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Journal Article

Effect of Fuel and Thermal Stratifications on the Operational Range of an HCCI Gasoline Engine Using the Blow-Down Super Charge System

In order to extend the HCCI high load operational limit, the effects of the distributions of temperature and fuel concentration on pressure rise rate (dP/dθ) were investigated through theoretical and experimental methods. The Blow-Down Super Charge (BDSC) and the EGR guide parts are employed simultaneously to enhance thermal stratification inside the cylinder. And also, to control the distribution of fuel concentration, direct fuel injection system was used. As a first step, the effect of spatial temperature distribution on maximum pressure rise rate (dP/dθmax) was investigated. The influence of the EGR guide parts on the temperature distribution was investigated using 3-D numerical simulation. Simulation results showed that the temperature difference between high temperature zone and low temperature zone increased by using EGR guide parts together with the BDSC system.
Technical Paper

Extension of Lean and Diluted Combustion Stability Limits by Using Repetitive Pulse Discharges

A newly developed small-sized IES (inductive energy storage) circuit with a semiconductor switch at turn-off action was successfully applied to an ignition system. This IES circuit can generate repetitive nanosecond pulse discharges. An ignition system using repetitive nanosecond pulse discharges was investigated as an alternative to conventional spark ignition systems in the previous papers. Experiments were conducted using constant volume chamber for CH₄ and C₃H₈-air mixtures. The ignition system using repetitive nanosecond pulse discharges was found to improve the inflammability of lean combustible mixtures, such as extended flammability limits, shorted ignition delay time, with increasing the number of pulses for CH₄ and C₃H₈-air mixtures under various conditions. The mechanisms for improving the inflammability were discussed and the effectiveness of IES circuit under EGR condition was also verified.
Technical Paper

Improvement in Thermal Efficiency of Lean Burn Pre-Chamber Natural Gas Engine by Optimization of Combustion System

To understand the mechanism of the combustion by torch flame jet in a gas engine with pre-chamber and also to obtain the strategy of improving thermal efficiency by optimizing the structure of pre-chamber including the diameter and number of orifices, the combustion process was investigated by three dimensional numerical simulations and experiments of a single cylinder natural gas engine. As a result, the configuration of orifices was found to affect the combustion performance strongly. With the same orifice diameter of 1.5mm, thermal efficiency with 7 orifices in pre-chamber was higher than that with 4 orifices in pre-chamber, mainly due to the reduction of heat loss by decreasing the impingement of torch flame on the cylinder linear. Better thermal efficiency was achieved in this case because the flame propagated area increases rapidly while the flame jets do not impinge on the cylinder wall intensively.
Technical Paper

Numerical and Experimental Analyses of Mixture Formation Process Using a Fan-shaped DI Gasoline Spray: Examinations on Effects of Crosswind and Wall Impingement

The analysis of spray characteristics is important to examine the combustion characteristics of DI (Direct Injection) gasoline engines because the fuel-air mixture formation is controlled by spray characteristics and in-cylinder gas motion. However, the mixture formation process has not been well clarified yet. In this study, the characteristics of a fan-shaped spray caused from a slit-type injector, such as the droplet size, its velocity and the droplet distribution were simultaneously measured on a 2D plane by using improved ILIDS (Interferometric Laser Imaging for Droplet Sizing) method. ILIDS method is an optical measurement technique using interference fringes by illuminating a transparent spherical particles with a coherent laser light. In the measurement of the wall-impinging spray, effects of the distance to the wall and the wall temperature on the spray characteristics were investigated.
Technical Paper

Numerical Analysis of Mixture Preparation in a Reverse Uniflow-Type Two-Stroke Gasoline DI Engine

The authors have been engaged in developing a new-generation two-stroke gasoline engine which could be employed ultimately for automobiles. By investigating the defects of the Schnurle-type two-stroke gasoline engine, a reverse uniflow-type direct injection engine has been developed and built. The newly introduced system employs stratified charge combustion in light to medium load conditions by using the technology already developed for the four-stroke direct injection gasoline engines while it can supply the maximum power output by using a super-charger and attaining homogeneous combustion. Engine performance is being tested experimentally. In order to analyze the performance test results, numerical analysis of in-cylinder phenomena, such as gas-exchange, gas motion, fuel spray formation, and mixture formation is carried out in this paper.
Technical Paper

