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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

A Review of Mixture Preparation and Combustion Control Strategies for Spark-Ignited Direct-Injection Gasoline Engines

The current extensive revisitation of the application of gasoline direct-injection to automotive, four-stroke, spark-ignition engines has been prompted by the availability of technological capabilities that did not exist in the late 1970s, and that can now be utilized in the engine development process. The availability of new engine hardware that permits an enhanced level of computer control and dynamic optimization has alleviated many of the system limitations that were encountered in the time period from 1976 to 1984, when the capabilities of direct-injection, stratified-charge, spark-ignition engines were thoroughly researched. This paper incorporates a critical review of the current worldwide research and development activities in the gasoline direct-injection field, and provides insight into new areas of technology that are being applied to the development of both production and prototype engines.
Technical Paper

Advanced Methodology to Investigate Knock for Downsized Gasoline Direct Injection Engine Using 3D RANS Simulations

Nowadays Spark Ignition (SI) engine developments focus on downsizing, in order to increase the engine load level and consequently its efficiency. As a side effect, knock occurrence is strongly increased. The current strategy to avoid knock is to reduce the spark advance which limits the potential of downsizing in terms of consumption reduction. Reducing the engine propensity to knock is therefore a first order subject for car manufacturers. Engineers need competitive tools to tackle such a complex phenomenon. In this paper the 3D RANS simulations ability to satisfactorily represent knock tendencies is demonstrated. ECFM (Extended Coherent Flame Model) has been recently implemented by IFPEN in CONVERGE and coupled with TKI (Tabulated Kinetics Ignition) to represent Auto-Ignition in SI engine. These models have been applied on a single cylinder engine configuration dedicated to abnormal combustion study.
Technical Paper

Combustion Behavior of Gasoline and Gasoline/Ethanol Blends in a Modern Direct-Injection 4-Cylinder Engine

Early in 2007 President Bush announced in his State of the Union Address a plan to off-set 20% of gasoline with alternative fuels in the next ten years. Ethanol, due to its excellent fuel properties for example, high octane number, renewable character, etc., appears to be a favorable alternative fuel from an engine perspective. Replacing gasoline with ethanol without any additional measures results in unacceptable disadvantages mainly in terms of vehicle range. This paper summarizes combustion studies performed with gasoline as well as blends of gasoline and ethanol. These tests were performed on a modern, 4-cylinder spark ignition engine with direct fuel injection and exhaust gas recirculation. To evaluate the influence of blending on the combustion behavior the engine was operated on the base gasoline calibration. Cylinder pressure data taken during the testing allowed for detailed analysis of rates of heat release and combustion stability.
Technical Paper

Development of a Novel Fuel Injection System (NFIS) for Dimethyl Ether-and Other Clean Alternative Fuels

A novel, electronically controlled, common rail fuel injection system has been designed and developed by the authors under a contract from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). This system was specifically designed for direct injection of liquid dimethyl ether (DME) to achieve ultra-low emissions of NOx & particulate matter from conventional diesel engines. However, the system's basic characteristics also make it suitable for direct injection of ethanol & methanol in compression-ignition engines, and direct injection of liquid propane and gasoline in spark-ignition engines.
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

Experimental Investigation of a DISI Production Engine Fuelled with Methanol, Ethanol, Butanol and ISO-Stoichiometric Alcohol Blends

Stricter CO2 and emissions regulations are pushing spark ignition engines more and more towards downsizing, enabled through direct injection and turbocharging. The advantages which come with direct injection, such as increased charge density and an elevated knock resistance, are even more pronounced when using low carbon number alcohols instead of gasoline. This is mainly due to the higher heat of vaporization and the lower air-to-fuel ratio of light alcohols such as methanol, ethanol and butanol. These alcohols are also attractive alternatives to gasoline because they can be produced from renewable resources. Because they are liquid, they can be easily stored in a vehicle. In this respect, the performance and engine-out emissions (NOx, CO, HC and PM) of methanol, ethanol and butanol were examined on a 4 cylinder 2.4 DI production engine and are compared with those on neat gasoline.
Technical Paper

Gaseous and Particulate Emissions from a Vehicle with a Spark-Ignition Direct-Injection Engine

Particulate and gaseous emissions from a Mitsubishi Legnum GDI™ wagon were measured for FTP-75, HWFET, SC03, and US06 cycles. The vehicle has a 1.8-L spark-ignition direct-injection engine. Such an engine is considered a potential alternative to the compression-ignition direct-injection engine for the PNGV program. Both engine-out and tailpipe emissions were measured. The fuels used were Phase-2 reformulated gasoline and Indolene. In addition to the emissions, exhaust oxygen content and exhaust-gas temperature at the converter inlet were measured. Results show that the particulate emissions are measurable and are significantly affected by the type of fuel used and the presence of an oxidation catalyst. Whether the vehicle can meet the PNGV goal of 0.01 g/mi for particulates depends on the type of fuel used. Both NMHC and NOx emissions exceed the PNGV goals of 0.125 g/mi and 0.2 g/mi, respectively. Meeting the NOx goal will be especially challenging.
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.
Technical Paper

Ion Current in a Spark Ignition Engine using Negative Polarity on Center Electrode

