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Journal Article

High Power-Density, High Efficiency, Mechanically Assisted, Turbocharged Direct-Injection Jet-Ignition Engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Abstract More than a decade ago, we proposed combined use of direct injection (DI) and jet ignition (JI) to produce high efficiency, high power-density, positive-ignition (PI), lean burn stratified, internal combustion engines (ICEs). Adopting this concept, the latest FIA F1 engines, which are electrically assisted, turbocharged, directly injected, jet ignited, gasoline engines and work lean stratified in a highly boosted environment, have delivered peak power fuel conversion efficiencies well above 46%, with specific power densities more than 340 kW/liter. The concept, further evolved, is here presented for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications. Results of simulations for a new DI JI ICE with rotary valve, being super-turbocharged and having gasoline or methanol as working fuel, show the opportunity to achieve even larger power densities, up to 430 kW/liter, while delivering a near-constant torque and, consequently, a nearly linear power curve over a wide range of speeds.
Journal Article

Computational Fluid Dynamic Simulation of In-Cylinder Pressures to Validate High-Range VCR

Abstract This article serves as a proof-of-concept and feasibility analysis regarding a variable compression ratio (VCR) engine design utilizing an exhaust valve opening during the compression stroke to vary the compression ratio instead of the traditional method of changing the cylinder or piston geometry patented by Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Peugeot, Gomecsys, et al. [1]. In this concept, an additional exhaust valve opening was used to reduce the virtual compression ratio of the engine, without geometric changes. A computational fluid dynamic model in ANSYS Forte was used to simulate a single-cylinder, cold flow, four-stroke, direct injection engine cycle. In this model, the engine was simulated at a compression ratio of 10:1. Then, the model was modified to a compression ratio of 17:1. Then, an additional valve opening at the end of the compression stroke was added to the 17:1 high compression model.
Journal Article

Investigation into the Potentials of a Dedicated Multi-Point Injection System for a Production NG Single-Point Heavy-Duty Engine

Abstract CNG is at present retaining a growing interest as a factual alternative to traditional fuels for SI engines, thanks to its high potentials in reducing the engine-out emissions. Increasing thrust into the exploitation of NG in the transport field is in fact produced by the even more stringent emission regulations that are being introduced into the worldwide scenario. Moreover, the transport sector accounts for the 27% of the overall energy consumptions and up to the 13% in terms of global emissions. The present paper aims at deeply investigating into the potentials of a heavy-duty engine running on CNG and equipped with two different injection systems, an advanced single point (SP) one and a prototype multi-point (MP) one. The considered 7.8-liter engine was designed and produced to implement a SP strategy and hence modified to run with a dedicated MP system.
Journal Article

Influence of Miller Cycles on Engine Air Flow

Abstract The influence of the intake valve lift of two Miller cycles on the in-cylinder flow field inside a DISI engine is studied experimentally since changes of the engine flow field directly affect the turbulent mixing and the combustion process. For the analysis of the impact of the valve timing on the general flow field topology and on the large-scale flow structures, high-speed stereo-scopic particle-image velocimetry measurements are conducted in the tumble plane and the cross-tumble plane. The direct comparison to a standard Otto intake valve lift curve reveals evidently different impacts on the flow field for both Miller cam shafts. A Miller cycle that features late intake valve closing shows a flow field comparable to the standard Otto valve timing and a tumble vortex of strong intensity can be identified.
Journal Article

Lean Burn Combustion of Iso-Octane in a Rapid Compression Machine Using Dual Mode Turbulent Jet Ignition System

Abstract Turbulent jet ignition (TJI) is a pre-chamber initiated combustion technology that has been demonstrated to provide low temperature, faster burn rate combustion of lean and intake charge diluted air-fuel mixtures. Dual mode turbulent jet ignition (DM-TJI) is a novel concept wherein a separate air supply is provided for the pre-chamber apart from the conventional auxiliary fuel as supplied for TJI systems. The current study aims to extend the lean flammability limit of a gasoline-fueled engine using DM-TJI. Ignition delay time and combustion behavior of ultra-lean iso-octane/air mixture (Lambda ≅ 3.0) was studied using a TJI-based optically accessible rapid compression machine. High-speed fuel spray recordings in the pre-chamber were obtained using borescope imaging setup. Images of the reacting turbulent jet and subsequent combustion in the main chamber were captured using a visible color camera.
Journal Article

