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Technical Paper

Variable Valve Actuation for Timing Control of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engine

Autoignition of a homogeneous mixture is very sensitive to operating conditions. Therefore fast combustion phasing control is necessary for reliable operation. There are several means to control the combustion phasing of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine. This paper presents cycle-to-cycle cylinder individual control results from a six-cylinder HCCI engine using a Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system. As feedback signal, the crank angle for 50% burned, based on cylinder pressure, is used. Three control structures are evaluated, Model Predictive Control (MPC), Linear Quadratic Gaussian control (LQG) and PID control. In the control design of the MPC and LQG controller, dynamic models obtained by system identification were used. Successful experiments were performed on a port-injected six-cylinder heavy-duty Diesel engine operating in HCCI mode.
Technical Paper

Transient Control of a Multi Cylinder HCCI Engine During a Drive Cycle

This study applies a state feedback based Closed-Loop Combustion Control (CLCC) using Fast Thermal Management (FTM) on a multi cylinder Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) engine. At speeds above 1500 rpm is the FTM's bandwidth broadened by using the VCR feature of this engine, according to a predefined map, which is a function of load and engine speed. Below 1500 rpm is the PID based CLCC using VCR applied instead of the FTM while slow cylinder balancing is effectuated by the FTM. Performance of the two CLCC controllers are evaluated during an European EC2000 drive cycle, while HC, CO and CO2 emissions are measured online by a Fast Response Infrared (FRI) emission equipment. A load and speed map calculated for an 1.6L Opel Astra is used to get reference values for the dynamometer speed and the load control. The drive cycle test is initiated from a hot engine and hence no cold start is included. Commercial RON/MON 92/82 gasoline, which corresponds to US regular, is utilized.
Technical Paper

Thermal Reduction of NOx in a Double Compression Expansion Engine by Injection of AAS 25 and AUS 32 in the Exhaust Gases

The double compression expansion engine (DCEE) is a promising concept for high engine efficiency while fulfilling the most stringent European and US emission legislation. The complete thermodynamic cycle of the engine is split among several cylinders. Combustion of fuel occurs in the combustion cylinder and in the expansion cylinder the exhaust gases are over expanded to obtain high efficiency. A high-pressure tank is installed between these two cylinders for after-treatment purposes. One proposal is to utilize thermal reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the high-pressure tank as exhaust temperatures can be sufficiently high (above 700 °C) for the selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) reactions to occur. The exhaust gas residence time at these elevated exhaust temperatures is also long enough for the chemical reactions, as the volume of the high-pressure tank is substantially larger than the volume of the combustion cylinders.
Technical Paper

The Potential of Using the Ion-Current Signal for Optimizing Engine Stability - Comparisons of Lean and EGR (Stoichiometric) Operation

Ion current measurements can give information useful for controlling the combustion stability in a multi-cylinder engine. Operation near the dilution limit (air or EGR) can be achieved and it can be optimized individually for the cylinders, resulting in a system with better engine stability for highly diluted mixtures. This method will also compensate for engine wear, e.g. changes in volumetric efficiency and fuel injector characteristics. Especially in a port injected engine, changes in fuel injector characteristics can lead to increased emissions and deteriorated engine performance when operating with a closed-loop lambda control system. One problem using the ion-current signal to control engine stability near the lean limit is the weak signal resulting in low signal to noise ratio. Measurements presented in this paper were made on a turbocharged 9.6 liter six cylinder natural gas engine with port injection.
Technical Paper

The Potential of SNCR Based NOx Reduction in a Double Compression Expansion Engine

Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR), used to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), has been a well-established technology in the power plant industry for several decades. The SNCR technique is an aftertreatment strategy based on thermal reduction of NOx at high temperatures. In the compression ignition engine application, the technology has not been applicable due to low exhaust temperatures, which makes the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system essential for efficient nitrogen oxide reduction to fulfill the environment legislation. For a general Double Compression Expansion Engine (DCEE) the complete expansion cycle is split in two separate cycles, i.e. the engine is a split cycle engine. In the first cylinder the combustion occurs and in the second stage the combustion gas is introduced and further expanded in a low-pressure expansion cylinder. The combustion cylinder is connected with the expansion cylinder through a large insulated high-pressure tank.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Cooled EGR on Emissions and Performance of a Turbocharged HCCI Engine

