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Technical Paper

The University of Windsor - St. Clair College E85 Silverado

The fuel called E-85 can be burned effectively in engines similar to the engines currently mass-produced for use with gasoline. Since the ethanol component of this fuel is produced from crops such as corn and sugar cane, the fuel is almost fully renewable. The different physical and chemical properties of E-85, however, do require certain modifications to the common gasoline engine. The Windsor - St. Clair team has focused their attention to modifications that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce tailpipe emissions. Other modifications were also performed to ensure that the vehicle would still operate with the same power and driveability as its gasoline counterpart.
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

New MAC Technologies: Fuel Efficiency Effect in Real Driving of the Air Intake Flap Management

Following the development of new technologies in Vehicle Thermal Management aiming to both enhancing the MAC System efficiency and reducing the thermal load to be managed, a prediction tool based on the AMEsim platform was developed at Advanced PD EMEA. This tool is dedicated to predict the effect of the implementation of sensors monitoring both the relative humidity and the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration (taking into account passengers' generated moisture and CO2). This model implemented with the usual comfort inputs (CO2 and RH acceptable ranges) considers the system variables influencing the comfort and predicts the increase of both RH and CO2 concentration in the cabin compartment in any driving cycle depending on the number of occupants.
Technical Paper

Ion Current Measurement of Diluted Combustion Using a Multi-Electrode Spark Plug

Close-loop feedback combustion control is essential for improving the internal combustion engines to meet the rigorous fuel efficiency demands and emission legislations. A vital part is the combustion sensing technology that diagnoses in-cylinder combustion information promptly, such as using cylinder pressure sensor and ion current measurement. The promptness and fidelity of the diagnostic are particularly important to the potential success of using intra-cycle control for abnormal cycles such as super knocking and misfiring. Many research studies have demonstrated the use of ion-current sensing as feedback signal to control the spark ignition gasoline engines, with the spark gap shared for both ignition and ion-current detection. During the spark glow phase, the sparking current may affect the combustion ion current signal. Moreover, the electrode gap size is optimized for sparking rather than measurement of ion current.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Journal Article

Heat Release Pattern Diagnostics to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Empirical results indicated that the engine emission and fuel efficiency of low-temperature combustion (LTC) cycles can be optimized by adjusting the fuel-injection scheduling in order to obtain appropriate combustion energy release or heat-release rate patterns. Based on these empirical results the heat-release characteristics were correlated with the regulated emissions such as soot, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen. The transition from conventional combustion to LTC with the desired set of heat-release rate has been implemented. This transition was facilitated with the simplified heat-release characterization wherein each of the consecutive engine cycles was analyzed with a real-time controller embedded with an FPGA (field programmable gate array) device. The analyzed results served as the primary feedback control signals to adjust fuel injection scheduling. The experimental efforts included the boost/backpressure, exhaust gas recirculation, and load transients in the LTC region.
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.
Technical Paper

Cosimulation of Active Suspension

The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of simulating an active suspension using cosimulation. The vehicle used is a utility truck created in ADAMS/View while the E.C.U. (electronic control unit) is implemented in Simulink for both a fully-active and semi-active controller. The LQR (Linear Quadratic Regulator) is used for the fully-active system while the semi-active system uses a switching law adopted from Karnopp et al. {1}. Nonlinear and linear vehicle models are compared and the influence of suspension bushings is examined. All simulations undertaken are geared towards evaluating the ride capabilities of such systems.
Technical Paper

Computational Study of Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) Combustion in a Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Using Natural Gas

Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion employs two fuels with a large difference in auto-ignition properties that are injected at different times to generate a spatial gradient of fuel-air mixtures and reactivity. Researchers have shown that RCCI offers improved fuel efficiency and lower NOx and Soot exhaust emissions when compared to conventional diesel diffusion combustion. The majority of previous research work has been focused on premixed gasoline or ethanol for the low reactivity fuel and diesel for the high reactivity fuel. The increased availability of natural gas (NG) in the U.S. has renewed interest in the application of compressed natural gas (CNG) to heavy-duty (HD) diesel engines in order to realize fuel cost savings and reduce pollutant emissions, while increasing fuel economy. Thus, RCCI using CNG and diesel fuel warrants consideration.
Journal Article