A Novel Approach towards Stable and Low Emission Stratified Lean Combustion Employing Two Solenoid Multi-Hole Direct Injectors

Abstract Stratified lean combustion has proven to be a promising approach for further increasing the thermal efficiency of gasoline direct injection engines in low load conditions. In this work, a new injection strategy for stratified operation mode is introduced. A side and a central-mounted solenoid multi-hole injector are simultaneously operated in a single-cylinder engine. Thermodynamic investigations show that this concept leads to improved stability, faster combustion, reduced particle number emissions, and lower fuel consumption levels compared to using only one injector. Experiments at an optical engine and three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations explain the improvements by a more compact mixture and reduced piston wetting with two injectors. Finally, the application of external EGR in combination with the above concept allows NOx emissions to be effectively kept at a low level while maintaining a stable operation.
Journal Article

Development and Validation Procedure of a 1D Predictive Model for Simulation of a Common Rail Fuel Injection System Controlled with a Fuel Metering Valve

Abstract A fully predictive one-dimensional model of a Common Rail injection apparatus for diesel passenger cars is presented and discussed. The apparatus includes high-pressure pump, high-pressure pipes, injectors, rail and a fuel-metering valve that is used to control the rail pressure level. A methodology for separately assessing the accuracy of the single submodels of the components is developed and proposed. The complete model of the injection system is finally validated by means of a comparison with experimental high-pressure and injected flow-rate time histories. The predictive model is applied to examine the fluid dynamics of the injection system during either steady-state or transient operations. The influence of the pump delivered flow-rate on the rail-pressure time history and on the injection performance is analysed for different energizing times and nominal rail pressure values.
Journal Article

Analysis of Regulated Pollutant Emissions and Aftertreatment Efficiency in a GTDi Engine Using Different SOI Strategies

Abstract In order to improve performance and minimize pollutant emissions in gasoline turbocharged direct-injection (GTDi) engines, different injection strategies and technologies are being investigated. The inclusion of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and the variation of the start of injection (SOI) are some of these strategies that can influence the air-to-fuel (AF) mixture formation and consequently in the combustion process and pollutant emissions. This paper presents a complete study of the engine performance, pollutant emissions and aftertreatment efficiency that produces the SOI variation with a fixed EGR rate in a 4-cylinder, turbocharged, gasoline direct-injection engine with 2.0 L displacement. The equipment used in this study are TSI-EEPS for particle measurement and HORIBA MEXA 1230-PM for soot measurement being HORIBA MEXA 7100-DEGR with a heated line selector the system employed for regulated gaseous emission measurement and aftertreatment evaluation.
Journal Article

Fueling an Engine by Ultrasonic Atomization, and Its Control

Abstract This article presents work carried out on a small, 4-stroke, SI engine, incorporated with an ultrasonic atomizer-based fueling system. A disc-type ultrasonic atomizer having good atomization characteristics was incorporated in the air intake path of a single cylinder, two-wheeler engine, replacing the conventional carburetor. This new fueling system was introduced with the aim of reducing the engine fuel consumption, while looking for a possible reduction in exhaust emissions. An electronic control mechanism was devised to change the atomization rate, in order to set the desired equivalence ratio for optimum engine operation. Test results indicate a significant improvement in fuel consumption and brake thermal efficiency, with a good control over the equivalence ratio. The system also allows engine operation at equivalence ratios as low as 0.5, and hence could be adopted for ultra-lean engines.
Journal Article

Numerical Investigation of the Characteristics of Spray/Wall Interaction with Hybrid Breakup Model by Considering Nozzle Exit Turbulence

Abstract The spray/wall interaction plays a significant role on the mixture formation, combustion, and exhaust emissions. In the present study, the numerical code General Transport Equation Analysis (GTEA) is used to investigate the effect of fuel primary spray on the spray/wall interaction process. Taylor Analogy Breakup (TAB) model, Kelvin-Helmholtz-Rayleigh-Taylor (KH-RT) model, and Hybrid breakup (Hybrid) model are used to simulate the fuel spray process. By comparing the radius and height of the impinged spray, the performance of these breakup models is evaluated. Then, Bai and Gosman (BG) and Zhang and Jia (ZJ) spray/wall interaction models are implemented into GTEA code to describe the complicated spray/wall interaction process, and these interaction models are validated by the radius and height of the impinged spray and the size and velocity of the secondary droplets.
Journal Article

