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Technical Paper

The Texas Project, Part 4 - Final Results: Emissions and Fuel Economy of CNG and LPG Conversions of Light-Duty Vehicles

1998-10-19
982446
The Texas Project was a multi-year study of aftermarket conversions of a variety of light-duty vehicles to CNG or LPG. Emissions and fuel economy when using these fuels are compared to the results for the same vehicles operating on certification gasoline and Federal Phase 1 RFG. Since 1993, 1,040 tests were conducted on 10 models, totally 86 light-duty vehicles. The potential for each vehicle model/kit combination to attain LEV certification was assessed. Also, comparisons of emissions and fuel economy between converted vehicles when operating on gasoline and nominally identical un-converted gasoline control vehicles were analyzed. Additional evaluations were performed for a subfleet that was subjected to exhaust speciations for operation over the Federal Test Procedure cycle and also for off-cycle tests.
Technical Paper

The Texas Project, Part 5 - Economic Analysis: CNG and LPG Conversions of Light-Duty Vehicle Fleets

1998-10-19
982447
The Texas Project was a multi-year study of aftermarket conversions of a variety of light-duty vehicles to CNG or LPG. One aspect of this project was to examine the factors that influence the economics of fleet conversions to these alternative fuels. The present analysis did not include longer-term effects (such as possible increases in exhaust system life or increases in tire wear). Additionally, assumptions were required to estimate the costs of repairs to the alternative fuel system and engine. Other factors considered include conversion cost, fuel prices, annual alternative fuel tax (as applied for the state of Texas), annual miles accumulated, and the percent miles traveled while using the alternative fuel for dual fuel conversions.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Factors that Affect the Performance of Railplugs

2005-04-11
2005-01-0252
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

A New Ignitior for Large-Bore Natural Gas Engines - Railplug Design Improvement and Optimization

2005-04-11
2005-01-0249
It is a very challenging problem to reliably ignite extremely lean mixtures, especially for the low speed, high load conditions of large-bore natural gas engines. If these engines are to be use for the distributed power generation market, it will require operation with higher boost pressures and even leaner mixtures. Both place greater demands on the ignition system. The railplug is a very promising ignition system for lean burn natural gas engines with its high-energy deposition and high velocity plasma arc. It requires care to properly design railplugs for this new application, however. For these engines, in-cylinder pressure and mixture temperature are very high at the time of ignition due to the high boost pressure. Hot spots may exist on the electrodes of the ignitor, causing pre-ignition problems. A heat transfer model is proposed in this paper to aid the railplug design. The electrode temperature was measured in an operating natural gas engine.
Technical Paper

From Spark Plugs to Railplugs – The Characteristics of a New Ignition System

2004-10-25
2004-01-2978
Ignition of extremely lean or dilute mixtures is a very challenging problem. Therefore, it is essential for the engine development engineer to understand the fundamentals and limitations of existing ignition systems. This paper presents a new railplug ignition concept, a high-energy ignition system, which can enhance ignition of very lean mixtures by means of its high-energy deposition and high velocity jet of the plasma. This paper presents initial results of tests using an inductive ignition system, a capacitor discharge ignition system, and a railplug high-energy ignition system. Discharge characteristics, such as time-resolved voltage, current, and luminous emission were measured. Spark plug and railplug ignition are compared for their effects on combustion stability of a natural gas engine. The results show that railplugs have a very strong arc-phase that can ensure the ignition of very dilute mixtures.
Technical Paper

Improving Heavy-Duty Engine Efficiency and Durability: The Rotating Liner Engine

2005-04-11
2005-01-1653
The Rotating Linear Engine (RLE) derives improved fuel efficiency and decreased maintenance costs via a unique lubrication design, which decreases piston assembly friction and the associated wear for heavy-duty natural gas and diesel engines. The piston ring friction exhibited on current engines accounts for 1% of total US energy consumption. The RLE is expected to reduce this friction by 50-70%, an expectation supported by hot motoring and tear-down tests on the UT single cylinder RLE prototype. Current engines have stationary liners where the oil film thins near the ends of the stroke, resulting in metal-to-metal contact. This metal-to-metal contact is the major source of both engine friction and wear, especially at high load. The RLE maintains an oil film between the piston rings and liner throughout the piston stroke due to liner rotation. This assumption has also been confirmed by recent testing of the single cylinder RLE prototype.
Technical Paper

