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Journal Article

Predicting Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy as a Function of Highway Speed

2013-04-08
2013-01-1113
The fueleconomy.gov website provides information such as “window label” fuel economy for city, highway, and combined driving for all U.S.-legal light-duty vehicles from 1984 to present. The site is jointly maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and also offers a considerable amount of consumer information and advice pertaining to vehicle fuel economy and energy-related issues. Included with advice pertaining to driving styles and habits is information concerning the trend that as highway cruising speed is increased, fuel economy will degrade. An effort was undertaken to quantify this “conventional wisdom” through analysis of dynamometer testing results for 74 vehicles at steady-state speeds from 50 to 80 mph. Using this experimental data, several simple models were developed to predict individual vehicle fuel economy and its rate of change over the 50-80 mph speed range interval.
Technical Paper

Lubricating Oil Consumption on the Standard Road Cycle

2013-04-08
2013-01-0884
Automobile manufacturers strive to minimize oil consumption from their engines due to the need to maintain emissions compliance over the vehicle life. Engine oil can contribute directly to organic gas and particle emissions as well as accelerate emissions degradation due to catalyst poisoning. During the Department of Energy Intermediate Ethanol Blends Catalyst Durability program, vehicles were aged using the Standard Road Cycle (SRC). In this program, matched sets of three or four vehicles were acquired; each vehicle of a set was aged on ethanol-free retail gasoline, or the same base gasoline blended with 10, 15, or 20% ethanol (E0, E10, E15, E20). The primary purpose of the program was to assess any changes in tailpipe emissions due to the use of increased levels of ethanol. Oil consumption was tracked during the program so that any measured emissions degradation could be appropriately attributed to fuel use or to excessive oil consumption.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Regeneration of Lean NOx Trap Catalysts Using Low Temperature Combustion

2006-04-03
2006-01-1416
A Lean NOx Trap (LNT) regeneration method that has shown promise regarding its ability to effectively regenerate the LNT, while not adversely affecting the PM emissions, involves the use of Low Temperature Combustion (LTC). LTC is accomplished by highly diluting the intake charge with EGR.1-3* If enough EGR is applied, the in-cylinder air:fuel mixture, and ensuing exhaust, will become rich, thereby regenerating the LNT. This type of highly dilute combustion tends to be more premixed than diffusion, which can lower engine-out PM and NOx emissions. LTC regeneration has been characterized and results are presented comparing this approach to other approaches for rich, in-cylinder diesel combustion for LNT regeneration.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Production of Hydrogen During Net-Lean Diesel Operation

2006-04-03
2006-01-0212
Hydrogen (H2) is an excellent reductant, and has been shown to be highly effective when introduced into a variety of catalysts such as three-way catalysts, lean NOx traps (LNTs), and hydrocarbon lean NOx catalysts (also termed hydrocarbon selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts). Furthermore, since lean-burn engines offer improved fuel efficiency yet difficult NOx emission control, H2 production during lean operation for the purpose of NOx reduction could be beneficial. On-board generation of hydrogen is being explored via catalytic or plasma-based reformers. A possible alternative to these add-on systems is generation of the H2 in-cylinder with standard fuel injection hardware. This paper details experiments relating to the production and measurement of H2 under net-lean operation in a common-rail diesel engine. In-cylinder fuel control is used to tailor the combustion process such that H2 is generated while maintaining a lean Air:Fuel ratio in the bulk exhaust gas.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy and Emissions Effects of Low Tire Pressure, Open Windows, Roof Top and Hitch-Mounted Cargo, and Trailer

2014-04-01
2014-01-1614
To quantify the fuel economy (FE) effect of some common vehicle accessories or alterations, a compact passenger sedan and a sport utility vehicle (SUV) were subjected to SAE J2263 coastdown procedures. Coastdowns were conducted with low tire pressure, all windows open, with a roof top or hitch-mounted cargo carrier, and with the SUV pulling an enclosed cargo trailer. From these coastdowns, vehicle dynamometer coefficients were developed which enabled the execution of vehicle dynamometer experiments to determine the effect of these changes on vehicle FE and emissions over standard drive cycles and at steady highway speeds. In addition, two minivans were subjected to coastdowns to examine the similarity in derived coefficients for two duplicate vehicles of the same model. The FE penalty associated with the rooftop cargo box mounted on the compact sedan was as high as 25-27% at higher speeds, where the aerodynamic drag is most pronounced.
Journal Article

Fuel Consumption Sensitivity of Conventional and Hybrid Electric Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles to Driving Style

2017-08-11
2017-01-9379
Aggressive driving is an important topic for many reasons, one of which is higher energy used per unit distance traveled, potentially accompanied by an elevated production of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Examining a large data set of self-reported fuel economy (FE) values revealed that the dispersion of FE values is quite large and is larger for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) than for conventional gasoline vehicles. This occurred despite the fact that the city and highway FE ratings for HEVs are generally much closer in value than for conventional gasoline vehicles. A study was undertaken to better understand this and better quantify the effects of aggressive driving, including reviewing past aggressive driving studies, developing and exercising a new vehicle energy model, and conducting a related experimental investigation.
Technical Paper

