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Technical Paper

Comparison of an On-Board, Real-Time Electronic PM Sensor with Laboratory Instruments Using a 2009 Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicle

EmiSense Technologies, LLC ( is commercializing its electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor that is based on technology developed at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). To demonstrate the capability of this sensor for real-time PM measurements and on board diagnostics (OBD) for failure detection of diesel particle filters (DPF), independent measurements were performed to characterize the engine PM emissions and to compare with the PM sensor response. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling was performed to characterize the hydrodynamics of the sensor's housing and to develop an improved PM sensor housing with reproducible hydrodynamics and an internal baffle to minimize orientation effects. PM sensors with the improved housing were evaluated in the truck exhaust of a heavy duty (HD) diesel engine tested on-road and on a chassis dynamometer at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) using their Mobile Emissions Laboratory (MEL).
Journal Article

The Effect of EGR on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in Boosted SI Engines

The spark ignition (SI) engine has been known to exhibit several different abnormal combustion phenomena, such as knock or pre-ignition, which have been addressed with improved engine design or control schemes. However, in highly boosted SI engines - where the engine displacement is reduced and turbocharging is employed to increase specific power - a new combustion phenomenon, described as Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI), has been exhibited. LSPI is characterized as a pre-ignition event typically followed by heavy knock, which has the potential to cause degradation of the engine. However, because LSPI events occur only sporadically and in an uncontrolled fashion, it is difficult to identify the causes for this phenomenon and to develop solutions to suppress it. Some countermeasures exist that OEMs can use to avoid LSPI, such as load limiting, but these have drawbacks.
Journal Article

Engine Operating Condition and Gasoline Fuel Composition Effects on Low-Speed Pre-Ignition in High-Performance Spark Ignited Gasoline Engines

Downsizing is an important concept to reduce fuel consumption as well as emissions of spark ignition engines. Engine displacement is reduced in order to shift operating points from lower part load into regions of the operating map with higher efficiency and thus lower specific fuel consumption [ 1 ]. Since maximum power in full load operation decreases due to the reduction of displacement, engines are boosted (turbocharging or supercharging), which leads to a higher specific loading of the engines. Hence, a new combustion phenomenon has been observed at high loads and low engine speed and is referred to as Low-Speed Pre-Ignition or LSPI. In cycles with LSPI, the air/fuel mixture is ignited prior to the spark which results in the initial flame propagation quickly transforming into heavy engine knock. Very high pressure rise rates and peak cylinder pressures could exceed design pressure limits, which in turn could lead to degradation of the engine.
Journal Article

Diesel Cold-Start Emission Control Research for 2015-2025 LEV III Emissions - Part 2

The diesel engine can be an effective solution to meet future greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, especially for larger segment vehicles. However, a key challenge facing the diesel is the upcoming LEV III and Tier 3 emission standards which will require significant reductions in hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. The challenge stems from the fact that diesel exhaust temperatures are much lower than gasoline engines, so the time required to achieve effective emissions control after a cold-start with typical aftertreatment devices is considerably longer. To address this challenge, a novel diesel cold-start emission control strategy was investigated on a 2L class diesel engine. This strategy combines several technologies to reduce tailpipe HC and NOx emissions before the start of the second hill of the FTP75. The technologies include both engine tuning and aftertreatment changes.
Technical Paper

Development of a Transient-Capable Multi-Cylinder HCCI Engine

Southwest Research Institute, as part of the Clean Diesel IV consortium, built a multi-cylinder HCCI engine that ran in the HCCI combustion mode full-time. The engine was used to develop HCCI fuels, demonstrate the potential operating range of HCCI, and to demonstrate the feasibility of transient control of HCCI. As part of the engine design, a hardware based method of decoupling control of air and EGR was developed and patented [ 1 ]. The system utilized a positive displacement supercharger with a controlled bypass valve for air-flow control, and a high-pressure loop EGR system with variable geometry turbocharger to control the EGR rate. By utilizing the system, the required precision from the air and EGR control in the engine controller was reduced.
Technical Paper

