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Technical Paper

The Effect of Sparkplug Design on Initial Flame Kernel Development and Sparkplug Performance

Tests were conducted on a variety of commercially available spark plugs to determine the influence of igniter design on initial kernel formation and overall performance. Flame kernel formation was investigated using high-speed schlieren visualization. The flame growth rate was quantified using the area of the burned gas region. The results showed that kernel growth rate was heavily influenced by electrode geometry and configuration. The igniters were also tested in a bomb calorimeter to determine the levels of supplied and delivered energy. The typical ratio of supplied to delivered energy was 20% and igniters with a higher internal resistance delivered more energy and had faster kernel formation rates. The exception was plugs with large amounts of conductive mass near the electrodes, which had very slow kernel formation rates despite relatively high delivered energy levels.
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Application of Optical Spark Plug Probe and Head Gasket Ionization Probe to a Production Engine

The optical spark plug probe and ionization head gasket probe developed at Sandia Laboratories were applied to one cylinder of a production multicylinder automotive gasoline engine. The purpose of this application is to eventually study combustion phenomena leading to high emissions under cold start and cold idle conditions. As a first step in studying cold start combustion and emissions issues, diagnostic instrumentation was simultaneously applied to a production engine under steady state idle, road load and an intermediate load-speed condition. The preliminary application of such instrumentation is the subject of the present paper. The spark plug probe was redesigned for ease of use in production engines and to provide a more robust design. The two probes were geometrically oriented to obtain radial line-up between the optical windows and ionization probes. Data were taken simultaneously with both probes at the three load-speed conditions mentioned above.
Technical Paper

Quantitative Estimate of the Relation Between Rolling Resistance on Fuel Consumption of Class 8 Tractor Trailers Using Both New and Retreaded Tires

Road tests of class 8 tractor trailers were conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a new and retreaded tires of varying rolling resistance in order to provide estimates of the quantitative relation between rolling resistance and fuel consumption. Reductions in fuel consumption were measured using the SAE J1231 (reaffirmation of 1986) test method. Vehicle rolling resistance was calculated as a load-weighted average of the rolling resistance (as measured by ISO28580) of the tires in each axle position. Both new and retreaded tires were tested in different combinations to obtain a range of vehicle coefficient of rolling resistance from a baseline of 7.7 kg/ton to 5.3 kg/ton. Reductions in fuel consumption displayed a strong linear relationship with coefficient of rolling resistance, with a maximum reduction of fuel consumption of 10 percent relative to the baseline.
Technical Paper

Port Design for Charge Motion Improvement within the Cylinder

The engine intake process governs many aspects of the flow within the cylinder. The inlet valve is the minimum area, so gas velocities at the valve are the highest velocities seen. Geometric configuration of the inlet ports and valves, and the opening schedule create organized large scale motions in the cylinder known as swirl and tumble. Good charge motion within the cylinder will produce high turbulence levels at the end of the compression stroke. As the turbulence resulting from the conversion energy of the inlet jet decays fast, the strategy is to encapsulate some of the inlet jet in the organized motions. In this work the baseline port of a 2.0 L gasoline engine was modified by inserting a tumble plate. The work was done in support of an experimental study for which a new single-cylinder research engine was set up to allow combustion system parameters to be varied in steps over an extensive range. Tumble flow was one such parameter.
Technical Paper

Noise Reduction Techniques as They Apply to Engine-Generator Design and Treatment

Small engines may require soundproofing to eliminate one or more of the following effects: hearing loss, speech interference, community annoyance, detectability, and psychological disorientation. Detectability criteria are frequently associated with military applications and may require the use of a soundproof enclosure in addition to other engine treatments. Acoustical noise sources are conveniently classed as either aerodynamic or mechanical. Aerodynamic sources are predominant on small engines. Treatment of exhaust noise by individual components, e.g., muffler, is inadequate; a system approach, through the use of an electro-acoustic analog computer, has proved to be a much more satisfactory procedure.
Technical Paper

