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Technical Paper

Performance Maps of Turbocharged SI Engines with Gasoline-Ethanol Blends: Torque, Efficiency, Compression Ratio, Knock Limits, and Octane

1 Downsizing and turbocharging a spark-ignited engine is becoming an important strategy in the engine industry for improving the efficiency of gasoline engines. Through boosting the air flow, the torque is increased, the engine can thus be downsized, engine friction is reduced in both absolute and relative terms, and engine efficiency is increased. However knock onset with a given octane rating fuel limits both compression ratio and boost levels. This paper explores the operating limits of a turbocharged engine, with various gasoline-ethanol blends, and the interaction between compression ratio, boost levels, and spark retard, to achieve significant increases in maximum engine mean effective pressure and efficiency.
Journal Article

Effects of Secondary Air Injection During Cold Start of SI Engines

An experimental study was performed to develop a more fundamental understanding of the effects of secondary air injection (SAI) on exhaust gas emissions and catalyst light-off characteristics during cold start of a modern SI engine. The effects of engine operating parameters and various secondary air injection strategies such as spark retardation, fuel enrichment, secondary air injection location and air flow rate were investigated to understand the mixing, heat loss, and thermal and catalytic oxidation processes associated with SAI. Time-resolved HC, CO and CO₂ concentrations were tracked from the cylinder exit to the catalytic converter outlet and converted to time-resolved mass emissions by applying an instantaneous exhaust mass flow rate model. A phenomenological model of exhaust heat transfer combined with the gas composition analysis was also developed to define the thermal and chemical energy state of the exhaust gas with SAI.
Journal Article

Coordinated Strategies for Ethanol and Flex Fuel Vehicle Deployment: A Quantitative Assessment of the Feasibility of Biofuel Targets

The goal of this paper is to quantitatively assess the implications of congressionally mandated biofuel targets on requirements for ethanol blending, distribution, and usage in spark ignition engines in the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet. The “blend wall” is a term that refers to the maximum amount of ethanol that can be blended into the gasoline pool without exceeding the legal volumetric blend limit of 10%. Beyond the blend wall, the additional ethanol fuel must be used in higher blends of ethanol like E85. Once the blend wall is reached, the existing fleet of flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) will be required to use E85 for some percentage of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in order to achieve the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets.
Journal Article

The Underlying Physics and Chemistry behind Fuel Sensitivity

Recent studies have shown that for a given RON, fuels with a higher sensitivity (RON-MON) tend to have better antiknock performance at most knock-limited conditions in modern engines. The underlying chemistry behind fuel sensitivity was therefore investigated to understand why this trend occurs. Chemical kinetic models were used to study fuels of varying sensitivities; in particular their autoignition delay times and chemical intermediates were compared. As is well known, non-sensitive fuels tend to be paraffins, while the higher sensitivity fuels tend to be olefins, aromatics, diolefins, napthenes, and alcohols. A more exact relationship between sensitivity and the fuel's chemical structure was not found to be apparent. High sensitivity fuels can have vastly different chemical structures. The results showed that the autoignition delay time (τ) behaved differently at different temperatures. At temperatures below 775 K and above 900 K, τ has a strong temperature dependence.
Journal Article

Characterizations of Deployment Rates in Automotive Technology

Passenger cars in the United States continue to incorporate increasing levels of technology and features. However, deployment of technology requires substantial development and time in the automotive sector. Prior analyses indicate that deployment of technology in the automotive sector can be described by a logistic function. These analyses refer to maximum annual growth rates as high as 17% and with developmental times of 10-15 years. However, these technologies vary widely in complexity and function, and span decades in their implementation. This work applies regression with a logistic form to a wide variety of automotive features and technologies and, using secondary regression, identifies broader trends across categories and over time.
Journal Article

Charge Cooling Effects on Knock Limits in SI DI Engines Using Gasoline/Ethanol Blends: Part 2-Effective Octane Numbers