Design Details of the Compression Ignition Rotating Liner Engine. Reducing Piston Assembly Friction and Ring/Liner Wear in Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines

The Rotating Liner Engine (RLE) is an engine design concept where the cylinder liner rotates in order to reduce piston assembly friction and liner/ring wear. The reduction is achieved by the elimination of the mixed and boundary lubrication regimes that occur near TDC. Prior engines for aircraft developed during WW2 with partly rotating liners (Sleeve Valve Engines or SVE) have exhibited reduction of bore wear by factor of 10 for high BMEP operation, which supports the elimination of mixed lubrication near the TDC area via liner rotation. Our prior research on rotating liner engines experimentally proved that the boundary/mixed components near TDC are indeed eliminated, and a high friction reduction was quantified compared to a baseline engine. The added friction required to rotate the liner is hydrodynamic via a modest sliding speed, and is thus much smaller than the mixed and boundary friction that is eliminated.
Technical Paper

Effects of Various Model Parameters in the Simulation of a Diesel SCR System

A Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system is a simple solution to mitigate high concentration of nitrogen oxides from tail pipe emissions using ammonia as catalyst. In recent years, implementation of stringent emission standards for diesel exhaust made the SCR system even more lucrative aftertreatment solution for diesel engine manufacturer due to its well established reaction mechanism and lower initial cost involved compared to other available options. Nitrogen oxides reduction efficiency and ammonia slip are two main parameters that affects SCR system performance. Therefore, primary design objective of an efficient SCR system is to enhance reduction of nitrogen oxides and control ammonia slip. Both these factors can be improved by having a uniform mixture of ammonia at the SCR inlet. In this mathematical simulation, various parameters that affect accuracy in predicting the uniformity of mixture at the SCR inlet have been documented.
Technical Paper

Coastdown Coefficient Analysis of Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Application to the Examination of the Effects of Grade and Other Parameters on Fuel Consumption

To perform coastdown tests on heavy-duty trucks, both long acceleration and coasting distances are required. It is very difficult to find long flat stretches of road to conduct these tests; for a Class 8 truck loaded to 80,000 lb, about 7 miles of road is needed to complete the coastdown tests. In the present study, a method for obtaining coastdown coefficients from data taken on a road of variable grade is presented. To this end, a computer code was written to provide a fast solution for the coastdown coefficients. Class 7 and Class 8 trucks were tested with three different weight configurations: empty, “cubed-out” (fully loaded but with a payload of moderate density), and “weighed-out” (loaded to the maximum permissible weight).
Technical Paper

Downspeeding and Supercharging a Diesel Passenger Car for Increased Fuel Economy

The effects of downspeeding and supercharging a passenger car diesel engine were studied through laboratory investigation and vehicle simulation. Changes in the engine operating range, transmission gearing, and shift schedule resulted in improved fuel consumption relative to the baseline turbocharged vehicle while maintaining performance and drivability metrics. A shift schedule optimization technique resulted in fuel economy gains of up to 12% along with a corresponding reduction in transmission shift frequency of up to 55% relative to the baseline turbocharged configuration. First gear acceleration, top gear passing, and 0-60 mph acceleration of the baseline turbocharged vehicle were retained for the downsped supercharged configuration.
Journal Article

Diesel Cold-Start Emission Control Research for 2015-2025 LEV III Emissions

The diesel engine can be an effective solution to meet future greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, especially for larger segment vehicles. However, a key challenge facing the diesel is the upcoming LEV III emissions standard which will require significant reductions of hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from current levels. The challenge stems from the fact that diesel exhaust temperatures are much lower than gasoline engines so the time required to achieve effective emissions control with current aftertreatment devices is considerably longer. The objective of this study was to determine the potential of a novel diesel cold-start emissions control strategy for achieving LEV III emissions. The strategy combines several technologies to reduce HC and NOx emissions before the start of the second hill of the FTP75.
Technical Paper

