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Technical Paper

Visualization of Natural Gas Injection for a Compression Ignition Engine

High pressure injection of natural gas is being investigated as a mean of fueling diesel engines and meeting increasingly stringent EPA regulations on emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulates. In the work described in this paper, the penetration into air of a sonic jet of methane emerging from a suddenly opened poppet valve has been modelled analytically and measured using flow visualization. The injection pressure ratios were in the range 1.5 to 5 and the conical jet sheet Reynolds numbers were in the range 7000 to 56000. Schlieren photographs revealed that the conical sheet gas jet exhibits an unstable behaviour between the upper and lower plates which simulate the fire deck and the piston. The integral model developed indicates the principal parameters on which the gaseous jet penetration depends and establishes the requirements for scaling. The conical sheet jet penetration is found to be approximately 30% less than that of round holes, given the same flow area.
Technical Paper

The University of British Columbia's Urban Vehicle

The University of British Columbia was one of 64 schools entered in the 1972 Urban Vehicle Design Competition. This urban vehicle was the Grand Award winner at the competition. The vehicle components and design features which led to the design of a well-integrated urban vehicle are discussed. Details of the engine, chassis, body, electronics, and overall coordination of the project are outlined. The vehicle was built by the students themselves, starting with a Fiat 128 engine and drivetrain and natural gas fuel.
Technical Paper

The Squish-Jet Combustion Chamber for Ultra-Lean Burn Natural Gas Engines

Operators of natural gas engines, used for both mobile and stationary applications, are increasingly looking at running these engines under very lean air-fuel ratios in order to reduce exhaust emissions and increase thermal efficiency. Lean operation of homogeneous-charge spark-ignited engines reduces peak combustion temperatures, thereby reducing NOx emissions. Lean operation is normally restricted, however, by the “lean-limit” of combustion, as measured by the air-fuel ratio above which ignition is impossible, or combustion is incomplete. Operation under lean conditions also reduces the mixture burning rate, which can lead to increased spark advance and lower thermal efficiency. In order to increase the burning rate under ultra-lean air-fuel ratios a new “Squish-Jet” combustion chamber concept has been developed.
Technical Paper

Soot Emission Reduction from Post Injection Strategies in a High Pressure Direct-Injection Natural Gas Engine

Compression ignition engines, including those that use natural gas as the major fuel, produce emissions of NOx and particulate matter (PM). Westport Inc. has developed the pilot-ignited high-pressure direct-injection (HPDI) natural gas engine system. Although HPDI engines produce less soot than comparable conventional diesel engines, further reductions in engine-out soot emissions is desired. In diesel engines, multiple injections can help reduce both NOx and PM. The effect of post injections on HPDI engines was not studied previously. The present research shows that late injection of a second gas pulse can significantly reduce PM and CO from HPDI engines without significantly increasing NOx or fuel consumption. In-cylinder pressure measurements were used to characterize the heat release resulting from the multiple injections. Experiments showed that most close-coupled split injection strategies provided no significant emissions benefit and less stable operation.
Technical Paper

Partially Stratified Charge Natural Gas Combustion: The Impact of Uncertainties on LES Modeling

The aim of this work is to carry out statistical analyses on simulated results obtained from large eddy simulations (LES) to characterize spark-ignited combustion process in a partially premixed natural gas mixture in a constant volume combustion chamber (CVCC). Inhomogeneity in fuel concentration was introduced through a fuel jet comprising up to 0.6 per cent of the total fuel mass, in the vicinity of the spark ignition gap. The numerical data were validated against experimental measurements, in particular, in terms of jet penetration and spread, flame front propagation and overall pressure trace. Perturbations in key flow parameters, namely inlet velocity, initial velocity field, and turbulent kinetic energy, were also introduced to evaluate their influence on the combustion event. A total of 12 simulations were conducted.
Technical Paper

Optimization Study of Pilot-Ignited Natural Gas Direct-Injection in Diesel Engines

