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Technical Paper

Particulate Characterization of a DISI Research Engine using a Nephelometer and In-Cylinder Visualization

A nephelometer system was developed to characterize engine particulate emissions from DISI engines. Results were correlated with images showing the location and history of particulates in the cylinder of an optical engine. The nephelometer's operation is based upon the dependence of scattered laser light on particulate size from a flow sampled from the exhaust of an engine. The nephelometer simultaneously measured the scattered light from angles of 20° to 160° from the forward scattering direction in 4° increments. The angular scattering measurements were then compared with calculations using a Mie scattering code to infer information regarding particulate size. Measurements of particulate mass were made based upon a correlation developed between the scattered light intensity and particulate mass samples trapped in a 0.2-micron filter. Measurements were made in a direct injection single-cylinder spark ignition research engine having a transparent quartz cylinder.
Technical Paper

Liquid Film Evaporation Off the Piston of a Direct Injection Gasoline Engine

An optical access engine was used to image the liquid film evaporation off the piston of a simulated direct injected gasoline engine. A directional injector probe was used to inject liquid fuel (gasoline, i-octane and n-pentane) directly onto the piston of an engine primarily fueled on propane. The engine was run at idle conditions (750 RPM and closed throttle) and at the Ford World Wide Mapping Point (1500 RPM and 262 kPa BMEP). Mie scattering images show the liquid exiting the injector probe as a stream and directly impacting the piston top. Schlieren imaging was used to show the fuel vaporizing off the piston top late in the expansion stroke and during the exhaust stroke. Previous emissions tests showed that the presence of liquid fuel on in-cylinder surfaces increases engine-out hydrocarbon emissions.
Technical Paper

Effects of In-cylinder Flow on Fuel Concentration at the Spark Plug, Engine Performance and Emissions in a DISI Engine

A fiber optic instrumented spark plug was used to make time-resolved measurements of the fuel vapor concentration history near the spark gap in a four-valve DISI engine. Four different bulk flow were investigated. Several early and late injection timings were examined. The fuel concentration at the spark gap was correlated with IMEP. Emissions of CO, HCs, and NOx were related to the type of bulk flow. For both early and late injection the CoVs of fuel concentration were generally lowest for the weakest bulk flow which resulted in a stable stratification. Strong bulk flows convected the inhomogeneities through the measurement area near the spark plug resulting in both large intracycle and cycle-to-cycle variation in equivalence ratio at the time of ignition.
Technical Paper

A High-Energy Continuous Discharge Ignition System for Dilute Engine Applications

SwRI has developed the DCO® ignition system, a unique continuous discharge system that allows for variable duration/energy events in SI engines. The system uses two coils connected by a diode and a multi-striking controller to generate a continuous current flow through the spark plug of variable duration. A previous publication demonstrated the ability of the DCO system to improve EGR tolerance using low energy coils. In this publication, the work is extended to high current (≻ 300 mA/high energy (≻ 200 mJ) coils and compared to several advanced ignition systems. The results from a 4-cylinder, MPI application demonstrate that the higher current/higher energy coils offer an improvement over the lower energy coils. The engine was tested at a variety of speed and load conditions operating at stoichiometric air-fuel ratios with gasoline and EGR dilution.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuel Testing on a Port Fuel Injected LPL EGR and D-EGR® Engine

A turbocharged 2.0 L PFI engine was modified to operate in a low-pressure loop and Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine configuration. Both engine architectures were operated with a low and high octane gasoline as well as three ethanol blends. The core of this study focused on examining combustion differences at part and high loads between the selected fuels and also the different engine configurations. Specifically, the impact of the fuels on combustion stability, burn rates, knock mitigation, required ignition energy, and efficiency were evaluated. The results showed that the knock resistance generally followed the octane rating of the fuel. At part loads, the burn rates, combustion stability, and EGR tolerance was marginally improved with the high ethanol blends. When combustion was not knock or stability limited, the efficiency differences between the fuels were negligible. The D-EGR engine was much less sensitive to fuel changes in terms of burn rates than the LPL EGR setup.
Technical Paper

Impact of Engine Age and Engine Hardware on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition

