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Technical Paper

Performance of a Half-Heusler Thermoelectric Generator for Automotive Application

Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) have been researched and developed for harvesting energy from otherwise wasted heat. For automotive applications this will most likely involve using internal combustion engine exhaust as the heat source, with the TEG positioned after the catalyst system. Applications to exhaust gas recirculation systems and compressed air coolers have also been suggested. A thermoelectric generator based on half-Heusler thermoelectric materials was developed, engineered, and fabricated, targeting a gasoline passenger sedan application. This generator was installed on a gasoline engine exhaust system in a dynamometer cell, and positioned immediately downstream of the close-coupled three-way catalyst. The generator was characterized using a matrix of steady-state conditions representing the important portions of the engine map. Detailed performance results are presented.
Technical Paper

Impact of Delayed Spark Restrike on the Dynamics of Cyclic Variability in Dilute SI Combustion

Spark-ignition (SI) engines can derive substantial efficiency gains from operation at high dilution levels, but sufficiently high-dilution operation increases the occurrence of misfires and partial burns, which induce higher levels of cyclic-variability in engine operation. This variability has been shown to have both stochastic and deterministic components, with residual fraction impacts on charge composition being the major source of the deterministic component through its non-linear effect on ignition and flame propagation characteristics. This deterministic coupling between cycles offers potential for next-cycle control approaches to allow operation near the edge of stability. This paper aims to understand the effect of spark strategies, specifically the use of a second spark (restrike) after the main spark, on the deterministic coupling between engine cycles by operating at high dilution levels using both excess air (i.e. lean combustion) and EGR.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ignition and Injection Perturbation under Lean and Dilute GDI Engine Operation

Turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines are quickly becoming more prominent in light-duty automotive applications because of their potential improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. While EGR dilute and lean operation serve as potential pathways to further improve efficiencies and emissions in GDI engines, they also pose challenges for stable engine operation. Tests were performed on a single-cylinder research engine that is representative of current automotive-style GDI engines. Baseline cases were performed under steady-state operating conditions where combustion phasing and dilution were varied to determine the effects on indicated efficiency and combustion stability. Sensitivity studies were then carried out by introducing binary low-high perturbation of spark timing and injection duration on a cycle-by-cycle basis under EGR dilute and lean operation to determine dominant feedback mechanisms.
Journal Article

Determination of SI Combustion Sensitivity to Fuel Perturbations as a Cyclic Control Input for Highly Dilute Operation

Use of dilution with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) offers substantial efficiency gains in spark ignition (SI) engines, especially when boosting and downsizing are employed. However, the onset of instabilities in engine operation, due to misfires and partial burns, limits the dilution levels. Active controls can be employed to improve engine stability during high dilution operation, with spark and fueling being the main control parameters available for cycle-to-cycle control implementation. This paper aims to understand the sensitivity of the combustion process to changes in fueling under dilute operation achieved with both excess air (lean operation) and EGR. Sinusoidal perturbations were introduced into the injected fuel quantity, and the sensitivity to these perturbations was characterized using a fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis of the cycle cumulative heat release data.