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

2003-10-27
2003-01-3239
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

1999-10-25
1999-01-3661
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

Effects of Fuel Parameters on FTP Emissions of a 1998 Toyota with a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine

2000-06-19
2000-01-1907
The effects of fuel properties on the emissions of a production vehicle with a gasoline direct injection engine operating over the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) cycle were investigated. The vehicle used was a 1998 Toyota Corona passenger car with a direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine. Engine-out and tailpipe FTP emissions for six fuels and a California Phase 2 RFG reference fuel are presented. Four of the test fuels were blended from refinery components to meet specified distillation profiles. The remaining test fuels were iso-octane and toluene, an iso-alkane and an aromatic with essentially the same boiling point (at atmospheric pressure) that is near the T50 point for the blended fuels. Statistically significant effects, at the 95% confidence level, of the fuels on tailpipe emissions were found. Correlations were sought between the properties of the five blends and the Emissions Indices for engine-out hydrocarbons and NOx and for tailpipe particulates.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Parameters on Speciated Hydrocarbon Emissions from a Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine

2000-06-19
2000-01-1908
A 1998 Toyota Corona passenger car with a direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine was tested over the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) driving cycle. Speciated engine-out hydrocarbon emissions were measured. Seven fuels were used for these tests: five blended fuels and two pure hydrocarbon fuels. One of the blended fuels was CARB Phase 2 reformulated gasoline which was used as the reference fuel. The remaining four blended fuels were made from refinery components to meet specified distillation profiles. The pure hydrocarbon fuels were iso-octane and toluene - an alkane and an aromatic with essentially identical boiling points. The five blended fuels can be grouped to examine the effects of fuel volatility and MTBE. Additionally, correlations were sought between the fuel properties and the Specific Reactivity, the exhaust “toxics”, and the pass-through of unburned fuel species.
Technical Paper

A Fractal-Based SI Engine Model: Comparisons of Predictions with Experimental Data

1991-02-01
910079
A quasidimensional engine simulation which uses the concepts of fractal geometry to model the effects of turbulence on flame propagation in a homogeneous charge SI engine has been developed. Heat transfer and blowby/crevice flow submodels are included in this code and the submodels chosen are found to be reasonable. The model predictions of cylinder pressure histories are then compared with experimental data over a range of loads, equivalence ratios, and engine speeds. The model is not adjusted in any manner to yield better agreement with the data, other than by tuning the simple turbulence model used so as to yield agreement with data for the nonreacting flow. However, current information about the flame wrinkling scales in an engine is inadequate. Therefore, predictions are made for three different assumptions about the flame wrinkling scales which span the range of physically possible scales.
Technical Paper

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

1999-03-01
1999-01-0502
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

Liquid Film Evaporation Off the Piston of a Direct Injection Gasoline Engine

2001-03-05
2001-01-1204
An optical access engine was used to image the liquid film evaporation off the piston of a simulated direct injected gasoline engine. A directional injector probe was used to inject liquid fuel (gasoline, i-octane and n-pentane) directly onto the piston of an engine primarily fueled on propane. The engine was run at idle conditions (750 RPM and closed throttle) and at the Ford World Wide Mapping Point (1500 RPM and 262 kPa BMEP). Mie scattering images show the liquid exiting the injector probe as a stream and directly impacting the piston top. Schlieren imaging was used to show the fuel vaporizing off the piston top late in the expansion stroke and during the exhaust stroke. Previous emissions tests showed that the presence of liquid fuel on in-cylinder surfaces increases engine-out hydrocarbon emissions.
Technical Paper

The Texas Project: Part 2 - Control System Characteristics of Aftermarket CNG and LNG Conversions for Light-Duty Vehicles

1996-10-01
962099
The Texas Project involves the conversion of light-duty vehicles, up to and heavy light-duty trucks, to bi-fueled vehicles using commercially available aftermarket CNG and LPG conversion systems. The test fleet includes 68 dual fueled conversions. Virtually every type of aftermarket conversion technology for CNG and LPG was evaluated: eight different CNG and seven different LPG conversion “kits”, all of which are modern systems incorporating closed-loop control. The kits were installed and calibrated according to the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations. The emissions when operating on the alternative fuel were compared to those when operating on certification gasoline to determine the “success” of the conversion. Many of these conversions, performed according to the manufacturer's requirements, were not “successful” (worse emissions than for gasoline operation). In almost all cases, the problem was NOx emissions that were too high when operating on the alternative fuel.
Technical Paper

