to the engine designers. Laser ignition is a promising technology and holds many benefits over the spark ignition because it can extend the ignitability of lean mixtures with flexibility of the ignition location and absence of electrode degradation for improved engine performance with lean burn. In this study, high-speed photography is used to investigate the flame kernel growth and propagation in an optical direct injection engine using laser ignition by an Nd:YAG laser.
Technical Paper

The Comparative Study of Gasoline and n-butanol on Spray Characteristics

n-butanol has been recognized as a promising alternative fuel for gasoline and may potentially overcome the drawbacks of methanol and ethanol, e.g. higher energy density. In this paper, the spray characteristics of gasoline and n-butanol have been investigated using a high pressure direct injection injector. High speed imaging and Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) techniques were used to study the spray penetration and the droplet atomization process. The tests were carried out in a high pressure constant volume vessel over a range of injection pressure from 60 to 150 bar and ambient pressure from 1 to 5 bar. The results show that gasoline has a longer penetration length than that of n-butanol in most test conditions due to the relatively small density and viscosity of gasoline; n-butanol has larger SMD due to its higher viscosity. The increase in ambient pressure leads to the reduction in SMD by 42% for gasoline and by 37% for n-butanol.
Technical Paper

Improving Cold Start and Transient Performance of Automotive Diesel Engine at Low Ambient Temperatures

Ambient temperature has significant impact on engine start ability and cold start emissions from diesel engines. These cold start emissions are accounted for substantial amount of the overall regulatory driving cycle emissions like NEDC or FTP. It is likely to implement the low temperature emissions tests for diesel vehicles, which is currently applicable only for gasoline vehicles. This paper investigates the potential of the intake heating strategy on reducing the driving cycle emissions from the latest generation of turbocharged common rail direct injection diesel engines at low ambient temperature conditions. For this investigation an air heater was installed upstream of the intake manifold and New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) tests were conducted at -7°C ambient temperature conditions for the different intake air temperatures. Intake air heating reduced the cranking time and improved the fuel economy at low ambient temperatures.
Journal Article

The Effect of Exhaust Throttling on HCCI - Alternative Way to Control EGR and In-Cylinder Flow

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has emerged as a promising technology for reduction of exhaust emissions and improvement of fuel economy of internal combustion engines. There are generally two proposed methods of realizing the HCCI operation. The first is through the control of gas temperature in the cylinder and the second is through the control of chemical reactivity of the fuel and air mixture. EGR trapping, i.e., recycling a large quantity of hot burned gases by using special valve-train events (e.g. negative valve overlap), seems to be practical for many engine configurations and can be combined with any of the other HCCI enabling technologies. While this method has been widely researched, it is understood that the operating window of the HCCI engine with negative valve overlap is constrained, and the upper and lower load boundaries are greatly affected by the in-cylinder temperature.
Journal Article

An Investigation into the Characteristics of DISI Injector Deposits Using Advanced Analytical Methods

There is an increasing recognition of injector deposit (ID) formation in fuel injection equipment as direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine technologies advance to meet increasingly stringent emission legislation and fuel economy requirements. While it is known that the phenomena of ID in DISI engines can be influenced by changes in fuel composition, including increasing usage of aliphatic alcohols and additive chemistries to enhance fuel performance, there is however still a great deal of uncertainty regarding the physical and chemical structure of these deposits, and the mechanisms of deposit formation. In this study, a mechanical cracking sample preparation technique was developed to assess the deposits across DISI injectors fuelled with gasoline and blends of 85% ethanol (E85).
Journal Article

Dual-Injection as a Knock Mitigation Strategy Using Pure Ethanol and Methanol

For spark ignition (SI) engines, the optimum spark timing is crucial for maximum efficiency. However, as the spark timing is advanced, so the propensity to knock increases, thus compromising efficiency. One method to suppress knock is to use high octane fuel additives. However, the blend ratio of these additives cannot be varied on demand. Therefore, with the advent of aggressive downsizing, new knock mitigation techniques are required. Fortuitously, there are two well-known lower alcohols which exhibit attractive knock mitigation properties: ethanol and methanol. Both not only have high octane ratings, but also result in greater charge-cooling than with gasoline. In the current work, the authors have exploited these attractive properties with the dual-injection, or the dual-fuel concept (gasoline in PFI and fuel additive in DI) using pure ethanol and methanol.