Low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI) is a well-studied phenomenon in boosted, spark ignition engines. The impact of lubricant formulation has received a lot of attention in recent years, yet the impact of engine hardware and engine wear on LSPI is still not fully understood. This paper addresses some of these questions using results from multiple installations of the GM 2.0 L LHU engine platform. In the first part of the study, the effect of engine life on LSPI activity was observed, and it was found that engines were susceptible to variations in LSPI activity during the initial LSPI tests with the activity eventually reaching a “stabilized” level. It was further observed that the LSPI activity generally continued to decline at a steady rate as the engine aged. For engines used in LSPI testing, the life of the engine is often limited as LSPI activity decays with age.
Technical Paper

Fuel Spray Dynamics and Fuel Vapor Concentration Near the Spark Plug in a Direct-Injected 4-Valve SI Engine

The mixture preparation process was investigated in a direct-injected, 4-valve, SI engine under motored conditions. The engine had a transparent cylinder liner that allowed the fuel spray to be imaged using laser sheet Mie scattering. A fiber optic probe was used to measure the vapor phase fuel concentration history at the spark plug location between the two intake valves. The fuel injector was located on the cylinder axis. Two flow fields were examined; the stock configuration (tumble index 1.4) and a high tumble (tumble index 3.4) case created using shrouded intake valves. The fuel spray was visualized with the engine motored at 750 and 1500 RPM. Start of injection timings of 90°, 180° and 270° after TDC of intake were examined. The imaging showed that the fuel jet is greatly distorted for the high tumble condition, particularly at higher engine speeds. The tumble was large enough to cause significant cylinder wall wetting under the exhaust valves for some conditions.
Technical Paper

The Effects of In-Cylinder Flow Fields and Injection Timing on Time-Resolved Hydrocarbon Emissions in a 4-Valve, DISI Engine

Direct injection spark-ignition (DISI) engines have been shown to have much higher engine-out hydrocarbon emissions (HC) than port fuel injected (PFI) engines. A major contribution to the increase in HC emissions is from the in-cylinder surface wetting that occurs as the fuel is injected. A previous study using an optical access engine and a fuel concentration probe demonstrated that the in-cylinder flow field and injection timing have a significant effect on the equivalence ratio at the spark plug. This study continues that work, by using a fast spectroscopic HC emission measurement device (Fast-Spec) to study time-resolved HC emissions from a 4-valve, centrally injected, single cylinder DISI engine. Three flow fields are studied: tumble, reverse tumble and stock. The tumble and reverse tumble flow fields are achieved using shrouded valves. Both early and late start of injection (SOI) timings are investigated.
Journal Article

The Role of EGR in PM Emissions from Gasoline Engines

A dilute spark-ignited engine concept has been developed as a potential low cost competitor to diesel engines by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a goal of diesel-like efficiency and torque for light- and medium-duty applications and low-cost aftertreatment. The targeted aftertreatment method is a traditional three-way catalyst, which offers both an efficiency and cost advantage over typical diesel aftertreatment systems. High levels of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) have been realized using advanced ignition systems and improved combustion, with significant improvements in emissions, efficiency, and torque resulting from using high levels of EGR. The primary motivation for this work was to understand the impact high levels of EGR would have on particulate matter (PM) formation in a port fuel injected (PFI) engine. While there are no proposed regulations for PFI engine PM levels, the potential exists for future regulations, both on a size and mass basis.
Journal Article

The Effect of EGR on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in Boosted SI Engines

The spark ignition (SI) engine has been known to exhibit several different abnormal combustion phenomena, such as knock or pre-ignition, which have been addressed with improved engine design or control schemes. However, in highly boosted SI engines - where the engine displacement is reduced and turbocharging is employed to increase specific power - a new combustion phenomenon, described as Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI), has been exhibited. LSPI is characterized as a pre-ignition event typically followed by heavy knock, which has the potential to cause degradation of the engine. However, because LSPI events occur only sporadically and in an uncontrolled fashion, it is difficult to identify the causes for this phenomenon and to develop solutions to suppress it. Some countermeasures exist that OEMs can use to avoid LSPI, such as load limiting, but these have drawbacks.
Journal Article