Combustion Simulation of Dual Fuel CNG Engine Using Direct Injection of Natural Gas and Diesel

The increased availability of natural gas (NG) in the U.S. has renewed interest in the application to heavy-duty (HD) diesel engines in order to realize fuel cost savings and reduce pollutant emissions, while increasing fuel economy. Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion employs two fuels with a large difference in auto-ignition properties to generate a spatial gradient of fuel-air mixtures and reactivity. Typically, a high octane fuel is premixed by means of port-injection, followed by direct injection of a high cetane fuel late in the compression stroke. Previous work by the authors has shown that NG and diesel RCCI offers improved fuel efficiency and lower oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and soot emissions when compared to conventional diesel diffusion combustion. The work concluded that NG and diesel RCCI engines are load limited by high rates of pressure rise (RoPR) (>15 bar/deg) and high peak cylinder pressure (PCP) (>200 bar).
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Near-Spark-Plug Flow Field and Its Effect on Spark Behavior

In the recent decades, the emission and fuel efficiency regulations put forth by the emission regulation agencies have become increasingly stringent and this trend is expected to continue in future. The advanced spark ignition (SI) engines can operate under lean conditions to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Under such lean conditions, the ignition and complete combustion of the charge mixture is a challenge because of the reduced charge reactivity. Enhancement of the in-cylinder charge motion and turbulence to increase the flame velocity, and consequently reduce the combustion duration is one possible way to improve lean combustion. The role of air motion in better air-fuel mixing and increasing the flame velocity, by enhancing turbulence has been researched extensively. However, during the ignition process, the charge motion can influence the initial spark discharge, resulting flame kernel formation, and flame propagation.
Journal Article

An Improvement on Low Temperature Combustion in Neat Biodiesel Engine Cycles

Extensive empirical work indicates that the exhaust emission and fuel efficiency of modern common-rail diesel engines characterise strong resilience to biodiesel fuels when the engines are operating in conventional high temperature combustion cycles. However, as the engine cycles approach the low temperature combustion (LTC) mode, which could be implemented by the heavy use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of combustion, the engine performance start to differ between the use of conventional and biodiesel fuels. Therefore, a set of fuel injection strategies were compared empirically under independently controlled EGR, intake boost, and exhaust backpressure in order to improve the neat biodiesel engine cycles.
Journal Article

An Enabling Study of Diesel Low Temperature Combustion via Adaptive Control

Low temperature combustion (LTC), though effective to reduce soot and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) simultaneously from diesel engines, operates in narrowly close to unstable regions. Adaptive control strategies are developed to expand the stable operations and to improve the fuel efficiency that was commonly compromised by LTC. Engine cycle simulations were performed to better design the combustion control models. The research platform consists of an advanced common-rail diesel engine modified for the intensified single cylinder research and a set of embedded real-time (RT) controllers, field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices, and a synchronized personal computer (PC) control and measurement system.
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.
Technical Paper

Active Suspension Handling Simulation using Cosimulation

In this study the capabilities of a semi-active suspension and an active roll suspension are evaluated for comparison with a passive suspension. The vehicle used is a utility truck modeled as a multi-body system in ADAMS/Car while the ECU (electronic control unit) is built in Matlab/Simulink. Cosimulation is used in linking the vehicle model with the controller by exchanging the input and output values of each sub-system with one another. For the simulation models considered, results indicate that for a fish-hook cornering maneuver the semi-active suspension is limited in increasing vehicle performance while the active roll suspension significantly improves it. Further analysis is needed to confirm these findings.