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Journal Article

Study of the Early Flame Development in a Spark-Ignited Lean Burn Four-Stroke Large Bore Gas Engine by Fuel Tracer PLIF

In this work the pre- to main chamber ignition process is studied in a Wärtsilä 34SG spark-ignited lean burn four-stroke large bore optical engine (bore 340 mm) operating on natural gas. Unburnt and burnt gas regions in planar cross-sections of the combustion chamber are identified by means of planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) from acetone seeded to the fuel. The emerging jets from the pre-chamber, the ignition process and early flame propagation are studied. Measurements reveal the presence of a significant temporal delay between the occurrence of a pressure difference across the pre-chamber holes and the appearance of hot burnt/burning gases at the nozzle exit. Variations in the delay affect the combustion timing and duration. The combustion rate in the pre-chamber does not influence the jet propagation speed, although it still has an effect on the overall combustion duration.
Journal Article

Lift-Off Length in an Optical Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine

High-speed OH chemiluminescence imaging is used to measure the lift-off length of diesel sprays in an optical heavy-duty diesel engine of 2 L displacement operated at 1200 rpm and 5 bar IMEP. Stereoscopic images are acquired at two different wavelengths (310 and 330 nm). Subtraction of pairwise images helps reducing the background coming from natural soot incandescence in the OH chemiluminescence images. Intake air temperature (343 to 403 K), motored top dead center density (18 to 22 kg/m3), fuel injection pressure (150 to 250 MPa), intake oxygen concentration (17 to 21 %vol) and nozzle diameter (0.1 and 0.14 mm) are varied and a nonlinear regression model is derived from the experimental results to describe stabilized lift-off length as function of the experimental factors. The lift-off length follows the general trends that are known from spray vessel investigations, but the strength of the dependence on certain variables deviates strongly from those studies.
Technical Paper

Two-Dimensional Temperature Measurements in Diesel Piston Bowl Using Phosphor Thermometry

Phosphor thermometry was used during fuel injection in an optical engine with the glass piston of reentrant type. SiO2 coated phosphor particle was used for the gas-phase temperature measurements, which gave much less background signal. The measurements were performed in motored mode, in combustion mode with injection of n-heptane and in non-combustion mode with injection of iso-octane. In the beginning of injection period, the mean temperature of each injection cases was lower than that of the motored case, and temperature of iso-octane injection cases was even lower than that of n-heptane injection cases. This indicates, even if vaporization effect seemed to be the same at both injection cases, the effect of temperature decrease changed due to the chemical reaction effect for the n-heptane cases. Chemical reaction seems to be initiated outside of the fuel liquid spray and the position was moving towards the fuel rich area as the time proceeds.
Technical Paper

Study of Fuel Stratification on Spark Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) Combustion with Ethanol Using High Speed Fuel PLIF

An engine can be run in Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) mode by applying a negative valve overlap, thus trapping hot residuals so as to achieve an auto-ignition temperature. By employing spark assistance, the engine can be operated in what is here called Spark Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) with ethanol as fuel. The influence of fuel stratification by means of port fuel injection as well as in combination with direct injection was investigated. A high-speed multi-YAG laser system and a framing camera were utilized to capture planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) images of the fuel distribution. The charge homogeneity in terms of fuel distribution was evaluated using a homogeneity index calculated from the PLIF images. The homogeneity index showed a higher stratification for increased proportions of direct-injected fuel. It was found that charge stratification could be achieved through port fuel injection in a swirling combustion system.
Technical Paper

Optical Diagnostics of HCCI and UNIBUS Using 2-D PLIF of OH and Formaldehyde

Simultaneous OH- and formaldehyde planar-LIF measurements have been performed in an optical engine using two laser sources working on 283 and 355 nm, respectively. The measurements were performed in a light duty Diesel engine, using n-heptane as fuel, converted to single-cylinder operation and modified for optical access. It was also equipped with a direct injection common rail system as well as an EGR system. The engine was operated in both HCCI mode, using a single fuel injection, and UNIBUS (Uniform Bulky Combustion System) mode, using two injections of fuel with one of the injections at 50 CAD before TDC and the other one just before TDC. The OH and formaldehyde LIF images were compared with the heat-release calculated from the pressure-traces. Analyses of the emissions, for example NOx and HC, were also performed for the different operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Laser-Extinction and Natural Luminosity Measurements for Soot Probing in Diesel Optical Engines

