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Technical Paper

The Potential of HCCI Combustion for High Efficiency and Low Emissions

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines can have efficiencies as high as compression-ignition, direct-injection (CIDI) engines (an advanced version of the commonly known diesel engine), while producing ultra-low emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). HCCI engines can operate on gasoline, diesel fuel, and most alternative fuels. While HCCI has been demonstrated and known for quite some time, only the recent advent of electronic sensors and controls has made HCCI engines a potential practical reality. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in HCCI technology, estimates the potential benefits HCCI engines could bring to U.S. transportation vehicles, and lists the R&D barriers that need to be overcome before HCCI engines might be considered for commercial application.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Fuel Volatility on the Liquid-Phase Fuel Penetration in a Heavy-Duty D.I. Diesel Engine

The objective of this investigation is to verify and characterize the influence of fuel volatility on maximum liquid-phase fuel penetration for a variety of actual Diesel fuels under realistic Diesel engine operating conditions. To do so, liquid-phase fuel penetration was measured for a total of eight Diesel fuels using laser elastic-scatter imaging. The experiments were carried out in an optically accessible Diesel engine of the “heavy-duty” size class at a representative medium speed (1200 rpm) operating condition. In addition to liquid-phase fuel penetration, ignition delay was assessed for each fuel based on pressure-derived apparent heat release rate and needle lift data. For all fuels examined, it was observed that initially the liquid fuel penetrates almost linearly with increasing crank angle until reaching a maximum characteristic length. Beyond this characteristic length, the fuel is entirely vapor phase and not just smaller fuel droplets.
Technical Paper

The Effects of Injection Timing and Diluent Addition on Late-Combustion Soot Burnout in a DI Diesel Engine Based on Simultaneous 2-D Imaging of OH and Soot

The effects of injection timing and diluent addition on the late-combustion soot burnout in a direct-injection (DI) diesel engine have been investigated using simultaneous planar imaging of the OH-radical and soot distributions. Measurements were made in an optically accessible DI diesel engine of the heavy-duty size class at a 1680 rpm, high-load operating condition. A dual-laser, dual-camera system was used to obtain the simultaneous “single-shot” images using planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) and planar laser-induced incandescence (PLII) for the OH and soot, respectively. The two laser beams were combined into overlapping laser sheets before being directed into the combustion chamber, and the optical signal was separated into the two cameras by means of an edge filter.
Technical Paper

The Effect of TDC Temperature and Density on the Liquid-Phase Fuel Penetration in a D. I. Diesel Engine*

A parametric study of the liquid-phase fuel penetration of evaporating Diesel fuel jets has been conducted in a direct-injection Diesel engine using laser elastic-scatter imaging. The experiments were conducted in an optically accessible Diesel engine of the “heavy-duty” size class at a representative medium speed (1200 rpm) operating condition. The density and temperature at TDC were varied systematically by adjusting the intake temperature and pressure. At all operating conditions the measurements show that initially the liquid fuel penetrates almost linearly with increasing crank angle until reaching a maximum length. Then, the liquid-fuel penetration length remains fairly constant although fuel injection continues. At a TDC density of 16.6 kg/m3 and a temperature of about 1000 K the maximum penetration length is approximately 23 mm. However, it varies significantly as TDC conditions are changed, with the liquid-length being less at higher temperatures and at higher densities.
Technical Paper

Spatial Analysis of Emissions Sources for HCCI Combustion at Low Loads Using a Multi-Zone Model

We have conducted a detailed numerical analysis of HCCI engine operation at low loads to investigate the sources of HC and CO emissions and the associated combustion inefficiencies. Engine performance and emissions are evaluated as fueling is reduced from typical HCCI conditions, with an equivalence ratio ϕ = 0.26 to very low loads (ϕ = 0.04). Calculations are conducted using a segregated multi-zone methodology and a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism for iso-octane with 859 chemical species. The computational results agree very well with recent experimental results. Pressure traces, heat release rates, burn duration, combustion efficiency and emissions of hydrocarbon, oxygenated hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide are generally well predicted for the whole range of equivalence ratios. The computational model also shows where the pollutants originate within the combustion chamber, thereby explaining the changes in the HC and CO emissions as a function of equivalence ratio.
Technical Paper

