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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

Measurement of Laminar Burning Velocity of Multi-Component Fuel Blends for Use in High-Performance SI Engines

A technique was developed for measuring the Laminar Burning Velocity (LBV) of multi-component fuel blends for use in high-performance spark-ignition engines. This technique involves the use of a centrally-ignited spherical combustion chamber, and a complementary analysis code. The technique was validated by examining several single-component fuels, and the computational procedure was extended to handle multi-component fuels without requiring detailed knowledge of their chemical composition. Experiments performed on an instrumented high-speed engine showed good agreement between the observed heat-release rates of the fuels and their predicted ranking based on the measured LBV parameters.
Technical Paper

Vaporization of Individual Fuel Drops on a Heated Surface: A Study of Fuel-Wall Interactions within Direct-Injected Gasoline (DIG) Engines

The impingement of liquid fuel onto the surfaces of the combustion chamber (wall-wetting) has been shown to be an important source of HC emissions from direct-injected SI engines, and can even result in pool fires and diffusion flames. Some degree of wall wetting, particularly on the piston top, is believed to occur in every current DIG engine design, but the behavior of the wall-bound fuel throughout the engine cycle is poorly understood. The goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of the fundamental interaction between liquid fuel droplets and the piston under engine-like conditions, by observing the vaporization of individual fuel drops as the surface temperature and ambient pressures were varied in a controlled environment. The vaporization of several single-component fuels, binary mixtures, and multi-component fuels was examined in the range of surface temperatures between 50 and 300 °C and ambient pressures between 50 and 1270 kPa (abs).
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

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.