This paper discusses the effects of cooled EGR on a turbo charged multi cylinder HCCI engine. A six cylinder, 12 liter, Scania D12 truck engine is modified for HCCI operation. It is fitted with port fuel injection of ethanol and n-heptane and cylinder pressure sensors for closed loop combustion control. The effects of EGR are studied in different operating regimes of the engine. During idle, low speed and no load, the focus is on the effects on combustion efficiency, emissions of unburned hydrocarbons and CO. At intermediate load, run without turbocharging to achieve a well defined experiment, combustion efficiency and emissions from incomplete combustion are still of interest. However the effect on NOx and the thermodynamic effect on thermal efficiency, from a different gas composition, are studied as well. At high load and boost pressure the main focus is NOx emissions and the ability to run high mean effective pressure without exceeding the physical constraints of the engine.
Technical Paper

Simulation of System Brake Efficiency in a Double Compression-Expansion Engine-Concept (DCEE) Based on Experimental Combustion Data

The double compression-expansion engine concepts (DCEE) are split-cycle concepts where the compression, combustion, expansion and gas exchange strokes occur in two or more different cylinders. Previous simulation studies reveal there is a potential to improve brake efficiency with these engine concepts due to improved thermodynamic and mechanical efficiencies. As a continuation of this project this paper studies an alternative layout of the DCEE-concept. The concept studied in this paper has three different cylinders, a compression, a combustion and an expansion cylinder. Overall system indicated and brake efficiency estimations were based on both engine experiments and simulations. The engine experiments were carried out at 10 different operating points and 5 fuelling rates (between 98.2 and 310.4 mg/cycle injection mass) at an engine speed of 1200 rpm. The inlet manifold pressure was varied between 3 and 5 bar.
Technical Paper

Scalability Aspects of Pre-Chamber Ignition in Heavy Duty Natural Gas Engines

This article presents a study related to application of pre-chamber ignition system in heavy duty natural gas engine which, as previously shown by the authors, can extend the limit of fuel-lean combustion and hence improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. A previous study about the effect of pre-chamber volume and nozzle diameter on a single cylinder 2 liter truck-size engine resulted in recommendations for optimal pre-chamber geometry settings. The current study is to determine the dependency of those settings on the engine size. For this study, experiments are performed on a single cylinder 9 liter large bore marine engine with similar pre-chamber geometry and a test matrix of similar and scaled pre-chamber volume and nozzle diameter settings. The effect of these variations on main chamber ignition and the following combustion is studied to understand the scalability aspects of pre-chamber ignition. Indicated efficiency and engine-out emission data is also presented.
Technical Paper

Pressure Oscillations During Rapid HCCI Combustion

This work has focused on studying the in-cylinder pressure fluctuations caused by rapid HCCI combustion and determine what they consist of. Inhomogeneous autoignition sets up pressure waves traversing the combustion chamber. These pressure waves induce high gas velocities which causes increased heat transfer to the walls or in worst case engine damage. In order to study the pressure fluctuations a number of pressure transducers were mounted in the combustion chamber. The multi transducer arrangement was such that six transducers were placed circumferentially, one placed near the centre and one at a slight offset in the combustion chamber. The fitting of six transducers circumferentially was enabled by a spacer design and the two top mounted transducers were fitted in a modified cylinder head. During testing a disc shaped combustion chamber was used. The results of the tests conducted were that the in-cylinder pressure experienced during rapid HCCI-combustion is inhomogeneous.
Technical Paper

Multiple Point Ion Current Diagnostics in an HCCI Engine

Interest in ion current sensing for HCCI combustion arises when a feedback signal from some sort of combustion sensor is needed in order to determine the state of the combustion process. A previous study has revealed that ion current sensors in the form of spark plugs can be used instead of expensive piezoelectric transducers for HCCI combustion sensing. Sufficiently high ion current levels were achieved when using relatively rich mixtures diluted with EGR. The study also shows that it is not the actual dilution per se but the actual air/fuel equivalence ratio which is important for the signal level. Conclusions were made that it is possible to obtain information on combustion timing and oscillating wave phenomena from the measurements. However, the study showed that the ion current is local compared to the pressure which is global in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Multi-Output Control of a Heavy Duty HCCI Engine Using Variable Valve Actuation and Model Predictive Control