Soot and Fuel Distributions in a D.I. Diesel Engine via 2-D Imaging

Soot and fuel distributions have been studied in an optically accessible direct-injection diesel engine of the “heavy-duty” size class. Laser-induced incandescence (LII) was used to study the effects of changes in the engine speed on the in-cylinder soot distribution, and elastic (Mie) scattering and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) were used to examine the fuel distribution. The investigation showed that, in this engine, soot is distributed throughout the cross section of the combusting region of the fuel jet for engine speeds ranging from 600 to 1800 rpm. No indication was found that soot occurs preferentially around the periphery of the plume. The LII images showed that the soot concentration decreases with increasing engine speed and injection pressure, and that the soot distribution extends much further upstream (toward the injector) at the lower engine speeds than at higher speeds.
Technical Paper

Soot Distribution in a D.I. Diesel Engine Using 2-D Laser-Induced Incandescence Imaging

Laser-induced incandescence (LII) has been explored as a diagnostic for qualitative two-dimensional imaging of the in-cylinder soot distribution in a diesel engine. Advantages of LII over elastic-scatter soot imaging techniques include no interfering signals from liquid fuel droplets, easy rejection of laser light scattered by in-cylinder surfaces, and the signal intensity being proportional to the soot volume fraction. LII images were obtained in a 2.3-liter, single cylinder, direct-injection diesel engine, modified for optical access. To minimize laser sheet and signal attenuation (which can affect almost any planar imaging technique applied to diesel engine combustion), a low-sooting fuel was used whose vaporization and combustion characteristics are typical of standard diesel fuels. Temporal and spatial sequences of LII images were made which show the extent of the soot distribution within the optically accessible portion the combusting spray plume.
Technical Paper

Soot Distribution in a D.I. Diesel Engine Using 2-D Imaging of Laser-induced Incandescence, Elastic Scattering, and Flame Luminosity

A combusting plume in an optically accessible direct-injection diesel engine was studied using simultaneous 2-D imaging of laser-induced incandescence (LII) and natural flame luminosity, as well as simultaneous 2-D imaging of LII and elastic scattering. Obtaining images simultaneously via two different techniques makes the effects of cycle-to-cycle variation identical for both images, permitting the details of the simultaneous images to be compared. Since each technique provides unique information about the combusting diesel plume, more can be learned from comparison of the simultaneous images than by any of the techniques alone. Among the insights gained from these measurements are that the combusting plume in this engine has a general pattern of high soot concentration towards the leading edge with a lower soot concentration extending upstream towards the injector. Also, the soot particles are found to be larger towards the leading edge of the plume than in the upstream region.
Journal Article

Smoothing HCCI Heat Release with Vaporization-Cooling-Induced Thermal Stratification using Ethanol

Ethanol and ethanol/gasoline blends are being widely considered as alternative fuels for light-duty automotive applications. At the same time, HCCI combustion has the potential to provide high efficiency and ultra-low exhaust emissions. However, the application of HCCI is typically limited to low and moderate loads because of unacceptably high heat-release rates (HRR) at higher fueling rates. This work investigates the potential of lowering the HCCI HRR at high loads by using partial fuel stratification to increase the in-cylinder thermal stratification. This strategy is based on ethanol's high heat of vaporization combined with its true single-stage ignition characteristics. Using partial fuel stratification, the strong fuel-vaporization cooling produces thermal stratification due to variations in the amount of fuel vaporization in different parts of the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Quantitative 2-D Fuel Vapor Concentration Imaging in a Firing D.I. Diesel Engine Using Planar Laser-Induced Rayleigh Scattering*

The application of planar laser-induced Rayleigh scattering for quantitative 2-D measurements of vapor-phase fuel concentration in the main combustion zone of a direct-injection Diesel engine has been explored, developed and demonstrated. All studies were conducted in an optically accessible direct-injection Diesel engine of the “heavy-duty” size class at 1200 rpm and motored TDC conditions which were typical of the production version of this engine. First, this study verifies that beyond 27 mm from the injector all the fuel is vapor phase. This was done by investigating the Diesel jet under high magnification using 2-D elastic scatter imaging and subsequently evaluating the signal intensities from the droplets and other interfering particles (Mie scattering) and the vapor (Rayleigh scattering).
Journal Article

PLIF Measurements of Thermal Stratification in an HCCI Engine under Fired Operation

