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Technical Paper

System Efficiency Issues for Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engines in Heavy-Duty Stationary Applications

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has been proposed for natural gas engines in heavy duty stationary power generation applications. A number of researchers have demonstrated, through simulation and experiment, the feasibility of obtaining high gross indicated thermal efficiencies and very low NOx emissions at reasonable load levels. With a goal of eventual commercialization of these engines, this paper sets forth some of the primary challenges in obtaining high brake thermal efficiency from production feasible engines. Experimental results, in conjunction with simulation and analysis, are used to compare HCCI operation with traditional lean burn spark ignition performance. Current HCCI technology is characterized by low power density, very dilute mixtures, and low combustion efficiency. The quantitative adverse effect of each of these traits is demonstrated with respect to the brake thermal efficiency that can be expected in real world applications.
Technical Paper

Compression Ratio Influence on Maximum Load of a Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engine

This paper discusses the compression ratio influence on maximum load of a Natural Gas HCCI engine. A modified Volvo TD100 truck engine is controlled in a closed-loop fashion by enriching the Natural Gas mixture with Hydrogen. The first section of the paper illustrates and discusses the potential of using hydrogen enrichment of natural gas to control combustion timing. Cylinder pressure is used as the feedback and the 50 percent burn angle is the controlled parameter. Full-cycle simulation is compared to some of the experimental data and then used to enhance some of the experimental observations dealing with ignition timing, thermal boundary conditions, emissions and how they affect engine stability and performance. High load issues common to HCCI are discussed in light of the inherent performance and emissions tradeoff and the disappearance of feasible operating space at high engine loads.
Technical Paper

Using Pilot Diesel Injection in a Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engine

Previous research has shown that the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion concept holds promise for reducing pollutants (i.e. NOx, soot) while maintaining high thermal efficiency. However, it can be difficult to control the operation of the HCCI engines even under steady state running conditions. Power density may also be limited if high inlet air temperatures are used for achieving ignition. A methodology using a small pilot quantity of diesel fuel injected during the compression stroke to improve the power density and operation control is considered in this paper. Multidimensional computations were carried out for an HCCI engine based on a CAT3401 engine. The computations show that the required initial temperature for ignition is reduced by about 70 K for the cases of the diesel pilot charge and a 25∼35% percent increase in power density was found for those cases without adversely impacting the NOx emissions.
Technical Paper

Global Optimization of a Two-Pulse Fuel Injection Strategy for a Diesel Engine Using Interpolation and a Gradient-Based Method

A global optimization method has been developed for an engine simulation code and utilized in the search of optimal fuel injection strategies. This method uses a Lagrange interpolation function which interpolates engine output data generated at the vertices and the intermediate points of the input parameters. This interpolation function is then used to find a global minimum over the entire parameter set, which in turn becomes the starting point of a CFD-based optimization. The CFD optimization is based on a steepest descent method with an adaptive cost function, where the line searches are performed with a fast-converging backtracking algorithm. The adaptive cost function is based on the penalty method, where the penalty coefficient is increased after every line search. The parameter space is normalized and, thus, the optimization occurs over the unit cube in higher-dimensional space.
Technical Paper

Autonomous Vehicles in the Cyberspace: Accelerating Testing via Computer Simulation

We present an approach in which an open-source software infrastructure is used for testing the behavior of autonomous vehicles through computer simulation. This software infrastructure is called CAVE, from Connected Autonomous Vehicle Emulator. As a software platform that allows rapid, low-cost and risk-free testing of novel designs, methods and software components, CAVE accelerates and democratizes research and development activities in the field of autonomous navigation.
Journal Article

A Machine Learning-Genetic Algorithm (ML-GA) Approach for Rapid Optimization Using High-Performance Computing

A Machine Learning-Genetic Algorithm (ML-GA) approach was developed to virtually discover optimum designs using training data generated from multi-dimensional simulations. Machine learning (ML) presents a pathway to transform complex physical processes that occur in a combustion engine into compact informational processes. In the present work, a total of over 2000 sector-mesh computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of a heavy-duty engine were performed. These were run concurrently on a supercomputer to reduce overall turnaround time. The engine being optimized was run on a low-octane (RON70) gasoline fuel under partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) mode. A total of nine input parameters were varied, and the CFD simulation cases were generated by randomly sampling points from this nine-dimensional input space. These input parameters included fuel injection strategy, injector design, and various in-cylinder flow and thermodynamic conditions at intake valve closure (IVC).
Technical Paper

Hardware Implementation Details and Test Results for a High-Bandwith, Hydrostatic Transient Engine Dynamometer System

Transient operation of automobile engines is known to contribute significantly to regulated exhaust emissions, and is also an area of drivability concerns. Furthermore, many on-board diagnostic algorithms do not perform well during transient operation and are often temporarily disabled to avoid problems. The inability to quickly and repeatedly test engines during transient conditions in a laboratory setting limits researchers and development engineers ability to produce more effective and robust algorithms to lower vehicle emissions. To meet this need, members of the Powertrain Control Research Laboratory (PCRL) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a high-bandwidth, hydrostatic dynamometer system that will enable researchers to explore transient characteristics of engines and powertrains in the laboratory.
Technical Paper

