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Technical Paper

Influence of the Wall Temperature and Combustion Chamber Geometry on the Performance and Emissions of a Mini HCCI Engine Fueled with Diethyl Ether

Nowadays for small-scale power generation there are electrochemical batteries and mini engines. Many efforts have been done for improving the power density of the batteries but unfortunately the value of 1 MJ/kg seems to be asymptotic. If the energy source is an organic fuel which has an energy density of around 29 MJ/kg with a minimum overall efficiency of only 3.5%, this device would surpass the batteries. This paper is the fifth of a series of publications aimed to study the HCCI combustion process in the milli domain at high engine speed in order to design and develop VIMPA, Vibrating Microengine for Low Power Generation and Microsystems Actuation. Previous studies ranged from general characterization of the HCCI combustion process by using metal and optical engines, to more specific topics for instance the influence of the boundary layer and quenching distance on the quality of the combustion.
Technical Paper

Influence of the Compression Ratio on the Performance and Emissions of a Mini HCCI Engine Fueled Ether with Diethyl

Power supply systems play a very important role in applications of everyday life. Mainly, for low power generation, there are two ways of producing energy: electrochemical batteries and small engines. In the last few years many improvements have been carried out in order to obtain lighter batteries with longer duration but unfortunately the energy density of 1 MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. If the energy source is an organic fuel with an energy density of around 29 MJ/kg and a minimum overall efficiency of only 3.5%, this device can surpass the batteries. Nowadays the most efficient combustion process is HCCI combustion which is able to combine high energy conversion efficiency and low emission levels with a very low fuel consumption. In this paper, an investigation has been carried out concerning the effects of the compression ratio on the performance and emissions of a mini, Vd = 4.11 [cm3], HCCI engine fueled with diethyl ether.
Technical Paper

Improving Ion Current Feedback for HCCI Engine Control

In HCCI you do not have the same control of the combustion like in SI and Diesel engines. Controlling the start of a combustion event is a difficult task and requires feedback from previous cycles. This feedback can be retrieved from ion current measurements. By applying a voltage over the spark gap, ions will lead a current and a signal that represents the combustion in the cylinder will be retrieved. Voltages of 450 V were used. The paper describes a new method to enhance the combustion phasing from the Ion current trace in HCCI engines. The method is using the knowledge of how the signal should look. This is known due to the fact that the shape of the ion current signal is similar from cycle to cycle. This new observation is shown in the paper. Also the correlation between the ion current and CA50 was studied. Later the signals have been used for combustion feedback.
Technical Paper

Mini High Speed HCCI Engine Fueled with Ether: Load Range, Emission Characteristics and Optical Analysis

Power supply systems play a very important role in everyday life applications. There are mainly two ways of producing energy for low power generation: electrochemical batteries and small engines. In the last few years, many improvements have been carried out in order to obtain lighter batteries with longer durations but unfortunately the energy density of 1 MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. An energy source constituted of an organic fuel with an energy density around 29 MJ/kg and a minimum overall efficiency of only 3.5% could surpass batteries. Nowadays, the most efficient combustion process is HCCI combustion which has the ability to combine a high energy conversion efficiency with low emission levels and a very low fuel consumption. The present paper describes an investigation carried out on a modified model airplane engine, on how a pure HCCI combustion behaves in a small volume, Vd = 4.11 cm3, at very high engine speeds (up to 17,500 [rpm]).
Technical Paper

Multi-Output Control of a Heavy Duty HCCI Engine Using Variable Valve Actuation and Model Predictive Control

Autoignition of a homogeneous mixture is very sensitive to operating conditions, therefore fast control is necessary for reliable operation. There exists several means to control the combustion phasing of an Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine, but most of the presented controlled HCCI result has been performed with single-input single-output controllers. In order to fully operate an HCCI engine several output variables need to be controlled simultaneously, for example, load, combustion phasing, cylinder pressure and emissions. As these output variables have an effect on each other, the controller should be of a structure which includes the cross-couplings between the output variables. A Model Predictive Control (MPC) controller is proposed as a solution to the problem of load-torque control with simultaneous minimization of the fuel consumption and emissions, while satisfying the constraints on cylinder pressure.
Technical Paper

Combustion Chamber Wall Temperature Measurement and Modeling During Transient HCCI Operation

In this paper the combustion chamber wall temperature was measured by the use of thermographic phosphor. The temperature was monitored over a large time window covering a load transient. Wall temperature measurement provide helpful information in all engines. This temperature is for example needed when calculating heat losses to the walls. Most important is however the effect of the wall temperature on combustion. The walls can not heat up instantaneously and the slowly increasing wall temperature following a load transient will affect the combustion events sucseeding the transient. The HCCI combustion process is, due to its dependence on chemical kinetics more sensitive to wall temperature than Otto or Diesel engines. In depth knowledge about transient wall temperature could increase the understanding of transient HCCI control. A “black box” state space model was derived which is useful when predicting transient wall temperature.
Technical Paper

Influence of Inlet Temperature and Hot Residual Gases on the Performances of a Mini High Speed Glow Plug Engine

