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Journal Article

Transient Build-up and Effectiveness of Diesel Exhaust Gas Recirculation

Modern diesel engines employ a multitude of strategies for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emission abatement, with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) being one of the most effective technique. The need for a precise control on the intake charge dilution (as a result of EGR) is paramount since small fluctuations in the intake charge dilution at high EGR rates may cause larger than acceptable spikes in NOx/soot emissions or deterioration in the combustion efficiency, especially at low to mid-engine loads. The control problem becomes more pronounced during transient engine operation; currently the trend is to momentarily close the EGR valve during tip-in or tip-out events. Therefore, there is a need to understand the transient EGR behaviour and its impact on the intake charge development especially under unstable combustion regimes such as low temperature combustion.
Technical Paper

Real-time Heat Release Analysis for Model-based Control of Diesel Combustion

A number of cylinder-pressure derived parameters including the crank angles of maximum pressure, maximum rate of pressure rise, and 50% heat released are considered as among the desired feedback for cycle-by-cycle adaptive control of diesel combustion. For real-time computation of these parameters, the heat release analyses based on the first law of thermodynamics are used. This paper intends to identify the operating regions where the simplified heat release approach provides sufficient accuracy for control applications and also highlights those regions where its use can lead to significant errors in the calculated parameters. The effects of the cylinder charge-to-wall heat transfer and the temperature dependence of the specific heat ratio on the model performance are reported. A new computationally efficient algorithm for estimating the crank angle of 50% heat released with adequate accuracy is proposed for computation in real-time.
Technical Paper

Prompt Heat Release Analysis to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Diesel engines operating in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) mode generally tend to produce very low levels of NOx and soot. However, the implementation of LTC is challenged by the higher cycle-to-cycle variation with heavy EGR operation and the narrower operating corridors. The robustness and efficiency of LTC operation in diesel engines can be enhanced with improvements in the promptness and accuracy of combustion control. A set of field programmable gate array (FPGA) modules were coded and interlaced to suffice on-the-fly combustion event modulations. The cylinder pressure traces were analyzed to update the heat release rate concurrently as the combustion process proceeds prior to completing an engine cycle. Engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that such prompt heat release analysis was effective to optimize the LTC and the split combustion events for better fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Energy Efficiency Analyses of Diesel EGR Fuel Reforming with Flow Reversal and Central Fuelling

The diesel fuel reforming process in an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) loop of a diesel engine is capable of utilizing the engine exhaust energy to support the endothermic process of hydrogen gas generation. However, the EGR stream commonly needs to be heated to enable the operation of the reformer and thus to sustain higher yield of hydrogen. A central-fuelling and flow-reversal embedment that is energy-efficient to raise the central temperatures of the catalytic flow-bed is therefore devised and tested to drastically reduce the supplemental heating to the EGR reformer. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions. This research attempts to quantify the energy saving by the catalytic flow-reversal and central-fuelling embedment in comparison to a unidirectional flow EGR reformer.
Technical Paper

Low Temperature Combustion Strategies for Compression Ignition Engines: Operability limits and Challenges

Low temperature combustion (LTC) strategies such as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI), smokeless rich combustion, and reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) provide for cleaner combustion with ultra-low NOx and soot emissions from compression-ignition engines. However, these strategies vary significantly in their implementation requirements, combustion characteristics, operability limits as well as sensitivity to boundary conditions such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and intake temperature. In this work, a detailed analysis of the aforementioned LTC strategies has been carried out on a high-compression ratio, single-cylinder diesel engine. The effects of intake boost, EGR quantity/temperature, engine speed, injection scheduling and injection pressure on the operability limits have been empirically determined and correlated with the combustion stability and performance metrics.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Based Adaptive Control to Improve Low Temperature Diesel Engine Combustion

Heat-release and cylinder pressure based adaptive fuel-injection control tests were performed on a modern common-rail diesel engine to improve the engine operation in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) region. A single shot injection strategy with heavy amount of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was used to modulate the in-cylinder charge conditions to achieve the low-temperature combustion. Adaptive fuel-injection techniques were used to anchor the cylinder pressure characteristics in the desired crank angle window and thereby stabilize the engine operation. The response of the adaptive control to boost, fueling, and engine speed variations was also tested. A combination of adaptive fuel-injection and automatic boost/back-pressure controls had helped to make the transient emissions comparable to the steady-state LTC emissions.
Journal Article

Fuel Injection Strategies to Improve Emissions and Efficiency of High Compression Ratio Diesel Engines

Simultaneous low NOx (< 0.15 g/kWh) & soot (< 0.01 g/kWh) are attainable for enhanced premixed combustion that may lead to higher levels of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions as the engine cycles move to low temperature combustion, which is a departure from the ultra low hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, typical of the high compression ratio diesel engines. As a result, the fuel efficiency of such modes of combustion is also compromised (up to 5%). In this paper, advanced strategies for fuel injection are devised on a modern 4-cylinder common rail diesel engine modified for single cylinder research. Thermal efficiency comparisons are made between the low temperature combustion and the conventional diesel cycles. The fuel injection strategies include single injection with heavy EGR, and early multi-pulse fuel injection under low or medium engine loads respectively.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation of Diesel-Ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) in a High Compression Ratio Engine

