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Technical Paper

A PEM Fuel Cell Distributed Parameters Model Aiming at Studying the Production of Liquid Water Within the Cell During its Normal Operation: Model Description, Implementation and Validation

One of the major issues coming out from low temperature fuel cells concerns the production of water vapor as a chemical reaction (between hydrogen and oxygen) by-product and its consequent condensation (at certain operating conditions), determining the presence of an amount of liquid water affecting the performance of the fuel cell stack: the production and the quantity of liquid water are strictly influenced by boundaries and power output conditions. Starting from this point, this work focuses on collecting all the required information available in literature and defining a suitable CFD model able to predict the production of liquid water within the fuel cell, while at the same time localizing it and determining the consequences on the PEM cell performances.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Low Load PPC Operation using RON70 Fuels

The concept of Partially Premixed Combustion is known for reduced hazardous emissions and improved efficiency. Since a low-reactive fuel is required to extend the ignition delay at elevated loads, controllability and stability issues occur at the low-load end. In this investigation seven fuel blends are used, all having a Research Octane Number of around 70 and a distinct composition or boiling range. Four of them could be regarded as ‘viable refinery fuels’ since they are based on current refinery feedstocks. The latter three are based on primary reference fuels, being PRF70 and blends with ethanol and toluene respectively. Previous experiments revealed significant ignition differences, which asked for further understanding with an extended set of measurements. Experiments are conducted on a heavy duty diesel engine modified for single cylinder operation. In this investigation, emphasis is put on idling (600 rpm) and low load conditions.
Technical Paper

Energy Storage: Regenerative Fuel Cell Systems for Space Exploration

Future exploration missions, including human missions to the Moon and Mars, are expected to have increasingly demanding operational requirements. Generating electrical power, and also maintaining a specific thermal environment, are both critical capabilities for any mission. In the case of exploration, both a wide range of mission types (robotic, human, ISRU etc.) and a variety of environments exist: from interplanetary space, to the shadow of a lunar crater, to the attenuated and red-shifted lighting on the Martian surface, power requirements must be met. This objective could be met with different technologies. The choice is dictated by the operating conditions and the different types of mission. TAS-I is historically mainly involved in missions related to the space exploration with the presence of astronauts. A typical example is the exploration of the Moon with the installation on the Moon surface of a base inclusive of pressurized habitats and rovers.
Technical Paper

Fluid-Dynamic Modeling and Advanced Control Strategies for a Gaseous-Fuel Injection System

Sustainable mobility has become a major issue for internal combustion engines and has led to increasing research efforts in the field of alternative fuels, such as bio-fuel, CNG and hydrogen addition, as well as into engine design and control optimization. To that end, a thorough control of the air-to-fuel ratio appears to be mandatory in SI engine in order to meet the even more stringent thresholds set by the current regulations. The accuracy of the air/fuel mixture highly depends on the injection system dynamic behavior and to its coupling to the engine fluid-dynamic. Thus, a sound investigation into the mixing process can only be achieved provided that a proper analysis of the injection rail and of the injectors is carried out. The present paper carries out a numerical investigation into the fluid dynamic behavior of a commercial CNG injection system by means of a 0D-1D code.
Technical Paper

Octane Rating Methods at High Revolution Speed

An experimental investigation on a group of unleaded gasolines of different chemical composition has been carried out, in order to analyze their knock behaviour in a mass-produced engine at high revolution speed, to highlight possible inconsistencies with their standard Research and Motor octane numbers and to try to discover explanations for the abovementioned inconsistencies. The investigation has been focused on fuels containing oxygenated compounds, such as alcohols (methanol and ethanol) and ethers (MTBE), with the aim of pointing out the influence of the fuel composition on the octane rating, especially as far as the variation in the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio (due to oxygenated compounds blending) is concerned. In particular, the rating of all the fuels under the same relative air/fuel ratio has shown to be a mandatory condition in order to obtain a proper estimate of antiknock performances. The evaluations obtained are consistent with the standard Motor octane numbers.
Technical Paper

Performance and Emissions of a Turbocharged Spark Ignition Engine Fuelled with CNG and CNG/Hydrogen Blends

An experimental investigation was performed on a turbocharged spark-ignition 4-cylinder production engine fuelled with natural gas and with two blends of natural gas and hydrogen (15% and 25% in volume of H₂). The engine was purposely designed to give optimal performance when running on CNG. The first part of the experimental campaign was carried out at MBT timing under stoichiometric conditions: load sweeps at constant engine speed and speed sweeps at constant load were performed. Afterwards, spark advance sweeps and relative air/fuel ratio sweeps were acquired at constant engine speed and load. The three fuels were compared in terms of performance (fuel conversion efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption, brake specific energy consumption and indicated mean effective pressure) and brake specific emissions (THC, NOx, CO).