Autoignition of a homogeneous mixture is very sensitive to operating conditions, therefore fast control is necessary for reliable operation. There exists several means to control the combustion phasing of an Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine, but most of the presented controlled HCCI result has been performed with single-input single-output controllers. In order to fully operate an HCCI engine several output variables need to be controlled simultaneously, for example, load, combustion phasing, cylinder pressure and emissions. As these output variables have an effect on each other, the controller should be of a structure which includes the cross-couplings between the output variables. A Model Predictive Control (MPC) controller is proposed as a solution to the problem of load-torque control with simultaneous minimization of the fuel consumption and emissions, while satisfying the constraints on cylinder pressure.
Technical Paper

Multi Cylinder Partially Premixed Combustion Performance Using Commercial Light-Duty Engine Hardware

This work investigates the performance potential of an engine running with partially premixed combustion (PPC) using commercial diesel engine hardware. The engine was a 2.01 SAAB (GM) VGT turbocharged diesel engine and three different fuels were run - RON 70 gasoline, RON 95 Gasoline and MK1 diesel. With the standard hardware an operating range for PPC from idle at 1000 rpm up to a peak load of 1000 kPa IMEPnet at 3000 rpm while maintaining a peak pressure rise rate (PPRR) below 7 bar/CAD was possible with either RON 70 gasoline and MK1 diesel. Relaxing the PPRR requirements, a peak load of 1800 kPa was possible, limited by the standard boosting system. With RON 95 gasoline it was not possible to operate the engine below 400 kPa. Low pressure EGR routing was beneficial for efficiency and combined with a split injection strategy using the maximum possible injection pressure of 1450 bar a peak gross indicated efficiency of above 51% was recorded.
Technical Paper

Learning Based Model Predictive Control of Combustion Timing in Multi-Cylinder Partially Premixed Combustion Engine

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) has shown to be a promising advanced combustion mode for future engines in terms of efficiency and emission levels. The combustion timing should be suitably phased to realize high efficiency. However, a simple constant model based predictive controller is not sufficient for controlling the combustion during transient operation. This article proposed one learning based model predictive control (LBMPC) approach to achieve controllability and feasibility. A learning model was developed to capture combustion variation. Since PPC engines could have unacceptably high pressure-rise rates at different operation points, triple injection is applied as a solvent, with the use of two pilot fuel injections. The LBMPC controller utilizes the main injection timing to manage the combustion timing. The cylinder pressure is used as the combustion feedback. The method is validated in a multi-cylinder heavy-duty PPC engine for transient control.
Journal Article

Investigation of the Combustion Characteristics with Focus on Partially Premixed Combustion in a Heavy Duty Engine

Partially Premixed Combustion (PPC) has shown its potential by combining high combustion controllability with emission characteristics that are close to those of an HCCI engine. In order to get PPC the ignition delay needs to be long enough for the fuel and air to mix prior to combustion. This can be achieved by injecting the fuel sufficiently early while running with high EGR. In order to find out where and how PPC occurs a map that shows the changes in combustion characteristics with injection timing and EGR was created. The combustion characteristics were studied in a six cylinder heavy duty engine where the Start of Injection (SOI) was swept from early to late injection over a wide range of EGR levels. The emissions were monitored during the sweeps and in the most promising regions, with low emissions and high efficiency, additional changes in injection pressure and engine speed were applied to get a more versatile picture of the combustion.
Journal Article

Investigation of Performance and Emission Characteristics of a Heavy Duty Natural Gas Engine Operated with Pre-Chamber Spark Plug and Dilution with Excess Air and EGR

This article deals with application of turbulent jet ignition technique to heavy duty multi-cylinder natural gas engine for mobile application. Pre-chamber spark plugs are identified as a promising means of achieving turbulent jet ignition as they require minimal engine modification with respect to component packaging in cylinder head and the ignition system. Detailed experiments were performed with a 6 cylinder 9.4 liter turbo-charged engine equipped with multi-point gas injection system to compare performance and emissions characteristics of operation with pre-chamber and conventional spark plug. The results indicate that ignition capability is significantly enhanced as flame development angle and combustion duration are reduced by upto 30 % compared to those with conventional spark plugs at certain operating points.
Technical Paper

