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Journal Article

Impact of Fuel Properties on Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Extensive empirical work indicates that exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is effective to lower the flame temperature and thus the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) production in-cylinder in diesel engines. Soot emissions are reduced in-cylinder by improved fuel/air mixing. As engine load increases, higher levels of intake boost and fuel injection pressure are required to suppress soot production. The high EGR and improved fuel/air mixing is then critical to enable low temperature combustion (LTC) processes. The paper explores the properties of the Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engines (FACE) Diesel, which are statistically designed to examine fuel effects, on a 0.75L single cylinder engine across the full range of load, spanning up to 15 bar IMEP. The lower cetane number (CN) of the diesel fuel improved the mixing process by prolonging the ignition delay and the mixing duration leading to substantial reduction of soot at low to medium loads, improving the trade-off between NOx and soot.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Intake Dilution and Combustion Phasing on the Combustion Stability of a Diesel Engine

Conventionally, the diesel fuel ignites spontaneously following the injection event. The combustion and injection often overlap with a very short ignition delay. Diesel engines therefore offer superior combustion stability characterized by the low cycle-to-cycle variations. However, the enforcement of the stringent emission regulations necessitates the implementation of innovative diesel combustion concepts such as the low temperature combustion (LTC) to achieve ultra-low engine-out pollutants. In stark contrast to the conventional diesel combustion, the enabling of LTC requires enhanced air fuel mixing and hence a longer ignition delay is desired. Such a decoupling of the combustion events from the fuel injection can potentially cause ignition discrepancy and ultimately lead to combustion cyclic variations.
Journal Article

Mode Switching Control for Diesel Low Temperature Combustion with Fast Feedback Algorithms

Low temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines can be enabled using a multitude of fuel injection strategies, coupled with the elevated use of exhaust gas recirculation and intake boost. The common modes of LTC include the single-injection LTC with heavy EGR and the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), implemented with multiple early-injections during the compression stroke. Previous research indicates that the single-injection LTC is more suitable at low engine loads while the HCCI combustion can be targeted towards mid-load operation. To extend the load range of the LTC cycles, there is an urgent need to enable switching on-the-fly between the two combustion modes. The mode-switching is complicated by the fact that the challenges of enabling and ensuring stable engine operation under these two LTC modes are notably different.
Journal Article

Impact of Fuelling Techniques on Neat n-Butanol Combustion and Emissions in a Compression Ignition Engine

This study investigated neat n-butanol combustion, emissions and thermal efficiency characteristics in a compression ignition (CI) engine by using two fuelling techniques - port fuel injection (PFI) and direct injection (DI). Diesel fuel was used in this research for reference. The engine tests were conducted on a single-cylinder four-stroke DI diesel engine with a compression ratio of 18.2 : 1. An n-Butanol PFI system was installed to study the combustion characteristics of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). A common-rail fuel injection system was used to conduct the DI tests with n-butanol and diesel. 90 MPa injection pressure was used for the DI tests. The engine was run at 1500 rpm. The intake boost pressure, engine load, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) ratio, and DI timing were independently controlled to investigate the engine performance.
Technical Paper

Thermal Efficiency Analyses of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion Cycles

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

A Preliminary Thermal Response Analysis of Exhaust Pipe Plenums for Diesel Aftertreatment Improvement

Empirical and analytical investigations are conducted to evaluate the thermal response of exhaust pipe plenums at different levels of exhaust gas recirculation and through a variety of fuel delivery strategies. The effectiveness of different combustion control techniques is evaluated for moderating the engine-out exhaust temperature. Comparison of the external fuel injection with in-cylinder post injection for enabling aftertreatment is provided which indicates the stronger temperature raising potential of the external fuel injection. This research attempts to quantify the thermal response of the exhaust pipe plenums and its effects on the gas temperature at the inlet of the aftertreatment devices. The measurement and modeling of the dynamic thermal response in this research intend to improve the performance of diesel aftertreatment devices.
Technical Paper

Influence of Biodiesel Fuel on Diesel Engine Performance and Emissions in Low Temperature Combustion

