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Journal Article

Vehicle Efficiency and Tractive Work: Rate of Change for the Past Decade and Accelerated Progress Required for U.S. Fuel Economy and CO2 Regulations

2016-04-05
2016-01-0909
A major driving force for change in light-duty vehicle design and technology is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joint final rules concerning Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for model years 2017 (MY17) through 2025 (MY25) passenger cars and light trucks. The chief goal of this current study is to compare the already rapid pace of fuel economy improvement and technological change over the previous decade to the required rate of change to meet regulations over the next decade. EPA and NHTSA comparisons of the model year 2005 (MY05) US light-duty vehicle fleet to the model year 2015 (MY15) fleet shows improved fuel economy (FE) of approximately 26% using the same FE estimating method mandated for CAFE regulations. Future predictions by EPA and NHTSA concerning ensemble fleet fuel economy are examined as an indicator of required vehicle rate-of-change.
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

Performance of a Printed Bimetallic (Stainless Steel and Bronze) Engine Head Operating under Stoichiometric and Lean Spark Ignited (SI) Combustion of Natural Gas

2020-04-14
2020-01-0770
Additive manufacturing was used to fabricate a head for an automotive-scale single-cylinder engine operating on natural gas. The head was consisted of a bimetallic composition of stainless steel and bronze. The engine performance using the bimetallic head was compared against the stock cast iron head. The heads were tested at two speeds (1200 and 1800 rpm), two brake mean effective pressures (6 and 10 bar), and two equivalence ratios (0.7 and 1.0). The bimetallic head showed good durability over the test and produced equivalent efficiencies, exhaust temperatures, and heat rejection to the coolant to the stock head. Higher combustion temperatures and advanced combustion phasing resulted from use with the bimetallic head. The implication is that with optimization of the valve timing, an efficiency benefit may be realized with the bimetallic head.
Technical Paper

Performance of a Half-Heusler Thermoelectric Generator for Automotive Application

2018-04-03
2018-01-0054
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.
Journal Article

Novel Characterization of GDI Engine Exhaust for Gasoline and Mid-Level Gasoline-Alcohol Blends

2014-04-01
2014-01-1606
Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines can offer improved fuel economy and higher performance over their port fuel-injected (PFI) counterparts, and are now appearing in increasingly more U.S. and European vehicles. Small displacement, turbocharged GDI engines are replacing large displacement engines, particularly in light-duty trucks and sport utility vehicles, in order for manufacturers to meet more stringent fuel economy standards. GDI engines typically emit the most particulate matter (PM) during periods of rich operation such as start-up and acceleration, and emissions of air toxics are also more likely during this condition. A 2.0 L GDI engine was operated at lambda of 0.91 at typical loads for acceleration (2600 rpm, 8 bar BMEP) on three different fuels; an 87 anti-knock index (AKI) gasoline (E0), 30% ethanol blended with the 87 AKI fuel (E30), and 48% isobutanol blended with the 87 AKI fuel.
Journal Article

High Load Expansion of Catalytic EGR-Loop Reforming under Stoichiometric Conditions for Increased Efficiency in Spark Ignition Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0244
The use of fuel reformate from catalytic processes is known to have beneficial effects on the spark-ignited (SI) combustion process through enhanced dilution tolerance and decreased combustion duration, but in many cases reformate generation can incur a significant fuel penalty. In a previous investigation, the researchers showed that, by controlling the boundary conditions of the reforming catalyst, it was possible to minimize the thermodynamic expense of the reforming process, and in some cases, realize thermochemical recuperation (TCR), a form of waste heat recovery where exhaust heat is converted to usable chemical energy. The previous work, however, focused on a relatively light-load engine operating condition of 2000 rpm, 4 bar brake mean effective pressure (BMEP). The present investigation demonstrates that this operating strategy is applicable to higher engine loads, including boosted operation up to 10 bar BMEP.
Technical Paper

Fuel-Lubricant Interactions on the Propensity for Stochastic Pre-Ignition

2019-09-09
2019-24-0103
This work explores the impact of the interaction of lubricant and fuel properties on the propensity for stochastic pre-ignition (SPI). Findings are based on statistically significant changes in SPI tendency and magnitude, as determined by measurements of cylinder pressure. Specifically, lubricant detergents, lubricant volatility, fuel volatility, fuel chemical composition, fuel-wall impingement, and engine load were varied to study the physical and chemical effects of fuel-lubricant interactions on SPI tendency. The work illustrates that at low loads, with fuels susceptible to SPI events, lubricant detergent package effects on SPI were non-significant. However, with changes to fuel distillation, fuel-wall impingement, and most importantly engine load, lubricant detergent effects could be observed even at reduced loads This suggests that there is a thermal effect associated with the higher load operation.
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

