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Journal Article

Efficacy of EGR and Boost in Single-Injection Enabled Low Temperature Combustion

2009-04-20
2009-01-1126
Exhaust gas recirculation, fuel injection strategy and boost pressure are among the key enablers to attain low NOx and soot emissions simultaneously on modern diesel engines. In this work, the individual influence of these parameters on the emissions are investigated independently for engine loads up to 8 bar IMEP. A single-shot fuel injection strategy has been deployed to push the diesel cycle into low temperature combustion with EGR. The results indicated that NOx was a stronger respondent to injection pressure levels than to boost when the EGR ratio is relatively low. However, when the EGR level was sufficiently high, the NOx was virtually grounded and the effect of boost or injection pressure becomes irrelevant. Further tests indicated that a higher injection pressure lowered soot emissions across the EGR sweeps while the effect of boost on the soot reduction appeared significant only at higher soot levels.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

2009-06-15
2009-01-1883
Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Journal Article

Efficiency & Stability Improvements of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion through Tightened Intake Oxygen Control

2010-04-12
2010-01-1118
Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. Small variations in the intake charge dilution can significantly increase the unburnt hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions as well as escalate the consecutive cyclic fluctuations of the cylinder charge. This in turn adversely affects the robustness and efficiency of the LTC operation. However, Improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control as well as tightened control on the intake oxygen concentration can enhance the robustness and efficiency of the LTC operation in diesel engines. In this work, a set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations on a cycle-by-cycle basis.
Journal Article

Investigation of Fuel Injection Strategies for Direct Injection of Neat n-Butanol in a Compression Ignition Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0724
Abstract In this study, impacts of neat n-butanol fuel injection parameters on direct injection (DI) compression ignition (CI) engine performance were investigated to gain knowledge for understanding the fuel injection strategies for n-butanol. The engine tests were conducted on a four-stroke single-cylinder DI CI engine with a compression ratio of 18.2:1. The effects of fuel injection pressure (40, 60 and 90 MPa) and injection timing in a single injection strategy were investigated. The results showed that an increase in injection pressure significantly reduced nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions which is the opposite trend seen in conventional diesel combustion. The parallel use of a higher injection pressure and retarded injection timing was a proposed method to reduce NOx and cylinder pressure rise rate simultaneously. NOx was further reduced by using exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) while keeping near zero soot emissions.
Technical Paper

Distributed Electrical Discharge to Improve the Ignition of Premixed Quiescent and Turbulent Mixtures

2016-04-05
2016-01-0706
Abstract The present work investigates the efficacy of distributed electrical discharge to increase the ignition volume by means of multipole spark discharge and radio frequency (RF) corona discharge. A range of ignition strategies are implemented to evaluate the efficacy of distributed ignition. The multipole spark igniter design has multiple high-voltage electrodes in close proximity to each other. This distributed spark ignition concept has the ability to generate multiple flame kernels either simultaneously or in a staggered mode. A novel elastic breakdown ignition strategy in responsive distribution (eBIRD) high frequency discharge is also implemented via the multipole igniter. The RF corona discharge is generated through an in-house developed ignition system. A form of distributed ignition is initiated along the streamer filaments.
Technical Paper

Parametric Analysis of Ignition Circuit Components on Spark Discharge Characteristics

2016-04-05
2016-01-1011
Abstract The development of the present day spark ignition (SI) engines has imposed higher demands for on-board ignition systems. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances. In this paper, the authors studied the relationship between spark discharge characteristics and different inductive spark ignition circuit parameters with the help of a simplified circuit model. The circuit model catches the principle behavior of the spark discharge process. Simulation results obtained from the model were compared with experimental data for model verification. Different circuit model parameters were then tuned to study the effect of those on spark discharge current and spark energy properties. The parameters studied include the ignition coil coupling coefficient, ignition coil primary and secondary inductances, secondary circuit series resistance and spark plug gap width.
Technical Paper

Spark Ignition Circuit Energy Characterization based on a Simplified Model and Measurement Analysis

2015-04-14
2015-01-1271
Abstract The spark ignition circuit inside an internal combustion engine system is the source which provides the initiation energy required for triggering combustion in a spark ignition (SI) engine in-cylinder air/fuel mixture. Proper spark phasing and adequate spark energy release in spark ignited combustion would yield significant combustion efficiency improvement and affect the in-cylinder production species composition. In this work a simplified spark ignition circuit model constructed based on circuit theorems is proposed. Measurements on how ignition pressure, secondary circuit series resistance and dwell duration would affect the ignition energy migration are presented. Simulations using the proposed model have also demonstrated similar energy migration trends to measurement results which show the influences caused by different secondary series resistance and dwell durations.
Technical Paper

Thermal Efficiency Analyses of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion Cycles