The exhaust emission and performance characteristics of a 100% biodiesel fuel was evaluated on a single cylinder direct injection diesel engine that had been modified to allow multi-pulse diesel fuel injection at the intake port and independent control of intake heating, exhaust gas recirculation and throttling. Firstly, conventional single-shot direct injection tests were conducted and comparisons made between the use of an ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel and the biodiesel fuel. Secondly, tests for the premixed combustion of neat biodiesel were performed. Exhaust gas recirculation was applied extensively to initiate the low temperature combustion for the conventional in-cylinder single injection operation and to moderate the timing of the homogeneous charge compression ignition for the intake-port sequential injection. Because of the high viscosity and low volatility of the biodiesel, pilot-ignited homogeneous charge compression ignition was used.
Technical Paper

Adaptive Fuel Injection Tests to Extend EGR Limits on Diesel Engines

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is effective to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines. However, when excessive EGR is applied, the engine operation reaches zones with higher combustion instability, carbonaceous emissions, and power losses. In order to improve the engine combustion process with the use of heavy EGR, the influences of boost pressure, intake temperature, and fuel injection timing are evaluated. An adaptive fuel injection strategy is applied as the EGR level is progressively elevated towards the limiting conditions. Additionally, characterization tests are performed to improve the control of the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of engine cycles, especially when heavy EGR levels are applied to increase the load level of HCCI operations. This paper constitutes the preparation work for a variety of algorithms currently being investigated at the authors' laboratory as a part of the model-based NOx control research.
Technical Paper

A Thermal Response Analysis on the Transient Performance of Active Diesel Aftertreatment

Diesel fueling and exhaust flow strategies are investigated to control the substrate temperatures of diesel aftertreatment systems. The fueling control includes the common-rail post injection and the external supplemental fuel injection. The post injection pulses are further specified at the early, mid, or late stages of the engine expansion stroke. In comparison, the external fueling rates are moderated under various engine loads to evaluate the thermal impact. Additionally, the active-flow control schemes are implemented to improve the overall energy efficiency of the system. In parallel with the empirical work, the dynamic temperature characteristics of the exhaust system are simulated one-dimensionally with in-house and external codes. The dynamic thermal control, measurement, and modeling of this research intend to improve the performance of diesel particulate filters and diesel NOx absorbers.
Journal Article

Fuel Injection Strategies to Improve Emissions and Efficiency of High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

Simultaneous low NOx (< 0.15 g/kWh) & soot (< 0.01 g/kWh) are attainable for enhanced premixed combustion that may lead to higher levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions as the engine cycles move to low temperature combustion, which is a departure from the ultra low hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, typical of the high compression ratio diesel engines. As a result, the fuel efficiency of such modes of combustion is also compromised (up to 5%). In this paper, advanced strategies for fuel injection are devised on a modern 4-cylinder common rail diesel engine modified for single cylinder research. Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles. The fuel injection strategies include single injection with heavy EGR, and early multi-pulse fuel injection under low or medium engine loads respectively.
Journal Article

Heat Release Pattern Diagnostics to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Empirical results indicated that the engine emission and fuel efficiency of low-temperature combustion (LTC) cycles can be optimized by adjusting the fuel-injection scheduling in order to obtain appropriate combustion energy release or heat-release rate patterns. Based on these empirical results the heat-release characteristics were correlated with the regulated emissions such as soot, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen. The transition from conventional combustion to LTC with the desired set of heat-release rate has been implemented. This transition was facilitated with the simplified heat-release characterization wherein each of the consecutive engine cycles was analyzed with a real-time controller embedded with an FPGA (field programmable gate array) device. The analyzed results served as the primary feedback control signals to adjust fuel injection scheduling. The experimental efforts included the boost/backpressure, exhaust gas recirculation, and load transients in the LTC region.
Technical Paper

Energy Efficiency Analysis between In-cylinder and External Supplemental Fuel Strategies