Pilot-ignited high-pressure direct injection (HPDI) of natural gas in diesel engines results in lower emissions while retaining high thermal efficiency. As a study of HPDI technique, three-dimensional numerical simulations of injection, ignition and combustion were conducted. In particular, the effects on engine combustion of the injection interlace angle between the pilot diesel sprays and natural gas jets were investigated. Numerical simulations revealed ignition and combustion mechanisms in the engine with different injection interlace angles. The results show that altering the interlace angle changes the contact areas between the pilot diesel sprays and the natural gas jets; this affects the heat release rate. Statistical analysis was done to evaluate the expected value and variance of “closeness” between diesel sprays and natural gas jets for different injector tip configurations.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulations of Directly Injected Natural Gas and Pilot Diesel Fuel in a Two-Stroke Compression Ignition Engine

Multidimensional simulations are being used to assist the development of a directly injected natural gas system for heavy-duty diesel engines. In this method of converting diesel engines to natural gas fueling, the gas injection takes place at high pressure at the end of the compression stroke. A small amount of pilot diesel fuel is injected prior to the natural gas to promote ignition. Both fuels are injected through a centrally located injector. The mathematical simulations are sought to provide a better understanding of the injection and combustion process of pilot-ignited directly-injected natural gas. The mathematical simulations are also expected to help optimize the injection process, looking in particular at the tip geometry and at the injection delay between the two fuels. The paper presents the mathematical model, which is based on the KIVA-II code. The model includes modifications for underexpanded natural gas jets, and includes a turbulent combustion model.
Technical Paper

Natural Gas Partially Stratified Charge Combustion: Extended Analysis of Experimental Validation and Study of Turbulence Impact on Flame Propagation

A Large Eddy Simulation (LES) numerical study of the Partially Stratified Charge (PSC) combustion process is here proposed, carried out with the open Source code OpenFOAM, in a Constant Volume Combustion Chamber (CVCC). The solver has already been validated in previous papers versus experimental data under a limited range of operating conditions. The operating conditions domain for the model validation is extended in this paper, mostly by varying equivalence ratio, to better highlight the influence of turbulence on flame front propagation. Effects of grid sizing are also shown, to better emphasize the trade-off between the level of accuracy of turbulent vortex description, and their impact on the kinematics of flame propagation. Results show the validity of the approach that is evident by comparing numerical and experimental data.
Journal Article

Multiple Injection Strategy in a Direct-Injection Natural Gas Engine with Entrained Diesel

A new fuel injector prototype for heavy-duty engines has been developed to use direct-injection natural gas with small amounts of entrained diesel as an ignition promoter. This “co-injection” is quite different from other dual-fuel engine systems, where diesel and gas are introduced separately. Reliable compression-ignition can be attained, but two injections per engine cycle are needed to minimize engine knock. In the present paper the interactions between diesel injection mass, combustion timing, engine load, and engine speed are investigated experimentally in a heavy-duty single-cylinder engine. For the tests with this injector, ignition delay ranged from 1.2–4.0 ms (of which injector delay accounts for ~0.9 ms). Shorter ignition delays occurred at higher diesel injection masses and advanced combustion timing. At ignition delays shorter than 2.0 ms, knock intensity decreased with increasing ignition delay.
Technical Paper

Intensifier-injector for Natural Gas Fueling of Diesel Engines

Impending Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations will place severe limits on exhaust emissions of heavy duty diesel engines for urban bus and highway truck applications. To meet this challenge an intensifier-injector system for natural gas fueling of diesel engines is being developed. The intensifier-injector concept employs electronically-controlled, late-cycle, direct injection of high-pressure natural gas with a pilot quantity of diesel fuel. Preliminary performance and emissions data are presented to indicate the potential for diesel engine efficiencies with reduced emissions with this method of natural-gas fueling.
Technical Paper

Ignition Delay and Combustion Duration with Natural Gas Fueling of Diesel Engines