Investigation and Comparison of Multi Cylinder Partially Premixed Combustion Characteristics for Diesel and Gasoline Fuels

Partially Premixed Combustion is a concept able to combine low smoke and NOx emissions with high combustion controllability and efficiency. It is of interest to be able to utilize PPC in a large operating region in order to meet the Euro VI emission legislation without relying on NOx aftertreatment. This paper investigates the differences in PPC characteristics for three fuels; Diesel Swedish Mk 1, Low Octane Gasoline (70 Octane) and US Standard Gasoline (87 Octane). Engine operating conditions, combustion characteristics, emissions and efficiency are in focus. The experiments were carried out at a range of operating points on a Volvo MD13 which is a six-cylinder heavy-duty engine. At each operating point three combinations of EGR level and λ-value were evaluated. 1. High EGR/High λ, 2. High EGR/Reduced λ, and 3. Reduced EGR/High λ.
Technical Paper

Influence of Inlet Temperature and Hot Residual Gases on the Performances of a Mini High Speed Glow Plug Engine

Nowadays the power supplying systems have a fundamental importance for all small and portable devices. For low power applications, there are two main ways for producing power: electrochemical batteries and mini engines. Even though in recent years many developments have been carried out in improving the design of batteries, the energy density of 1MJ/kg seems to be an asymptotic value. If the energy source is a hydrocarbon fuel, whose energy density is 46 MJ/kg, with an overall efficiency of only 2.5 % it is possible to surpass the electrochemical batteries. On the other hand, having a mini engine, as energy source, implies three main problems: vibrations, noise and emissions. A light (230 g) model airplane engine with a displacement volume of 4.11 cm3 and a geometrical compression ratio of 13.91 has been studied. The work carried out in this paper can be divided basically in three parts.
Technical Paper

Influence of Inlet Pressure, EGR, Combustion Phasing, Speed and Pilot Ratio on High Load Gasoline Partially Premixed Combustion

The current research focuses in understanding how inlet pressure, EGR, combustion phasing, engine speed and pilot main ratio are affecting the main parameters of the combustion (e.g. efficiency, NOx, soot, maximum pressure rise rate) in the novel concept of injecting high octane number fuels in partially premixed combustion. The influence of the above mentioned parameters was studied by performing detailed sweeps at 32 bar fuel MEP (c.a. 16-18 bar gross IMEP); three different kinds of gasoline were tested (RON: 99, 89 and 69). The experiments were ran in a single cylinder heavy duty engine; Scania D12. At the end of these sweeps the optimized settings were computed in order to understand how to achieve high efficiency, low emissions and acceptable maximum pressure rise rate.
Technical Paper

Improving Ion Current Feedback for HCCI Engine Control

In HCCI you do not have the same control of the combustion like in SI and Diesel engines. Controlling the start of a combustion event is a difficult task and requires feedback from previous cycles. This feedback can be retrieved from ion current measurements. By applying a voltage over the spark gap, ions will lead a current and a signal that represents the combustion in the cylinder will be retrieved. Voltages of 450 V were used. The paper describes a new method to enhance the combustion phasing from the Ion current trace in HCCI engines. The method is using the knowledge of how the signal should look. This is known due to the fact that the shape of the ion current signal is similar from cycle to cycle. This new observation is shown in the paper. Also the correlation between the ion current and CA50 was studied. Later the signals have been used for combustion feedback.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Addition For Improved Lean Burn Capability of Slow and Fast Burning Natural Gas Combustion Chambers

One way to extend the lean burn limit of a natural gas engine is by addition of hydrogen to the primary fuel. This paper presents measurements made on a one cylinder 1.6 liter natural gas engine. Two combustion chambers, one slow and one fast burning, were tested with various amounts of hydrogen (0, 5, 10 and 15 %-vol) added to natural gas. Three operating points were investigated for each combustion chamber and each hydrogen content level; idle, part load (5 bar IMEP) and 13 bar IMEP (simulated turbocharging). Air/fuel ratio was varied between stoichiometric and the lean limit. For each operating point, a range of ignition timings were tested to find maximum brake torque (MBT) and/or knock. Heat-release rate calculations were made in order to assess the influence of hydrogen addition on burn rate. Addition of hydrogen showed an increase in burn rate for both combustion chambers, resulting in more stable combustion close to the lean limit.