Laser Ignition in a Pre-Mixed Engine: The Effect of Focal Volume and Energy Density on Stability and the Lean Operating Limit

A series of tests using an open beam laser ignition system in an engine run on pre-mixed, gaseous fuels were performed. The ignition system for the engine was a 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser. A single cylinder research engine was run on pre-mixed iso-butane and propane to determine the lean limit of the engine using laser ignition. In addition, the effect of varying the energy density of the ignition kernel was investigated by changing the focal volume and by varying laser energy. The results indicate that for a fixed focal volume, there is a threshold beyond which increasing the energy density [kJ/m3] yields little or no benefit. In contrast, increasing the energy density by reducing the focal volume size decreases lean performance once the focal volume is reduced past a certain point. The effect of ignition location relative to different surfaces in the engine was also investigated. The results show a slight bias in favor of igniting closer to a surface with low thermal conductivity.
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

Railplug Ignition Operating Characteristics and Performance:A Review

The basic process of spark ignition in engines has changed little over the more than 100 years since its first application. The rapid evolution of several advanced engine concepts and the refinement of existing engine designs, especially applications of power boost technology, have led to a renewed interest in advanced spark ignition concepts. The increasingly large rates of in-cylinder dilution via EGR and ultra-lean operation, combined with increases in boost pressures are placing new demands on spark ignition systems. The challenge is to achieve strong and consistent ignition of the in-cylinder mixture in every cycle, to meet performance and emissions goals while maintaining or improving the durability of ignitor. The application of railplug ignition to some of these engine systems is seen as a potential alternative to conventional spark ignition systems that may lead to improved ignition performance.
Technical Paper

Further Development of an Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor and Its Application to Diesel Engine Transients

This paper presents the latest developments in the design and performance of an electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor developed at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and suitable, with further development, for applications in active engine control of PM emissions. The sensor detects the carbonaceous mass component of PM in the exhaust and has a time-resolution less than 20 (ms), allowing PM levels to be quantified for engine transients. Sample measurements made with the sensor in the exhaust of a single-cylinder light duty diesel engine are presented for both steady-state and transient operations: a steady-state correlation with gravimetric filter measurements is presented, and the sensor response to rapid increases in PM emission during engine transients is shown for several different tip-in (momentary increases in fuel delivery) conditions.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Sparkplug Design on Initial Flame Kernel Development and Sparkplug Performance

Tests were conducted on a variety of commercially available spark plugs to determine the influence of igniter design on initial kernel formation and overall performance. Flame kernel formation was investigated using high-speed schlieren visualization. The flame growth rate was quantified using the area of the burned gas region. The results showed that kernel growth rate was heavily influenced by electrode geometry and configuration. The igniters were also tested in a bomb calorimeter to determine the levels of supplied and delivered energy. The typical ratio of supplied to delivered energy was 20% and igniters with a higher internal resistance delivered more energy and had faster kernel formation rates. The exception was plugs with large amounts of conductive mass near the electrodes, which had very slow kernel formation rates despite relatively high delivered energy levels.
Technical Paper

Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor – Mechanisms and Application in a Modern Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle

An electronic particulate matter sensor (EPMS) developed at the University of Texas was used to characterize exhaust gases from a single-cylinder diesel engine and a light-duty diesel vehicle. Measurements were made during transient tip-in events with multiple sensor configurations in the single-cylinder engine. The sensor was operated in two modes: one with the electric field energized, and the other with no electric field present. In each mode, different characteristic signals were produced in response to a tip-in event, highlighting the two primary mechanisms of sensor operation. The sensor responded to both the natural charge of the particulate matter (PM) emitted from the engine, and was also found to create a signal by charging neutral particles. The characteristics of the two mechanisms of operation are discussed as well as their implications on the placement and operation of the sensor.
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

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

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

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

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.