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Journal Article

Trends in Performance Characteristics of Modern Automobile SI and Diesel Engines

A prior study (Chon and Heywood, [1]) examined how the design and performance of spark-ignition engines evolved in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. This paper carries out a similar analysis of trends in basic engine design and performance characteristics over the past decade. Available databases on engine specifications in the U.S., Europe, and Japan were used as the sources of information. Parameters analyzed were maximum torque, power, and speed; number of cylinders and engine configuration, cylinder displacement, bore, stroke, compression ratio; valvetrain configuration, number of valves and their control; port or direct fuel injection; naturally-aspirated or turbocharged engine concepts; spark-ignition and diesel engines. Design features are correlated with these engine’s performance parameters, normalized by engine and cylinder displacement.
Technical Paper

The Performance of Future ICE and Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles and Their Potential Fleet Impact

A study at MIT of the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from advanced technology future automobiles has compared fuel cell powered vehicles with equivalent gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles [1][2]. Current data regarding IC engine and fuel cell vehicle performance were extrapolated to 2020 to provide optimistic but plausible forecasts of how these technologies might compare. The energy consumed by the vehicle and its corresponding CO2 emissions, the fuel production and distribution energy and CO2 emissions, and the vehicle manufacturing process requirements were all evaluated and combined to give a well-to-wheels coupled with a cradle-to-grave assessment. The assessment results show that significant opportunities are available for improving the efficiency of mainstream gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions, and reducing vehicle resistances.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Operating Variables and Prechamber Size on Combustion in a Prechamber Stratified-Charge Engine

This paper describes the results of experimental and computer simulation studies of the combustion process in the prechamber three-valve stratified-charge engine. Prechamber and main-chamber pressure data and matched computer simulation calculations are used to determine the effects of variations in overall air/fuel ratio, engine speed and load, and prechamber volume and orifice diameter on the parameters which define the combustion process (spark advance for optimum torque, ignition delay, combustion duration), on cylinder pressure diagrams (mean main-chamber pressure, mean pressure difference across the orifice, and cycle-by-cycle pressure fluctuations) and on exhaust emissions. General correlations are derived from the data for the shape of the combustion rate profile and the extent of the combustion duration.
Technical Paper

The Importance of Injection System Characteristics on Hydrocarbon Emissions from a Direct-Injection Stratified-Charge Engine

The effects of injection variability, low velocity fuel injection, and injector orifice size on unburned hydrocarbon emissions were studied in a direct-injection stratified-charge (DISC) engine. The engine incorporated a combustion process similar to the Texaco Controlled Combustion System (TCCS) and was operated with gasoline. The variability in the amount of fuel injected per cycle was found to have a negligible effect on HC emissions. Changing the amount of fuel injected at low velocity at the end of injection impacted the HC emissions by up to 50%. A positive pressure differential between the injection line and the combustion chamber when the injector needle closed resulted in more fuel injected at low velocity and increased HC emissions. High speed single frame photography was used to observe the end of injection. Injectors with smaller orifices had substantially lower HC emissions than the baseline injector.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Crevices on the Engine-Out Hydrocarbon Emissions in SI Engines

To understand the effects of crevices on the engine-out hydrocarbon emissions, a series of engine experiments was carried out with different piston crevice volumes and with simulated head gasket crevices. The engine-out HC level was found to be modestly sensitive to the piston crevice size in both the warmed-up and the cold engines, but more sensitive to the crevice volume in the head gasket region. A substantial decrease in HC in the cold-to-warm-up engine transition was observed and is attributed mostly to the change in port oxidation.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Piston Temperature on Hydrocarbon Emissions from a Spark-Ignited Direct-Injection Engine

Light-load unburned hydrocarbon emissions were studied experimentally in a spark-ignited direct-injection engine burning gasoline where the piston temperature was varied. The test engine was a single-cylinder Direct Injection Stratified-Charge (DISC) engine incorporating a combustion process similar to the Texaco Controlled Combustion System. At a single low load operating condition, the piston temperature was varied by 50 K by controlling the cooling water and oil temperature. The effect of this change on unburned hydrocarbon emissions and heat release profiles was studied. It was found that by carefully controlling the intake air temperature and pressure to maintain constant in-cylinder conditions at the time of injection, the change in piston temperature did not have a significant effect on the unburned hydrocarbon emissions from the engine.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Fuel Characteristics on Combustion in a Spark-Ignited Direct-Injection Engine

An experimental study was conducted on a spark-ignited direct-injection engine burning fuels with different evaporation and autoignition characteristics. The test engine was a single-cylinder Direct-Injection Stratified-Charge (DISC) engine incorporating a combustion process similar to the Texaco Controlled Combustion System. Two fuels were tested and compared with a baseline gasoline fuel: diesel fuel, and gasoline mixed with an ignition improver. The tests were done at low to medium engine loads. Diesel fuel was found to have similar levels of hydrocarbon (HC) emissions as gasoline but had different characteristics. The optimum timing for diesel fuel was retarded from that for gasoline and combustion variability was much less with diesel than with gasoline. Gasoline with a commercial ignition improver normally used to increase the cetane number of diesel fuel was also tested. The effect of changing the autoignition quality of the fuel depended on the injector used.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Chamber Geometry on Spark-Ignition Engine Combustion