Analysis of DISC Combustion Using a Pilot Flame Ignition System

A new DISC combustion system with a pilot flame for ignition was analyzed by using a model combustion chamber of a Wankel type rotary engine. A two-stroke diesel engine's cylinder head was replaced with this combustion chamber to simulate temporal changes of air flow and pressure fields inside the chamber as in actual engines. Two types of fuel injection systems were tested to obtain combustion characteristics such as the heat release rate. Direct photographs of spray and combustion were analyzed to understand the mixture-formation process of the main spray and to see the flame temperature distribution and flame moving velocity vectors. In order to understand the mixture-formation process, numerical calculations were made using a gaseous fuel. Finally, the effect of the fuel characteristics on combustion was examined using diesel fuel and n- hexane.
Technical Paper

Analysis of DISC Rotary Engine Combustion Using Improved Pilot Flame Ignition System

In order to enhance the reliability of a pilot flame ignition system, three kinds of subchambers in which a pilot injector and a glow plug were set up were tested with a model combustion chamber of DISC rotary engine. A two-stroke Diesel engine's cylinder head was replaced with this model combustion chamber to simulate temporal changes of air flow and pressure fields inside the chamber as an actual engine. The behavior of the pilot flame generated in the subchamber, ignition process of main fuel spray by the pilot flame, the most suitable mixture distribution between the main chamber and the subchamber, and the effect of nozzle diameter of main injector on combustion characteristics were studied by using a high-speed video camera and ion probes.
Technical Paper

Numerical Analysis of Combustion and Flow Inside a Small Rotary Engine for Developing an Unmanned Helicopter

For a disaster relief and automatic inspections, an unmanned helicopter is strongly expected. To develop this, a very high power density source is required. A Wankel-type rotary engine can be the best candidate for the power source. In this study, the development of a very small rotary engine with a displacement of 30 cc is targeted. In order to improve the combustion efficiency, gas exchange and stable ignition, a multi dimensional simulation inside the combustion chamber was carried out. At first, the effect of volumetric efficiency on the maximum power is mentioned. Secondly, the effect of scavenging efficiency is discussed. Thirdly, a blow off through a plug hole is described. The position of plug hole was found important to reduce the blow off amount. Finally, the effect of combustion speed on the engine performance is predicted. As a result, the proposed design will be tested using a proto-type engine.
Technical Paper

Combustion Characteristics of a Direct Injection Stratified Charge Rotary Engine Using Spark Ignition and Pilot Flame Ignition Systems

A Direct Injection Stratified Charge Rotary Engine (DISC-RE) with a pilot flame ignition system which has high ignition energy, large flame contact area and long duration of ignition source, has been examined comparing with a spark ignition system, using a model combustion chamber simulating a DISC-RE. As a result, it was found that the combustion using the pilot flame ignition system was activated and that a better ignitability was attained under lean mixture conditions than using a spark ignition system. To analyze these experimental results, numerical calculations of the mixture formation and combustion process were carried out. Numerical analyses proved that the pilot flame ignition system was superior to the spark ignition system as the pilot flame ignition made large-area ignition source and large inflammable mixture region. Finally, a single rotor with 650 cc displacement DISC-RE was built as a prototype.
Technical Paper

The Effect of In-Cylinder Flow and Mixture Distributions on Combustion Characteristics in a HCCI Engine

It has been widely known that thermal and fuel stratifications of in-cylinder mixture are effective to reduce in-cylinder pressure rise rate during high load HCCI operations. In order to optimize a combustion chamber design and combustion control strategy for HCCI engines with wide operational range, it is important to know quantitatively the influence of the temperature and fuel concentration distributions on ignition and heat release characteristics. At the same time, it is important to know the influence of in-cylinder flow and turbulence on the temperature and fuel concentration distributions. In this study, a numerical simulation of HCCI combustion were conducted to investigate the effects of the in-cylinder flow and turbulence, and the distributions of temperature on ignition and combustion characteristics in HCCI combustion.
Technical Paper