European Lean Gasoline Direct Injection Vehicle Benchmark

2011-04-12
2011-01-1218
Lean Gasoline Direct Injection (LGDI) combustion is a promising technical path for achieving significant improvements in fuel efficiency while meeting future emissions requirements. Though Stoichiometric Gasoline Direct Injection (SGDI) technology is commercially available in a few vehicles on the American market, LGDI vehicles are not, but can be found in Europe. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) obtained a European BMW 1-series fitted with a 2.01 LGDI engine. The vehicle was instrumented and commissioned on a chassis dynamometer. The engine and after-treatment performance and emissions were characterized over US drive cycles (Federal Test Procedure (FTP), the Highway Fuel Economy Test (HFET), and US06 Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (US06)) and steady state mappings. The vehicle micro hybrid features (engine stop-start and intelligent alternator) were benchmarked as well during the course of that study.
Journal Article

Engine Operating Conditions and Fuel Properties on Pre-Spark Heat Release and SPI Promotion in SI Engines

2017-03-28
2017-01-0688
This work explores the dependence of fuel ignition delay on stochastic pre-ignition (SPI). Findings are based on bulk gas thermodynamic state, where the effects of kinetically controlled bulk gas pre-spark heat release (PSHR) are correlated to SPI tendency and magnitude. Specifically, residual gas and low temperature PSHR chemistry effects and observations are explored, which are found to be indicative of bulk gas conditions required for strong SPI events. Analyzed events range from non-knocking SPI to knocking SPI and even detonation SPI events in excess of 325 bar peak cylinder pressure. The work illustrates that singular SPI event count and magnitude are found to be proportional to PSHR of the bulk gas mixture and residual gas fraction. Cycle-to-cycle variability in trapped residual mass and temperature are found to impose variability in singular SPI event count and magnitude.
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.
Journal Article

Drive Cycle Powertrain Efficiencies and Trends Derived from EPA Vehicle Dynamometer Results

2014-10-13
2014-01-2562
Vehicle manufacturers among others are putting great emphasis on improving fuel economy (FE) of light-duty vehicles in the U.S. market, with significant FE gains being realized in recent years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data indicates that the aggregate FE of vehicles produced for the U.S. market has improved by over 20% from model year (MY) 2005 to 2013. This steep climb in FE includes changes in vehicle choice, improvements in engine and transmission technology, and reducing aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, and parasitic losses. The powertrain related improvements focus on optimizing in-use efficiency of the transmission and engine as a system, and may make use of what is termed downsizing and/or downspeeding. This study quantifies recent improvements in powertrain efficiency, viewed separately from other vehicle alterations and attributes (noting that most vehicle changes are not completely independent).
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.
Journal Article

Decomposing Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Regulatory Standards in the Energy Conversion Efficiency and Tractive Energy Domain

2017-03-28
2017-01-0897
The three foundational elements that determine mobile source energy use and tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the tractive energy requirements of the vehicle, the energy conversion efficiency of the propulsion system, and the energy source. The tractive energy requirements are determined by the vehicle's mass, aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, and parasitic drag. The energy conversion efficiency of the propulsion system is dictated by the tractive efficiency, non-tractive energy use, kinetic energy recovery, and parasitic losses. The energy source determines the mobile source CO2 emissions. For current vehicles, tractive energy requirements and overall energy conversion efficiency are readily available from the decomposition of test data. For future applications, plausible levels of mass reduction, aerodynamic drag improvements, and tire rolling resistance can be transposed into the tractive energy domain.
Technical Paper

Characterization of GDI PM during Vehicle Start-Stop Operation

2019-01-15
2019-01-0050
As the fuel economy regulations increase in stringency, many manufacturers are implementing start-stop operation to enhance vehicle fuel economy. During start-stop operation, the engine shuts off when the vehicle is stationary for more than a few seconds. When the brake is released by the driver, the engine restarts. Depending on traffic conditions, start-stop operation can result in fuel savings from a few percent to close to 10%. Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines are also increasingly available on light-duty vehicles. While GDI engines offer fuel economy advantages over port fuel injected (PFI) engines, they also tend to have higher PM emissions, particularly during start-up transients. Thus, there is interest in evaluating the effect of start-stop operation on PM emissions. In this study, a 2.5L GDI vehicle was operated over the FTP75 drive cycle.
Journal Article

Analysis of Cyclic Variability of Heat Release for High-EGR GDI Engine Operation with Observations on Implications for Effective Control

2013-04-08
2013-01-0270
Operation of spark-ignition (SI) engines with high levels of charge dilution through exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) achieves significant engine efficiency gains while maintaining stoichiometric operation for compatibility with three-way catalysts. Dilution levels, however, are limited by cyclic variability - including significant numbers of misfires - that becomes more pronounced with increasing dilution. This variability has been shown to have both stochastic and deterministic components. Stochastic effects include turbulence, mixing variations, and the like, while the deterministic effect is primarily due to the nonlinear dependence of flame propagation rates and ignition characteristics on the charge composition, which is influenced by the composition of residual gases from prior cycles.
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