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Journal Article

Using 2d Infrared Imaging for the Analysis of Non-Conventional Fuels Combustion in a Diesel Engine

The common realization of the necessity to reduce the use of mineral sources is promoting the use of alternative fuels. Big efforts are being made to replace petroleum derivatives in the internal combustion engines (ICEs). For this purpose it is mandatory to evaluate the behavior of non-conventional fuels in the ICEs. The optical diagnostics have proven to be a powerful tool to analyze the processes that take place inside the engine. In particular, 2d imaging in the infrared range can reveal new details about the effect of the fuel properties since this technique is still not very common. In this work, a comparison between commercial diesel fuel and two non-conventional fuels has been made in an optically accessible diesel engine. The non-conventional fuels are: the first generation biofuel Rapeseed Methyl Ester (RME) and an experimental blend of diesel and a fuel with high glycerol content (HG).
Technical Paper

Use of Vibration Signal for Diagnosis and Control of a Four-Cylinder Diesel Engine

In order to meet the stricter and stricter emission regulations, cleaner combustion concepts for Diesel engines are being progressively introduced. These new combustion approaches often requires closed loop control systems with real time information about combustion quality. The most important parameter for the evaluation of combustion quality in internal combustion engines is the in-cylinder pressure, but its direct measurement is very expensive and involves an intrusive approach to the cylinder. Previous researches demonstrated the direct relationship existing between in-cylinder pressure and engine block vibration signal and several authors tried to reconstruct the pressure cycle on the basis of information coming from accelerometers mounted on engine block. This paper proposes a method, based on the analysis of the engine vibration signal, for the diagnosis of combustion process in a Diesel engine.
Journal Article

UV-Visible Spectroscopic Measurements of Dual-Fuel PCCI Engine

In this work, optical diagnostics were applied in a transparent DI diesel engine equipped with the head of Euro5 commercial engine and the last generation CR injection system. In order to realize the PCCI combustion the injection of neat bio-ethanol was performed in the intake manifold and European commercial diesel fuel was injected into the cylinder. Different amounts of bio-ethanol were injected in order to create PCCI combustion with high levels of pre-combustion mixing, and to ensure low equivalence ratio and low flame temperatures too. UV-Visible imaging and spectroscopic measurements were performed in the engine in order to investigate the autoignition of the charge and the combustion process, respectively. In particular, the detection of the species involved in the combustion, like OH, HCO, and CH, was performed. The relevance of the radicals and species on PCCI were evaluated and compared with the data from thermodynamic analysis.
Technical Paper

UV-Visible Imaging of PCCI Engine Running with Ethanol/Diesel Fuel

Premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) has been shown to be a promising strategy to simultaneously reduce emissions while realizing improved fuel economy. PCCI combustion uses high levels of pre-combustion mixing to lower both NOx and soot emissions by ensuring low equivalence ratio and low flame temperatures. The high level of pre-combustion mixing results in a primarily kinetics controlled combustion process. In this work, optical diagnostics have been applied in a transparent DI diesel engine equipped with the head of Euro5 commercial engine and the last generation CR injection system. In order to realize the PCCI combustion the injection of neat ethanol has been performed in the intake manifold. The engine run in continuous way at 1500 rpm engine speed and commercial diesel fuel has been injected into the cylinder. The PCCI combustion has been analyzed by means of UV- Visible digital imaging and the mixing process, the autoignition of the charge have been investigated.
Technical Paper

Towards On-Line Prediction of the In-Cylinder Pressure in Diesel Engines from Engine Vibration Using Artificial Neural Networks

This study aims at building efficient and robust artificial neural networks (ANN) able to reconstruct the in-cylinder pressure of Diesel engines and to identify engine conditions starting from the signal of a low-cost accelerometer placed on the engine block. The accelerometer is a perfect non-intrusive replacement for expensive probes and is prospectively suitable for production vehicles. In this view, the artificial neural network is meant to be efficient in terms of response time, i.e. fast enough for on-line use. In addition, robustness is sought in order to provide flexibility in terms of operation parameters. Here we consider a feed-forward neural network based on radial basis functions (RBF) for signal reconstruction, and a feed-forward multi-layer perceptron network with tan-sigmoid transfer function for signal classification. The networks are trained using measurements from a three-cylinder real engine for various operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Temperature Measurements of the Piston Optical Window in a Research Compression Ignition Engine via Thermography and Templugs