Most of the previous research on flame ionization in spark ignition engines applied positive polarity on the spark plug center electrode, referred to as positively biased probe. In this paper an investigation is made to determine the characteristics of the ion current signal with negatively biased probe. The factors that contribute to the second ion current peak, reported to be missing with negative polarity, are investigated. Experiments were conducted on a research single-cylinder, spark ignition engine and the negative polarity is applied by a SmartFire Plasma Ignition system. The effect of different spark plug designs and engine operating parameters on the amplitude and timing of each of the two ion current peaks is determined. The results indicated that, with negative polarity, the cathode area is one of the main factors that contribute to the amplitude of the ion current signal, particularly the second peak.
Technical Paper

LES Analysis on Cycle-to-Cycle Variation of Combustion Process in a DISI Engine

Combustion cycle-to-cycle variation (CCV) of Spark-Ignition (SI) engines can be influenced by the cyclic variations in charge motion, trapped mass and mixture composition inside the cylinder. A high CCV leads to misfire or knock, limiting the engine’s operating regime. To understand the mechanism of the effect of flow field and mixture compositions on CCV, the present numerical work was performed in a single cylinder Direct Injection Spark-Ignition (DISI) engine. A large eddy simulation (LES) approach coupled with the G-equation combustion model was developed to capture the CCV by accurately resolving the turbulent flow field spatially and temporally. Further, the ignition process was modeled by sourcing energy during the breakdown and arc phases with a line-shape ignition model which could move with the local flow. Detailed chemistry was solved both inside and outside the flame front. A compact 48-species 152-reactions primary reference fuel (PRF) reduced mechanism was used.
Technical Paper

Large-Eddy Simulations of Spray Variability Effects on Flow Variability in a Direct-Injection Spark-Ignition Engine Under Non-Combusting Operating Conditions

Large-eddy Simulations (LES) have been carried out to investigate spray variability and its effect on cycle-to-cycle flow variability in a direct-injection spark-ignition (DISI) engine under non-reacting conditions. Initial simulations were performed of an injector in a constant volume spray chamber to validate the simulation spray set-up. Comparisons showed good agreement in global spray measures such as the penetration. Local mixing data and shot-to-shot variability were also compared using Rayleigh-scattering images and probability contours. The simulations were found to reasonably match the local mixing data and shot-to-shot variability using a random-seed perturbation methodology. After validation, the same spray set-up with only minor changes was used to simulate the same injector in an optically accessible DISI engine. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements were used to quantify the flow velocity in a horizontal plane intersecting the spark plug gap.
Journal Article

Meeting RFS2 Targets with an E10/E15-like Fuel - Experimental and Analytical Assessment of Higher Alcohols in Multi-component Blends with Gasoline

This paper evaluates the potential of adding higher alcohols to gasoline blendstock in an attempt to improve overall fuel performance. The alcohols considered include ethanol, normal- and iso-structures of propanol, butanol and pentanol as well as normal-hexanol (C2-C6). Fuel performance is quantified based on energy content, knock resistance as well as petroleum displacement and promising multi-component blends are systematically identified based on property prediction methods. These promising multi-component blends, as well as their respective reference fuels, are subsequently tested for efficiency and emissions performance utilizing a gasoline direct injection, spark ignition engine. The engine test results confirm that combustion and efficiency of tailored multi-component blends closely match those of the reference fuels. Regulated emissions stemming from combustion of these blends are equal or lower compared to the reference fuels across the tested engine speed and load regime.
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 and Validation of Combustion in a High-Efficiency Dual-Fuel Light-Duty Engine

Using gasoline and diesel simultaneously in a dual-fuel combustion system has shown effective benefits in terms of both brake thermal efficiency and exhaust emissions. In this study, the dual-fuel approach is applied to a light-duty spark ignition (SI) gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine. Three combustion modes are proposed based on the engine load, diesel micro-pilot (DMP) combustion at high load, SI combustion at low load, and diesel assisted spark-ignition (DASI) combustion in the transition zone. Major focus is put on the DMP mode, where the diesel fuel acts as an enhancer for ignition and combustion of the mixture of gasoline, air, and recirculated exhaust gas. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to simulate the dual-fuel combustion with the final goal of supporting the comprehensive optimization of the main engine parameters.
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 Investigation of Spark Ignition Events in Lean and Dilute Methane/Air Mixtures Using a Detailed Energy Deposition Model

It is beneficial but challenging to operate spark-ignition engines under highly lean and dilute conditions. The unstable ignition behavior can result in downgraded combustion performance in engine cylinders. Numerical approach is serving as a promising tool to identify the ignition requirements by providing insight into the complex physical/chemical phenomena. An effort to simulate the early stage of flame kernel initiation in lean and dilute fuel/air mixture has been made and discussed in this paper. The simulations are set to validate against laboratory results of spark ignition behavior in a constant volume combustion vessel. In order to present a practical as well as comprehensive ignition model, the simulations are performed by taking into consideration the discharge circuit analysis, the detailed reaction mechanism, and local heat transfer between the flame kernel and spark plug.
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.
Technical Paper

Performance Analysis and Valve Event Optimization for SI Engines Using Fractal Combustion Model

On the basis of the newly-developed fractal combustion model, the engine-thermodynamic-cycle simulations were conducted with the 1D engine-cycle-simulation program AVL-BOOST for a passenger-car SI engine with a fully-variable valve train. Results of the simulations showed a good agreement with measurements for both full and part load at various engine speeds. On the basis of the thermodynamic model for the engine, the valve event optimization was carried out for both full and part load with a partial factorial DoE plan consisting of various valve event durations and timings. For each of the selected cases, an independent optimization for the ignition timing was performed to determine the minimum BSFC under a constraint on specified knock criteria. Satisfactory results for the valve event optimization were achieved.