Soot emissions from diesel internal combustion engines are strictly regulated nowadays. Laser extinction measurement (LEM) and natural luminosity (NL) of sooty flames are commonly applied to study soot. LEM measures soot along the laser beam path and it can probe soot regardless of temperature. NL integrates the whole field of view and relies on soot temperature. In this work, a comparison of simultaneously recorded LEM and NL data has been performed in a heavy-duty optical engine. A 685 nm laser beam is used for LEM. The laser was modulated at 63 kHz, which facilitated subtraction of the background NL signal from the raw LEM data. By Beer-Lambert’s law, KL factor can be calculated and used as a metric to describe soot measurements. A compensation of transmitted laser intensity fluctuation and soot deposits on optical windows has been performed in this work.
Journal Article

Lift-Off Length in an Optical Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine: Effects of Swirl and Jet-Jet Interactions

The influence of jet-flow and jet-jet interactions on the lift-off length of diesel jets are investigated in an optically accessible heavy-duty diesel engine. High-speed OH chemiluminescence imaging technique is employed to capture the transient evolution of the lift-off length up to its stabilization. The engine is operated at 1200 rpm and at a constant load of 5 bar IMEP. Decreasing the inter-jet spacing shortens the liftoff length of the jet. A strong interaction is also observed between the bulk in-cylinder gas temperature and the inter-jet spacing. The in-cylinder swirl level only has a limited influence on the final lift-off length position. Increasing the inter-jet spacing is found to reduce the magnitude of the cycle-to-cycle variations of the lift-off length.
Technical Paper

High-Speed Particle Image Velocimetry Measurement of Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) in a Light Duty Engine for Different Injection Strategies

It has been proven that partially premixed combustion (PPC) has the capability of high combustion efficiency with low soot and NOx emissions, which meet the requirements of increasingly restricted emission regulations. In order to obtain more homogenous combustion and longer ignition delay in PPC, different fuel injection strategies were employed which could affect the fuel air mixing and control the combustion. In the present work, a light duty optical diesel engine was used to conduct high speed particle image velocimetry (PIV) for single, double and triple injections with different timings. A quartz piston and a cylinder liner were installed in the Bowditch configuration to enable optical access. The geometry of the quartz piston crown is based on the standard diesel combustion chamber design for this commercial passenger car engine, including a re-entrant bowl shape.
Technical Paper

Effects of Injection Strategies on Fluid Flow and Turbulence in Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) in a Light Duty Engine

Partially premixed combustion (PPC) is used to meet the increasing demands of emission legislation and to improve fuel efficiency. With gasoline fuels, PPC has the advantage of a longer premixed duration of the fuel/air mixture, which prevents soot formation. In addition, the overall combustion stability can be increased with a longer ignition delay, providing proper fuel injection strategies. In this work, the effects of multiple injections on the generation of in-cylinder turbulence at a single swirl ratio are investigated. High-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV) is conducted in an optical direct-injection (DI) engine to obtain the turbulence structure during fired conditions. Primary reference fuel (PRF) 70 (30% n-heptane and 70% iso-octane) is used as the PPC fuel. In order to maintain the in-cylinder flow as similarly as possible to the flow that would exist in a production engine, the quartz piston retains a realistic bowl geometry.
Technical Paper

A Study of the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Combustion Process by Chemiluminescence Imaging

