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Technical Paper

Combustion Characteristics of PRF and TSF Ethanol Blends with RON 98 in an Instrumented CFR Engine

The CFR F1 engine is the standard testing apparatus used for rating the research octane number (RON) of gasoline fuels. Unlike the motor octane number (MON) method, where the intake port temperature after the carburetor is controlled by an electric heater, the mixture temperature can vary during the RON test due to the heat of vaporization (HoV) of the fuel. Ethanol is receiving increasing attention as a high octane and high HoV fuel component. This work presents an analysis of the combustion characteristics during the RON rating of ethanol fuel blends according to the standard ASTM D2699 method, highlighting the effects of ethanol concentration and base fuel composition. All fuels were blended to a constant RON of 98. Ethanol levels varied from 0 to 50 vol% and the base fuels were surrogate blends composed of primary reference fuels (PRF), toluene standardization fuels (TSF), and a four component gasoline surrogate.
Technical Paper

Cycle-to-Cycle Variations in Multi-Cycle Engine RANS Simulations

Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) modeling is expected to deliver an ensemble-averaged result for the majority of turbulent flows. This could lead to the conclusion that multi-cycle internal combustion engine (ICE) simulations performed using RANS must exhibit a converging numerical solution after a certain number of consecutive cycles. However, for some engine configurations unsteady RANS simulations are not guaranteed to deliver an ensemble-averaged result. In this paper it is shown that, when using RANS modeling to simulate multiple engine cycles, the cycle-to-cycle variations (CCV) generated from different initial conditions at each cycle are not damped out even after a large number of cycles. A single-cylinder GDI research engine is simulated using RANS modeling and the numerical results for 20 consecutive engine cycles are evaluated for two specific operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of a Three Pressure Analysis (TPA) GT-Power Model of the CFR F1/F2 Engine for Estimating Cylinder Conditions

The CFR engine is the widely accepted platform to test standard Research Octane Number (RON) and Motored Octane Number (MON) for determining anti-knock characteristics of motor fuels. With increasing interest in engine downsizing, up-torquing, and alternative fuels for modern spark ignition (SI) engines, there is a need to better understand the conditions that fuels are subjected to in the CFR engine during octane rating. To take into account fuel properties, such as fuel heat of vaporization, laminar flame speed and auto-ignition chemistry; and understand their impacts on combustion knock, it is essential to estimate accurate cylinder conditions. In this study, the CFR F1/F2 engine was modeled using GT-Power with the Three Pressure Analysis (TPA) and the model was validated for different fuels and engine conditions.
Journal Article

Effects of Fuel Laminar Flame Speed Compared to Engine Tumble Ratio, Ignition Energy, and Injection Strategy on Lean and EGR Dilute Spark Ignition Combustion

Previous studies have shown that fuels with higher laminar flame speed also have increased tolerance to EGR dilution. In this work, the effects of fuel laminar flame speed on both lean and EGR dilute spark ignition combustion stability were examined. Fuels blends of pure components (iso-octane, n-heptane, toluene, ethanol, and methanol) were derived at two levels of laminar flame speed. Each fuel blend was tested in a single-cylinder spark-ignition engine under both lean-out and EGR dilution sweeps until the coefficient of variance of indicated mean effective pressure increased above thresholds of 3% and 5%. The relative importance of fuel laminar flame speed to changes to engine design parameters (spark ignition energy, tumble ratio, and port vs. direct injection) was also assessed.
Journal Article

Effects of Lambda on Knocking Characteristics and RON Rating

The knock resistance of fuels has been historically measured using the ASTM RON and MON methods. However, significant discrepancies between the fuel octane number and knock-limited performance in modern spark-ignited (SI) engines have been well-documented. Differences between the operating conditions of the Cooperative Fuels Research (CFR) engine during RON rating and those attained in modern SI engines have been highlighted in the literature. While octane ratings are performed for each fuel on the CFR engine at the lambda that provides the highest knockmeter reading, modern SI engines are generally operated at stoichiometry and knock intensity is based on the high frequency cylinder pressure oscillations associated with knocking combustion. In the present work, an instrumented CFR engine was used to analyze lambda effects on both the conventional knockmeter RON rating method and cylinder pressure transducer based knock intensity.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Ethanol Blends for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Using Engine in the Loop

Their easy availability, lower well-to-wheel emissions, and relative ease of use with existing engine technologies have made ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends a viable alternative to gasoline for use in spark-ignition (SI) engines. The lower energy density of ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends, however, results in higher volumetric fuel consumption compared with gasoline. Also, the higher latent heat of vaporization can result in cold-start issues with higher-level ethanol blends. On the other hand, a higher octane number, which indicates resistance to knock and potentially enables more optimal combustion phasing, results in better engine efficiency, especially at higher loads. This paper compares the fuel consumption and emissions of two ethanol blends (E50 and E85) with those for gasoline when used in conventional (non-hybrid) and power-split-type plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
Technical Paper

Hydrocarbon Speciation in Blended Gasoline-Natural Gas Operation on a Spark-Ignition Engine

The high octane rating and more plentiful domestic supply of natural gas make it an excellent alternative to gasoline. Recent studies have shown that using natural gas in dual fuel engines provides one possible strategy for leveraging the advantages of both natural gas and gasoline. In particular, such engines been able to improve overall engine efficiencies and load capacity when they leverage direct injection of the natural gas fuel. While the benefits of these engine concepts are still being explored, differences in fuel composition, combustion process and in-cylinder mixing could lead to dramatically different emissions which can substantially impact the effectiveness of the engine’s exhaust aftertreatment system. In order to explore this topic, this study examined the variations in speciated hydrocarbon emissions which occur for different fuel blends of E10 and compressed natural gas and for different fuel injection strategies on a spark-ignition engine.
Journal Article

Insights into Engine Knock: Comparison of Knock Metrics across Ranges of Intake Temperature and Pressure in the CFR Engine

Of late there has been a resurgence in studies investigating parameters that quantify combustion knock in both standardized platforms and modern spark-ignition engines. However, it is still unclear how metrics such as knock (octane) rating, knock onset, and knock intensity are related and how fuels behave according to these metrics across a range of conditions. As part of an ongoing study, the air supply system of a standard Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) F1/F2 engine was modified to allow mild levels of intake air boosting while staying true to its intended purpose of being the standard device for American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)-specified knock rating or octane number tests. For instance, the carburation system and intake air heating manifold are not altered, but the engine was equipped with cylinder pressure transducers to enable both logging of the standard knockmeter readout and state-of-the-art indicated data.
Journal Article

Time-Resolved X-Ray Radiography of Spark Ignition Plasma

Understanding the short-lived structure of the plasma that forms between the electrodes of a spark plug is crucial to the development of improved ignition models for SI engines. However, measuring the amount of energy deposited in the gas directly and non-intrusively is difficult, due to the short time scales and small length scales involved. The breakdown of the spark gap occurs at nanosecond time scales, followed by an arc phase lasting a few microseconds. Finally, a glow discharge phase occurs over several milliseconds. It is during the arc and glow discharge phases that most of the heat transfer from the plasma to the electrodes and combustion gases occurs. Light emission can be used to measure an average temperature, but micron spatial resolution is required to make localized measurements.