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Journal Article

Analysis of Thermal and Chemical Effects on Negative Valve Overlap Period Energy Recovery for Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion

A central challenge for efficient auto-ignition controlled low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engines has been achieving the combustion phasing needed to reach stable performance over a wide operating regime. The negative valve overlap (NVO) strategy has been explored as a way to improve combustion stability through a combination of charge heating and altered reactivity via a recompression stroke with a pilot fuel injection. The study objective was to analyze the thermal and chemical effects on NVO-period energy recovery. The analysis leveraged experimental gas sampling results obtained from a single-cylinder LTGC engine along with cylinder pressure measurements and custom data reduction methods used to estimate period thermodynamic properties. The engine was fueled by either iso-octane or ethanol, and operated under sweeps of NVO-period oxygen concentration, injection timing, and fueling rate.
Journal Article

Detailed Characterization of Negative Valve Overlap Chemistry by Photoionization Mass Spectroscopy

For next-generation engines that operate using low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) modes, a major issue remains poor combustion stability at low-loads. Negative valve overlap (NVO) enables enhanced main combustion control through modified valve timings to retain combustion residuals along with a small fuel injection that partially reacts during the recompression. While the thermal effects of NVO fueling on main combustion are well understood, the chemical effects of NVO reactions are less certain, especially oxygen-deficient reactions where fuel pyrolysis dominates. To better understand NVO period chemistry details, comprehensive speciation of engine samples collected at the end of the NVO cycle was performed by photoionization mass spectroscopy (PIMS) using synchrotron generated vacuum-ultraviolet light.
Technical Paper

Detailed Investigation into the Effect of Ozone Addition on Spark Assisted Compression Ignition Engine Performance and Emissions Characteristics

The impact of 50 ppm intake seeding of ozone (O3) on performance and emissions characteristics was explored in a single-cylinder research engine operated under lean spark assisted compression ignition (SACI) conditions. Optical access into the engine enabled complementary crank angle resolved measurements of in-cylinder O3 concentration via ultraviolet (UV) light absorption. Experiments were performed at moderate loads (4 - 5 bar indicated mean effective pressure) and low-to-moderate engine speeds (800 - 1400 revolutions per minute). Each operating condition featured a single early main injection and maximum brake torque spark timing. Intake pressure was fixed at 1.0 bar, while intake temperatures were varied between 42 - 80 °C. Moderate amounts of internal residuals (12 - 20%) were retained through the use of positive valve overlap. Ozone addition was to found stabilize combustion relative to similar conditions without O3 addition by promoting end gas auto-ignition.
Journal Article

Detailed Unburned Hydrocarbon Investigations in a Highly-Dilute Diesel Low Temperature Combustion Regime

The objective of this research is a detailed investigation of unburned hydrocarbon (UHC) in a highly-dilute diesel low temperature combustion (LTC) regime. This research concentrates on understanding the mechanisms that control the formation of UHC via experiments and simulations in a 0.48L signal-cylinder light duty engine operating at 2000 r/min and 5.5 bar IMEP with multiple injections. A multi-gas FTIR along with other gas and smoke emissions instruments are used to measure exhaust UHC species and other emissions. Controlled experiments in the single-cylinder engine are then combined with three computational tools, namely heat release analysis of measured cylinder pressure, analysis of spray trajectory with a phenomenological spray model using in-cylinder thermodynamics [1], and KIVA-3V Chemkin CFD computations recently tested at LTC conditions [2].
Journal Article

Energy Analysis of Low-Load Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion with Auxiliary-Fueled Negative Valve Overlap

In-cylinder reforming of injected fuel during an auxiliary negative valve overlap (NVO) period can be used to optimize main-cycle auto-ignition phasing for low-load Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC), where highly dilute mixtures can lead to poor combustion stability. When mixed with fresh intake charge and fuel, these reformate streams can alter overall charge reactivity characteristics. The central issue remains large parasitic heat losses from the retention and compression of hot exhaust gases along with modest pumping losses that result from mixing hot NVO-period gases with the cooler intake charge. Accurate determination of total cycle energy utilization is complicated by the fact that NVO-period retained fuel energy is consumed during the subsequent main combustion period. For the present study, a full-cycle energy analysis was performed for a single-cylinder research engine undergoing LTGC with varying NVO auxiliary fueling rates and injection timing.
Journal Article

In-cylinder CO and UHC Imaging in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine during PPCI Low-Temperature Combustion

Two-dimensional planar imaging and one-dimensional, spectrally-resolved line-imaging of laser-induced fluorescence from CO and UHC are performed to help identify the sources of these emissions in a light-duty diesel engine operating in a partially-premixed compression ignition combustion regime. Cycle-averaged measurements are made in the clearance volume above the piston crown at a 3 bar IMEP, 1500 rpm baseline operating condition. Sweeps of injection timing, load, and O2 concentration are performed to examine the impact of these parameters on the in-cylinder spatial distributions of CO and UHC. At the baseline operating condition, the main contributions to UHC from the clearance volume stem from regions near the cylinder centerline and near the cylinder wall, where UHC likely emanates from the top ring-land crevice. Broadly distributed CO within the squish volume dominates over CO observed near the cylinder centerline.
Journal Article

