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Technical Paper

Comparison of an On-Board, Real-Time Electronic PM Sensor with Laboratory Instruments Using a 2009 Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicle

EmiSense Technologies, LLC ( is commercializing its electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor that is based on technology developed at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). To demonstrate the capability of this sensor for real-time PM measurements and on board diagnostics (OBD) for failure detection of diesel particle filters (DPF), independent measurements were performed to characterize the engine PM emissions and to compare with the PM sensor response. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling was performed to characterize the hydrodynamics of the sensor's housing and to develop an improved PM sensor housing with reproducible hydrodynamics and an internal baffle to minimize orientation effects. PM sensors with the improved housing were evaluated in the truck exhaust of a heavy duty (HD) diesel engine tested on-road and on a chassis dynamometer at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) using their Mobile Emissions Laboratory (MEL).
Technical Paper

Further Development of an Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor and Its Application to Diesel Engine Transients

This paper presents the latest developments in the design and performance of an electronic particulate matter (PM) sensor developed at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and suitable, with further development, for applications in active engine control of PM emissions. The sensor detects the carbonaceous mass component of PM in the exhaust and has a time-resolution less than 20 (ms), allowing PM levels to be quantified for engine transients. Sample measurements made with the sensor in the exhaust of a single-cylinder light duty diesel engine are presented for both steady-state and transient operations: a steady-state correlation with gravimetric filter measurements is presented, and the sensor response to rapid increases in PM emission during engine transients is shown for several different tip-in (momentary increases in fuel delivery) conditions.
Technical Paper

Electronic Particulate Matter Sensor – Mechanisms and Application in a Modern Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle

An electronic particulate matter sensor (EPMS) developed at the University of Texas was used to characterize exhaust gases from a single-cylinder diesel engine and a light-duty diesel vehicle. Measurements were made during transient tip-in events with multiple sensor configurations in the single-cylinder engine. The sensor was operated in two modes: one with the electric field energized, and the other with no electric field present. In each mode, different characteristic signals were produced in response to a tip-in event, highlighting the two primary mechanisms of sensor operation. The sensor responded to both the natural charge of the particulate matter (PM) emitted from the engine, and was also found to create a signal by charging neutral particles. The characteristics of the two mechanisms of operation are discussed as well as their implications on the placement and operation of the sensor.
Technical Paper

A Full-Cycle Multi-Zone Quasi-Dimensional Direct Injection Diesel Engine Model Based on a Conceptual Model Developed from Imaging Experiments

A quasi-dimensional model for a direct injection diesel engine was developed based on experiments at Sandia National Laboratory. The Sandia researchers obtained images describing diesel spray evolution, spray mixing, premixed combustion, mixing controlled combustion, soot formation, and NOx formation. Dec [1] combined all of the available images to develop a conceptual diesel combustion model to describe diesel combustion from the start of injection up to the quasi-steady form of the jet. The end of injection behavior was left undescribed in this conceptual model because no clear image was available due to the chaotic behavior of diesel combustion. A conceptual end-of-injection diesel combustion behavior model was developed to capture diesel combustion throughout its life span. The compression, expansion, and gas exchange stages are modeled via zero-dimensional single zone calculations.
Technical Paper

Investigation of a Novel Aid for Cold Starting of Diesels

An experimental investigation of the use of an engine coolant exchange system for prewarming diesel engines before cold starting is discussed. This coolant exchange system involves connecting the coolant system of a fully warmed-up and running engine (e.g., a spark ignition engine) to that of the cold diesel to be started using hydraulic hoses with quick connect fittings and an auxiliary pump. The investigation was performed using a 4,3 liter V6 indirect injection diesel engine since this represents a difficult case for cold starting. The starting characteristics using the coolant exchange technique are compared to those using the production glow plug system, which includes a fuel heater and afterglow. It is shown that the coolant exchange system allows this engine to be started down to −26 °C, much colder than the −13°C limit for the production glow plug system.
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.