The way In which combustion chamber geometry affects combustion in SI engines was studied using a quasi-diraensional cycle simulation. Calculations were performed to investigate the following questions: (i) the sensitivity of geometric effects on combustion to engine operating conditions; (ii) the differences in burn duration between ten chamber geometries and spark plug locations; and (iii) the relative merits of improved chamber design and amplified turbulence as means to reduce burn duration. The results from these studies are presented and discussed.
Technical Paper

The Contribution of Different Oil Consumption Sources to Total Oil Consumption in a Spark Ignition Engine

As a part of the effort to comply with increasingly stringent emission standards, engine manufacturers strive to minimize engine oil consumption. This requires the advancement of the understanding of the characteristics, sources, and driving mechanisms of oil consumption. This paper presents a combined theoretical and experimental approach to separate and quantify different oil consumption sources in a production spark ignition engine at different speed and load conditions. A sulfur tracer method was used to measure the dependence of oil consumption on engine operating speed and load. Liquid oil distribution on the piston was studied using a Laser-Induced-Fluorescence (LIF) technique. In addition, important in-cylinder parameters for oil transport and oil consumption, such as liner temperatures and land pressures, were measured.
Technical Paper

Simulation Studies of the Effects of Turbocharging and Reduced Heat Transfer on Spark-Ignition Engine Operation

A computer simulation of the four-stroke spark-ignition engine cycle has been used to examine the effects of turbocharging and reduced heat transfer on engine performance, efficiency and NOx emissions. The simulation computes the flows into and out of the engine, calculates the changes in thermodynamic properties and composition of the unburned and burned gas mixtures within the cylinder through the engine cycle due to work, heat and mass transfers, and follows the kinetics of NO formation and decomposition in the burned gas. The combustion process is specified as an input to the program through use of a normalized rate of mass burning profile. From this information, the simulation computes engine power, fuel consumption and NOx emissions. Wide-open-trottle predictions made with the simulation were compared with experimental data from a 5.7ℓ naturally-aspirated and a 3.8ℓ turbocharged production engine.
Technical Paper

Schlieren Visualization of the Flow and Density Fields in the Cylinder of a Spark-Ignition Engine

The design and operating characteristics of a single-cylinder transparent spark-ignition engine for Schlieren flow visualization are described. The engine is built on a CFR engine crankcase using the CFR piston and cylinder as a crosshead for the square cross-section piston and cylinder assembly. The square cross-section assembly has two parallel steel walls and two parallel quartz glass walls to permit optical access to the entire cylinder volume over the complete engine operating cycle. The CFR head and valve mechanism completes the assembly. It is shown that the engine operates satisfactorily with propane fuel under typical engine operating conditions. Schlieren short time-exposure photographs and high speed movies were taken to define details of the flow and density fields through the engine cycle. Photographs which illustrate key features of these fields are presented and described.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Effects of Air and Coolant Temperature, Deposits, Spark Timing and Speed on Knock in Spark Ignition Engines

The prediction of knock onset in spark-ignition engines requires a chemical model for the autoignition of the hydrocarbon fuel-air mixture, and a description of the unburned end-gas thermal state. Previous studies have shown that a reduced chemistry model developed by Keck et al. adequately predicts the initiation of autoignition. However, the combined effects of heat transfer and compression on the state of the end gas have not been thoroughly investigated. The importance of end-gas heat transfer was studied with the objective of improving the ability of our knock model to predict knock onset over a wide range of engine conditions. This was achieved through changing the thermal environment of the end gas by either varying the inlet air temperature or the coolant temperature. Results show that there is significant heating of the in-cylinder charge during intake and a substantial part of the compression process.
Technical Paper

Piston Fuel Film Observations in an Optical Access GDI Engine

A gasoline direct injection fuel spray was observed using a fired, optical access, square cross-section single cylinder research engine and high-speed video imaging. Spray interaction with the piston is described qualitatively, and the results are compared with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation results using KIVA-3V version 2. CFD simulations predicted that within the operating window for stratified charge operation, between 1% and 4% of the injected fuel would remain on the piston as a liquid film, dependent primarily on piston temperature. The experimental results support the CFD simulations qualitatively, but the amount of fuel film remaining on the piston appears to be under-predicted. High-speed video footage shows a vigorous spray impingement on the piston crown, resulting in vapor production.
Technical Paper

Photographic and Performance Studies of Diesel Combustion With a Rapid Compression Machine

Photographic and performance studies with a Rapid Compression Machine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been used to develop insight into the role of mixing in diesel engine combustion. Combustion photographs and performance data were analyzed. The experiments simulate a single fuel spray in an open chamber diesel engine with direct injection. The effects of droplet formation and evaporation on mixing are examined. It is concluded that mixing is controlled by the rate of entrainment of air by the fuel spray rather than the dynamics of single droplets. Experimental data on the geometry of a jet in a quiescent combustion chamber were compared with a two-phase jet model; a jet model based on empirical turbulent entrainment coefficients was developed to predict the motion of a fuel jet in a combustion chamber with swirl. Good agreement between theory and experiment was obtained.
Technical Paper