Investigation of Fuel Effects on In-Cylinder Reforming Chemistry Using Gas Chromatography

Negative Valve Overlap (NVO) is a potential control strategy for enabling Low-Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) at low loads. While the thermal effects of NVO fueling on main combustion are well-understood, the chemical effects of NVO in-cylinder fuel reforming have not been extensively studied. The objective of this work is to examine the effects of fuel molecular structure on NVO fuel reforming using gas sampling and detailed speciation by gas chromatography. Engine gas samples were collected from a single-cylinder research engine at the end of the NVO period using a custom dump-valve apparatus. Six fuel components were studied at two injection timings: (1) iso-octane, (2) n-heptane, (3) ethanol, (4) 1-hexene, (5) cyclohexane, and (6) toluene. All fuel components were studied neat except for toluene - toluene was blended with 18.9% nheptane by liquid volume to increase the fuel reactivity.
Journal Article

Investigation of Negative Valve Overlap Reforming Products Using Gas Sampling and Single-Zone Modeling

Negative valve overlap (NVO) is a viable control strategy that enables low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) at low loads. Thermal effects of NVO fueling on main combustion are well understood, but fuel reforming chemistry during NVO has not been extensively studied. The objective of this work is to analyze the impact of global equivalence ratio and available oxidizer on NVO product concentrations. Experiments were performed in a LTGC single-cylinder engine under a sweep of NVO oxygen concentration and NVO fueling rates. Gas sampling at the start and end of the NVO period was performed via a custom dump-valve apparatus with detailed sample speciation by gas chromatography. Single-zone reactor models using detailed chemistry at relevant mixing and thermodynamic conditions were used in parallel to the experiments to evaluate expected yields of partially oxidized species under representative engine time scales.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Species from Negative Valve Overlap Reforming Using a Stochastic Reactor Model

Fuel reforming during a Negative Valve Overlap (NVO) period is an effective approach to control Low Temperature Gasoline Combustion (LTGC) ignition. Previous work has shown through experiments that primary reference fuels reform easily and produce several species that drastically affect ignition characteristics. However, our previous research has been unable to accurately predict measured reformate composition at the end of the NVO period using simple single-zone models. In this work, we use a stochastic reactor model (SRM) closed cycle engine simulation to predict reformate composition accounting for in-cylinder temperature and mixture stratification. The SRM model is less computationally intensive than CFD simulations while still allowing the use of large chemical mechanisms to predict intermediate species formation rates.
Journal Article

Mechanisms of Enhanced Reactivity with Ozone Addition for Advanced Compression Ignition

Mechanisms responsible for enhanced charge reactivity with intake added ozone (O3) were explored in a single-cylinder, optically accessible, research engine configured for low-load advanced compression ignition (ACI) experiments. The influence of O3 concentration (0-40 ppm) on engine performance metrics was evaluated as a function of intake temperature and start of injection for the engine fueled by iso-octane, 1-hexene, or a 5-component gasoline surrogate. For the engine fueled by either the gasoline surrogate or 1-hexene, 25 ppm of added O3 reduced the intake temperature required for stable combustion by 65 and 80°C, respectively. An ultraviolet (UV) light absorption diagnostic was also used to measure crank angle (CA) resolved in-cylinder O3 concentrations for select motored and fired operating conditions. The O3 measurements were compared to results from complementary 0D chemical kinetic simulations that utilized detailed chemistry mechanisms augmented with O3 oxidation chemistry.
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.
Technical Paper

Multi-dimensional Modeling of Non-equilibrium Plasma for Automotive Applications

While spark-ignition (SI) engine technology is aggressively moving towards challenging (dilute and boosted) combustion regimes, advanced ignition technologies generating non-equilibrium types of plasma are being considered by the automotive industry as a potential replacement for the conventional spark-plug technology. However, there are currently no models that can describe the low-temperature plasma (LTP) ignition process in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes that are typically used in the multi-dimensional engine modeling community. A key question for the engine modelers that are trying to describe the non-equilibrium ignition physics concerns the plasma characteristics. A key challenge is also represented by the plasma formation timescale (nanoseconds) that can hardly be resolved within a full engine cycle simulation.
Technical Paper

Numerical and Optical Evolution of Gaseous Jets in Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines

This paper performs a parametric analysis of the influence of numerical grid resolution and turbulence model on jet penetration and mixture formation in a DI-H2 ICE. The cylinder geometry is typical of passenger-car sized spark-ignited engines, with a centrally located single-hole injector nozzle. The simulation includes the intake and exhaust port geometry, in order to account for the actual flow field within the cylinder when injection of hydrogen starts. A reduced geometry is then used to focus on the mixture formation process. The numerically predicted hydrogen mole-fraction fields are compared to experimental data from quantitative laser-based imaging in a corresponding optically accessible engine. In general, the results show that with proper mesh and turbulence settings, remarkable agreement between numerical and experimental data in terms of fuel jet evolution and mixture formation can be achieved.