Tracer-based PLIF temperature diagnostics have been used to study the distribution and evolution of naturally occurring thermal stratification (TS) in an HCCI engine under fired and motored operation. PLIF measurements, performed with two excitation wavelengths (277, 308 nm) and 3-pentanone as a tracer, allowed investigation of TS development under relevant fired conditions. Two-line PLIF measurements of temperature and composition were first performed to track the mixing of the fresh charge and hot residuals during intake and early compression strokes. Results showed that mixing occurs rapidly with no measureable mixture stratification remaining by early compression (220°CA aTDC), confirming that the residual mixing is not a leading cause of thermal stratification for low-residual (4-6%) engines with conventional valve timing.
Technical Paper

PLIF Imaging of NO Formation in a DI Diesel Engine1

NO formation during direct-injection (DI) diesel combustion has been investigated using planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging. Measurements were made at a typical medium-speed operating condition in a heavy-duty size-class engine modified for optical access. By combining a unique laser system with a particular spectroscopic scheme, single-shot NO images were obtained at realistic operating conditions with negligible O2 interference. Temporal sequences of NO PLIF images are presented along with corresponding images of combined elastic scattering and natural luminosity. These images show the location and timing of the NO formation relative to the other components of the reacting fuel jet. In addition, total NO formation was examined by integrating the NO PLIF signal over a large fraction of the combustion-chamber volume.
Technical Paper

OH Radical Imaging in a DI Diesel Engine and the Structure of the Early Diffusion Flame

Laser-sheet imaging studies have considerably advanced our understanding of diesel combustion; however, the location on and nature of the flame zones within the combusting fuel jet have been largely unstudied. To address this issue, planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) imaging of the OH radical has been applied to the reacting fuel jet of a direct-injection diesel engine of the “heavy-duty” size class, modified for optical access. An Nd:YAG-based laser system was used to pump the overlapping Q19 and Q28 lines of the (1,0) band of the A→X transition at 284.01 nm, while the fluorescent emission from both the (0,0) and (1,1) bands (308 to 320 nm) was imaged with an intensified video camera. This scheme allowed rejection of elastically scattered laser light, PAH fluorescence, and laser-induced incandescence. OH PLIF is shown to be an excellent diagnostic for diesel diffusion flames.
Technical Paper

Modeling Iso-octane HCCI Using CFD with Multi-Zone Detailed Chemistry; Comparison to Detailed Speciation Data Over a Range of Lean Equivalence Ratios

Multi-zone CFD simulations with detailed kinetics were used to model iso-octane HCCI experiments performed on a single-cylinder research engine. The modeling goals were to validate the method (multi-zone combustion modeling) and the reaction mechanism (LLNL 857 species iso-octane) by comparing model results to detailed exhaust speciation data, which was obtained with gas chromatography. The model is compared to experiments run at 1200 RPM and 1.35 bar boost pressure over an equivalence ratio range from 0.08 to 0.28. Fuel was introduced far upstream to ensure fuel and air homogeneity prior to entering the 13.8:1 compression ratio, shallow-bowl combustion chamber of this 4-stroke engine. The CFD grid incorporated a very detailed representation of the crevices, including the top-land ring crevice and head-gasket crevice. The ring crevice is resolved all the way into the ring pocket volume. The detailed grid was required to capture regions where emission species are formed and retained.
Journal Article

Isolating the Effects of EGR on HCCI Heat-Release Rates and NOX Emissions

High-load HCCI operation is typically limited by rapid pressure-rise rates (PRR) and engine knock caused by an overly rapid heat-release rate (HRR). Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is commonly used in HCCI engines, and it is often stated in the literature that charge dilution with EGR (or high levels of retained residuals) is beneficial for reducing the PRR to allow higher loads without knock. However, EGR/retained-residuals affect other operating parameters such as combustion phasing, which can in turn influence the PRR independently from any effect of the EGR gases themselves. Because of the multiple effects of EGR, its direct benefit for reducing the PRR is not well understood. In this work, the effects of EGR on the PRR were isolated by controlling the combustion phasing independently from the EGR addition by adjusting the intake temperature. The experiments were conducted using gasoline as the fuel at a 1200 rpm operating condition.
Journal Article