Engine Operating Condition and Gasoline Fuel Composition Effects on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in High-Performance Spark Ignited Gasoline Engines

Downsizing is an important concept to reduce fuel consumption as well as emissions of spark ignition engines. Engine displacement is reduced in order to shift operating points from lower part load into regions of the operating map with higher efficiency and thus lower specific fuel consumption [ 1 ]. Since maximum power in full load operation decreases due to the reduction of displacement, engines are boosted (turbocharging or supercharging), which leads to a higher specific loading of the engines. Hence, a new combustion phenomenon has been observed at high loads and low engine speed and is referred to as Low-Speed Pre-Ignition or LSPI. In cycles with LSPI, the air/fuel mixture is ignited prior to the spark which results in the initial flame propagation quickly transforming into heavy engine knock. Very high pressure rise rates and peak cylinder pressures could exceed design pressure limits, which in turn could lead to degradation of the engine.
Journal Article

Effect of EGR on Particle Emissions from a GDI Engine

Gasoline direct injected (GDI) engines are becoming a concern with respect to particulate matter (PM) emissions. The upcoming 2014 Euro 6 regulations may require a drastic reduction in solid particle number emissions from GDI engines and the proposed California Air Resources Board (CARB) LEV III regulations for 2014 and 2017 will also require some PM reduction measures. As a result, it is necessary to characterize PM emissions from GDI engines and investigate strategies that suppress particle formation during combustion. The main focus of this work was on using exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) as a means to reduce engine-out particle emissions from a GDI engine with an overall stoichiometric fuel to air mixture. A small displacement, turbocharged GDI engine was operated at a variety of steady-state conditions with differing levels of EGR to characterize total (solid plus volatile) and solid particle emissions with respect to size, number, and soot or black carbon mass.
Journal Article

A Continuous Discharge Ignition System for EGR Limit Extension in SI Engines

A novel continuous inductive discharge ignition system has been developed that allows for variable duration ignition events in SI engines. The system uses a dual-coil design, where two coils are connected by a diode, combined with the multi-striking coil concept, to generate a continuous current flow through the spark plug. The current level and duration can be regulated by controlling the number of re-strikes that each coil performs or the energy density the primary coils are charged to. Compared to other extended duration systems, this system allows for fairly high current levels during the entire discharge event while avoiding the extremely high discharge levels associated with other, shorter duration, high energy ignition systems (e.g. the plasma jet [ 1 , 2 ], railplug [ 3 ] or laser ignition systems [ 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 ].
Journal Article

Potential and Challenges for a Water-Gas-Shift Catalyst as a Combustion Promoter on a D-EGR® Engine

In light of the increasingly stringent efficiency and emissions requirements, several new engine technologies are currently under investigation. One of these new concepts is the Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine. The concept utilizes fuel reforming and high levels of recirculated exhaust gas (EGR) to achieve very high levels of thermal efficiency. While the positive impact of reformate, in particular hydrogen, on gasoline engine performance has been widely documented, the on-board reforming process and / or storage of H2 remains challenging. The Water-Gas-Shift (WGS) reaction is well known and has been used successfully for many years in the industry to produce hydrogen from the reactants water vapor and carbon monoxide. For this study, prototype WGS catalysts were installed in the exhaust tract of the dedicated cylinder of a turbocharged 2.0 L in-line four cylinder MPI engine. The potential of increased H2 production in a D-EGR engine was evaluated through the use of these catalysts.
Journal Article

LPL EGR and D-EGR® Engine Concept Comparison Part 2: High Load Operation

The ongoing pursuit of improved engine efficiency and emissions is driving gasoline low-pressure loop EGR systems into production around the globe. The Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine was developed to minimize some of the challenges of cooled EGR while maintaining its advantages. The D-EGR engine is a high efficiency, low emissions internal combustion engine for automotive and off-highway applications. The core of the engine development focused on a unique concept that combines the efficiency improvements associated with recirculated exhaust gas and the efficiency improvements associated with fuel reformation. To outline the differences of the new engine concept with a conventional LPL EGR setup, a turbocharged 2.0 L PFI engine was modified to operate in both modes. The second part of the cooled EGR engine concept comparison investigates efficiency, knock resistance, combustion stability, and maximum load potential at high load conditions.
Journal Article

