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Technical Paper

A New Approach for a Multi-Fuel, Torque Based ECU Concept using Automatic Code Generation

The software design of this new engine control unit is based on a unique and homogenous torque structure. All input signals are converted into torque equivalents and a torque coordinator determines their influence on the final torque delivered to the powertrain. The basic torque structure is independent on the type of fuel and can be used for gasoline, diesel, or CNG injection systems. This allows better use of custom specific algorithms and facilitates reusability, which is supported by the graphical design tool that creates all modules using automatic code generation. Injection specific algorithms can be linked to the software by simply setting a software switch.
Journal Article

A Numerical Model for Flash Boiling of Gasoline-Ethanol Blends in Fuel Injector Nozzles

Fuels are formulated by a variety of different components characterized by chemical and physical properties spanning a wide range of values. Changing the ratio between the mixture component molar fractions, it is possible to fulfill different requirements. One of the main properties that can be strongly affected by mixture composition is the volatility that represents the fuel tendency to vaporize. For example, changing the mixture ratio between alcohols and hydrocarbons, it is possible to vary the mixture saturation pressure, therefore the fuel vaporization ratio during the injection process. This paper presents a 1D numerical model to simulate the superheated injection process of a gasoline-ethanol mixture through real nozzle geometries. In order to test the influence of the mixture properties on flash atomization and flash evaporation, the simulation is repeated for different mixtures characterized by different gasoline-ethanol ratio.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Mixture Formation Processes During Start-Up of a Natural Gas Powered SI Engine

The mixture formation processes of methane and air in an optical access engine operating steadily at 200 RPM have been explored in order to study charge inhomogeneity in a natural gas powered spark ignition engine during transient engine cranking. Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence has been used to create fuel/air equivalence ratio maps as a function of injection timing for various image planes at intervals throughout the intake and compression strokes. The work has been done using a Honda VTEC-E engine head that features port injection, four valves per cylinder, a pentroof style combustion chamber for the generation of tumble motion, and one nearly deactivated intake valve to generate swirl motion at low engine speeds in order to enhance mixing.
Technical Paper

Cold Start Simulation and Test on DISI Engines Utilizing a Multi-Zone Vaporization Approach

Recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase in global ethanol production, while cellulosic feedstock or the algae-based production approach make more sustainable ethanol production foreseeable in many countries. The ethanol produced will increasingly penetrate the markets not only as blending component, but also as main fuel component, boosting demand for flex-fuel vehicles. One of the main challenges for flex-fuel vehicles is the cold start due to the poor vapor pressure of ethanol. This is detrimental to starting capability in DISI engines in particular, with increased cylinder wall wetting causing higher oil dilution. The most efficient solution for DISI engines is a smart injection strategy, enabling fuel vaporization during injection in the compression stroke. But this requires optimum injection parameters such as injection timing, split ratio and rail pressure.
Journal Article

Emission and Ignition Effects of Alternative Fuels at Conventional and Premixed Diesel Combustion

The growing availability of different biofuels and synthetic fuels is leading to increased diversity of automotive fuels. Understanding how fuel properties affect combustion and how engine calibration strategies can compensate for variations in fuel composition is crucial for ensuring proper engine operation in this world of increased fuel diversity. This study looks at the ability to compensate for wide changes in cetane quality. Four different fuels with variations in cetane number, volatility and composition have been tested in a single cylinder engine and compared to diesel fuel. The selected operating conditions represent the entire engine map of a passenger car diesel engine. In part load the effects were investigated for conventional and premixed Diesel combustion. The results show that part load operation is especially relevant for the detection and compensation of varying fuel properties and that, depending on engine load, different control strategies have to be applied.
Technical Paper

Ethanol to Gasoline Ratio Detection via Time-Frequency Analysis of Engine Acoustic Emission

In order to reduce both polluting emissions and fuel costs, many countries allow mixing ethanol to gasoline either in fixed percentages or in variable percentages. The resulting fuel is labeled E10 or E22, where the number specifies the ethanol percentage. This operation significantly changes way the stoichiometric value, which is the air-to-fuel mass ratio theoretically needed to completely burn the mixture. Ethanol concentration must be correctly estimated by the Engine Management System to optimally control exhaust emissions, fuel economy and engine performance. In fact, correct fuel quality recognition allows estimating the actual stoichiometric value, thus allowing the catalyst system to operate at maximum efficiency in any engine working point. Moreover, also other essential engine control functions should be adapted in real time by taking into account the quality of the fuel that is being used.
Technical Paper