Effects of Mid-Level Ethanol Blends on Conventional Vehicle Emissions

2009-11-02
2009-01-2723
Tests were conducted during 2008 on 16 late-model, conventional vehicles (1999 through 2007) to determine short-term effects of mid-level ethanol blends on performance and emissions. Vehicle odometer readings ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 miles, and all vehicles conformed to federal emissions requirements for their federal certification level. The LA92 drive cycle, also known as the Unified Cycle, was used for testing as it was considered to more accurately represent real-world acceleration rates and speeds than the Federal Test Procedure (FTP) used for emissions certification testing. Test fuels were splash-blends of up to 20 volume percent ethanol with federal certification gasoline. Both regulated and unregulated air-toxic emissions were measured. For the aggregate 16-vehicle fleet, increasing ethanol content resulted in reductions in average composite emissions of both NMHC and CO and increases in average emissions of ethanol and aldehydes.
Technical Paper

Effects of Air Conditioner Use on Real-World Fuel Economy

2013-04-08
2013-01-0551
On-road and laboratory experiments with a 2009 Ford Explorer and a 2009 Toyota Corolla were conducted to assess the fuel consumption penalty associated with air conditioner (A/C) use at idle and highway cruise conditions. Vehicle data were acquired on-road and on a chassis dynamometer. Data were gathered for various A/C settings and with the A/C off and the windows open. At steady speeds between 64.4 and 113 kph (40 and 70 mph), both vehicles consumed more fuel with the A/C on at maximum cooling load (compressor at 100% duty cycle) than when driving with the windows down. The Explorer maintained this trend beyond 113 kph (70 mph), while the Corolla fuel consumption with the windows down matched that of running the A/C at 121 kph (75 mph), and exceeded it at 129 kph (80 mph). The incremental fuel consumption rate penalty due to air conditioner use was nearly constant with a slight trend of increasing consumption with increasing vehicle (and compressor) speed.
Technical Paper

Effect of Intake Air Filter Condition on Light-Duty Gasoline Vehicles

2012-09-10
2012-01-1717
Proper maintenance can help vehicles perform as designed, positively affecting fuel economy, emissions, and the overall drivability. This effort investigates the effect of one maintenance factor, intake air filter replacement, with primary focus on vehicle fuel economy, but also examining emissions and performance. Older studies, dealing with carbureted gasoline vehicles, have indicated that replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve vehicle fuel economy and conversely that a dirty air filter can be significantly detrimental to fuel economy. The effect of clogged air filters on the fuel economy, acceleration and emissions of five gasoline fueled vehicles is examined. Four of these were modern vehicles, featuring closed-loop control and ranging in model year from 2003 to 2007. Three vehicles were powered by naturally aspirated, port fuel injection (PFI) engines of differing size and cylinder configuration: an inline 4, a V6 and a V8.
Technical Paper

Effect of Air Filter Condition on Diesel Vehicle Fuel Economy

2013-04-08
2013-01-0311
Proper maintenance can help vehicles perform as designed, positively affecting fuel economy, emissions, and overall driveability. This paper addresses the issue of whether air filter replacement improves fuel economy. Described are measured results for increasing air filter pressure drop in turbocharged diesel-engine-powered vehicles, with primary focus on changes in vehicle fuel economy but also including emissions and performance. Older studies of carbureted gasoline vehicles have indicated that replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve vehicle fuel economy and, conversely, that a dirty air filter can be significantly detrimental to fuel economy. In contrast, a recent study showed that the fuel economy of modern gasoline vehicles is virtually unaffected by filter clogging due to the closed loop control and throttled operation of these engines. Because modern diesel engines operate without throttling (or with minimal throttling), a different result could be anticipated.
Technical Paper

Development of a Cold Start Fuel Penalty Metric for Evaluating the Impact of Fuel Composition Changes on SI Engine Emissions Control

2018-04-03
2018-01-1264
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative (Co-Optima) aims to simultaneously transform both transportation fuels and engines to maximize performance and energy efficiency. Researchers from across the DOE national laboratories are working within Co-Optima to develop merit functions for evaluating the impact of fuel formulations on the performance of advanced engines. The merit functions relate overall engine efficiency to specific measurable fuel properties and will serve as key tools in the fuel/engine co-optimization process. This work focused on developing a term for the Co-Optima light-duty boosted spark ignition (SI) engine merit function that captures the effects of fuel composition on emissions control system performance. For stoichiometric light-duty SI engines, the majority of NOx, NMOG, and CO emissions occur during cold start, before the three-way catalyst (TWC) has reached its “light-off” temperature.
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