Spark Ignited Direct Injection (SI DI) of fuel extends engine knock limits compared to Port Fuel Injection (PFI) by utilizing the large in-cylinder charge cooling effect due to fuel evaporation. The use of gasoline/ethanol blends in direct injection (DI) is therefore especially advantageous due to the high heat of vaporization of ethanol. In addition to the thermal benefit due to charge cooling, ethanol blends also display superior chemical resistance to autoignition, therefore allowing the further extension of knock limits. Unlike the charge cooling benefit which is realized mostly in SI DI engines, the chemical benefit of ethanol blends exists in Port Fuel Injected (PFI) engines as well. The aim of this study is to separate and quantify the effect of fuel chemistry and charge cooling on knock. Using a turbocharged SI engine with both PFI and DI, knock limits were measured for both injection types and five gasoline-ethanol blends.
Technical Paper

Effect of In-Cylinder Liquid Fuel Films on Engine-Out Unburned Hydrocarbon Emissions for an SI Engine

An experimental study was performed in a firing SI engine at conditions representative of the warmup phase of operation in which liquid gasoline films were established at various locations in the combustion chamber and the resulting impact on hydrocarbon emissions was assessed. Unique about this study was that it combined, in a firing engine environment, direct visual observation of the liquid fuel films, measurements of the temperatures these films were subjected to, and the determination from gas analyzers of burned and unburned fuel quantities exiting the combustion chamber - all with cycle-level resolution or better. A means of deducing the exhaust hydrocarbon emissions that were due to the liquid fuel films in the combustion chamber was developed. An increase in exhaust hydrocarbon emissions was always observed with liquid fuel films present in the combustion chamber.
Journal Article

A Forward-Looking Stochastic Fleet Assessment Model for Analyzing the Impact of Uncertainties on Light-Duty Vehicles Fuel Use and Emissions

Transport policy research seeks to predict and substantially reduce the future transport-related greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption to prevent negative climate change impacts and protect the environment. However, making such predictions is made difficult due to the uncertainties associated with the anticipated developments of the technology and fuel situation in road transportation, which determine the total fuel use and emissions of the future light-duty vehicle fleet. These include uncertainties in the performance of future vehicles, fuels' emissions, availability of alternative fuels, demand, as well as market deployment of new technologies and fuels. This paper develops a methodology that quantifies the impact of uncertainty on the U.S. transport-related fuel use and emissions by introducing a stochastic technology and fleet assessment model that takes detailed technological and demand inputs.
Technical Paper

Lean SI Engines: The role of combustion variability in defining lean limits

Previous research has shown the potential benefits of running an engine with excess air. The challenges of running lean have also been identified, but not all of them have been fundamentally explained. Under high dilution levels, a lean limit is reached where combustion becomes unstable, significantly deteriorating drivability and engine efficiency, thus limiting the full potential of lean combustion. This paper expands the understanding of lean combustion by explaining the fundamentals behind this rapid rise in combustion variability and how this instability can be reduced. A flame entrainment combustion model was used to explain the fundamentals behind the observed combustion behavior in a comprehensive set of lean gasoline and hydrogen-enhanced cylinder pressure data in an SI engine. The data covered a wide range of operating conditions including different compression ratios, loads, types of dilution, fuels including levels of hydrogen enhancement, and levels of turbulence.
Technical Paper

Effects of Charge Motion Control During Cold Start of SI Engines

An experimental study was performed to investigate the effects of various intake charge motion control valves (CMCVs) on mixture preparation, combustion, and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during the cold start-up process of a port fuel injected spark ignition (SI) engine. Different charge motions were produced by three differently shaped plates in the CMCV device, each of which blocked off 75% of the engine's intake ports. Time-resolved HC, CO and CO2 concentrations were measured at the exhaust port exit in order to achieve cycle-by-cycle engine-out HC mass and in-cylinder air/fuel ratio. Combustion characteristics were examined through a thermodynamic burn rate analysis. Cold-fluid steady state experiments were carried out with the CMCV open and closed. Enhanced charge motion with the CMCV closed was found to shorten the combustion duration, which caused the location of 50% mass fraction burned (MFB) to occur up to 5° CA earlier for the same spark timing.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Behavior of a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine Concept

