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Technical Paper

Using Ion-current Sensing to Interpret Gasoline HCCI Combustion Processes

Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), combustion has the potential to be highly efficient and to produce low NOx, carbon dioxide and particulate matter emissions, but experiences problems with cold start, running at idle and producing high power density. A solution to these is to operate the engine in a ‘hybrid mode’, where the engine operates in spark ignition mode at cold start, idle and high loads and HCCI mode elsewhere during the drive cycle, demanding a seamless transition between the two modes of combustion through spark assisted controlled auto ignition. Moreover; HCCI requires considerable control to maintain consistent start of combustion and heat release rate, which has thus far limited HCCI's practical application. In order to provide a suitable control method, a feedback signal is required.
Technical Paper

Towards an Open Source Model for Engine Control Systems

Traditionally, university research in engine technology has been focused on fundamental engine phenomena. Increasingly however, research topics are developing in the form of systems issues. Examples include air and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) management, after-treatment systems, engine cooling, hybrid systems and energy recovery. This trend leads to the need for engine research to be conducted using currently available products and components that are re-configured or incrementally improved to support a particular research investigation. A production engine will include an electronic control unit (ECU) that must be understood and utilised or simply removed and circumvented. In general the intellectual property (IP) limitations places on ECUs by their suppliers mean that they cannot be used. The supplier of the ECU is usually unable to reveal any detail of the implementation. As a consequence any research using production hardware is seriously disadvantaged from the beginning.
Technical Paper

Towards Optimal Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator for Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery from an Automotive Engine

Thermoelectric generator has very quickly become a hot research topic in the last five years because its broad application area and very attractive features such as no moving parts, low maintenance, variety of thermoelectric materials that total together cover a wide temperature range. The biggest disadvantage of the thermoelectric generator is its low conversion efficiency. So that when design and manufacture a thermoelectric generator for exhaust waste heat recovery from an automotive engine, the benefit of fuel consumption from applying a thermoelectric generator would be very sensitive to the weight, the dimensions, the cost and the practical conversion efficiency. Additionally, the exhaust gas conditions vary with the change of engine operating point. This creates a big challenge for the design of the hot side heat exchanger in terms of optimizing the electrical output of the thermoelectric generator during an engine transient cycle.
Technical Paper

Towards In-Cylinder Flow Informed Engine Control Strategies Using Linear Stochastic Estimation

Many modern I.C. engines rely on some form of active control of injection, timing and/or ignition timing to help combat tailpipe out emissions, increase the fuel economy and improve engine drivability. However, development of these strategies is often optimised to suit the average cycle at each condition; an assumption that can lead to sub-optimal performance, especially an increase in particulate (PN) emissions as I.C. engine operation, and in-particular its charge motion is subject to cycle-to-cycle variation (CCV). Literature shows that the locations of otherwise repeatable large-scale flow structures may vary by as much 25% of the bore dimension; this could have an impact on fuel break-up and distribution and therefore subsequent combustion performance and emissions.
Technical Paper

The Value of Component in the Loop Approaches to Exhaust Energy Management in Hybrid Vehicles

Recent work on thermo-electric (TE) systems has highlighted the need for refined heat transfer design as well as the long standing need for improved materials performance. Recent work on heat transfer for TE systems has shown that enhanced heat transfer is needed over and above what would normally be seen in a vehicle exhaust system. In particular a better understanding of flow development and boundary layer behaviour is needed to support new design proposals. In the meantime, recent work in TE materials suggests that with the use of skutterudites significant performance benefits can accrue over existing materials. The current generation of TE materials have non-dimensional thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) values of around 1. Skutterudites have been demonstrated to have ZT values of about 1.4 and can maintain these values over a wider temperature range than do existing materials through the engineering of the TE device.
Journal Article

The Study of a Bi-Stable Wake Region of a Generic Squareback Vehicle using Tomographic PIV

This paper demonstrates the use of large scale tomographic PIV to study the wake region of a Windsor model. This forms part of a larger study intending to understand the mechanisms that drive drag force changes when rear end optimizations are applied. For the first time, tomographic PIV has been applied to a large airflow volume (0.125m3, 500 x 500 x 500mm), which is of sufficient size to capture the near wake of a 25% scale Windsor model in a single measurement. The measurement volume is illuminated using a 200mJ double pulsed Nd:Yag laser fitted with a volume optic and seeded with 300μm helium filled soap bubbles generated by a novel high output seeder. Images were captured using four 4M Pixel LaVision cameras. The tomographic results are shown to produce high quality data with the setup used, but further improvements and tests at higher Reynolds number could be conducted if an additional seeding rake was used to increase seeding density.
Technical Paper

The State of the Art in Selective Catalytic Reduction Control

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) is a leading aftertreatment technology for the removal of nitrogen oxide (NOx) from exhaust gases (DeNOx). It presents an interesting control challenge, especially at high conversion, because both reagents (NOx and ammonia) are toxic, and therefore an excess of either is highly undesirable. Numerous system layouts and control methods have been developed for SCR systems, driven by the need to meet future emission standards. This paper summarizes the current state-of-the-art control methods for the SCR aftertreatment systems, and provides a structured and comprehensive overview of the research on SCR control. The existing control techniques fall into three main categories: traditional SCR control methods, model-based SCR control methods, and advanced SCR control methods. For each category, the basic control technique is defined. Further techniques in the same category are then explained and appreciated for their relative advantages and disadvantages.
Technical Paper