Impact of EGR Quality on the Total Inert Dilution Ratio

A series of tests were performed on a gasoline powered engine with a Dedicated EGR® (D-EGR®) system. The results showed that changes in engine performance, including improvements in burn rates and stability and changes in emissions levels could not be adequately accounted for solely due to the presence of reformate in the EGR stream. In an effort to adequately characterize the engine's behavior, a new parameter was developed, the Total Inert Dilution Ratio (TIDR), which accounts for the changes in the EGR quality as inert gases are replaced by reactive species such as CO and H2.
Journal Article

The Interaction between Fuel Anti-Knock Index and Reformation Ratio in an Engine Equipped with Dedicated EGR

Experiments were performed on a small displacement (< 2 L), high compression ratio, 4 cylinder, port injected gasoline engine equipped with Dedicated EGR® (D-EGR®) technology using fuels with varying anti-knock properties. Gasolines with anti-knock indices of 84, 89 and 93 anti-knock index (AKI) were tested. The engine was operated at a constant nominal EGR rate of ∼25% while varying the reformation ratio in the dedicated cylinder from a ϕD-EGR = 1.0 - 1.4. Testing was conducted at selected engine speeds and constant torque while operating at knock limited spark advance on the three fuels. The change in combustion phasing as a function of the level of overfuelling in the dedicated cylinder was documented for all three fuels to determine the tradeoff between the reformation ratio required to achieve a certain knock resistance and the fuel octane rating.
Journal Article

Methanol Fuel Testing on Port Fuel Injected Internal-Only EGR, HPL-EGR and D-EGR® Engine Configurations

The primary focus of this investigation was to determine the hydrogen reformation, efficiency and knock mitigation benefits of methanol-fueled Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) operation, when compared to other EGR types. A 2.0 L turbocharged port fuel injected engine was operated with internal EGR, high-pressure loop (HPL) EGR and D-EGR configurations. The internal, HPL-EGR, and D-EGR configurations were operated on neat methanol to demonstrate the relative benefit of D-EGR over other EGR types. The D-EGR configuration was also tested on high octane gasoline to highlight the differences to methanol. An additional sub-task of the work was to investigate the combustion response of these configurations. Methanol did not increase its H2 yield for a given D-EGR cylinder equivalence ratio, even though the H:C ratio of methanol is over twice typical gasoline.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Lubrication Oil as an Ignition Source in Dual Fuel Combustion Engine

Dual fuel engines have shown significant potential as high efficiency powerplants. In one example, SwRI® has run a high EGR, dual-fuel engine using gasoline as the main fuel and diesel as the ignition source, achieving high thermal efficiencies with near zero NOx and smoke emissions. However, assuming a tank size that could be reasonably packaged, the diesel fuel tank would need to be refilled often due to the relatively high fraction of diesel required. To reduce the refill interval, SwRI investigated various alternative fluids as potential ignition sources. The fluids included: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), Biodiesel, NORPAR (a commercially available mixture of normal paraffins: n-pentadecane (normal C15H32), and n-hexadecane (normal C16H34)) and ashless lubrication oil. Lubrication oil was considered due to its high cetane number (CN) and high viscosity, hence high ignitability.
Journal Article

Advanced Ignition Systems Evaluations for High-Dilution SI Engines

A series of ignition systems were evaluated for their suitability for high-EGR SI engine applications. Testing was performed in a constant-volume combustion chamber and in a single-cylinder research engine, with EGR rates of up to 40% evaluated. All of the evaluated systems were able to initiate combustion at a simulated 20% EGR level, but not all of the resulting combustion rates were adequate for stable engine operation. High energy spark discharge systems were better, and could ignite a flame at up to 40% simulated EGR, though again the combustion rates were slow relative to that required for stable engine performance. The most effective systems for stable combustion at high EGR rates were systems which created a large effective flame kernel and/or a long kernel lifetime, such as a torch-style prechamber spark plug or a corona discharge igniter.