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Technical Paper

Lean SI Engines: The role of combustion variability in defining lean limits

Previous research has shown the potential benefits of running an engine with excess air. The challenges of running lean have also been identified, but not all of them have been fundamentally explained. Under high dilution levels, a lean limit is reached where combustion becomes unstable, significantly deteriorating drivability and engine efficiency, thus limiting the full potential of lean combustion. This paper expands the understanding of lean combustion by explaining the fundamentals behind this rapid rise in combustion variability and how this instability can be reduced. A flame entrainment combustion model was used to explain the fundamentals behind the observed combustion behavior in a comprehensive set of lean gasoline and hydrogen-enhanced cylinder pressure data in an SI engine. The data covered a wide range of operating conditions including different compression ratios, loads, types of dilution, fuels including levels of hydrogen enhancement, and levels of turbulence.
Technical Paper

Flame Shape Determination Using an Optical-Fiber Spark Plug and a Head-Gasket Ionization Probe

A method for determining the flame contour based on the flame arrival time at the fiber optic (FO) spark plug and at the head gasket ionization probe (IP) locations has been developed. The experimental data were generated in a single-cylinder Ricardo Hydra spark-ignition engine. The head gasket IP, constructed from a double-sided copper-clad circuit board, detects the flame arrival time at eight equally spaced locations at the top of the cylinder liner. Three other IP's were also installed in the cylinder head to provide additional intermediate data on flame location and arrival time. The FO spark plug consists of a standard spark plug with eight symmetrically spaced optical fibers located in the ground casing of the plug. The cylinder pressure was recorded simultaneously with the eleven IP signals and the eight optical signals using a high-speed PC-based data acquisition system.
Technical Paper

A Model for Converting SI Engine Flame Arrival Signals into Flame Contours

A model which converts flame arrival times at a head gasket ionization probe, used in a spark-ignition engine, into flame contours has been developed. The head gasket was manufactured at MIT using printed circuit board techniques. It has eight electrodes symmetrically spaced around the circumference (top of cylinder liner) and it replaces the conventional head gasket. The model is based on engine flame propagation rate data taken from the literature. Data from optical studies of S.I. engine combustion or studies utilizing optical fiber or ionization probe diagnostics were analyzed in terms of the apparent flame speed and the entrainment speed (flame speed relative to the fluid ahead of the flame). This gives a scaling relationship between the flame speed and the mass fraction burned which is generic and independent of the chamber shape.
Technical Paper

Parametric Studies of Performance and NOx Emissions of the Three-Valve Stratified Charge Engine Using a Cycle Simulation

The trade-off between engine operating efficiency and NOx emissions in the prechamber three-valve stratified-charge engine is examined in a series of parametric studies using an improved model developed at M.I.T. (1). Engine geometric, operating, and combustion parameters are varied independently and the effects on brake-specific-fuel-consumption, exhaust temperature and brake-specific-NO observed. Parameters chosen for study are: timing of the start of combustion, overall air-fuel ratio, prechamber air-fuel ratio at the start of combustion, main-chamber combustion duration, prechamber size (prechamber volume and orifice diameter), EGR (in main and prechamber intakes), and load. The results quantify trade-off opportunities amongst these design and operating variables which are available to the engine designer.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Operating Variables and Prechamber Size on Combustion in a Prechamber Stratified-Charge Engine

This paper describes the results of experimental and computer simulation studies of the combustion process in the prechamber three-valve stratified-charge engine. Prechamber and main-chamber pressure data and matched computer simulation calculations are used to determine the effects of variations in overall air/fuel ratio, engine speed and load, and prechamber volume and orifice diameter on the parameters which define the combustion process (spark advance for optimum torque, ignition delay, combustion duration), on cylinder pressure diagrams (mean main-chamber pressure, mean pressure difference across the orifice, and cycle-by-cycle pressure fluctuations) and on exhaust emissions. General correlations are derived from the data for the shape of the combustion rate profile and the extent of the combustion duration.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Chamber Geometry on Spark-Ignition Engine Combustion

The way In which combustion chamber geometry affects combustion in SI engines was studied using a quasi-diraensional cycle simulation. Calculations were performed to investigate the following questions: (i) the sensitivity of geometric effects on combustion to engine operating conditions; (ii) the differences in burn duration between ten chamber geometries and spark plug locations; and (iii) the relative merits of improved chamber design and amplified turbulence as means to reduce burn duration. The results from these studies are presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

Development and Use of a Cycle Simulation to Predict SI Engine Efficiency and NOx Emissions

A computer simulation of the four-stroke spark-ignition engine cycle has been developed for studies of the effects of variations in engine design and operating parameters on engine performance, efficiency and NO emissions. The simulation computes the flows into and out of the engine, calculates the changes in thermodynamic properties and composition of the unburned and burned gas mixtures within the cylinder through the engine cycle due to work, heat and mass transfers, and follows the kinetics of NO formation and decomposition in the burned gas. The combustion process is specified as an input to the program through use of a normalized rate of mass burning profile. From this information, the simulation computes engine power, fuel consumption and NO emissions. Predictions made with the simulation have been compared with data from a single-cylinder CFR engine over a range of equivalence ratios, spark-timings and compression ratios.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Hydrocarbon Emissions Mechanisms in a Direct Injection Spark-Ignition Engine

