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Technical Paper

Improved Passage Design for a Spark Plug Mounted Pressure Transducer

Combustion chamber pressure measurement in engines via a passage is an old technique that is still widely used in engine research. This paper presents improved passage designs for an off-set electrode spark plug designed to accept a pressure transducer. The spark plug studied was the Champion model 304-063A. Two acoustic models were developed to compute the resonance characteristics. The new designs have a resonance frequency in a range higher than the fundamental frequency expected from knock so that the signal can be lowpass filtered to remove the resonance and not interfere with pressure signal components associated with combustion phenomena. Engine experiments verified the spark plug resonance behavior. For the baseline engine operating condition approximately 50 of 100 cycles had visible passage resonance in the measured pressure traces, at an average frequency of 8.03 kHz.
Technical Paper

Development of the Texas Drayage Truck Cycle and Its Use to Determine the Effects of Low Rolling Resistance Tires on the NOX Emissions and Fuel Economy

Trucks operating in inter-modal (drayage) operation in and around port and rail terminals, are responsible for a large proportion of the emissions of NOX, which are problematic for the air quality of the Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth metro areas. A standard test cycle, called the Texas Dray Truck Cycle, was developed to represent the operation of heavy-duty diesel trucks in dray operations. The test cycle reflects the substantial time spent at idle (~45%) and the high intensity of the on-road portions. This test cycle was then used in the SAE J1321 test protocol to evaluate the effect on fuel consumption and NOX emissions of retrofitting dray trucks with light-weight, low-rolling resistance wide-single tires. In on-track testing, a reduction in fuel consumption of 8.7% was seen, and NOX emissions were reduced by 3.8% with the wide single tires compared to the conventional tires.
Technical Paper

Further Development of an On-Board Distillation System for Generating a Highly Volatile Cold-Start Fuel

The On-Board Distillation System (OBDS) extracts, from gasoline, a highly volatile crank fuel that enables simultaneous reduction of start-up fuel enrichment and significant ignition timing retard during cold-starting. In a previous paper we reported reductions in catalyst light-off time of >50% and THC emissions reductions >50% over Phase I of the FTP drive cycle. The research presented herein is a further development of the OBDS concept. For this work, OBDS was improved to yield higher-quality start-up fuel. The PCM calibration was changed as well, in order to improve the response to intake manifold pressure transients. The test vehicle was tested over the 3-phase FTP, with exhaust gases speciated to determine NMOG and exhaust toxics emissions. Also, the effectiveness of OBDS at generating a suitable starting fuel from a high driveability index test gasoline was evaluated.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Factors that Affect the Performance of Railplugs

As natural gas engines are designed to operate leaner and with increased boost pressure, durability of the spark plugs becomes problematic. Among the various new ignition devices that have been considered to solve some of the problems facing spark plugs, railplugs appear to hold clear advantages in some areas. There are two types of railplugs: coaxial rail and parallel rail. This paper reports the results of an experimental study of various parameters that affect the performance of parallel railplugs. Their performance was quantified by the distance that the arc traveled along the rails from the initiation point. Travel along the rails is thought to be an important performance metric because rail-travel limits excessive local wear and produces a distributed ignition source which can potentially reduce mixture inhomogeneity induced ignition problems.
Technical Paper

Direct Measurement of Powertrain Component Efficiencies for a Light-Duty Vehicle with a CVT Operating Over a Driving Cycle

In order to determine the factors that affect fuel economy quantitatively, the power flows through the major powertrain components were measured during operation over transient cycles. The fuel consumption rate and torque and speed of the engine output and axle shafts were measured to assess the power flows in a vehicle with a CVT. The measured power flows were converted to energy loss for each component to get the efficiency. Tests were done at Phase 1 and Phase 3 of the FTP and for two different CVT shift modes. The measured energy distributions were compared with those from the ADVISOR simulation and to results from the PNGV study. For both the Hot 505 and the Cold 505, and for both shift modes, the major powertrain loss occurs in the engine, including or excluding standby losses. However, the efficiency of the drivetrain/transmission is important because it influences the efficiency of the engine.
Technical Paper

An On-Board Distillation System to Reduce Cold-Start Hydrocarbon Emissions

An On-Board Distillation System (OBDS) was developed to extract, from gasoline, a highly volatile crank fuel that allows the reduction of startup fuel enrichment and significant spark retard during cold starts and warm-up. This OBDS was installed on a 2001 Lincoln Navigator to explore the emissions reductions possible on a large vehicle with a large-displacement engine. The fuel and spark calibration of the PCM were modified to exploit the benefits of the OBDS startup fuel. Three series of tests were performed: (1) measurement of the OBDS fuel composition and distillation curve per ASTM D86, (2) measurement of real-time cold start (20 °C) tailpipe hydrocarbon emissions for the first 20 seconds of engine operation, and (3) FTP drive cycles at 20 °C with engine-out and tailpipe emissions of gas-phase species measured each second. Baseline tests were performed using stock PCM calibrations and certification gasoline.
Technical Paper

Further Experiments on the Effects of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting on HC Emissions from Direct Injection Gasoline Engines