2007-10-29
2007-01-4019
Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles on a common-rail diesel engine with a conventional diesel fuel. Empirical studies have been conducted under independently controlled exhaust gas recirculation, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure. Up to 8 fuel injection pulses per cylinder per cycle have been applied to modulate the homogeneity history of the early injection diesel low temperature combustion operations in order to improve the phasing of the combustion process. The impact of heat release phasing, duration, shaping, and splitting on the thermal efficiency has been analyzed with zero-dimensional engine cycle simulations. This paper intends to identify the major parameters that affect diesel low temperature combustion engine thermal efficiency.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Energy Efficiency Analyses of Diesel EGR Fuel Reforming with Flow Reversal and Central Fuelling

2007-10-29
2007-01-4035
The diesel fuel reforming process in an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) loop of a diesel engine is capable of utilizing the engine exhaust energy to support the endothermic process of hydrogen gas generation. However, the EGR stream commonly needs to be heated to enable the operation of the reformer and thus to sustain higher yield of hydrogen. A central-fuelling and flow-reversal embedment that is energy-efficient to raise the central temperatures of the catalytic flow-bed is therefore devised and tested to drastically reduce the supplemental heating to the EGR reformer. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions. This research attempts to quantify the energy saving by the catalytic flow-reversal and central-fuelling embedment in comparison to a unidirectional flow EGR reformer.
Technical Paper

Fuel Efficiency Improvements of Low Temperature Combustion Diesel Engines

2008-04-14
2008-01-0841
Previous work indicated that low temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines was capable of reducing nitrogen oxides and soot simultaneously, when implemented with highly premixed lean cylinder charge or by the use of high exhaust gas recirculation. However, the fuel efficiency of the low temperature combustion cycles was commonly compromised by the high levels of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. Additionally, in cases of diesel homogeneous charge cycles, the combustion process may even occur before the piston completes the compression stroke, which may cause excessive efficiency reduction and combustion roughness. Empirical procedures were implemented to better phase and complete the combustion process. The impact of heat release phasing, duration, shaping, and splitting on the thermal efficiency has also been analyzed with zero-dimensional engine cycle simulations. This paper intends to identify the pathways to improve the fuel efficiency of diesel LTC cycles.
Technical Paper

Suitability Study of n-Butanol for Enabling PCCI and HCCI and RCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-09-01
2015-01-1816
This work investigates the suitability of n-butanol for enabling PCCI, HCCI, and RCCI combustion modes to achieve clean and efficient combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Systematic engine tests are conducted at low and medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) and at a medium engine speed of 1500 rpm. Test results indicate that n-butanol is more suitable than diesel to enable PCCI and HCCI combustion with the same engine hardware. However, the combustion phasing control for n-butanol is demanding due to the high combustion sensitivity to variations in engine operating conditions where engine safety concerns (e.g. excessive pressure rise rates) potentially arise. While EGR is the primary measure to control the combustion phasing of n-butanol HCCI, the timing control of n-butanol direct injection in PCCI provides an additional leverage to properly phase the n-butanol combustion.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

2015-09-01
2015-01-1889
In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Technical Paper

An Enabling Study of Neat n-Butanol HCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0001
Abstract This work investigates the benefits and challenges of enabling neat n-butanol HCCI combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Minor engine modifications are made to implement n-butanol port injection while other engine components are kept intact. The impacts of the fuel change, from diesel to n-butanol, are examined through steady-state engine tests with independent control of the intake boost and exhaust gas recirculation. As demonstrated by the test results, the HCCI combustion of a thoroughly premixed n-butanol/air lean mixture offers near-zero smoke and ultralow NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation and produces comparable engine efficiencies to those of conventional diesel high temperature combustion. The test results also manifest the control challenges of running a neat alcohol fuel in the HCCI combustion mode.
Technical Paper

Study of Low Temperature Combustion with Neat n-Butanol on a Common-rail Diesel Engine