Internal combustion engines are characterized by high pressure and thermal loads on pistons and in cylinders. The heat generated by the combustion process is dissipated by means of water and oil cooling systems. For the best design and optimization of the engine components it is necessary to know the components temperature in order to estimate the thermal flows. The purpose of this work is to measure the piston sapphire window temperature in a research optically accessible engine by combining two different techniques: measurements with templugs and with thermography. The method is very simple and can provide a reliable value of temperature within a small interval. It fits well for applications inside the engine because of its low technical level requirements. It consists of application of temperature sensitive stickers on the target component that makes it a very robust method, not affected by piston movement.
Journal Article

Spray Formation and Combustion Analysis in an Optical Single Cylinder Engine Operating with Fresh and Aged Biodiesel

The present paper describes the results of a cooperative research project between GM Powertrain Europe and Istituto Motori - CNR aimed at studying the impact of both fresh and highly oxidized RME at two levels of blending on spray formation and combustion in modern automotive diesel engines. The tests were performed on an optical single-cylinder engine sharing combustion system configuration with the 2.0L Euro5 GM diesel engine for passenger car application. Two blends (B50 and B100) blending were tested for both fresh and aged RME and compared with commercial diesel fuel in two different operating points typical of NEDC (1500rpm/2bar BMEP and 2000rpm/5bar BMEP). The experimental activity was devoted to an in-depth investigation of the spray density, breakup and penetration, mixture formation, combustion and soot formation, by means of optical techniques.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Combustion Analysis by Flame Emission Spectroscopy of Transparent CR Diesel Engine

Spectroscopic measurement and high speed visualization were used in single cylinder, four-stroke DI diesel engine, optically accessible. It was equipped with a four valves head and fully flexible electronic controlled ‘Common Rail’ injection system. The effect of pilot and main injection on combustion process was evaluated. Mixing formation, autoignition and soot formation process were analyzed by broadband ultraviolet-visible flame emission spectroscopy and high-speed digital imaging. The autoignition phase occurred near the tip of the jet and was characterized by strong presence of OH radicals for both investigated conditions The presence of C2 and OH radicals strongly characterized CR diesel combustion process during soot formation and evolution. In particular, high presence of OH concentration for the whole process from the autoignition to the soot formation and successive phases contributes to lower soot levels.
Technical Paper

IR Imaging of Premixed Combustion in a Transparent Euro5 Diesel Engine

In the present paper, infrared (IR) measurements were performed in order to study the development of injection and combustion in a transparent Euro 5 diesel engine operating in premixed mode. An elongated single-cylinder engine equipped with the multi-cylinder head of commercial passenger car and with common rail (CR) injection system, respectively, was used. A sapphire window was set in the bottom of the combustion chamber, and a sapphire ring was placed between the head and the top of the cylinder line. Measurements were carried out through both accesses by a new high-speed infrared (IR) digital imaging system obtaining information that was difficult to achieve by the conventional UV-visible camera. IR camera was able to detect the emitted light in the wavelength range 1.5-5 μm that is relevant for the emission bands of CO₂ and H₂O. The evaporation phase of pre and main injection, and subsequent combustion evolution were analyzed.
Technical Paper

Extinction and Chemiluminescence Measurements in CR DI Diesel Engine Operating in HCCI Mode