An experimental study of the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion process has been conducted by using chemiluminescence imaging. The major intent was to characterize the flame structure and its transient behavior. To achieve this, time resolved images of the naturally emitted light were taken. Emitted light was studied by recording its spectral content and applying different filters to isolate species like OH and CH. Imaging was enabled by a truck-sized engine modified for optical access. An intensified digital camera was used for the imaging. Some imaging was done using a streak-camera, capable of taking eight arbitrarily spaced pictures during a single cycle, thus visualizing the progress of the combustion process. All imaging was done with similar operating conditions and a mixture of n-heptane and iso-octane was used as fuel. Some 20 crank angles before Top Dead Center (TDC), cool flames were found to exist.
Technical Paper

Optical Study of Fuel Spray Penetration and Initial Combustion Location under PPC Conditions

Low temperature combustion modes, such as Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) and Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC), have been researched over recent decades since the concepts show promise for high efficiency and low emissions compared to conventional diesel combustion. PPC is an intermediate combustion type ranging from HCCI-like combustion to diesel-like combustion. The purpose of this paper is to study optically how the combustion and ignition are affected by different start of injection (SOI) timings. The study is carried out in an optically accessible heavy-duty single-cylinder engine with swirl. The intake pressure was kept constant while the intake temperature was varied to keep the combustion phasing (CA50) constant at ∼3 CAD atdc during an SOI sweep. The fuel used is a mix of primary reference fuels with octane number 81. To determine where the combustion starts, high-speed combustion imaging is used to detect the natural luminosity.
Technical Paper

Lift-Off Lengths in an Optical Heavy-Duty Engine Operated at High Load with Low and High Octane Number Fuels

The influence of the ignition quality of diesel-and gasoline-like fuels on the lift-off length of the jet were investigated in an optical heavy duty engine. The engine was operated at a load of 22 bar IMEPg and 1200 rpm. A production type injector with standard holes were used. The lift-off length was recorded with high speed video Different injection pressures and inlet temperatures were used to affect conditions that consequently affect the lift-off length. No matter which fuel used nor injection pressure or inlet temperature, all lift-off lengths showed equal or close to equal lift-off length when stabilized. The higher octane fuel had a longer ignition delay and therefore the fuel penetrate the combustion chamber before auto ignition. This gave a longer lift-off length at the initial stage of combustion before reaching the same stabilized lift-off length. These results indicate that the hot combustion gases are a dominant factor to the lift-off length.
Technical Paper

Ultra-High Speed Fuel Tracer PLIF Imaging in a Heavy-Duty Optical PPC Engine

In order to meet the requirements in the stringent emission regulations, more and more research work has been focused on homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) and partially premixed combustion (PPC) or partially premixed compression ignition (PCCI) as they have the potential to produce low NOx and soot emissions without adverse effects on engine efficiency. The mixture formation and charge stratification influence the combustion behavior and emissions for PPC/PCCI, significantly. An ultra-high speed burst-mode laser is used to capture the mixture formation process from the start of injection until several CADs after the start of combustion in a single cycle. To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first time that such a high temporal resolution, i.e. 0.2 CAD, PLIF could be accomplished for imaging of the in-cylinder mixing process. The capability of resolving single cycles allows for the influence of cycle-to-cycle variations to be eliminated.
Technical Paper

Interaction between Fuel Jets and Prevailing Combustion During Closely-Coupled Injections in an Optical LD Diesel Engine

Two imaging techniques are used to investigate the interaction between developed combustion from earlier injections and partially oxidized fuel (POF) of a subsequent injection. The latter is visualized by using planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) of formaldehyde and poly-cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. High speed imaging captures the natural luminescence (NL) of the prevailing combustion. Three different fuel injection strategies are studied. One strategy consists of two pilot injections, with modest separations after each, followed by single main and post injections. Both of the other two strategies have three pilots followed by single main and post injections. The separations after the second and third pilots are several times shorter than in the reference case (making them closely-coupled). The closely-coupled cases have more linear heat release rates (HRR) which lead to much lower combustion noise levels.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation on the Combustion Process Differences between Double-Pilot and Closely-Coupled Triple-Pilot Injection Strategies in a LD Diesel Engine