Effect of Active Piston-Movement Control on Thermal Efficiency in Different Heat Release Profiles

In order to improve thermal efficiency of spark ignition engines, the authors have studied means to improve degree of constant volume. The ideal Otto cycle realizes the maximal degree of constant volume with an instantaneous combustion at TDC. However, it is actually impossible to achieve instantaneous combustion as the combustion speed is limited. Thereby, the authors thought of an idea to increase degree of constant volume. That is to make the piston speed slow during combustion period by active piston-movement control, allowing more time for combustion. As a result, degree of constant volume was improved, but indicated thermal efficiency, estimated by integrating P-V diagram, was deteriorated. A longer expansion stroke was found to keep a longer period of high temperature and then, heat loss increased, leading to a decrease in indicated work.
Technical Paper

Effect of the Ratio Between Connecting-rod Length and Crank Radius on Thermal Efficiency

In reciprocating internal combustion engines, the Otto cycle indicates the best thermal efficiency under a given compression ratio. To achieve an ideal Otto cycle, combustion must take place instantaneously at top dead center, but in fact, this is impossible. Meanwhile, if we allow slower piston motion around top dead center, combustion will be promoted at that period; then both the in-cylinder pressure and degree of constant volume will increase, leading to higher thermal efficiency. In order to verify this hypothesis, an engine with slower piston motion around top dead center, using an ideal constant volume combustion engine, was built and tested. As anticipated, the degree of constant volume increased. However, thermal efficiency was not improved, due to increased heat loss.
Technical Paper

Measurement of the Local Gas Temperature at Autoignition Conditions Inside the Combustion Chamber Using a Two-Wire Thermocouple

The phenomenon of autoignition is an important aspect of HCCI and knock, hence reliable information on local gas temperature in a combustion chamber must be obtained. Recently, several studies have been conducted by using laser techniques such as CARS. It has a high spatial resolution, but has proven difficult to apply in the vicinity of combustion chamber wall and requires special measurement skills. Meanwhile, a thermocouple is useful to measure local gas temperature even in the vicinity of wall. However, a traditional one-wire thermocouple is not adaptable to measure the in-cylinder gas temperature due to slow response. The issue of response can be overcome by adopting a two-wire thermocouple. The two-wire thermocouple is consisted of two fine wire thermocouples with different diameter hence it is possible to determine the time constant using the raw data from each thermocouple.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Concept for DI Gasoline Combustion Using Enhanced Gas Motion

A direct injection gasoline engine system which employs a unique combustion system with enhanced gas motion is evaluated. Enhanced gas motion is produced by employing both a moderately strong swirl flow and a cavity in the piston. Advantages of this system are that the injection timing or spark timing need not be controlled severely and that since the injection timing can be set at near the intake BDC, time for evaporation can be gained to reduce soot emissions. Problems to be improved are that the Nox emissions level is worse than other lean burn systems and full load operation is not evaluated. According to the numerical calculations, the problems may be solved by enhancing the in-cylinder gas motion with axial stratification of swirl intensity at intake BDC; strong swirl near the cylinder head and weak swirl near the piston surface.
Technical Paper

A Study on Combustion Characteristics of DISC Rotary Engine Using a Model Combustion Chamber

A model combustion chamber of Wankel type rotary engine was employed to study the DISC RE system. A two-stroke Diesel engine's cylinder head was replaced with this combustion chamber to simulate temporal change of air flow and pressure fields inside the chamber as an actual engine. The base engine was motorized to operate as a continuous rapid compression and expansion machine. Pilot fuel spray was injected onto a glow plug to form a pilot flame and it ignites the main fuel spray. The ignitability of pilot fuel, mixture formation process, ignition process of main fuel by pilot flame and the effect of pilot and main injection timings on combustion characteristics were examined.
Technical Paper