Investigating the Development of Thermal Stratification from the Near-Wall Regions to the Bulk-Gas in an HCCI Engine with Planar Imaging Thermometry

A tracer-based single-line PLIF imaging technique using a unique optical configuration that allows simultaneously viewing the bulk-gas and the boundary layer region has been applied to an investigation of the naturally occurring thermal stratification in a HCCI engine. Thermal stratification is critical for HCCI engines, because it determines the maximum pressure rise rate which is a limiting factor for high-load operation. The investigation is based on the analysis of temperature maps that were derived from PLIF images, using the temperature sensitivity of fluorescence from toluene introduced as tracer in the fuel. Measurements were made in a single-cylinder optically accessible HCCI engine operating under motored conditions with a vertical laser-sheet orientation that allows observation of the development of thermal stratification from the cold boundary layers into the central region of the charge.
Journal Article

Influence of Fuel Autoignition Reactivity on the High-Load Limits of HCCI Engines

This work explores the high-load limits of HCCI for naturally aspirated operation. This is done for three fuels with various autoignition reactivity: iso-octane, PRF80, and PRF60. The experiments were conducted in a single-cylinder HCCI research engine (0.98 liter displacement), mostly with a CR = 14 piston installed, but with some tests at CR = 18. Five load-limiting factors were identified: 1) NOx-induced combustion-phasing run-away, 2) wall-heating-induced run-away, 3) EGR-induced oxygen deprivation, 4) wandering unsteady combustion, and 5) excessive exhaust NOx. These experiments at 1200 rpm show that the actual load-limiting factor is dependent on the autoignition reactivity of the fuel, the selected CA50, and in some cases, the tolerable level of NOx emissions. For iso-octane, which has the highest resistance to autoignition of the fuels tested, the NOx emissions become unacceptable at IMEPg = 473 kPa.
Journal Article

Increasing the Load Range, Load-to-Boost Ratio, and Efficiency of Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) Engines

Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) has the potential to provide gasoline-fueled engines with efficiencies at or above those of diesel engines and extremely low NOx and particulate emissions. Three key performance goals for LTGC are to obtain high loads, reduce the boost levels required for these loads, and achieve high thermal efficiencies (TEs). This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation into the use of partial fuel stratification, produced using early direct fuel injection (Early-DI PFS), and an increased compression ratio (CR) to achieve significant improvements in these performance characteristics. The experiments were conducted in a 0.98-liter single-cylinder research engine. Increasing the CR from 14:1 to 16:1 produced a nominal increase in the TE of about one TE percentage unit for both premixed and Early-DI PFS operation.
Technical Paper

Ignition and Early Soot Formation in a DI Diesel Engine Using Multiple 2-D Imaging Diagnostics*

A combination of optical imaging diagnostics has been applied to the fuel jet of a direct-injection diesel engine to study the ignition and early soot formation processes. Measurements were made in an optically accessible direct-injection diesel engine of the “heavy-duty” size class at a representative medium speed (1200 rpm) operating condition. Two fuels were used, a 42.5 cetane number mixture of the diesel reference fuels and a new low-sooting fuel (needed to reduce optical attenuation at later crank angles) that closely matches both the cetane number and boiling point of the reference fuel mixture. The combustion and soot formation processes are found to be almost identical for both fuels. Ignition and early combustion were studied by imaging the natural chemiluminescence using a calibrated intensified video camera. The early soot development was investigated via luminosity imaging and simultaneous planar imaging of laser-induced incandescence (LII) and elastic scattering.
Technical Paper

Fuel Stratification for Low-Load HCCI Combustion: Performance & Fuel-PLIF Measurements

Fuel stratification has been investigated as a means of improving the low-load combustion efficiency in an HCCI engine. Several stratification techniques were examined: different GDI injectors, increased swirl, and changes in injection pressure, to determine which parameters are effective for improving the combustion efficiency while maintaining NOx emissions below U.S. 2010 limits. Performance and emission measurements were obtained in an all-metal engine. Corresponding fuel distribution measurements were made with fuel PLIF imaging in a matching optically accessible engine. The fuel used was iso-octane, which is a good surrogate for gasoline. For an idle fueling rate (ϕ = 0.12), combustion efficiency was improved substantially, from 64% to 89% at the NOx limit, using delayed fuel injection with a hollow-cone injector at an injection pressure of 120 bar.