The combustion processes of three injection strategies in a light-duty (LD) diesel engine at a medium load point are captured with a high speed video camera. A double-pilot/main/single-post injection strategy representative of a LD Euro 6 calibration is considered as the reference. There is a modest temporal spacing (dwell) after the first pilot (P1) and second pilot (P2). A second strategy, “A,” adds a third pilot (P3). The dwell after both P2 and P3 are several times shorter than in the reference strategy. A third strategy, “B,” further reduces all dwells. Each injection has its own associated local peak in the heat release rate (HRR) following some ignition delay. Between these peaks lie local minima, or dips. In all three cases, the fuel from P1 combusts as a propagating premixed flame. For all strategies, the ignition of P2 primarily occurs at its interface with the existing combustion regions.
Technical Paper

Optical Characterization of Methanol Sprays and Mixture Formation in a Compression-Ignition Heavy-Duty Engine

Methanol is not a fuel typically used in compression ignition engines due to the high resistance to auto-ignition. However, conventional diesel combustion and PPC offer high engine efficiency along with low HC and CO emissions, albeit with the trade-off of increased NOx and PM emissions. This trade-off balance is mitigated in the case of methanol and other alcohol fuels, as they bring oxygen in the combustion chamber. Thus methanol compression ignition holds the potential for a clean and effective alternative fuel proposition. Most existing research on methanol is on SI engines and very little exists in the literature regarding methanol auto-ignition engine concepts. In this study, the spray characteristics of methanol inside the optically accessible cylinder of a DI-HD engine are investigated. The liquid penetration length at various injection timings is documented, ranging from typical PPC range down to conventional diesel combustion.
Technical Paper

Optical Characterization of the Combustion Process inside a Large-Bore Dual-Fuel Two-Stroke Marine Engine by Using Multiple High-Speed Cameras

Dual-fuel engines for marine propulsion are gaining in importance due to operational and environmental benefits. Here the combustion in a dual-fuel marine engine operating on diesel and natural gas, is studied using a multiple high-speed camera arrangement. By recording the natural flame emission from three different directions the flame position inside the engine cylinder can be spatially mapped and tracked in time. Through space carving a rough estimate of the three-dimensional (3D) flame contour can be obtained. From this contour, properties like flame length and height, as well as ignition locations can be extracted. The multi-camera imaging is applied to a dual-fuel marine two-stroke engine, with a bore diameter of 0.5 m and a stroke of 2.2 m. Both liquid and gaseous fuels are directly injected at high pressure, using separate injection systems. Optical access is obtained using borescope inserts, resulting in a minimum disturbance to the cylinder geometry.
Journal Article

Heat Loss Analysis of a Steel Piston and a YSZ Coated Piston in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Using Phosphor Thermometry Measurements

Diesel engine manufacturers strive towards further efficiency improvements. Thus, reducing in-cylinder heat losses is becoming increasingly important. Understanding how location, thermal insulation, and engine operating conditions affect the heat transfer to the combustion chamber walls is fundamental for the future reduction of in-cylinder heat losses. This study investigates the effect of a 1mm-thick plasma-sprayed yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) coating on a piston. Such a coated piston and a similar steel piston are compared to each other based on experimental data for the heat release, the heat transfer rate to the oil in the piston cooling gallery, the local instantaneous surface temperature, and the local instantaneous surface heat flux. The surface temperature was measured for different crank angle positions using phosphor thermometry.
Journal Article

Transition from HCCI to PPC: Investigation of Fuel Distribution by Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF)

In a previous study, in order to investigate the effect of charge stratification on combustion behavior such as combustion efficiency and combustion phasing which also largely affects the emissions, an experiment was conducted in a heavy-duty compression ignition (CI) metal engine. The engine behavior and emission characteristics were studied in the transition from HCCI mode to PPC mode by varying the start of injection (SOI) timing. To gain more detailed information of the mixing process, in-cylinder laser diagnostic measurements, namely fuel-tracer planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging, were conducted in an optical version of the heavy-duty CI engine mentioned above. To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first time to perform fuel-tracer PLIF measurements in an optical engine with a close to production bowl in piston combustion chamber, under transition conditions from HCCI to PPC mode.