The direct injection spark-ignition engine is the only internal combustion engine with the potential to equal the efficiency of the diesel and to tolerate a wide range of fuel types and fuel qualities without deterioration of performance. However, this engine has low combustion efficiency and excessive hydrocarbon emissions when operating at light load. In this paper, potential sources of hydrocarbon emissions during light load operation are postulated and analyzed. The placement of fuel away from the primary combustion process in conjunction with a lack of secondary burnup are isolated as important hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms. Analyses show that increasing cylinder gas temperatures can improve secondary burnup of fuel which would reduce hydrocarbon emissions. Practical means to achieve this include higher compression ratio and use of ceramic parts in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Fuel Injection Characteristics and Combustion Behavior of a Direct-Injection Stratified-Charge Engine

High levels of hydrocarbon emissions during light load operation keep the direct injection stratified charge engine from commercial application. Previous analytical work has identified several possible hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms which can result from poor in-cylinder fuel distribution. Poor fuel distribution can be caused by erratic fuel injection. Experiments conducted on a single cylinder DISC engine show a dramatic increase in the cycle to cycle variation in injection characteristics as engine load decreases. This is accompanied by an increase in cycle to cycle variation in combustion behavior suggesting that degradation in combustion results from the degradation in the quality of the injection event. Examination of combustion and injection characteristics on a cycle by cycle basis shows that, at light load, IMEP and heat release do not correlate with the amount of fuel injected into the cylinder.
Technical Paper

Computer Models For Evaluating Premixed and Disc Wankel Engine Performance

This paper describes two types of computer models which have been developed to analyze the performance of both premixed-charge and direct-injection stratified-charge Wankel engines. The models are based on a thermodynamic analysis of the contents of the engine's chambers. In the first type of model, the rate of combustion is predicted from measured chamber pressure by use of a heat release analysis. The analysis includes heat transfer to the chamber walls, work transfer to the rotor, enthalpy loss due to flows into crevices and due to leakage flows into adjacent chambers, and enthalpy gain due to fuel injection. The second type of computer model may be used to predict the chamber pressure during a complete engine cycle. From the predicted chamber pressure, the overall engine performance parameters are calculated. The rate of fuel burning as an algebraic function of crank angle is specified.
Technical Paper

Performance and NOx Emissions Modeling of a Jet Ignition Prechamber Stratified Charge Engine

The development of a cycle simulation model for the jet ignition prechamber stratified charge engine is described. Given the engine geometry, load, speed, air-fuel ratios and pressures and temperatures in the two intakes, flow ratio and a suitable combustion model, the cycle simulation predicts engine indicated efficiency and NO emissions. The relative importance of the parameters required to define the combustion model are then determined, and values for ignition delay and burn angle are obtained by matching predicted and measured pressure-time curves. The variation in combustion parameters with engine operating variables is then examined. Predicted and measured NO emissions are compared, and found to be in reasonable agreement over a wide range of engine operation. The relative contribution of the prechamber NO to total exhaust NO is then examined, and in the absence of EGR, found to be the major source of NO for overall air-fuel ratios leaner than 22:1.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Gasoline Engine Knock Limited Performance and the Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement

A set of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of relative air-fuel ratio, inlet boost pressure, and compression ratio on engine knock behavior. Selected operating conditions were also examined with simulated hydrogen rich fuel reformate added to the gasoline-air intake mixture. For each operating condition knock limited spark advance was found for a range of octane numbers (ON) for two fuel types: primary reference fuels (PRFs), and toluene reference fuels (TRFs). A smaller set of experiments was also performed with unleaded test gasolines. A combustion phasing parameter based on the timing of 50% mass fraction burned, termed “combustion retard”, was used as it correlates well to engine performance. The combustion retard required to just avoid knock increases with relative air-fuel ratio for PRFs and decreases with air-fuel ratio for TRFs.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Behavior of a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine Concept

This paper explores the modeling of a lean boosted engine concept. Modeling provides a useful tool for investigating different parameters and comparing resultant emissions and fuel economy performance. An existing architectural concept has been tailored to a boosted hydrogen-enhanced lean-burn SI engine. The simulation consists of a set of Matlab models, part physical and part empirical, which has been developed to simulate a working engine. The model was calibrated with production engine data and experimental data taken at MIT. Combustion and emissions data come from a single cylinder research engine and include changes in air/fuel ratio, load and speed, and different fractions of the gasoline fuel reformed to H2 and CO. The outputs of the model are brake specific NOx emissions and brake specific fuel consumption maps along with cumulative NOx emissions and fuel economy for urban and highway drive cycles.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Spark Ignition Engine Warm-Up Process to Predict Component Temperatures and Hydrocarbon Emissions