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion was applied to a transparent diesel engine equipped with high pressure Common Rail (CR) injection system. By means of CR system the quantity of fuel was split into five injections per cycle. Combined measurements, based on digital imaging and spectroscopic techniques, were applied to follow the evolution of HCCI combustion process with high temporal and spatial resolution. Digital imaging allowed to analyse injection and combustion phases. Broadband ultraviolet - visible extinction spectroscopy (BUVES) and flame emission measurements were carried out to evaluate the presence of radicals and species such as HCO, OH, CH, and CO. In particular, BUVES measurements were performed to follow fuel oxidation, and pollutant formation and oxidation. During injection and cool combustion, bands of aromatic compounds and alkyl peroxides, indicating fuel decomposition, and hydrogen peroxides were detected.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Characterization of Diesel Injection in Single-Cylinder Research Engine with Rate Shaping Strategy

The management of multiple injections in compression ignition (CI) engines is one of the most common ways to increase engine performance by avoiding hardware modifications and after-treatment systems. Great attention is given to the profile of the injection rate since it controls the fuel delivery in the cylinder. The Injection Rate Shaping (IRS) is a technique that aims to manage the quantity of injected fuel during the injection process via a proper definition of the injection timing (injection duration and dwell time). In particular, it consists in closer and centered injection events and in a split main injection with a very small dwell time. From the experimental point of view, the performance of an IRS strategy has been studied in an optical CI engine. In particular, liquid and vapor phases of the injected fuel have been acquired via visible and infrared imaging, respectively. Injection parameters, like penetration and cone angle have been determined and analyzed.
Technical Paper

Diagnosis and Control of Advanced Diesel Combustions using Engine Vibration Signal

Increasing demands on emissions reduction and efficiency encouraged a progressive introduction of cleaner combustion concepts. "Advanced" diesel combustions offer a high potential for simultaneous reduction of both NOx and soot within the engine through high inlet charge dilution and mixture homogenization. However, the potential benefits of these combustions in terms of emissions are counterbalanced by their high sensitivity to in-cylinder thermodynamic conditions. This sensitivity makes the engines require closed loop combustion control with real-time information about combustion quality. The parameter widely considered as the most important for the evaluation of the combustion quality in internal combustion engines is the cylinder pressure. However, this kind of measure involves an intrusive approach to the cylinder, expensive sensors and a special mounting process.
Technical Paper

Combustion Analysis of Dual Fuel Operation in Single Cylinder Research Engine Fuelled with Methane and Diesel

In the present activity, dual fuel operation was investigated in a single cylinder research engine. Methane was injected in the intake manifold while the diesel was delivered via the standard injector directly into the engine. The aim is to study the effect of increasing methane concentration at constant injected diesel amount on both pollutant emissions and combustion evolution in an optically accessible engine. Emissions are in line with those previously published by other authors, it is noted no PM and constant NOx emissions. Moreover, a decrease of the brake specific CO emissions and an increase of the brake specific THC for the operating condition with the highest premixed ratio was detected. THC was mainly constituted by methane unburned hydrocarbons. Combustion resulted more or less stable. Moreover, via both UV-VIS spectroscopy and digital imaging, the spatial distribution of several species involved in the combustion process was analyzed.
Technical Paper

Combustion Analysis in an Optical Diesel Engine Operating with Low Compression Ratio and Biodiesel Fuels

In this paper we report how optical techniques were applied in the cylinder of an optically accessible engine equipped with latest-generation EURO V diesel engine head. The injection strategy with high percentage of EGR, characteristic of real engine operating point, was adopted. In particular, the combustion behavior at 1500 rpm\2 bar BMEP was investigated. Alternative diesel fuels were used. In particular, rapeseed methyl ester (RME) and gas to liquid (GTL) were selected as representative of 1st and 2nd generation alternative diesel fuel, respectively. Combustion analysis was carried out in the engine combustion chamber by means of visible digital imaging. These measurements helped to analyze the chemical and physical events occurring during the mixture preparation and the combustion development. Ultraviolet (UV) digital imaging was also performed and the presence of characteristic radical, like OH, in the various phases of combustion was detected as well.
Technical Paper

Characterization of PCCI Combustion in a Single Cylinder CI Engine Fuelled with RME and Bio-Ethanol

