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Journal Article

A Hydrogen Direct Injection Engine Concept that Exceeds U.S. DOE Light-Duty Efficiency Targets

Striving for sustainable transportation solutions, hydrogen is often identified as a promising energy carrier and internal combustion engines are seen as a cost effective consumer of hydrogen to facilitate the development of a large-scale hydrogen infrastructure. Driven by efficiency and emissions targets defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, a research team at Argonne National Laboratory has worked on optimizing a spark-ignited direct injection engine for hydrogen. Using direct injection improves volumetric efficiency and provides the opportunity to properly stratify the fuel-air mixture in-cylinder. Collaborative 3D-CFD and experimental efforts have focused on optimizing the mixture stratification and have demonstrated the potential for high engine efficiency with low NOx emissions. Performance of the hydrogen engine is evaluated in this paper over a speed range from 1000 to 3000 RPM and a load range from 1.7 to 14.3 bar BMEP.
Technical Paper

Efficiency and Emissions Potential of Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles

This paper reviews and summarizes recent developments in hydrogen (H2) powered engine and vehicle research. Following an overview of mixture formation strategies, general trade-offs when operating engines on hydrogen are analyzed and highlights regarding accomplishments in efficiency improvement and emissions reduction are presented. These include estimates of efficiency potential of direct-injection hydrogen engines based on single-cylinder research engine data, fuel economy and emissions results of hydrogen powered passenger cars and pickup trucks as well as the impact and potential of hydrogen/methane blended operation.
Technical Paper

Efficiency-Optimized Operating Strategy of a Supercharged Hydrogen-Powered Four-Cylinder Engine for Hybrid Environments

As an energy carrier, hydrogen has the potential to deliver clean and renewable power for transportation. When powered by hydrogen, internal combustion engine technology may offer an attractive alternative to enable the transition to a hydrogen economy. Port-injected hydrogen engines generate extremely low emissions and offer high engine efficiencies if operated in a lean combustion strategy. This paper presents experimental data for different constant air/fuel ratio engine combustion strategies and introduces variable air/fuel ratio strategies for engine control. The paper also discusses the shift strategy to optimize fuel economy and contrasts the different engine control strategies in the conventional vehicle environment. The different strategies are evaluated on the urban driving cycle, then engine behaviors are explained and fuel economy is estimated. Finally, the paper projects the potential of hybridization and discusses trends in powertrain cycle efficiencies.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Injection Parameters in a Hydrogen DI Engine Using an Endoscopic Access to the Combustion Chamber

In order to achieve the targets for hydrogen engines set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - a brake thermal efficiency of 45% and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions below 0.07 g/mi - while maintaining the same power density as comparable gasoline engines, researchers need to investigate advanced mixture formation and combustion strategies for hydrogen internal combustion engines. Hydrogen direct injection is a very promising approach to meeting DOE targets; however, there are several challenges to be overcome in order to establish this technology as a viable pathway toward a sustainable hydrogen infrastructure. This paper describes the use of endoscopic imaging as a diagnostic tool that allows further insight into the processes that occur during hydrogen combustion. It also addresses recent progress in the development of advanced direct-injected hydrogen internal combustion engine concepts.
Journal Article

Mixture Formation in Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines: CFD and Optical Analysis of Single- and Multi-Hole Nozzles

This paper describes the validation of a CFD code for mixture preparation in a direct injection hydrogen-fueled engine. The cylinder geometry is typical of passenger-car sized spark-ignited engines, with a centrally located injector. A single-hole and a 13-hole nozzle are used at about 100 bar and 25 bar injection pressure. Numerical results from the commercial code Fluent (v6.3.35) are compared to measurements in an optically accessible engine. Quantitative planar laser-induced fluorescence provides phase-locked images of the fuel mole-fraction, while single-cycle visualization of the early jet penetration is achieved by a high-speed schlieren technique. The characteristics of the computational grids are discussed, especially for the near-nozzle region, where the jets are under-expanded. Simulation of injection from the single-hole nozzle yields good agreement between numerical and optical results in terms of jet penetration and overall evolution.
Journal Article

Modeling and Experiments on Mixture Formation in a Hydrogen Direct-Injection Research Engine

Direct injection offers a large number of degrees of freedom, as it strongly influences the mixture stratification process. Experiments on a single cylinder research engine fuelled by H2, carried out at Argonne National Laboratory, showed the influence of injection parameters (timing and geometry) on engine efficiency and combustion stability. At low load, when a late injection strategy was performed, an unstable engine behavior was detected varying the injection direction. In order to optimize the mixture stratification process in DI H2 engines, it is important to understand the physics underlying the experimental results. A spatially resolved representation of the in-cylinder processes is a useful tool to properly set the injection parameters. Also, the knowledge of the pre-injection flow field is of added value in optimizing the injection process.
Technical Paper

Performance, Efficiency, and Emissions Evaluation of a Supercharged, Hydrogen-Powered, 4-Cylinder Engine

This paper presents the results of efficiency, emissions, and performance testing of a supercharged, hydrogen-powered, four-cylinder engine. Tests were run at various speeds, loads, and air/fuel ratios in order to identify advantageous operating regimes. The tests revealed that a maximum thermal brake efficiency of 37% could be achieved and that certain operating regimes could achieve NOx emissions as low as 1 ppm without aftertreatment. Measurement of cylinder pressure traces in all four cylinders allowed a detailed assessment of cylinder-cylinder deviation. Several measures to further increase hydrogen engine performance in order to reach the goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy are being discussed.
Technical Paper

Prospects on Fuel Economy Improvements for Hydrogen Powered Vehicles

Fuel cell vehicles are the subject of extensive research and development because of their potential for high efficiency and low emissions. Because fuel cell vehicles remain expensive and the demand for hydrogen is therefore limited, very few fueling stations are being built. To try to accelerate the development of a hydrogen economy, some original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in the automotive industry have been working on a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine (ICE) as an intermediate step. Despite its lower cost, the hydrogen-fueled ICE offers, for a similar amount of onboard hydrogen, a lower driving range because of its lower efficiency. This paper compares the fuel economy potential of hydrogen-fueled vehicles to their conventional gasoline counterparts. To take uncertainties into account, the current and future status of both technologies were considered.
Technical Paper

Transient Efficiency, Performance, and Emissions Analysis of a Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Pick-up Truck

Hydrogen is considered one of the most promising future energy carriers. There are several challenges that must be overcome in order to establishing a “hydrogen economy”, including the development of a practical, efficient, and cost-effective power conversion device. Using hydrogen as a fuel for internal combustion engines is a huge step toward developing a large-scale hydrogen infrastructure. This paper summarizes the testing of a hydrogen powered pick-up truck on a chassis dynamometer. The vehicle is powered by a port-injected 8-cylinder engine with an integrated supercharger and intercooler. The 4-wheel drive chassis dynamometer is equipped with a hydrogen delivery, metering and safety system as well as hydrogen specific instrumentation. This instrumentation includes numerous sensors, includes a wide-band lambda sensor and an exhaust gas hydrogen analyzer. This analyzer quantifies the amount of unburned hydrogen in the exhaust indicating the completeness of the combustion.