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Technical Paper

Use of Ionization Current to Estimate CO Rate in a Small 2-Stroke SI Engine

This paper presents an experimental study on a 2-stroke SI engine, used on small portable tools for gardening or agriculture, aimed to identify possible correlations between parameters related to ionization current and air/fuel mixture richness, considering different fuels and spark plug wear. This, to realize a simple system to control the engine parameters and adapt them to engine aging and fuel type changing. The engine was fed with commercial gasoline, low octane number gasoline, alkylate gasoline and a blend of 80% gasoline and 20% ethanol. In all tests carried out with varying engine speed and spark advance the ionization signal was characterized by a single peak, resulting in the impossibility of distinguishing chemical and thermal ionization. All data collected were analyzed looking for correlations between all the available data of CO emissions and several characteristic parameters obtained from the ionization signal.
Technical Paper

Optimization of Control Parameters for a Heavy-Duty CNG Engine via Co-Simulation Analysis

Internal combustion engines for vehicle propulsion are more and more sophisticated due to increasingly restrictive environmental regulations. In case of heavy-duty engines, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling coupled with Three-Way Catalyst (TWC) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) can help in meeting the imposed emission limits and preventing from thermal stress of engine components. To cope with the new issues associated with the more complex hardware and to improve powertrain performance and reliability and after-treatment efficiency, the engine control strategies must be reformulated. The paper focuses on the steady-state optimization of control parameters for a heavy-duty engine fueled by CNG and equipped with turbocharger and EGR. The optimization analysis is carried out to design EGR, spark timing and wastegate control, aimed at increasing fuel economy while reducing in-cylinder temperature to prevent from thermal stress of engine components.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Combustion Process in a Small Optically Accessible Two Stroke SI Engine

The improvement in engines efficiency and reduction of emissions is the permanent aim of engine industry in order to meet European standards regulation. To optimize small internal combustion engines it is necessary to improve the basic knowledge of thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion. This paper describes the combustion process in an optically accessible two-stroke spark-ignition engine used in a commercial 43 cm3 chainsaw. Two different feeding systems were tested: standard and CWI one. The engine head was modified in order to allow the visualization of the combustion using endoscopic system coupled with a high spatial resolution ICCD camera. Flame front propagation was evaluated through an image processing procedure. The image visualization and chemiluminence allowed to follow the combustion process from the spark ignition to the exhaust phase at high engine speed. All the optical data were correlated with engine parameters and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis of a Natural Gas Fueled Engine and 1-D Simulation of VVT and VVA Strategies

The paper deals with experimental testing of a natural gas fueled engine. Break Specific fuel Consumption (BSFC), Average Mass Flow Rate, Instantaneous Cylinder Pressure and some wall temperatures have been measured at some full and part load operating conditions. The results of this experimental activity, still in progress, have been used to calibrate a 1D-flow engine's model. Then the effects of some VVA strategies have been theoretically studied through the validated model. With the aim of maximizing the full load engine's torque, a genetic algorithm was used to calculate the optimized intake and exhaust valves timing angles. Various VVA strategies were compared at part-load in order to reduce brake specific fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

Effects of Low Temperature Combustion on Particle and Gaseous Emission of a Dual Fuel Light Duty Engine

In recent years the use of alternative fuels for internal combustion engines has had a strong push coming from both technical and economic-environmental aspects. Among these, gaseous fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas have occupied a segment no longer negligible in the automotive industry, thanks to their adaptability, anti-knock capacity, lower toxicity of pollutants, reduced CO2 emissions and cost effectiveness. On the other hand, diesel engines still represent the reference category among the internal combustion engines in terms of fuel consumptions. The possibility offered by the dual fuel systems, to combine the efficiency and performance of a diesel engine with the environmental advantages of gaseous fuels, has been long investigated. However the simple replacement of diesel fuel with natural gas does not allow to optimize the performance of the engine due to the high THC emissions particularly at lower loads.
Technical Paper

Effect of Natural Gas/Hydrogen Blends on Spark Ignition Stoichiometric Engine Efficiency

Hydrogen (H₂) added to natural gas (NG), improves the combustion process of the air-fuel mixture. This gives the potentiality to develop engines with better performance and lower environmental impact. In any case how hydrogen is produced represents a crucial aspect. In general, if H₂ is produced utilizing fossil fuels and not renewable or nuclear sources, the environmental benefit of CO₂ reduction could be reduced. In this paper two engines, a light-duty (LD) and a heavy-duty (HD), were tested in stoichiometric conditions. The engines were fuelled with NG and with two blends of NG with a 20% and a 40% by volume of H₂, respectively named NG/H₂ 20% and NG/H₂ 40%. The light-duty engine was tested at different loads and speeds, with spark advance set by the electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU actuated a retarded ignition, especially at low load. With the heavy-duty engine, the tests were carried out only at high load.
Technical Paper

Dual Fuel Diesel Engine at Variable Operating Conditions: A Numerical and Experimental Study

The dual-fuel (diesel/natural gas, NG) concept represents a solution to reduce emissions from diesel engines by using natural gas as an alternative fuel. As well known, the dual-fuel technology has the potential to offer significant improvements in the emissions of carbon dioxide from light-duty compression ignition engines. A further important requirement of the DF operation in automotive engines is a satisfactory response in a wide range of load levels. In particular, the part-load levels could present more challenging conditions for an efficient combustion development, due to the poor fuel/air ratio. Basing on the above assumptions, the authors discuss in this article the results of a combined numerical and experimental study on the effect of different injection timings on performance and pollutant fractions of a common rail diesel engine supplied with natural gas and diesel oil.
Technical Paper

A Power Split Hybrid Propulsion System for Vehicles with Gearbox

New internal combustion engines (ICE) are characterised by increasing maximum efficiency, thanks to the adoption of strategies like Atkinson cycle, downsizing, cylinder deactivation, waste heat recovery and so on. However, the best performance is confined to a limited portion of the engine map. Moreover, electric driving in urban areas is an increasingly pressing request, but battery electric vehicles use cannot be easily widespread due to limited vehicle autonomy and recharging issues. Therefore, in order to reduce ICE vehicle fuel consumption, by decoupling the ICE running from road load, as well as permit energy recovery and electric driving, hybrid propulsion systems are under development. This paper analyses a new patent solution for power split hybrid propulsion system with gearbox. The system comprises an auxiliary power unit, adapted to store and/or release energy, and a planetary gear set which is interposed between the ICE and the gearbox.