Research and Development of a Direct Injection Stratified Charge Rotary Engine with a Pilot Flame Ignition System

A Direct Injection Stratified Charge Rotary Engine ( DISC-RE ) with a pilot flame ignition system has been studied to find the possibility of simultaneous reductions of fuel consumption rate and HC exhaust gas emissions. Firstly, combustion characteristics in a model combustion chamber, which simulates the DISC-RE were examined from the viewpoints of calculation and experiment. The high speed photography and the indicated pressure analysis were experimentally performed while numerical calculations of the mixture formation and combustion processes were also carried out. As a result, it has been found that the combustion using the pilot flame ignition system is much activated and a better ignitability is attained under lean mixtures than using a spark ignition system. Secondly, a single rotor with 650 cc displacement DISC-RE was built as a prototype. Combustion characteristics and its performance were tested using a combustion analyzer.
Technical Paper

Combustion Enhancement of Very Lean Premixture Part in Stratified Charge Conditions

Local inhomogeneity of mixture concentration affects combustion characteristics in the lean burn system and also in the stratified charge combustion system. To investigate such combustion systems, the effects of inhomogeneous mixtures were examined using a carefully controlled experimental system. In this study, a constant-volume chamber, which can simulate an idealized stratified charge by using a removable partition inside the chamber, was developed. Flow and combustion characteristics were examined by indicated pressure analysis, Schlieren photography, ion probe measurements and local equivalence ratios measurements while varying the combination of initial equivalence ratios on each side of the partition. As a result, combustion characteristics of charge stratified, very lean propane-air mixture were clarified.
Technical Paper

A Trial of Improving Thermal Efficiency by Active Piston Control -Speed Control Effect of Combustion Chamber Volume Variation on Thermal Efficiency-

In reciprocating internal combustion engines, the piston stops in a moment at top dead center (TDC), so there exists a necessary time to proceed combustion. However more slowing piston motion around TDC, does it have a possibility to produce the following effects? The slowed piston motion may expedite combustion proceed and increase cylinder pressure. This may lead to an increase of degree of constant volume. As a result, thermal efficiency may be improved. In order to verify this idea, two types of engines were tested. The first engine attained high cylinder pressure as expected. The P-V diagram formed an almost ideal Otto cycle. However, this did not contribute to the improvement in the thermal efficiency. Then the second engine with further slower piston motion by active piston control was tested in order to examine the above reason.
Technical Paper

Numerical Examinations on the Effect of Active Piston-Movement Control

In order to improve thermal efficiency of spark ignition engines, a novel method to increase degree of constant volume was considered. Because the combustion speed is not infinity as assumed in Otto cycle but limited, it is necessary to decrease the piston-movement around TDC so as to increase degree of constant volume. At first, experimental study was made to confirm this. A test engine which has longer expansion stroke than compression stroke and enables a slow piston-movement during combustion period was built. The experimental data indicated an increase in degree of constant volume, but did not show an increase in thermal efficiency. In order to clarify this reason, numerical simulations are conducted in this paper. As a result, the gain due to the increase in degree of constant volume caused by piston-motion during combustion was found not exceeding the loss by increased heat loss.
Technical Paper

Performance Tests of Reverse Uniflow-Type Two-Stroke Gasoline DI Engine

Conventional two-stroke engines have defects such as unstable combustion, high fuel consumption rate and high HC emissions. In order to overcome the defects, a direct fuel injection system and a novel scavenging system were adopted. The authors tested a newly developed reverse uniflow-type two-stroke direct injection gasoline engine that was designed by numerical simulations. In comparison with the base engine at low engine speed, HC emission was decreased by up to 80%, and BSFC was reduced by around 40%. Power and BSFC were superior to those of a latest port-injection four-stroke engine. Furthermore, it was found that engine performance of exhaust gas emissions, fuel economy or output power can be selectively optimized by switching homogeneous and stratified combustion.