Cycle to Cycle Variation Study in a Dual Fuel Operated Engine

The standard capability of engine experimental studies is that ensemble averaged quantities like in-cylinder pressure from multiple cycles and emissions are reported and the cycle to cycle variation (CCV) of indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) is captured from many consecutive combustion cycles for each test condition. However, obtaining 3D spatial distribution of all the relevant quantities such as fuel-air mixing, temperature, turbulence levels and emissions from such experiments is a challenging task. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of engine flow and combustion can be used effectively to visualize such 3D spatial distributions. A dual fuel engine is considered in the current study, with manifold injected natural gas (NG) and direct injected diesel pilot for ignition.
Journal Article

Heavy-Duty RCCI Operation Using Natural Gas and Diesel

Many recent studies have shown that the Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) combustion strategy can achieve high efficiency with low emissions. However, it has also been revealed that RCCI combustion is difficult at high loads due to its premixed nature. To operate at moderate to high loads with gasoline/diesel dual fuel, high amounts of EGR or an ultra low compression ratio have shown to be required. Considering that both of these approaches inherently lower thermodynamic efficiency, in this study natural gas was utilized as a replacement for gasoline as the low-reactivity fuel. Due to the lower reactivity (i.e., higher octane number) of natural gas compared to gasoline, it was hypothesized to be a better fuel for RCCI combustion, in which a large reactivity gradient between the two fuels is beneficial in controlling the maximum pressure rise rate.
Technical Paper

Application of High Performance Computing for Simulating Cycle-to-Cycle Variation in Dual-Fuel Combustion Engines

Interest in operational cost reduction is driving engine manufacturers to consider low-cost fuel substitution in heavy-duty diesel engines. These dual-fuel (DF) engines could be operated either in diesel-only mode or operated with premixed natural gas (NG) ignited by a pilot flame of compression-ignited direct-injected diesel fuel. Under certain conditions, dual-fuel operation can result in increased cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) during combustion. CFD can greatly help in understanding and identifying critical parameters influencing CCV. Innovative modelling techniques and large computing resources are needed to investigate the factors affecting CCV in dual-fuel engines. This paper discusses the use of the High Performance Computing resource Titan, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to investigate CCV of a dual-fuel engine.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Neural Network Accuracy for Engine Simulations

Neural networks have been used for engine computations in the recent past. One reason for using neural networks is to capture the accuracy of multi-dimensional CFD calculations or experimental data while saving computational time, so that system simulations can be performed within a reasonable time frame. This paper describes three methods to improve upon neural network predictions. Improvement is demonstrated for in-cylinder pressure predictions in particular. The first method incorporates a physical combustion model within the transfer function of the neural network, so that the network predictions incorporate physical relationships as well as mathematical models to fit the data. The second method shows how partitioning the data into different regimes based on different physical processes, and training different networks for different regimes, improves the accuracy of predictions.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Diesel Engine Operating Parameters Using Neural Networks

Neural networks are useful tools for optimization studies since they are very fast, so that while capturing the accuracy of multi-dimensional CFD calculations or experimental data, they can be run numerous times as required by many optimization techniques. This paper describes how a set of neural networks trained on a multi-dimensional CFD code to predict pressure, temperature, heat flux, torque and emissions, have been used by a genetic algorithm in combination with a hill-climbing type algorithm to optimize operating parameters of a diesel engine over the entire speed-torque map of the engine. The optimized parameters are mass of fuel injected per cycle, shape of the injection profile for dual split injection, start of injection, EGR level and boost pressure. These have been optimized for minimum emissions. Another set of neural networks have been trained to predict the optimized parameters, based on the speed-torque point of the engine.
Technical Paper

A Decoupled Model of Detailed Fluid Mechanics Followed by Detailed Chemical Kinetics for Prediction of Iso-Octane HCCI Combustion

We have developed a methodology for predicting combustion and emissions in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine. The methodology judiciously uses a fluid mechanics code followed by a chemical kinetics code to achieve great reduction in the computational requirements; to a level that can be handled with current computers. In previous papers, our sequential, multi-zone methodology has been applied to HCCI combustion of short-chain hydrocarbons (natural gas and propane). Applying the same procedure to long-chain hydrocarbons (iso-octane) results in unacceptably long computational time. In this paper, we show how the computational time can be made acceptable by developing a segregated solver. This reduces the run time of a ten-zone problem by an order of magnitude and thus makes it much more practical to make combustion studies of long-chain hydrocarbons.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Simulated Results Detailing the Sensitivity of Natural Gas HCCI Engines to Fuel Composition