The Texas Project: Part 3 - Off-Cycle Emissions of Light-Duty Vehicles Operating on CNG, LPG, Federal Phase 1 Reformulated Gasoline, and/or Low Sulfur Certification Gasoline

1996-10-01
962100
Off-cycle emissions from seven different types of 1994 light-duty vehicles were examined The test fleet consisted of 19 individual vehicles including a passenger car, two makes of light light-duty trucks, and five types of heavy light-duty trucks The driving cycles used for these tests were the US06(hard acceleration, high speed) cycle and the 20 °F FTP (the “Cold FTP”) Conventional FTPs were done for comparison Each vehicle was usually operated on at least two of the following CNG, LPG, Federal Phase 1 reformulated gasoline (FP1 RFG), and a low sulfur certification gasoline For both the conventional FTP and the US06 cycles, the alternative fuels produce statistically significant benefits in Ozone Forming Potential and exhaust toxics but the NOx emissions are not statistically different from those when operating on FP1 RFG with at least 90% confidence During Cold FTP tests, the emissions of CO and of toxics when operating on FP1 RFG are not statistically different from those when operating on a low sulfur certification gasoline In contrast the alternative fuels produce statistically significant benefits in the emissions of both CO and toxics compared to either of the gasolines during Cold FTP tests The Reactivity Adjustment Factor calculated from the present conventional FTP results for CNG agrees closely with the CARB value However, the present RAF for LPG is about half CARB s value, which is believed to be a consequence of the low propene in Texas LPG compared to the high propene in California LPG The effects of the test type on the emissions are also discussed
Technical Paper

CNG Compositions in Texas and the Effects of Composition on Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Driveability of NGVs

1996-10-01
962097
A survey of the CNG compositions within NGV driving range of Houston was performed. It was found that the statistics for the Texas CNGs were very similar to those from a previous national survey Based upon the present survey results, two extremes of CNG composition were chosen for a study of the effects of composition on emissions, fuel economy, and driveability. Two other CNG compositions were also included to provide for comparisons with the recently completed Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program (AQIRP) and to extend the AQIRP database. One of the vehicles used in the AQIRP study was also used in the present investigation. Correlations were investigated for the relationships between the CNG composition and tailpipe emissions, fuel economy, and driveability.
Technical Paper

The Texas Project: Part 1 - Emissions and Fuel Economy of Aftermarket CNG and LPG Conversions of Light-Duty Vehicles

1996-10-01
962098
The Texas Project is a multi-year study of the emissions and fuel economy of aftermarket conversions of light-duty vehicles, including passenger cars, light light-duty trucks, and heavy light-duty trucks. The test fleet, consisting of 86 mostly 1994 model year vehicles, includes eight different types of light-duty vehicles that have been converted to dual fueled operation for either CNG or LPG and corresponding gasoline controls. Virtually every type of aftermarket conversion technology (referred to as a “kit” for convenience) is represented in the test matrix: eight different CNG kits and seven different LPG kits, all of which have closed loop control systems. One goal of The Texas Project is to evaluate the different kits for each of the applications. One method used for evaluating the different kits was by assessing their potential for attaining LEV certification for each of the vehicle applications.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Fuel Composition, System Design, and Operating Conditions on In-System Vaporization and Hot Start of a Liquid-Phase LPG Injection System

1998-05-04
981388
A liquid-phase port injection system for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) generally consists of a fuel storage tank with extended capability of operating up to 600 psi, a fuel pump, and suitable fuel lines to and from the LPG fuel injectors mounted in the fuel rail manifold. Port injection of LPG in the liquid phase is attractive due to engine emissions and performance benefits. However, maintaining the LPG in the liquid phase at under-hood conditions and re-starting after hot soak can be difficult. Multiphase behavior within a liquid-phase LPG injection system was investigated computationally and experimentally. A commercial chemical equilibrium code (ASPEN PLUS™) was used to model various LPG compositions under operating conditions.
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