In order to understand better the operation of spark-ignition engines during the warm-up period, a computer model had been developed which simulates the thermal processes of the engine. This model is based on lumped thermal capacitance methods for the major engine components, as well as the exhaust system. Coolant and oil flows, and their respective heat transfer rates are modeled, as well as friction heat generation relations. Piston-liner heat transfer is calculated based on a thermal resistance method, which includes the effects of piston and ring material and design, oil film thickness, and piston-liner crevice. Piston/liner crevice changes are calculated based on thermal expansion rates and are used in conjunction with a crevice-region unburned hydrocarbon model to predict the contribution to emissions from this source.
Technical Paper

An Overview of Hydrocarbon Emissions Mechanisms in Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper provides an overview of spark-ignition engine unburned hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms, and then uses this framework to relate measured engine-out hydrocarbon emission levels to the processes within the engine from which they result. Typically, spark-ignition engine-out HC levels are 1.5 to 2 percent of the gasoline fuel flow into the engine; about half this amount is unburned fuel and half is partially reacted fuel components. The different mechanisms by which hydrocarbons in the gasoline escape burning during the normal engine combustion process are described and approximately quantified. The in-cylinder oxidation of these HC during the expansion and exhaust processes, the fraction which exit the cylinder, and the fraction oxidized in the exhaust port and manifold are also estimated.
Technical Paper

Development and Evaluation of a Friction Model for Spark-Ignition Engines

The details of a model which predicts friction mean effective pressure (fmep) for spark-ignition engines are described. The model, which was based on a combination of fundamental scaling laws and empirical results, includes predictions of rubbing losses from the crankshaft, reciprocating, and valvetrain components, auxiliary losses from engine accessories, and pumping losses from the intake and exhaust systems. For some predictions, it was possible to derive terms which were proportional to fmep based on lubrication theory. For other predictions, phenomenological terms which described the results of the processes rather than the processes themselves were used. Each of the predictions was “calibrated” using fmep data from published sources. The sum of these predictions gave reliable estimates of spark-ignition engine fmep and serves as a useful tool for understanding how the major engine design and operating variables affect individual component friction.
Technical Paper

Performance Scaling of Spark-Ignition Engines: Correlation and Historical Analysis of Production Engine Data

This study examines the scaling between engine performance, engine configuration, and engine size and geometry, for modern spark-ignition engines. It focuses especially on design features that impact engine breathing. We also analyze historical trends to illustrate how changes in technology have improved engine performance. Different geometric parameters such as cylinder displacement, piston area, number of cylinders, number of valves per cylinder, bore to stroke ratio, and compression ratio, in appropriate combinations, are correlated to engine performance parameters, namely maximum torque, power and brake mean effective pressure, to determine the relationships or scaling laws that best fit the data. Engine specifications from 1999 model year vehicles sold in the United States were compiled into a database and separated into two-, three-, and four-valves-per-cylinder engine categories.
Technical Paper

Photographic and Performance Studies of Diesel Combustion With a Rapid Compression Machine

Photographic and performance studies with a Rapid Compression Machine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been used to develop insight into the role of mixing in diesel engine combustion. Combustion photographs and performance data were analyzed. The experiments simulate a single fuel spray in an open chamber diesel engine with direct injection. The effects of droplet formation and evaporation on mixing are examined. It is concluded that mixing is controlled by the rate of entrainment of air by the fuel spray rather than the dynamics of single droplets. Experimental data on the geometry of a jet in a quiescent combustion chamber were compared with a two-phase jet model; a jet model based on empirical turbulent entrainment coefficients was developed to predict the motion of a fuel jet in a combustion chamber with swirl. Good agreement between theory and experiment was obtained.
Technical Paper

An Improved Friction Model for Spark-Ignition Engines

A spark-ignition engine friction model developed by Patton et al. in the late 1980s was evaluated against current engine friction data, and improved. The model, which was based on a combination of fundamental scaling laws and empirical results, includes predictions of rubbing losses from the crankshaft, reciprocating, and valvetrain components, auxiliary losses from engine accessories, and pumping losses from the intake and exhaust systems. These predictions were based on engine friction data collected between 1980 and 1988. Some of the terms are derived from lubrication theory. Other terms were derived empirically from measurements of individual friction components from engine teardown experiments. Recent engine developments (e.g., improved oils, surface finish on piston liners, valve train mechanisms) suggested that the model needed updating.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Oil Consumption Behavior during Ramp Transients in a Production Spark Ignition Engine

Engine oil consumption is recognized to be a significant source of pollutant emissions. Unburned or partially burned oil in the exhaust gases contributes directly to hydrocarbon and particulate emissions. In addition, chemical compounds present in oil additives poison catalytic converters and reduce their conversion efficiency. Oil consumption can increase significantly during critical non-steady operating conditions. This study analyzes the oil consumption behavior during ramp transients in load by combining oil consumption measurements, in-cylinder measurements, and computer-based modeling. A sulfur based oil consumption method was used to measure real-time oil consumption during ramp transients in load at constant speed in a production spark ignition engine. Additionally in-cylinder liquid oil behavior along the piston was studied using a one-point Laser-Induced-Fluorescence (LIF) technique.