Nowadays the power supplying systems have a fundamental importance for all small and portable devices. For low power applications, there are two main ways for producing power: electrochemical batteries and mini engines. Even though in recent years many developments have been carried out in improving the design of batteries, the energy density of 1MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. If the energy source is a hydrocarbon fuel, whose energy density is 46 MJ/kg, with an overall efficiency of only 2.5 % it is possible to surpass the electrochemical batteries. On the other hand, having a mini engine, as energy source, implies three main problems: vibrations, noise and emissions. A light (230 g) model airplane engine with a displacement volume of 4.11 cm3 and a geometrical compression ratio of 13.91 has been studied. The work carried out in this paper can be divided basically in three parts.
Technical Paper

Detailed Heat Release Analyses with Regard to Combustion of RME and Oxygenated Fuels in an HSDI Diesel Engine

Experiments on a modern DI Diesel engine were carried out: The engine was fuelled with standard Diesel fuel, RME and a mixture of 85% standard Diesel fuel, 5% RME and 10% higher alcohols under low load conditions (4 bar IMEP). During these experiments, different external EGR levels were applied while the injection timing was chosen in a way to keep the location of 50% heat release constant. Emission analysis results were in accordance with widely known correlations: Increasing EGR rates lowered NOx emissions. This is explained by a decrease of global air-fuel ratio entailing longer ignition delay. Local gas-fuel ratio increases during ignition delay and local combustion temperature is lowered. Exhaust gas analysis indicated further a strong increase of CO, PM and unburned HC emissions at high EGR levels. This resulted in lower combustion efficiency. PM emissions however, decreased above 50% EGR which was also in accordance with previously reported results.
Technical Paper

A Study of a Glow Plug Ignition Engine by Chemiluminescence Images

An experimental study of a glow plug engine combustion process has been performed by applying chemiluminescence imaging. The major intent was to understand what kind of combustion is present in a glow plug engine and how the combustion process behaves in a small volume and at high engine speed. To achieve this, images of natural emitted light were taken and filters were applied for isolating the formaldehyde and hydroxyl species. Images were taken in a model airplane engine, 4.11 cm3, modified for optical access. The pictures were acquired using a high speed camera capable of taking one photo every second or fourth crank angle degree, and consequently visualizing the progress of the combustion process. The images were taken with the same operating condition at two different engine speeds: 9600 and 13400 rpm. A mixture of 65% methanol, 20% nitromethane and 15% lubricant was used as fuel.
Technical Paper

A Real Time NOx Model for Conventional and Partially Premixed Diesel Combustion

In this paper a fast NOx model is presented which can be used for engine optimization, aftertreatment control or virtual mapping. A cylinder pressure trace is required as input data. High calculation speed is obtained by using table interpolation to calculate equilibrium temperatures and species concentrations. Test data from a single-cylinder engine and from a complete six-cylinder engine have been used for calibration and validation of the model. The model produces results of good agreement with emission measurements using approximately 50 combustion product zones and a calculation time of one second per engine cycle. Different compression ratios, EGR rates, injection timing, inlet pressures etc. were used in the validation tests.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Displacement on Air-Diluted Multi-Cylinder HCCI Engine Performance

The main benefit of HCCI engines compared to SI engines is improved fuel economy. The drawback is the diluted combustion with a substantially smaller operating range if not some kind of supercharging is used. The reasons for the higher brake efficiency in HCCI engines can be summarized in lower pumping losses and higher thermodynamic efficiency, due to higher compression ratio and higher ratio of specific heats if air is used as dilution. In the low load operating range, where HCCI today is mainly used, other parameters as friction losses, and cooling losses have a large impact on the achieved brake efficiency. To initiate the auto ignition of the in-cylinder charge a certain temperature and pressure have to be reached for a specific fuel. In an engine with high in-cylinder cooling losses the initial charge temperature before compression has to be higher than on an engine with less heat transfer.
Technical Paper

Variable Valve Actuation for Timing Control of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engine

Autoignition of a homogeneous mixture is very sensitive to operating conditions. Therefore fast combustion phasing control is necessary for reliable operation. There are several means to control the combustion phasing of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine. This paper presents cycle-to-cycle cylinder individual control results from a six-cylinder HCCI engine using a Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system. As feedback signal, the crank angle for 50% burned, based on cylinder pressure, is used. Three control structures are evaluated, Model Predictive Control (MPC), Linear Quadratic Gaussian control (LQG) and PID control. In the control design of the MPC and LQG controller, dynamic models obtained by system identification were used. Successful experiments were performed on a port-injected six-cylinder heavy-duty Diesel engine operating in HCCI mode.
Technical Paper

Start of Injection Strategies for HCCI-combustion

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has a great potential for low NOx emissions but problems with emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (HC). One way of reducing the HC is to use direct injection. The purpose of this paper is to present experimental data on the trade off between NOx and HC. Injection timing, injection pressure and nozzle configuration all effect homogeneity of the mixture and thus the NOx and HC emissions. The engine studied is a single cylinder version of a Scania D12 that represents a modern heavy-duty truck size engine. A common rail (CR) system has been used to control injection pressure and timing. The combustion using injectors with different nozzle hole diameters and spray angle, both colliding and non-colliding, has been studied. The NOx emission level changes with start of injection (SOI) and the levels are low for early injection timing, increasing with retarded SOI. Different injectors produce different NOx levels.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Intake Temperature on HCCI Operation Using Negative Valve Overlap