Direct Versus Indirect Acting Piezoelectric CR Injectors: Comparison of Hydraulic Performance, Pollutant Emissions, Combustion Noise, and Fuel Consumption

Abstract A comprehensive comparison between a direct acting and an indirect acting piezoelectric injector has been carried out both at the hydraulic rig and at the dynamometer cell. The working principle of these injector typologies is illustrated, and their hydraulic performance has been analyzed and discussed on the basis of experimental data collected at a hydraulic test rig. The injector characteristics, nozzle opening and closure delays, injector leakages, injected flow-rate profiles, injector-to-injector variability in the injected mass, injected volume fluctuations with the dwell time (DT), and minimum DT for fusion-free multiple injections have been compared in order to evaluate the impact of the injector driving system on the injection apparatus performance. The direct acting and indirect acting piezoelectric injectors have been installed on a Euro 5 diesel engine, which has been tested at a dynamometer cell.
Journal Article

The Key Role of Advanced, Flexible Fuel Injection Systems to Match the Future CO2 Targets in an Ultra-Light Mid-Size Diesel Engine

Abstract The article describes the results achieved in developing a new diesel combustion system for passenger car application that, while capable of high power density, delivers excellent fuel economy through a combination of mechanical and thermodynamic efficiencies improvement. The project stemmed from the idea that, by leveraging the high fuel injection pressure of last generation common rail systems, it is possible to reduce the engine peak firing pressure (pfp) with great benefits on reciprocating and rotating components’ light-weighting and friction for high-speed light-duty engines, while keeping the power density at competitive levels. To this aim, an advanced injection system concept capable of injection pressure greater than 2500 bar was coupled to a prototype engine featuring newly developed combustion system. Then, the matching among these features has been thoroughly experimentally examined.
Journal Article

Understanding the Origin of Cycle-to-Cycle Variation Using Large-Eddy Simulation: Similarities and Differences between a Homogeneous Low-Revving Speed Research Engine and a Production DI Turbocharged Engine

Abstract A numerical study using large-eddy simulations (LES) to reproduce and understand sources of cycle-to-cycle variation (CCV) in spark-initiated internal combustion engines (ICEs) is presented. Two relevantly different spark-ignition (SI) units, that is, a homogeneous-charge slow-speed single-cylinder research unit (the transparent combustion chamber (TCC)-III, Engine 1) and a stratified-charge high-revving speed gasoline direct injection (GDI) (Engine 2) one, are analyzed in fired operations. Multiple-cycle simulations are carried out for both engines and LES results well reproduce the experimentally measured combustion CCV. A correlation study is carried out, emphasizing the decisive influence of the early flame period variability (1% of mass fraction burnt (MFB1)) on the entire combustion event in both ICEs. The focus is moved onto the early flame characteristics, and the crucial task to determine the dominant causes of its variability (if any) is undertaken.
Journal Article

Experimental Studies of the Effect of Ethanol Auxiliary Fueled Turbulent Jet Ignition in an Optical Engine

Abstract Internal combustion (IC) engines are widely used in automotive, marine, agricultural and industrial machineries because of their superior performance, high efficiency, power density, durability and versatility in size and power outputs. In response to the demand for improved engine efficiency and lower CO2 emissions, advanced combustion process control techniques and more renewable fuels should be adopted for IC engines. Lean-burn combustion is one of the technologies with the potential to improve thermal efficiencies due to reduced heat loss and higher ratio of the specific heats. In order to operate the IC engines with very lean air/fuel mixtures, multiple turbulent jet pre-chamber ignition has been researched and developed to extend the lean-burn limit. Turbulent Jet Ignition (TJI) offers very fast burn rates compared to spark plug ignition by producing multiple ignition sites that consume the main charge rapidly.
Journal Article

Role of Piston Bowl Shape to Enhance Late-Cycle Soot Oxidation in Low-Swirl Diesel Combustion

Abstract Late-cycle soot oxidation in heavy-duty (HD) diesel engine low-swirl combustion was investigated using single-cylinder engine and spray chamber experiments together with engine combustion simulations. The in-cylinder flow during interactions between adjacent flames (flame-flame events) was shown to have a large impact on late-cycle combustion. To modify the flame-flame flow, a new piston bowl shape with a protrusion (wave) was designed to guide the near-wall flow. This design significantly reduced soot emissions and increased engine thermodynamic efficiency. The wave’s main effect was to enhance late-cycle mixing, as demonstrated by an increase in the apparent rate of heat release after the termination of fuel injection. Combustion simulations showed that the increased mixing is driven by enhanced flow re-circulation, which produces a radial mixing zone (RMZ).
Journal Article