In this work, empirical investigations of the diesel-ethanol Premixed Pilot-Assisted Combustion (PPAC) are carried out on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) single-cylinder diesel engine. The tests focus on determining the minimum ethanol fraction for ultra-low NOx & soot emissions, effect of single-pilot vs. twin-pilot strategies on emissions and ignition controllability, reducing the EGR requirements, enabling clean combustion across the load range and achieving high efficiency full-load operation. The results show that both low NOx and almost zero soot emissions can be achieved but at the expense of higher unburned hydrocarbons. Compared to a single-pilot injection, a twin-pilot strategy reduces the soot emissions significantly and also lowers the NOx emissions, thereby reducing the requirements for EGR. The near-TDC pilot provides excellent control over the combustion phasing, further reducing the need of a higher EGR quantity for phasing control.
Technical Paper

Empirical Study of Energy in Diesel Combustion Emissions with EGR Application

Modern diesel engines were known for producing ultra-low levels of hydrogen and hydrocarbons. However, as emission control techniques such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are implemented to meet stringent NOx standards, the resulting increase in partial-combustion products can be significant in quantity both as pollutants and sources of lost engine efficiency. In this work, a modern common-rail diesel engine was configured to investigate the EGR threshold for elevated carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and hydrogen emissions at fixed loads and fixed heat-release phasing. It is noted that increase in hydrocarbons, in particular light hydrocarbons (such as methane, ethylene, and acetylene) was concurrent with ultra-low NOx emissions. Hydrogen gas can be emitted in significant quantities with the application of very high EGR. Under ultra-low NOx production conditions for medium and high load conditions, the light hydrocarbon species can account for the majority of hydrocarbon emissions.
Journal Article

Efficacy of EGR and Boost in Single-Injection Enabled Low Temperature Combustion

Exhaust gas recirculation, fuel injection strategy and boost pressure are among the key enablers to attain low NOx and soot emissions simultaneously on modern diesel engines. In this work, the individual influence of these parameters on the emissions are investigated independently for engine loads up to 8 bar IMEP. A single-shot fuel injection strategy has been deployed to push the diesel cycle into low temperature combustion with EGR. The results indicated that NOx was a stronger respondent to injection pressure levels than to boost when the EGR ratio is relatively low. However, when the EGR level was sufficiently high, the NOx was virtually grounded and the effect of boost or injection pressure becomes irrelevant. Further tests indicated that a higher injection pressure lowered soot emissions across the EGR sweeps while the effect of boost on the soot reduction appeared significant only at higher soot levels.
Technical Paper

Diesel EGR Fuel Reformer Improvement with Flow Reversal and Central Fueling

Empirical work has been conducted with an EGR fuel reformer configured in a flow reversal and central fueling embedment to improve the fuel dispersion quality and the reforming energy efficiency. Comprehensive comparison analyses are made between the unidirectional flow and the periodic reversal flow embodiments of similar substrate size and properties; and between the inlet and central heating schemes. With a unidirectional EGR reformer, a large amount of supplemental heating is commonly required prior to reforming. The central-fueling and flow-reversal embedment in this study is shown to significantly reduce the supplemental heating energy. The EGR cooler loading for the two strategies is also analyzed. One-dimensional modeling analyses are conducted to evaluate the fuel delivery strategies and temperature profiles of the reformer at various reforming gas flow rates and engine-out exhaust temperatures and compositions.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of EGR Treatment on the Emission and Operating Characteristics of Modern Diesel Engines

Tests are conducted to improve the use of exhaust gas recirculation on a single cylinder diesel engine with EGR stream treatment techniques that include intake heating, combustible substance oxidation, catalytic fuel reforming, and partial bypass-flow control. In parallel with the empirical work, theoretical modeling analyses are performed to investigate the effectiveness of the reforming process and the combined effects on the overall system efficiency. The research is aimed at stabilizing and expanding the limits of heavy EGR during steady and transient operations so that the individual limiting conditions of EGR can be better identified. Additionally, the heavy EGR is applied to enable in-cylinder low temperature combustion. The effectiveness of EGR treatment on engine emission and operating characteristics are therefore reported.
Journal Article

An Empirical Study to Extend Engine Load in Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

In this work, engine tests were performed to realize EGR-enabled LTC on a single-cylinder common-rail diesel engine with three different compression ratios (17.5, 15 and 13:1). The engine performance was first investigated at 17.5:1 compression ratio to provide baseline results, against which all further testing was referenced. The intake boost and injection pressure were progressively increased to ascertain the limiting load conditions for the compression ratio. To extend the engine load range, the compression ratio was then lowered and EGR sweep tests were again carried out. The strength and homogeneity of the cylinder charge were enhanced by using intake boost up to 3 bar absolute and injection pressure up to 180 MPa. The combustion phasing was locked in a narrow crank angle window (5~10° ATDC), during all the tests.
Journal Article

A Zero-Dimensional Intake Dilution Tracking Algorithm for Real-Time Feedback on Exhaust Gas Recirculation

This study describes a zero-dimensional algorithm for tracking the intake dilution in real-time. The inputs to the model are the oxygen concentration from the exhaust oxygen sensor, the manifold air pressure and temperature (MAP/MAT), the mass air flow (MAF) and the estimated fuel injected per cycle from the engine control module. The intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and EGR system are discretized into 3 volumes and the detailed concentrations of the gas species comprising the exhaust, EGR and intake streams are tracked at each time step (on a cycle-by-cycle basis). The model does not need the EGR ratio to be known in advance and is also applicable to oxygenated fuels such as ethanol. The model response is tuned to a multi-cylinder engine and the model output is empirically validated against a wide range of engine operations including load and EGR transients.