This paper explores the modeling of a lean boosted engine concept. Modeling provides a useful tool for investigating different parameters and comparing resultant emissions and fuel economy performance. An existing architectural concept has been tailored to a boosted hydrogen-enhanced lean-burn SI engine. The simulation consists of a set of Matlab models, part physical and part empirical, which has been developed to simulate a working engine. The model was calibrated with production engine data and experimental data taken at MIT. Combustion and emissions data come from a single cylinder research engine and include changes in air/fuel ratio, load and speed, and different fractions of the gasoline fuel reformed to H2 and CO. The outputs of the model are brake specific NOx emissions and brake specific fuel consumption maps along with cumulative NOx emissions and fuel economy for urban and highway drive cycles.
Journal Article

The Shift in Relevance of Fuel RON and MON to Knock Onset in Modern SI Engines Over the Last 70 Years

Since the advent of the spark ignition engine, the maximum engine efficiency has been knock limited. Knock is a phenomena caused by the rapid autoignition of fuel/air mixture (endgas) ahead of the flame front. The propensity of a fuel to autoignite corresponds to its autoignition chemistry at the local endgas temperature and pressure. Since a fuel blend consists of many components, its autoignition chemistry is very complex. The octane index (OI) simplifies this complex autoignition chemistry by comparing a fuel to a Primary Reference Fuel (PRF), a binary blend of iso-octane and n-heptane. As more iso-octane is added into the blend, the PRF is less likely to autoignite. The OI of a fuel is defined as the volumetric percentage of iso-octane in the PRF blend that exhibits similar knocking characteristics at the same engine conditions.
Journal Article

Trends in Performance Characteristics of Modern Automobile SI and Diesel Engines

A prior study (Chon and Heywood, [1]) examined how the design and performance of spark-ignition engines evolved in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. This paper carries out a similar analysis of trends in basic engine design and performance characteristics over the past decade. Available databases on engine specifications in the U.S., Europe, and Japan were used as the sources of information. Parameters analyzed were maximum torque, power, and speed; number of cylinders and engine configuration, cylinder displacement, bore, stroke, compression ratio; valvetrain configuration, number of valves and their control; port or direct fuel injection; naturally-aspirated or turbocharged engine concepts; spark-ignition and diesel engines. Design features are correlated with these engine’s performance parameters, normalized by engine and cylinder displacement.
Technical Paper

Phenomena that Determine Knock Onset in Spark-Ignition Engines

Experiments were carried out to collect in-cylinder pressure data and microphone signals from a single-cylinder test engine using spark timingsbefore, at, and after knock onset for toluene reference fuels. The objective was to gain insight into the phenomena that determine knock onset, detected by an external microphone. In particular, the study examines how the end-gas autoignition process changes as the engine's spark timing is advanced through the borderline knock limit into the engine's knocking regime. Fast Fourier transforms (FFT) and bandpass filtering techniques were used to process the recorded cylinder pressure data to determine knock intensities for each cycle. Two characteristic pressure oscillation frequencies were detected: a peak just above 6 kHz and a range of peaks in the 15-22 kHz range. The microphone data shows that the audible knock signal has the same 6 kHz peak.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy Benefits and Aftertreatment Requirements of a Naturally Aspirated HCCI-SI Engine System

This vehicle simulation study estimates the fuel economy benefits of an HCCI engine system and assesses the NOx, HC and CO aftertreatment performance required for compliance with emissions regulations on U.S. and European regulatory driving cycles. The four driving cycles considered are the New European Driving Cycle, EPA City Driving Cycle, EPA Highway Driving Cycle, and US06 Driving Cycle. For each driving cycle, the following influences on vehicle fuel economy were examined: power-to-weight ratio, HCCI combustion mode operating range, driving cycle characteristics, requirements for transitions out of HCCI mode when engine speeds and loads are within the HCCI operating range, fuel consumption and emissions penalties for transitions into and out of HCCI mode, aftertreatment system performance and tailpipe emissions regulations.
Technical Paper