Preliminary empirical and modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the energy efficiency of in-cylinder and external fuel injection strategies and their impact on the energy required to enable diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration for instance. During the tests, a thermal wave that is generated from the engine propagates along the exhaust pipe to the DPF substrate. The thermal response of the exhaust system is recorded with the thermocouple arrays embedded in the exhaust system. To implement the external fuel injection, an array of thermocouples and pressure sensors in the DPF provide the necessary feedback to the control system. The external fuel injection is dynamically adjusted based on the thermal response of the DPF substrate to improve the thermal management and to reduce the supplemental energy. This research intends to quantify the effectiveness of the supplemental energy utilization on aftertreatment enabling.
Journal Article

An Improvement on Low Temperature Combustion in Neat Biodiesel Engine Cycles

Extensive empirical work indicates that the exhaust emission and fuel efficiency of modern common-rail diesel engines characterise strong resilience to biodiesel fuels when the engines are operating in conventional high temperature combustion cycles. However, as the engine cycles approach the low temperature combustion (LTC) mode, which could be implemented by the heavy use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of combustion, the engine performance start to differ between the use of conventional and biodiesel fuels. Therefore, a set of fuel injection strategies were compared empirically under independently controlled EGR, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure in order to improve the neat biodiesel engine cycles.
Technical Paper

Low Temperature Combustion of Neat Biodiesel Fuel on a Common-rail Diesel Engine

The fatty acid alkyl esters derived from plants, rendered fats/oils and waste restaurant greases, commonly known as biodiesel, are renewable alternative fuels that may fulfill the demand gap caused by the depleting fossil diesel fuels. The combustion and emission characteristics of neat biodiesel fuels were investigated on a single cylinder of a 4-cylinder Ford common-rail direct injection diesel engine, which cylinder has been configured to have independent exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), boost and back pressures and exhaust gas sampling. The fatty acid methyl esters derived from Canola oil, soybean oil, tallow and yellow grease were first blended. Biodiesel engine tests were then conducted under the independent control of the fuel injection, EGR, boost and back pressure to achieve the low temperature combustion mode. Multi-pulse early-injections were employed to modulate the homogeneity history of the cylinder charge.
Journal Article

An Enabling Study of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion via Adaptive Control

Low temperature combustion (LTC), though effective to reduce soot and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) simultaneously from diesel engines, operates in narrowly close to unstable regions. Adaptive control strategies are developed to expand the stable operations and to improve the fuel efficiency that was commonly compromised by LTC. Engine cycle simulations were performed to better design the combustion control models. The research platform consists of an advanced common-rail diesel engine modified for the intensified single cylinder research and a set of embedded real-time (RT) controllers, field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices, and a synchronized personal computer (PC) control and measurement system.
Journal Article

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

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

A Preliminary Study of Ignition Consistency and Heat Release Analysis for a Common-Rail Diesel Engine

Common-rail fuel systems have been recognized as an effective means to shape the heat release rate. In this paper measured cylinder pressure and fuel injection data for a common-rail diesel engine were analyzed to develop an empirical heat release rate model. A set of discrete Wiebe functions, one to describe the pilot injection combustion and the other to describe the main injection combustion, have been proposed to model the heat release data. The coefficients in the model were adjusted to match the observed heat release diagram. An expression for ignition delay for pilot injection and main injection has also been suggested for test conditions.
Journal Article

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

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

Development of a Compact Reverse-Flow Catalytic Converter for Diesel Dual Fuel LEV

Upon an innovative compact design, extraordinary heat retention capability is demonstrated with a reverse-flow catalytic converter (RFC). By periodical flow reversal, the monolith solid to gas-flow thermal energy recovery, which generates a superior temperature profile oscillating along the monolith flow-path, escalates the temperature-rise by the exothermic reaction of THC and CO. Thus, the averaged temperature level of the catalytic monolith is raised substantially independent of the inflow gas temperature from engine exhaust, while an ordinary flow-through catalyst would lose light off following similar operations with low exhaust temperatures. Along the exhaust flow-path of a typical diesel-dual fuel RFC operation, the monolith center temperature is highly elevated from the boundary temperatures, while the boundary temperatures are approximating the inflow exhaust temperature.