The ignition and combustion of natural gas directly injected into a multi-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine and ignited by a pilot liquid diesel injection has been investigated experimentally and with the aid of numerical simulation. Measurements of cylinder pressure and thermal efficiency were supplemented by endoscopic observation of flame development and three-dimensional numerical simulation of the ignition and combustion process. With gas/diesel fueling and appropriate injection timing, ignition delay and combustion duration can be about the same as with 100% diesel liquid fueling. Flame photography indicates that, for the same liquid diesel flow rate, subsequent injection of natural gas has a negligible effect on the ignition delay of the liquid fuel. Relative ignition timing is of major importance in obtaining successful combustion.
Technical Paper

Flow Characteristics of a Gas-Blast Fuel Injector for Direct-Injection Compression-Ignition Engines

Natural gas has a high auto-ignition temperature, therefore natural gas engines use sparks, hot surfaces or separate diesel pilot injects to promote ignition. For example, the high-pressure direction-injection (HPDI) system, available commercially for heavy-duty truck engines, uses a small diesel injection just prior to the main gas injection. A new type of HPDI injector has been developed that injections diesel and gas simultaneously through the same holes. In this paper the operation and flow characteristics of this “co-injector” will be discussed. An injection visualization chamber (IVC) was developed for optical characterization of injections into a chamber at pressures up to 80 bar. A fuel supply system was constructed for precise control of injector fueling and injection timing. Diesel and natural gas are replaced by VISCOR ® and nitrogen to study non-reacting flows.
Technical Paper

Fast Exhaust Nephelometer (FEN): A New Instrument for Measuring Cycle-Resolved Engine Particulate Emission

Soot emissions from direct-injection engines are sensitive to the fuel-air mixing process, and may vary between combustion cycles due to turbulence and injector variability. Conventional exhaust emissions measurements cannot resolve inter- or intra-cycle variations in particle emissions, which can be important during transient engine operations where a few cycles can disproportionately affect the total exhaust soot. The Fast Exhaust Nephelometer (FEN) is introduced here to use light scattering to measure particulate matter concentration and size near the exhaust port of an engine with a time resolution of better than one millisecond. The FEN operates at atmospheric pressure, sampling near the engine exhaust port and uses a laser diode to illuminate a small measurement volume. The scattered light is focused on two amplified photodiodes.
Technical Paper

Effects of Injection Changes on Efficiency and Emissions of a Diesel Engine Fueled by Direct Injection of Natural Gas

Measurements of performance and emissions of a Detroit Diesel 1-71 engine fueled with natural gas have been made using high-pressure direct-injection (HPDI). Natural gas is injected late in the compression cycle preceded by pilot injection of conventional liquid diesel fuel. With 6 nozzle holes for both natural gas and diesel pilot there was instability in engine operation at low load and wide scatter in emission measurements. Guided by numerical simulation results it was found experimentally that data reproducibility and engine operating stability could both be much improved by using unequal jet numbers for injection of natural gas and pilot diesel. In the range of 100 to 160 bar, combustion rate and NOx emissions increased with gas injection pressure. Best thermal efficiency results were obtained for a gas pressure of 130 bar. By adjusting beginning of injection, NOx reductions of up to 60 % from the diesel baseline could be obtained, while preserving conventional diesel efficiency.
Journal Article

Effect of SPS Process Parameters on the Densification Behaviour of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia

Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) doped with Yttria exhibits superplastic behaviour, corrosion resistance and excellent ion conducting properties [1] at moderate temperatures and thus it can be used as an electroceramic to measure the pH of high temperature water used in fuel cells. Several fabrication processes are available for preparation of zirconia ceramics. This research focused on the study of using Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) process to prepare Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) ceramic. 8 mol% YSZ was subjected to varying SPS sintering conditions. Samples were sintered by changing the heating cycle, dwell time, sintering pressure and cooling cycle. Subsequently, these parameters were related to the densification characteristics of the as-sintered YSZ. The results of specific gravity measurements and microstructure evaluation suggest that stepped heating followed by a slow cooling results in YSZ with highest relative density (99.9%).
Technical Paper

Effect of Injection Strategies on Emissions from a Pilot-Ignited Direct-Injection Natural-Gas Engine- Part II: Slightly Premixed Combustion