Flow-Acoustic Coupling in Quarter-Wave Resonators Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Quarter-wave resonators are commonly used as acoustic silencers in automotive air induction systems. Similar closed side branches can also be formed in the idle air bypass, exhaust gas recirculation, and positive crankcase ventilation systems of engines. The presence of a mean flow across these side branches can lead to an interaction between the mean flow and the acoustic resonances of the side branch. At discrete flow conditions, this coupling between the flow and acoustic fields may produce high amplitude acoustic pressure pulsations. For the quarter-wave resonator, this interaction can turn the silencer into a noise generator, while for systems where a valve is located at the closed end of the side branch the large pressure pulsations can cause the valve to fail. This phenomenon is not limited to automotive applications, and also occurs in natural gas pipelines, aircraft, and numerous other internal and external flows.
Journal Article

Influence of Innovative Diesel-Ethanol Blend on Combustion, Emission and Fuel-Carrying Components

The strong demand for diesel fuel is producing a surplus of gasoline fractions in Europe. Despite new vehicles using less energy, the rising volume of traffic will lead to more diesel being consumed. European legislation demands that renewable fuels cover 10% of energy consumed in the transport sector. The present strategy of dividing biofuels in equal shares between diesel and gasoline does not help to improve this situation. It seems reasonable not only to add FAME but also ethanol to diesel. Unfortunately, fuel blends containing ethanol cannot be used in existing cars without hardware modifications. This is because of ethanol's characteristics and well-known from the experience gathered with gasoline cars. As such, the first part of this study investigates material compatibility, focusing on corrosion and changes to the mechanical properties of the materials used in diesel engines.
Journal Article

Model Based E85 Cold Start Optimization for DISI Engines

The startability of SI engines, especially of DISI engines, is the greatest challenge when using ethanol blended fuels. The development of a suitable injection strategy is therefore the main engineering target when developing an ethanol engine with direct injection. In order to limit the test efforts of such a program, a vaporization model has been created that provides the quantity of vaporized fuel depending on pressure and on start and end, respectively number and split relation of injections. This model takes account of the most relevant fuel properties such as density, surface tension and viscosity. It also considers the interaction of the spray with cylinder liner, cylinder head and piston. A comparison with test results shows the current status and the need for action of this simulation model.
Technical Paper

Refinement of a Parallel-Series PHEV for Year 3 of the EcoCAR 2 Competition

The EcoCAR 2 team at the Ohio State University has designed an extended-range electric vehicle capable of 44 miles all-electric range, which features a 18.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with range extending operation in both series and parallel modes made possible by a 1.8-L ethanol (E85) engine and a 6-speed automated manual transmission. This vehicle is designed to reduce fuel consumption, with a utility factor weighted fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (mpgge), while meeting Tier II Bin 5 emissions standards. This report documents the team's refinement work on the vehicle during Year 3 of the competition, including vehicle improvements, control strategy calibration and dynamic vehicle testing, culminating in a 99% buy off vehicle that meets the goals set forth by the team. This effort was made possible through support from the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, The Ohio State University, and numerous competition and local sponsors.
Technical Paper

Superheated Sprays of Alternative Fuels for Direct Injection Engines

Alternative and oxygenated fuels are nowadays being studied in order to increase engine efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions and also to limit the automotive industry's economical dependency from crude oil. These fuels are considered more ecological compared to hydrocarbons because they are obtained using renewable sources. Fuels like anhydrous/hydrous ethanol, methanol or alcohol/gasoline blends which are injected in liquid form must vaporize quickly, especially in direct injection engines, therefore their volatility is a very important factor and strongly depends on thermodynamic conditions and chemical properties. When a multi-component fuel blend is injected into a low pressure environment below its saturation pressure, a rapid boiling of the most volatile component triggers a thermodynamic atomization mechanism. These kinds of sprays show smaller droplets and lower penetration compared to mechanical break up.
Technical Paper

Testing and Validation of a Belted Alternator System for a Post-Transmission Parallel PHEV for the EcoCAR 3 Competition

The Ohio State University EcoCAR 3 team is building a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) post-transmission parallel 2016 Chevrolet Camaro. With the end-goal of improving fuel economy and reducing tail pipe emissions, the Ohio State Camaro has been fitted with a 32 kW alternator-starter belt coupled to a 119 kW 2.0L GDI I4 engine that runs on 85% ethanol (E85). The belted alternator starter (BAS) which aids engine start-stop operation, series mode and torque assist, is powered by an 18.9 kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate energy storage system, and controlled by a DC-AC inverter/controller. This report details the modeling, calibration, testing and validation work done by the Ohio State team to fast track development of the BAS system in Year 2 of the competition.