A naturally aspirated in-line six-cylinder 2.9-litre Volvo engine is operated in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) mode, using camshafts with low lift and short duration generating negative valve overlap. This implementation requires only minor modifications of the standard SI engine and allows SI operation outside the operating range of HCCI. Standard port fuel injection is used and pistons and cylinder head are unchanged from the automotive application. A heat exchanger is utilized to heat or cool the intake air, not as a means of combustion control but in order to simulate realistic variations in ambient temperature. The combustion is monitored in real time using cylinder pressure sensors. HCCI through negative valve overlap is recognized as one of the possible implementation strategies of HCCI closest to production. However, for a practical application the intake temperature will vary both geographically and from time to time.
Technical Paper

Cycle-to-Cycle Control of a Dual-Fuel HCCI Engine

A known problem of the HCCI engine is its lack of direct control and its requirements of feedback control. Today there exists several different means to control an HCCI engine, such as dual fuels, variable valve actuation, inlet temperature and compression ratio. Independent of actuation method a sensor is needed. In this paper we perform closed-loop control based on two different sensors, pressure and ion current sensor. Results showing that they give similar control performance within their operating range are presented. Also a comparison of two methods of designing HCCI timing controller, manual tuning and model based design is presented. A PID controller is used as an example of a manually tuned controller. A Linear Quadratic Gaussian controller exemplifies model based controller design. The models used in the design were estimated using system identification methods. The system used in this paper performs control on cycle-to-cycle basis. This leads to fast and robust control.
Technical Paper

Boosting for High Load HCCI

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) holds great promises for good fuel economy and low emissions of NOX and soot. The concept of HCCI is premixed combustion of a highly diluted mixture. The dilution limits the combustion temperature and thus prevents extensive NOX production. Load is controlled by altering the quality of the charge, rather than the quantity. No throttling together with a high compression ratio to facilitate auto ignition and lean mixtures results in good brake thermal efficiency. However, HCCI also presents challenges like how to control the combustion and how to achieve an acceptable load range. This work is focused on solutions to the latter problem. The high dilution required to avoid NOX production limits the mass of fuel relative to the mass of air or EGR. For a given size of the engine the only way to recover the loss of power due to dilution is to force more mass through the engine.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Cooled EGR on Emissions and Performance of a Turbocharged HCCI Engine

This paper discusses the effects of cooled EGR on a turbo charged multi cylinder HCCI engine. A six cylinder, 12 liter, Scania D12 truck engine is modified for HCCI operation. It is fitted with port fuel injection of ethanol and n-heptane and cylinder pressure sensors for closed loop combustion control. The effects of EGR are studied in different operating regimes of the engine. During idle, low speed and no load, the focus is on the effects on combustion efficiency, emissions of unburned hydrocarbons and CO. At intermediate load, run without turbocharging to achieve a well defined experiment, combustion efficiency and emissions from incomplete combustion are still of interest. However the effect on NOx and the thermodynamic effect on thermal efficiency, from a different gas composition, are studied as well. At high load and boost pressure the main focus is NOx emissions and the ability to run high mean effective pressure without exceeding the physical constraints of the engine.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Addition For Improved Lean Burn Capability of Slow and Fast Burning Natural Gas Combustion Chambers

One way to extend the lean burn limit of a natural gas engine is by addition of hydrogen to the primary fuel. This paper presents measurements made on a one cylinder 1.6 liter natural gas engine. Two combustion chambers, one slow and one fast burning, were tested with various amounts of hydrogen (0, 5, 10 and 15 %-vol) added to natural gas. Three operating points were investigated for each combustion chamber and each hydrogen content level; idle, part load (5 bar IMEP) and 13 bar IMEP (simulated turbocharging). Air/fuel ratio was varied between stoichiometric and the lean limit. For each operating point, a range of ignition timings were tested to find maximum brake torque (MBT) and/or knock. Heat-release rate calculations were made in order to assess the influence of hydrogen addition on burn rate. Addition of hydrogen showed an increase in burn rate for both combustion chambers, resulting in more stable combustion close to the lean limit.
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

Supercharged Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) with Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Pilot Fuel

In an attempt to extend the upper load limit for Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), supercharging in combination with Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) have been applied. Two different boost pressures were used, 1.1 bar and 1.5 bar. High EGR rates were used in order to reduce the combustion rate. The highest obtained IMEP was 16 bar. This was achieved with the higher boost pressure, at close to stoichiometric conditions and with approximately 50 % EGR. Natural gas was used as the main fuel. In the case with the higher boost pressure, iso-octane was used as pilot fuel, to improve the ignition properties of the mixture. This made it possible to use a lower compression ratio and thereby reducing the maximum cylinder pressure. The tests were performed on a single cylinder engine operated at low speed (1000 rpm). The test engine was equipped with a modified cylinder head, having a Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) mechanism.