Modeling, Simulation, and Hardware-in-the-Loop Transmission Test System Software Development

This paper describes the development of a generic test cell software designed to overcome many vehicle-component testing difficulties by introducing modern, real-time control and simulation capabilities directly to laboratory test environments. Successfully demonstrated in a transmission test cell system, this software eliminated the need for internal combustion engines (ICE) and test-track vehicles. It incorporated the control of an advanced AC induction motor that electrically simulated the ICE and a DC dynamometer that electrically replicated vehicle loads. Engine behaviors controlled by the software included not only the average crankshaft torque production but also engine inertia and firing pulses, particularly during shifts. Vehicle loads included rolling resistance, aerodynamic drag, grade, and more importantly, vehicle inertia corresponding to sport utility, light truck, or passenger cars.
Technical Paper

Effect of Gas Composition on Octane Number of Natural Gas Fuels

The composition of natural gas delivered through the pipeline varies with time and location around the USA. These variations are known to affect engine performance and emissions through changes in fuel metering characteristics and knock resistance of the fuel. High output, low emissions natural gas engines are being developed that take advantage of the high knock resistance of natural gas. These optimized engines are operated close to knock-limited power where changes in fuel knock resistance can cause operational problems. Octane tests were conducted on natural gas blend fuels using a CFR octane rating engine. Two relationships between motor octane number and fuel composition were established. A correlation for motor octane number versus the reactive hydrogen-carbon ratio was developed, and octane weighting factors, which used the molar composition of the fuel to predict motor octane number, were also found.
Technical Paper

EHC Impact on Extended Hot Soak Periods

Emission performance of a late model vehicle equipped with an electrically-heated catalytic converter (EHC) system was evaluated after extended vehicle soak periods that ranged from 30 to 180 minutes. As soak periods lengthened, NMHC and CO emissions measured in hot transient driving cycles increased by 125 percent and 345 percent, respectively. These tests were baseline operations which had no resistance heating or secondary air injection to the converter system. Sources of increased NMHC and CO emissions as a function of vehicle soak time were both the converter system cool-down characteristics and engine restart calibration strategy. For soak periods of 30 and 60 minutes, EHC resistance heating without secondary air injection resulted in large improvements in NMHC and CO emission performance (i.e., 74 percent and 54 percent lower NMHC emissions versus no heat, no air operation after a 30- and 60-minute period, respectively).
Technical Paper

Development of a Belt CVT Fluid Test Procedure Using the VT20/25E Belt Box for the DEX-CVT® Specification

The introduction of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) by General Motors required the introduction of a test to evaluate fluid for the ECOTEC VTi transmission. With assistance from Van Doorne's Transmissie (VDT), the belt and sheave supplier for the transmission, a rig was constructed to test fluids in a transmission-like environment without the variability of in-vehicle testing. The test schedule includes testing for fluid friction coefficient, shear stability, and wear rating and is currently subject to further work aimed at confirming repeatability and discrimination. Once confirmed, the new procedure will become part of the DEX-CVT® specification for the new service fluids for the VT20/25E transmissions.
Technical Paper

A New Approach to Improving Fuel Economy and Performance Prediction through Coupled Thermal Systems Simulation

Vehicle designers make use of vehicle performance programs such as RAPTOR™ to predict the performance of concept vehicles over ranges of industry standard drive cycles. However, the accuracy of such predictions may be greatly influenced by factors requiring more specialist simulation capabilities. For example, fuel economy prediction will be heavily influenced by the performance of the engine cooling system and its impact on the vehicle's aerodynamic drag, and the load from the air-conditioning system. To improve the predictions, specialist simulation capabilities need to be applied to these aspects, and brought together with the vehicle performance calculations through co-simulation. This paper describes the approach used to enable this cosimulation and the benefits achieved by the vehicle designer.