Natural gas quality, in terms of the volume fraction of higher hydrocarbons, strongly affects the auto-ignition characteristics of the air-fuel mixture, the engine performance and its controllability. The influence of natural gas composition on engine operation has been investigated both experimentally and through chemical kinetic based cycle simulation. A range of two component gas mixtures has been tested with methane as the base fuel. The equivalence ratio (0.3), the compression ratio (19.8), and the engine speed (1000 rpm) were held constant in order to isolate the impact of fuel autoignition chemistry. For each fuel mixture, the start of combustion was phased near top dead center (TDC) and then the inlet mixture temperature was reduced. These experimental results have been utilized as a source of data for the validation of a chemical kinetic based full-cycle simulation.
Technical Paper

Development of a Self-Consistent Kinetic Plasma Model of Thermionic Energy Converters

The present work is aimed at developing a computational model of the interelectrode phenomena in thermionic energy converters which will be accurate over a very wide range of plasma conditions and operating modes. Previous models have achieved only moderate degrees of accuracy and, in a limited range, of validity. This limited range excludes a number of advanced thermionic devices, such as barium-cesium converters. The model under development promises improved accuracy in prediction of conventional devices and extension of predictive capability to advanced devices. The approach is to adapt the “Converted Scheme”, or CS method, to the cesium vapor plasma diode. This method, developed at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, is an extremely efficient algorithm for the solution of charged-particle kinetic equations and has been successfully used to simulate helium RF glow discharges.
Technical Paper

Feature Extraction from Non-Linear Geometric Models in Design-for-Manufacturing

Automatic manufacturability analysis of injection moldings, sheet metal castings, stampings, forgings, etc., using knowledge-based heuristics depends on shape features, which are abstractions of the three dimensional (3D) geometric model of the parts. Conventional CAD systems do not explicitly contain shape feature information, therefore such information needs to be extracted from them. So far, extraction of shape features has been restricted to models with simple geometric shapes such as planar, cylindrical or conical shapes. Extending shape feature extraction to non-linear geometric models will allow Design For Manufacturability (DFM) analysis of non-linear models. This paper presents an approach to extract features from non-linear geometric models. The approach is based on abstract geometric entities called C-loops. The formation of a C-loop depends on a geometric entity called a silhouette. The C-loops are derived from the silhouette boundaries of an object.
Technical Paper

Rapid Prototyping of Control Strategies for Embedded Systems

As both the number and complexity of electronic control system applications on earthmoving equipment and on-highway trucks increase, so does the effort associated with developing and maintaining control strategies implemented in embedded systems. A new tool was recently introduced by Sigma Technology of Ann Arbor, Michigan, that provides the capability to perform rapid prototyping of production embedded systems. The rapid prototyping process includes system modeling, control algorithm synthesis, simulation analysis, source code generation and vehicle implementation. The results of incorporating this tool in the control system design process include improved control performance, improved system reliability/robustness, and significantly reduced development/maintenance costs.
Technical Paper

Transmission Modulating Valve Simulation and Simulation Verification

This paper presents a response to the question: Simulation - mathematical manipulation or useful design tool? A mathematical model of a modulating valve in a transmission control system was developed to predict clutch pressure modulation characteristics. The transmission control system was previously reported in SAE Paper 850783 - “Electronic/Hydraulic Transmission Control System for Off-Highway Vehicles”. The comparison of simulation predictions with test data illustrates the effectiveness of simulation as a design tool. THE EVOLUTION OF COMPUTER hardware and simulation software has resulted in increased interest and usage of simulation for dynamic analysis of hydraulic systems. Most commercially available software is relatively easy to learn to use. The application of such software and the modeling techniques involved require a longer learning curve.
Technical Paper

Determination of Flame-Front Equivalence Ratio During Stratified Combustion

Combustion under stratified operating conditions in a direct-injection spark-ignition engine was investigated using simultaneous planar laser-induced fluorescence imaging of the fuel distribution (via 3-pentanone doped into the fuel) and the combustion products (via OH, which occurs naturally). The simultaneous images allow direct determination of the flame front location under highly stratified conditions where the flame, or product, location is not uniquely identified by the absence of fuel. The 3-pentanone images were quantified, and an edge detection algorithm was developed and applied to the OH data to identify the flame front position. The result was the compilation of local flame-front equivalence ratio probability density functions (PDFs) for engine operating conditions at 600 and 1200 rpm and engine loads varying from equivalence ratios of 0.89 to 0.32 with an unthrottled intake. Homogeneous conditions were used to verify the integrity of the method.
Technical Paper

Linkage and Structural Optimization of an Earth Moving Machine

Faced with competitive environments, pressure to lower development costs and aggressive timelines engineers are not only increasingly adopting numerical simulation techniques but are also embracing design optimization schemes to augment their efforts. These techniques not only provide more understanding of the trade-offs but are also capable of proactively guiding the decision making process. However, design optimization and exploration tools have struggled to find complete acceptance and are typically underutilized in many applications; especially in situations where the algorithms have to compete with existing swift decision making processes. In this paper we demonstrate how the type of setup and algorithmic choice can have an influence and make optimization more lucrative in a new product development atmosphere. We also present some results from a design exploration activity, involving linkage and structural development, of an earth moving machine application.