Phenomena that Determine Knock Onset in Spark-Ignition Engines

Experiments were carried out to collect in-cylinder pressure data and microphone signals from a single-cylinder test engine using spark timingsbefore, at, and after knock onset for toluene reference fuels. The objective was to gain insight into the phenomena that determine knock onset, detected by an external microphone. In particular, the study examines how the end-gas autoignition process changes as the engine's spark timing is advanced through the borderline knock limit into the engine's knocking regime. Fast Fourier transforms (FFT) and bandpass filtering techniques were used to process the recorded cylinder pressure data to determine knock intensities for each cycle. Two characteristic pressure oscillation frequencies were detected: a peak just above 6 kHz and a range of peaks in the 15-22 kHz range. The microphone data shows that the audible knock signal has the same 6 kHz peak.
Technical Paper

Performance Scaling of Spark-Ignition Engines: Correlation and Historical Analysis of Production Engine Data

This study examines the scaling between engine performance, engine configuration, and engine size and geometry, for modern spark-ignition engines. It focuses especially on design features that impact engine breathing. We also analyze historical trends to illustrate how changes in technology have improved engine performance. Different geometric parameters such as cylinder displacement, piston area, number of cylinders, number of valves per cylinder, bore to stroke ratio, and compression ratio, in appropriate combinations, are correlated to engine performance parameters, namely maximum torque, power and brake mean effective pressure, to determine the relationships or scaling laws that best fit the data. Engine specifications from 1999 model year vehicles sold in the United States were compiled into a database and separated into two-, three-, and four-valves-per-cylinder engine categories.
Technical Paper

Models for Heat Transfer, Mixing and Hydrocarbon Oxidation in a Exhaust Port of a Spark-Ignited Engine

The fate of hydrocarbon species in the exhaust systems of spark-ignition engines is an important part of the overall hydrocarbon emissions problem. In this investigation models were developed for the instantaneous heat transfer, fluid mixing, and hydrocarbon oxidation in an engine exhaust port. Experimental measurements were obtained for the instantaneous cylinder pressure and instantaneous gas temperature at the exhaust port exit for a range of engine operating conditions. These measurements were used to validate the heat transfer model and to provide data on the instantaneous cylinder gas state for a series of illustrative exhaust port hydrocarbon oxidation computations as a function of engine operating and design variables. During much of the exhaust process, the exhaust port heat transfer was dominated by large-scale fluid motion generated by the jet-like flow at the exhaust valve.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Dynamics and Lubrication of Three Piece Oil Control Rings in Internal Combustion Engines

The oil control ring is the most critical component for oil consumption and friction from the piston system in internal combustion engines. Three-piece oil control rings are widely used in Spark Ignition (SI) engines. However, the dynamics and lubrication of three piece oil control rings have not been thoroughly studied from the theoretical point of view. In this work, a model was developed to predict side sealing, bore sealing, friction, and asperity contact between rails and groove as well as between rails and the liner in a Three Piece Oil Control Ring (TPOCR). The model couples the axial and twist dynamics of the two rails of TPOCR and the lubrication between two rails and the cylinder bore. Detailed rail/groove and rail/liner interactions were considered. The pressure distribution from oil squeezing and asperity contact between the flanks of the rails and the groove were both considered for rail/groove interaction.
Technical Paper

Mixture Preparation in a SI Engine with Port Fuel Injection During Starting and Warm-Up

The in-cylinder hydrocarbon (HC) mole fraction was measured on a cycle-resolved basis during simulated starting and warm-up of a port-injected single-cylinder SI research engine on a dynamometer. The measurements were made with a fast-response flame ionization detector with a heated sample line. The primary parameters that influence how rapidly a combustible mixture builds up in the cylinder are the inlet pressure and the amount of fuel injected; engine speed and fuel injection schedule have smaller effects. When a significant amount of liquid fuel is present at the intake port in the starting process, the first substantial firing cycle is often preceded by a cycle with abnormally high in-cylinder HC and low compression pressure. An energy balance analysis suggests that a large amount of liquid vaporization occurs within the cylinder in this cycle.
Technical Paper

Mixture Preparation Mechanisms in a Port Fuel Injected Engine

An experimental study was carried out that qualitatively examined the mixture preparation process in port fuel injected engines. The primary variables in this study were intake valve lift, intake valve timing, injector spray quality, and injection timing. A special visualization engine was used to obtain high-speed videos of the fuel-air mixture flowing through the intake valve, as well as the wetting of the intake valve and head in the combustion chamber. Additionally, videos were taken from within the intake port using a borescope to examine liquid fuel distribution in the port. Finally, a simulation study was carried out in order to understand how the various combinations of intake valve lifts and timings affect the flow velocity through the intake valve gap to aid in the interpretation of the videos.