A recently developed in-cylinder fuel injection probe was used to deposit a small amount of liquid fuel on various surfaces within the combustion chamber of a 4-valve engine that was operating predominately on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A fast flame ionization detector (FFID) was used to examine the engine-out emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs). Injector shut-off was used to examine the rate of liquid fuel evaporation. The purpose of these experiments was to provide insights into the HC formation mechanism due to in-cylinder wall wetting. The variables investigated were the effects of engine operating conditions, coolant temperature, in-cylinder wetting location, and the amount of liquid wall wetting. The results of the steady state tests show that in-cylinder wall wetting is an important source of HC emissions both at idle and at a part load, cruise-type condition. The effects of wetting location present the same trend for idle and part load conditions.
Technical Paper

Refinement of a Dedicated E85 1999 Silverado with Emphasis on Cold Start and Cold Drivability

The University of Texas 2000 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge team remains focused on cold start, cold drivability, fuel economy, and emissions reduction for our 2000 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge entry. We used the stock PCM for all control functions except control of an innovative cold-start system our team designed. The primary modifications for improved emissions control involved ceramic coating of the exhaust manifolds, use of close-coupled ethanol-specific catalysts, use of a moddified version of the California Emissions Calibrated PCM, and our cold-start system that eliminates the need to overfuel the engine at the beginning of the FTP. Additionally, we eliminated EGR at high load to improve power density. Major modifications, such as increasing the compression ratio or pressure boosting, were eliminated from consideration due to cost, complexity, reliability, or emissions penalties.
Technical Paper

Conversion of a 1999 Silverado to Dedicated E85 with Emphasis on Cold Start and Cold Driveability

The University of Texas Ethanol Vehicle Challenge team focused upon cold start/driveability, fuel economy, and emissions reduction for our 1999 Ethanol Vehicle Challenge entry. We replaced or coated all fuel system components that were not ethanol compatible. We used the stock PCM for all control functions except control of a novel cold-start system our team designed. The primary modifications for improved emissions control involved ceramic coating of the exhaust manifolds, use of close-coupled ethanol-specific catalysts, increased EGR for the operating conditions of the five longest cruises on the FTP, and our cold-start system that eliminates the need to overfuel the engine at the beginning of the FTP. This EGR control scheme should also benefit urban fuel economy. Additionally, we eliminated EGR at high load to improve power density.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Numerical Simulation of Flame Propagation in Spark Ignition Engines

Multi-dimensional numerical simulation of the combustion process in spark ignition engines were performed using the Coherent Flame Model (CFM) which is based on the flamelet assumption. The CFM uses a balance equation for the flame surface area to simulate flame surface advection, diffusion, production and destruction in a turbulent reacting flow. There are two model constants in CFM, one associated with the modeling of flame surface production and the other with the modeling of flame surface destruction. Previous experimental results on two test engines charged with propane-air mixtures were used to compare with the computations for different engine speeds, loads, equivalence ratios and spark plug locations. Predicted engine cylinder pressure histories agree well with the experimental results for various operating conditions after the model constants were calibrated against a reference operating condition.
Technical Paper

The Effect of In-Cylinder Wall Wetting Location on the HC Emissions from SI Engines

The effect of combustion chamber wall-wetting on the emissions of unburned and partially-burned hydrocarbons (HCs) from gasoline-fueled SI engines was investigated experimentally. A spark-plug mounted directional injection probe was developed to study the fate of liquid fuel which impinges on different surfaces of the combustion chamber, and to quantify its contribution to the HC emissions from direct-injected (DI) and port-fuel injected (PFI) engines. With this probe, a controlled amount of liquid fuel was deposited on a given location within the combustion chamber at a desired crank angle while the engine was operated on pre-mixed LPG. Thus, with this technique, the HC emissions due to in-cylinder wall wetting were studied independently of all other HC sources. Results from these tests show that the location where liquid fuel impinges on the combustion chamber has a very important effect on the resulting HC emissions.
Technical Paper

Initial Study of Railplugs as an Aid for Cold Starting of Diesels

The results of continuing investigations of a new type of ignitor, the railplug, are reported. Previous studies have shown that railplugs can produce a high velocity jet of plasma. Additionally, railplugs have the potential of assuring ignition under adverse conditions, such as cold start of an IDI diesel engine, because the railplug plasma can force ignition in the combustion chamber rather than relying on autoignition under cold start conditions. In this paper, engine data are presented to demonstrate the improved cold starting capability obtainable with railplugs. Data acquired using a railplug are compared to results obtained using no assist and using glow plugs. The engine used for this investigation will not start without glow plugs (or some starting aid) at temperatures below O°C, and the manufacturer's specification of the cold start limit for this engine using glow plugs is -24°C. Railplugs are able to initiate combustion at -29°C in one to two seconds with no preheating.
Technical Paper

Condensation of Fuel on Combustion Chamber Surfaces as a Mechanism for Increased HC Emissions from SI Engines During Cold Start

Condensation of fuel vapor on the cold surfaces within the combustion chamber is investigated as a possible mechanism for increased HC emissions from SI engines during cold start. A one-dimensional, transient, mass diffusion analysis is used to examine the condensation of single-species fuels on the surfaces of the combustion chamber as the pressure within the cylinder rises during compression and combustion, and re-vaporization during expansion, blowdown, and exhaust. The effects of wall temperature, fuel volatility, and engine load and speed on this mechanism are also discussed. This analysis shows that low-volatility fuel components can condense on the surfaces of the combustion chamber when the surface temperatures are sufficiently low. This condensed fuel may re-vaporize during the power and exhaust strokes, or it may remain in the combustion chamber until surface temperatures rise, perhaps tens of seconds later.