This paper reports experiments on a single-cylinder direct-injection compression ignition engine operating in premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) combustion mode. The engine was fuelled with pure rapeseed methyl ester (RME) and bio-ethanol. RME was injected in the combustion chamber by common rail (CR) injection system at 800 bar and bio-ethanol in the intake manifold by commercial port fuel injection system at 3.5 bar. The effects of different percentage of bio-ethanol were studied by means of both the in-cylinder heat release analysis and the high-speed UV-visible chemiluminescence visualization. The pollutant formation and exhaust emissions of the engine operating in dual fuel mode were evaluated. The increase of the bio-ethanol content improved the brake thermal efficiency slightly even if the brake fuel consumption increased. However, the choice to inject two biofuels decreases both the smoke opacity and NOx concentration.
Technical Paper

CFD Analysis of the Combustion Process in Dual-Fuel Diesel Engine

Dual-fuel technology has the potential to offer significant improvements in the emissions of carbon dioxide from light-duty compression ignition engines. The dual-fuel (diesel/natural gas) concept represents a possible solution to reduce emissions from diesel engines by using natural gas (methane) as an alternative fuel. Methane was injected in the intake manifold while the diesel oil was injected directly into the engine. The present work describes the results of a numerical study on combustion process of a common rail diesel engine supplied with natural gas and diesel oil. In particular, the aim is to study the effect of increasing methane concentration at constant injected diesel amount on both pollutant emissions and combustion evolution. The study of dual-fuel engines that is carried out in this paper aims at the evaluation of the CFD potential, by a 3-dimensional code, to predict the main features of this technology.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Dual Fuel Combustion in Single Cylinder Research Engine Fueled with Methane and Diesel by IR Diagnostics

In the present study, dual fuel mode is investigated in a single cylinder optical compression ignition (CI) research engine. Methane is injected in the intake manifold while the diesel is delivered via the standard injector directly into the engine. The aim is to study by non-intrusive diagnostics the effect of increasing methane concentration at constant injected diesel amount during the combustion evolution from start of combustion. IR imaging is applied in cycle resolved mode. Three filters are adopted to detect from injection to combustion phase with high spatial and temporal resolution: OD1.45 (3-5.5 μm), band pass 3.3 μm (hydrocarbons) and band pass 4.2 μm (CO2). Using the band pass IR imaging qualitative information about fuel-vapor distribution and ignition locations during low and high temperature combustion have been provided.
Journal Article

Alternative Diesel Fuels Effects on Combustion and Emissions of an Euro4 Automotive Diesel Engine

The present paper describes the first results of a cooperative research project between GM Powertrain Europe and Istituto Motori of CNR aimed at studying the impact of Fatty-Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) and gas-to-liquid (GTL) fuel blends on the performance, emissions and fuel consumption of modern automotive diesel engines. The tests were performed on the architecture of GM 1.9L Euro4 diesel engine for passenger car application, both on optical single-cylinder and on production four-cylinder engines, sharing the same combustion system configuration. Various blends of biodiesels as well as reference diesel fuel were tested. The experimental activity on the single-cylinder engine was devoted to an in-depth investigation of the combustion process and pollutant formation, by means of different optical diagnostics techniques, based on imaging multiwavelength spectroscopy.
Technical Paper

1D Modeling of Alternative Fuels Spray in a Compression Ignition Engine using Injection Rate Shaping Strategy

The Injection Rate Shaping consists in a novel injection strategy to control air-fuel mixing quality via a suitable variation of injection timing that affects the injection rate profile. This strategy has already provided to be useful to increase combustion efficiency and reduce pollutant emissions in the modern compression ignition engines fed with fossil Diesel fuel. But today’s, the ever more rigorous emission targets are enhancing a search for alternative fuels and/or new blends to replace conventional ones, leading in turn a change in the air-fuel mixture formation. In this work a 1D model aims to investigate the combined effects of both Injection Rate Shaping and alternative fuels on the air-fuel mixture formation in a compression ignition engine. In a first step, a ready-made model for conventional injection strategies has been set up for the Injection Rate Shaping.