Comparative Analysis of Automotive Powertrain Choices for the Next 25 Years

This paper assesses the potential improvement of automotive powertrain technologies 25 years into the future. The powertrain types assessed include naturally-aspirated gasoline engines, turbocharged gasoline engines, diesel engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, and various advanced transmissions. Advancements in aerodynamics, vehicle weight reduction and tire rolling friction are also taken into account. The objective of the comparison is the potential of anticipated improvements in these powertrain technologies for reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at the same level of performance as current vehicles in the U.S.A. The fuel consumption and performance of future vehicles was estimated using a combination of scaling laws and detailed vehicle simulations. The results indicate that there is significant potential for reduction of fuel consumption for all the powertrains examined.
Journal Article

The Trade-off between Automobile Acceleration Performance, Weight, and Fuel Consumption

This paper evaluates how the fuel consumption of the average new U.S. passenger car will be penalized if engine and vehicle improvements continue to be focused on developing bigger, heavier and more powerful automobiles. We quantify a parameter called the Emphasis on Reducing Fuel Consumption (ERFC) and find that there has been little focus on improving fuel consumption in the U.S. over the past twenty years. In contrast, Europe has seen significantly higher ERFC. By raising the ERFC over the next few decades, we can reduce the average U.S. new car's fuel consumption by up to some 40 percent and cut the light-duty vehicle fleet's fuel use by about a quarter. Achieving substantial fuel use reduction will remain a major challenge if automobile size, weight and power continue to dominate.
Journal Article

A Comparative Assessment of Electric Propulsion Systems in the 2030 US Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet

This paper quantifies the potential of electric propulsion systems to reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the 2030 U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet. The propulsion systems under consideration include gasoline hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), fuel-cell hybrid vehicles (FCVs), and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). The performance and cost of key enabling technologies were extrapolated over a 25-30 year time horizon. These results were integrated with software simulations to model vehicle performance and tank-to-wheel energy consumption. Well-to-wheel energy and GHG emissions of future vehicle technologies were estimated by integrating the vehicle technology evaluation with assessments of different fuel pathways. The results show that, if vehicle size and performance remain constant at present-day levels, these electric propulsion systems can reduce or eliminate the transport sector's reliance on petroleum.
Technical Paper

Effects of Combustion Phasing, Relative Air-fuel Ratio, Compression Ratio, and Load on SI Engine Efficiency

In an effort to both increase engine efficiency and generate new, consistent, and reliable data useful for the development of engine concepts, a modern single-cylinder 4-valve spark-ignition research engine was used to determine the response of indicated engine efficiency to combustion phasing, relative air-fuel ratio, compression ratio, and load. Combustion modeling was then used to help explain the observed trends, and the limitations on achieving higher efficiency. This paper analyzes the logic behind such gains in efficiency and presents correlations of the experimental data. The results are helpful for examining the potential for more efficient engine designs, where high compression ratios can be used under lean or dilute regimes, at a variety of loads.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Gasoline Engine Knock Limited Performance and the Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement

A set of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of relative air-fuel ratio, inlet boost pressure, and compression ratio on engine knock behavior. Selected operating conditions were also examined with simulated hydrogen rich fuel reformate added to the gasoline-air intake mixture. For each operating condition knock limited spark advance was found for a range of octane numbers (ON) for two fuel types: primary reference fuels (PRFs), and toluene reference fuels (TRFs). A smaller set of experiments was also performed with unleaded test gasolines. A combustion phasing parameter based on the timing of 50% mass fraction burned, termed “combustion retard”, was used as it correlates well to engine performance. The combustion retard required to just avoid knock increases with relative air-fuel ratio for PRFs and decreases with air-fuel ratio for TRFs.