2015-03-10
2015-01-0003
Abstract This study investigates neat n-butanol, as a cleaner power source, to directly replace conventional diesel fuels for enabling low temperature combustion on a modern common-rail diesel engine. Engine tests are performed at medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) with the single-shot injection strategy for both n-butanol and diesel fuels. As indicated by the experimental results, the combustion of neat n-butanol offers comparable engine efficiency to that of diesel while producing substantially lower NOx emissions even without the use of exhaust gas recirculation. The greater resistance to auto-ignition allows n-butanol to undergo a prolonged ignition delay for air-fuel mixing; the high volatility helps to enhance the cylinder charge homogeneity; the fuel-borne oxygen contributes to smoke reduction and, as a result, the smoke emissions of n-butanol combustion are generally at a near-zero level under the tested engine operating conditions.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation of Diesel-Ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0781
Abstract In this work, empirical investigations of the diesel-ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) are carried out on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) single-cylinder diesel engine. The tests focus on determining the minimum ethanol fraction for ultra-low NOx & soot emissions, effect of single-pilot vs. twin-pilot strategies on emissions and ignition controllability, reducing the EGR requirements, enabling clean combustion across the load range and achieving high efficiency full-load operation. The results show that both low NOx and almost zero soot emissions can be achieved but at the expense of higher unburned hydrocarbons. Compared to a single-pilot injection, a twin-pilot strategy reduces the soot emissions significantly and also lowers the NOx emissions, thereby reducing the requirements for EGR. The near-TDC pilot provides excellent control over the combustion phasing, further reducing the need of a higher EGR quantity for phasing control.
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation of Diesel Ignited Ethanol and Butanol Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0773
Abstract Dual fuel applications of alcohol fuels such as ethanol or butanol through port injection with direct injection of diesel can be effective in reduction of NOx. However, these dual fuel applications are usually associated with an increase in the incomplete combustion products such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2) emissions. An analysis of these products of incomplete combustion and the resulting combustion efficiency penalty was made in the diesel ignited alcohol combustion modes. The effect of EGR application was evaluated using ethanol and butanol as the port injected fuel, with varying alcohol fractions at the mid-load condition (10 -12 bar IMEP). The impact of varying the engine load (5 bar to 19 bar IMEP) in the diesel ignited ethanol mode on the incomplete combustion products was also studied. Emission measurements were taken and the net fuel energy loss as a result of the incomplete combustion was estimated.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Analysis of Clean Combustion with Ethanol Ignited by Diesel in a High Compression Ratio Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0766
Abstract The control of nitrogen oxide and smoke emissions in diesel engines has been one of the key researches in both the academia and industry. Nitrogen oxides can be effectively suppressed by the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). However, the introduction of inert exhaust gas into the engine intake is often associated with high smoke emissions. To overcome these issues there have been a number of proposed strategies, one of the more promising being the use of low temperature combustion enabled with heavy EGR. This has the potential to achieve simultaneously low emissions of nitrogen oxide and smoke. However, a quantitative way to identify the transition zone between high temperature combustion and low temperature combustion has still not been fully explored. The combustion becomes even more complicated when ethanol fuel is used as a partial substitution for diesel fuel.
Technical Paper

Emission Analysis of HCCI Combustion in a Diesel Engine Fueled by Butanol

2016-04-05
2016-01-0749
Abstract Advances in engine technology in recent years have led to significant reductions in the emission of pollutants and gains in efficiency. As a facet of investigations into clean, efficient combustion, the homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) mode of combustion can improve upon the thermal efficiency and nitrogen oxides emission of conventional spark ignition engines. With respect to conventional diesel engines, the low nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions reduce the requirements on the aftertreatment system to meet emission regulations. In this paper, n-butanol, an alcohol fuel with the potential to be derived from renewable sources, was used in a light-duty diesel research engine in the HCCI mode of combustion. Control of the combustion was implemented using the intake pressure and external exhaust gas recirculation. The moderate reactivity of butanol required the assistance of increased intake pressure for ignition at the lower engine load range.
Technical Paper

A Feasibility Study of Using DI Butanol as an Ignition Source for Dual-Fuel Combustion

2017-03-28
2017-01-0770
Abstract The combustion of dual-fuel engines usually uses a pilot flame to burn out a background fuel inside a cylinder under high compression. The background fuel can be either a gaseous fuel or a volatile liquid fuel, commonly with low reactivity to prevent premature combustion and engine knocking; whereas the pilot flame is normally set off with the direct injection of a liquid fuel with adequate reactivity that is suitable for deterministic auto-ignition with a high compression ratio. In this work, directly injected butanol is used to generate the pilot flame, while intake port injected ethanol or butanol is employed as the background fuel. Compared with the conventional diesel-only combustion, dual-fuel operations not only broaden the fuel applicability, but also enhance the potential for clean combustion, in high efficiency engines. The amount of background fuel and the scheduling of pilot flame are investigated through extensive laboratory experiments.
Technical Paper

Mode Switching to Improve Low Load Efficiency of an Ethanol-Diesel Dual-Fuel Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0771
Abstract The dual-fuel application using ethanol and diesel fuels can substantially improve the classical trade-off between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and smoke, especially at moderate-to-high load conditions. However, at low engine load levels, the use of a low reactivity fuel in the dual-fuel application usually leads to increased incomplete combustion products that in turn result in a significant reduction of the engine thermal efficiency. In this work, engine tests are conducted on a high compression ratio, single cylinder dual-fuel engine that incorporates the diesel direct-injection and ethanol port-injection. Engine load levels are identified, at which, diesel combustion offers better efficiency than the dual-fuel combustion while attaining low NOx and smoke emissions. Thereafter, a cycle-to-cycle based closed-loop controller is implemented for the combustion phasing and engine load control in both the diesel and dual-fuel combustion regimes.
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