Performance, Fuel Economy, and Economic Assessment of a Combustion Concept Employing In-Cylinder Gasoline/Natural Gas Blending for Light-Duty Vehicle Applications

Abstract In current production natural gas/gasoline bi-fuel vehicles, fuels are supplied via port fuel injection (PFI). Injecting a gaseous fuel in the intake port significantly reduces the volumetric efficiency and consequently torque as compared to gasoline. In addition to eliminating the volumetric efficiency challenge, direct injection (DI) of natural gas (NG) can enhance the in-cylinder flow, mixing, and combustion process resulting in improved efficiency and performance. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach to model high-pressure gaseous injection was developed and validated against X-ray data from Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. NG side and central DI of various designs and injection strategies were assessed experimentally along with CFD correlation. Significant effects on combustion metrics were quantified and explained via improved understanding of the in-cylinder flow effects due to NG injection.
Journal Article

Compatibility Assessment of Fuel System Thermoplastics with Bio-Blendstock Fuel Candidates Using Hansen Solubility Analysis

Abstract The compatibility of key fuel system infrastructure plastics with 39 bio-blendstock fuel candidates was examined using Hansen solubility analysis. Fuel types included multiple alcohols, esters, ethers, ketones, alkenes and one alkane. These compounds were evaluated as neat molecules and as blends with the gasoline surrogate, dodecane and a mix of dodecane and 10% ethanol (E10D). The plastics included polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polyoxymethylene (POM), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE), along with several nylon grades. These materials have been rigorously studied with other fuel types, and their volume change results were found to correspond well with their predicted solubility levels.
Journal Article

Soot Observations and Exhaust Soot Comparisons from Ethanol-Blended and Methanol-Blended Gasoline Combustion in a Direct-Injected Engine

Abstract Particulate formation was studied under homogeneous-intent stoichiometric operating conditions when ethanol-blended (E10) or methanol-blended (M20) gasoline fuel was injected during intake stroke of a 4-stroke direct-injected engine. The engine was tested at wide open throttle under naturally aspirated conditions for a speed-load of 1500 rev/min and 9.8 bar indicated mean effective pressure. In-cylinder soot observations and exhaust soot measurements were completed for different fuel rail pressures, injection timings, coolant and piston temperatures of the optical engine. Fuel delivery settings were tested with both single and split injections during intake stroke. The target piston temperature of the optical engine was attained using pre-determined number of methane port fuel injection firing cycles. Overall, the in-cylinder soot observations correlated well with the engine-out soot measurements. A warmer cylinder head favored soot reduction for both fuels.
Journal Article

Limitations of Monoolein in Simulating Water-in-Fuel Characteristics of EN590 Diesel Containing Biodiesel in Water Separation Testing

Abstract In modern diesel fuel a proportion of biodiesel is blended with petro-diesel to reduce environmental impacts. However, it can adversely affect the operation of nonwoven coalescing filter media when separating emulsified water from diesel fuel. This can be due to factors such as increasing water content in the fuel, a reduction in interfacial tension (IFT) between the water and diesel, the formation of more stable emulsions, and the generation of smaller water droplets. Standard water/diesel separation test methods such as SAE J1488 and ISO 16332 use monoolein, a universal surface-active agent, to simulate the effects of biodiesel on the fuel properties as part of water separation efficiency studies. However, the extent to which diesel/monoolein and diesel/biodiesel blends are comparable needs to be elucidated if the underlying mechanisms affecting coalescence of very small water droplets in diesel fuel with a low IFT are to be understood.
Journal Article

Compression Ratio Control of Free Piston Linear Generator with In-Cylinder Pressure Feedforward

Abstract The free piston linear generator (FPLG) is a novel machine that functions as an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for hybrid electric vehicles, which contains two opposed free piston engines and one linear generator between them. FPLG has attracted extensive interest for its potential advantages in terms of high power density and multi-fuel flexibility. The guarantee of FPLG generating electricity steadily and efficiently is the high controllability of compression ratio. In this article, a control-oriented discrete-time model was established based on Otto cycle. Since the fluctuation of in-cylinder pressure caused by instable fuel injection mass and combustion process is the main disturbance, a composite controller is designed to precisely control the compression ratio of FPLG. The composite controller is made up of a feedforward controller and a feedback tracking controller.