The Potential of Fuel Metering Control for Optimising Unburned Hydrocarbon Emissions in Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Low temperature combustion (LTC) in diesel engines offers attractive benefits through simultaneous reduction of nitrogen oxides and soot. However, it is known that the in-cylinder conditions typical of LTC operation tend to produce high emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) and carbon monoxide (CO), reducing combustion efficiency. The present study develops from the hypothesis that this characteristic poor combustion efficiency is due to in-cylinder mixture preparation strategies that are non-optimally matched to the requirements of the LTC combustion mode. In this work, the effects of three key fuel path parameters - injection fuel quantity ratio, dwell and injection timing - on CO and HC emissions were examined using a Central Composite Design (CCD) Design of Experiments (DOE) method.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Thermoelectric Materials and Operation Conditions on the Performance of Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive

An automotive engine can be more efficient if thermoelectric generators (TEG) are used to convert a portion of the exhaust gas enthalpy into electricity. Due to the relatively low cost of the incoming thermal energy, the efficiency of the TEG is not an overriding consideration. Instead, the maximum power output (MPO) is the first priority. The MPO of the TEG is closely related to not only the thermoelectric materials properties, but also the operating conditions. This study shows the development of a numerical TEG model integrated with a plate-fin heat exchanger, which is designed for automotive waste heat recovery (WHR) in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) path in a diesel engine. This model takes into account the following factors: the exhaust gas properties’ variation along the flow direction, temperature influence on the thermoelectric materials, thermal contact effect, and heat transfer leakage effect. Its accuracy has been checked using engine test data.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Underbody Roughness on Rear Wake Structure of a Squareback Vehicle

In this paper the effects of a rough underbody on the rear wake structure of a simplified squareback model (the Windsor model) is investigated using balance measurements, base pressure measurements and two and three component planar PIV. The work forms part of a larger study to develop understanding of the mechanisms that influence overall base pressure and hence the resulting aerodynamic drag. In the work reported in this paper the impact of a rough underbody on the base pressure and wake flow structures is quantified at three different ground clearances. The underbody roughness has been created through the addition of five roughness strips to the underbody of the model and the effects on the wake at ground clearances of 10.3%, 17.3% and 24.2% of the model height are assessed. All work has been carried out in the Loughborough University Large Wind Tunnel with a ¼ scale model giving a blockage ratio of 4.4% for a smooth under-body or 4.5% with the maximum thickness roughness strips.
Technical Paper

The HOTFIRE Homogeneous GDI and Fully Variable Valve Train Project - An Initial Report

There is a great deal of interest in new technologies to assist in reducing the CO2 output of passenger vehicles, as part of the drive to meet the limits agreed by the EU and the European Automobile Manufacturer's Association ACEA, itself a result of the Kyoto Protocol. For the internal combustion engine, the most promising of these include gasoline direct injection, downsizing and fully variable valve trains. While new types of spray-guided gasoline direct injection (GDI) combustion systems are finally set to yield the level of fuel consumption improvement which was originally promised for the so-called ‘first generation’ wall- and air-guided types of GDI, injectors for spray-guided combustion systems are not yet in production to help justify the added complication and cost of the NOx trap necessary with a stratified combustion concept.
Journal Article

The Effect of a Sheared Crosswind Flow on Car Aerodynamics

In the wind tunnel the effect of a wind input on the aerodynamic characteristics of any road vehicle is simulated by yawing the vehicle. This represents a wind input where the wind velocity is constant with height above the ground. In reality the natural wind is a boundary layer flow and is sheared so that the wind velocity will vary with height. A CFD simulation has been conducted to compare the aerodynamic characteristics of a DrivAer model, in fastback and squareback form, subject to a crosswind flow, with and without shear. The yaw simulation has been carried out at a yaw angle of 10° and with one shear flow exponent. It is shown that the car experiences almost identical forces and moments in the two cases when the mass flow in the crosswind over the height of the car is similar. Load distributions are presented for the two cases. The implications for wind averaged drag are discussed.
Journal Article

The Effect of Passive Base Ventilation on the Aerodynamic Drag of a Generic SUV Vehicle

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) typically have a blunt rear end shape (for design and practicality), however this is not beneficial for aerodynamic drag. Drag can be reduced by a number of passive and active methods such as tapering and blowing into the base. In an effort to combine these effects and to reduce the drag of a visually square geometry slots have been introduced in the upper side and roof trailing edges of a squareback geometry, to take air from the freestream and passively injects it into the base of the vehicle to effectively create a tapered body. This investigation has been conducted in the Loughborough University’s Large Wind Tunnel with the ¼ scale generic SUV model. The basic aerodynamic effect of a range of body tapers and straight slots have been assessed for 0° yaw. This includes force and pressure measurements for most configurations.
Technical Paper