High-pressure direct-injection (HPDI) in heavy duty engines allows a natural gas (NG) engine to maintain diesel-like performance while deriving most of its power from NG. A small diesel pilot injection (5-10% of the fuel energy) is used to ignite the direct injected gas jet. The NG burns in a predominantly mixing-controlled combustion mode which can produce particulate matter (PM). Here we study the effect of injection strategies on emissions from a HPDI engine in two parts. Part-I investigated the effect of late post injection (LPI); the current paper (Part-II) reports on the effects of slightly premixed combustion (SPC) on emission and engine performance. In SPC operation, the diesel injection is delayed, allowing more premixing of the natural gas prior to ignition. PM reductions and tradeoffs involved with gas slightly premixed combustion was investigated in a single-cylinder version of a 6-cylinder, 15 liter HPDI engine.
Technical Paper

Effect of Injection Strategies on Emissions from a Pilot-Ignited Direct-Injection Natural-Gas Engine- Part I: Late Post Injection

High-pressure direct-injection (HPDI) in heavy duty engines allows a natural gas (NG) engine to maintain diesel-like performance while deriving most of its power from NG. A small diesel pilot injection (5-10% of the fuel energy) is used to ignite the direct injected gas jet. The NG burns in a predominantly non-premixed combustion mode which can produce particulate matter (PM). Here we study the effect of injection strategies on emissions from a HPDI engine in two parts. Part-I will investigates the effect of late post injection (LPI) and Part II will study the effect of slightly premixed combustion (SPC) on emission and engine performance. PM reductions and tradeoffs involved with gas late post-injections (LPI) was investigated in a single-cylinder version of a 6-cylinder,15 liter HPDI engine. The post injection contains 10-25% of total fuel mass, and occurs after the main combustion event.
Technical Paper

Effect of Impinging Airflow on the Near Nozzle Characteristics of a Gasoline Spray from a Pressure-Swirl Atomiser

The effects of impinging airflow on the near nozzle characteristics of an inwardly opening, high pressure-swirl atomiser are investigated in an optically-accessed, steady-state flow rig designed to emulate the intake flow of a typical, side-injected, 4-valve gasoline direct-injection combustion system. The results indicate that the impinging airflow has a relatively minor effect on the initial break-up of the fuel spray. However, the secondary break-up of the spray, i.e. the break-up of liquid ligaments, the spatial distribution of droplets within the spray and the location of the spray within the cylinder are significantly affected by the impinging air.
Technical Paper

Effect of Fueling Control Parameters on Combustion and Emissions Characteristics of Diesel-Ignited Methane Dual-Fuel Combustion

Diesel-ignited dual-fuel (DIDF) combustion of natural gas (NG) is a promising strategy to progress the application of NG as a commercially viable compression ignition engine fuel. Port injection of gaseous NG applied in tandem with direct injection of liquid diesel fuel as an ignition source permits a high level of control over cylinder charge preparation, and therefore combustion. Across the broad spectrum of possible combustion conditions in DIDF operation, different fundamental mechanisms are expected to dominate the fuel conversion process. Previous investigations have advanced the understanding of which combustion mechanisms are likely present under certain sets of conditions, permitting the successful modeling of DIDF combustion for particular operating modes. A broader understanding of the transitions between different combustion modes across the spectrum of DIDF warrants further effort.
Technical Paper

Drag Reduction of a Cube-Type Truck Configuration Through Boundary-Layer Control: Experiments and Prototype Road Tests

The paper presents results of an organized and extensive wind tunnel test-program, complemented by flow visualization and full-scale road tests, aimed at assessing the effectiveness of a boundary-layer control procedure for the drag reduction of a cube-van. Wind tunnel results, obtained using 1/6 scale model, at a subcritical Reynolds number of 105, suggest that tripping of the boundary-layer using fences reduce the pressure drag coefficient. The entirely passive character of the procedure is quite attractive from the economic consideration as well as the ease of implementation. The road tests with a full-size cube-van substantiated the trends indicated by the fence data; although the actual drag reduction observed was lower (yet quite significant, 16.6%) than that predicted by the wind tunnel tests. This may be attribute to a wide variety of factors including the differences in the geometry and test conditions. Fuel consumption results also substantiated the drag reduction trend.