The Effect of EGR on Diesel Engine Wear

As part of an ongoing programme of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) wear investigations, this paper reports a study into the effect of Exhaust Gas Recirculation, and a variety of interacting factors, on the wear rate of the top piston ring and the liner top ring reversal point on a 1.0 litre/cylinder medium duty four cylinder diesel engine. Thin Layer Activation (TLA - also known as Surface Layer Activation in the US) has been used to provide individual wear rates for these components when engine operating conditions have been varied. The effects of oil condition, EGR level, fuel sulphur content and engine coolant temperature have been investigated at one engine speed at full load. The effects of engine load and uncooled EGR have also been assessed. The effects of these parameters on engine wear are presented and discussed. When EGR was applied a significant increase in wear was observed at EGR levels of between 10% and 15%.
Technical Paper

The Characterisation of a Centrifugal Separator for Engine Cooling Systems

It is an engineering requirement that gases entrained in the coolant flow of an engine must be removed to retain cooling performance, while retaining a volume of gas in the header tank for thermal expansion and pressure control. The main gases present are air from filling the system, exhaust emissions from leakage across the head gasket, and also coolant vapour. These gases reduce the performance of the coolant pump and lower the heat transfer coefficient of the fluid. This is due to the reduction in the mass fraction of liquid coolant and the change in fluid turbulence. The aim of the research work contained within this paper was to analyse an existing phase separator using CFD and physical testing to assist in the design of an efficient phase separator.
Journal Article

Real-Time Optimal Energy Management of Heavy Duty Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The performance of energy flow management strategies is essential for the success of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which are considered amongst the most promising solutions for improving fuel economy as well as reducing exhaust emissions. The heavy duty HEVs engaged in cycles characterized by start-stop configuration has attracted widely interests, especially in off-road applications. In this paper, a fuzzy equivalent consumption minimization strategy (F-ECMS) is proposed as an intelligent real-time energy management solution for heavy duty HEVs. The online optimization problem is formulated as minimizing a cost function, in terms of weighted fuel power and electrical power. A fuzzy rule-based approach is applied on the weight tuning within the cost function, with respect to the variations of the battery state-of-charge (SOC) and elapsed time.
Technical Paper

Prediction of NOx Emissions of a Heavy Duty Diesel Engine with a NLARX Model

This work describes the application of Non-Linear Autoregressive Models with Exogenous Inputs (NLARX) in order to predict the NOx emissions of heavy-duty diesel engines. Two experiments are presented: 1.) a Non-Road-Transient-Cycle (NRTC) 2.) a composition of different engine operation modes and different engine calibrations. Data sets are pre-processed by normalization and re-arranged into training and validation sets. The chosen model is taken from the MATLAB Neural Network Toolbox using the algorithms provided. It is teacher forced trained and then validated. Training results show recognizable performance. However, the validation shows the potential of the chosen method.
Technical Paper

Performance and Exhaust Emission Evaluation of a Small Diesel Engine Fuelled with Coconut Oil Methyl Esters

Renewable sources of energy need to be developed to fulfill future energy demands in areas such as the Maldives where traditional sources of raw materials are limited or non-existent. This paper explores the use of an alternative fuel derived from coconut oil that can be produced in the Maldives and can be used in place of diesel fuel. The main advantage of this particular fuel is that it is a highly saturated oil with a calorific value close to standard diesel fuel. The viscosity of the crude coconut oil is much higher than standard diesel fuel. To reduce the viscosity and to make the oil more suitable for conventional diesel engines methyl esters were produced using the transesterification process (1). The engine performed well on the coconut oil methyl esters although there was a small reduction in power consistent with the lower calorific value of the alternative fuel. Comparative performance data together with the emission levels for the two fuels are presented.
Technical Paper

Parametric Study of Asymmetric Side Tapering in Constant Cross Wind Conditions

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) often have blunt rear end geometries for design and practicality, which is not typically aerodynamic. Drag can be reduced with a number of passive and active methods, which are generally prioritised at zero yaw, which is not entirely representative of the “on road” environment. As such, to combine a visually square geometry (at rest) with optimal drag reductions at non-zero yaw, an adaptive system that applies vertical side edge tapers independently is tested statically. A parametric study has been undertaken in Loughborough University’s Large Wind Tunnel with the ¼ scale Windsor Model. The aerodynamic effect of implementing asymmetric side tapering has been assessed for a range of yaw angles (0°, ±2.5°, ±5° and ±10°) on the force and moment coefficients.
Technical Paper

Parametric Study into the Effects of Factors Affecting Real-World Vehicle Exhaust Emission Levels

The work presented investigates the effect of road gradient, head-wind, horizontal road curvature, changes in tyre rolling radius, vehicle drag co-efficient and vehicle weight on real-world emission levels of a modern EURO-IV vehicle. A validated steady-state engine performance map based vehicle modeling approach has been used for the analysis. The results showed that a generalized correction factor to include the effect of road-gradient on real-world emission levels might not yield accurate results, since the emission levels are strongly dependent on the position of the vehicle operating parameters on the engine maps. In addition, it also demonstrated that the inclusion of horizontal road curvature such as roundabouts and traffic islands are essential for the estimation of the real-world emission levels.