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Technical Paper

A Thermal Response Analysis on the Transient Performance of Active Diesel Aftertreatment

Diesel fueling and exhaust flow strategies are investigated to control the substrate temperatures of diesel aftertreatment systems. The fueling control includes the common-rail post injection and the external supplemental fuel injection. The post injection pulses are further specified at the early, mid, or late stages of the engine expansion stroke. In comparison, the external fueling rates are moderated under various engine loads to evaluate the thermal impact. Additionally, the active-flow control schemes are implemented to improve the overall energy efficiency of the system. In parallel with the empirical work, the dynamic temperature characteristics of the exhaust system are simulated one-dimensionally with in-house and external codes. The dynamic thermal control, measurement, and modeling of this research intend to improve the performance of diesel particulate filters and diesel NOx absorbers.
Technical Paper

Adaptive Fuel Injection Tests to Extend EGR Limits on Diesel Engines

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is effective to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel engines. However, when excessive EGR is applied, the engine operation reaches zones with higher combustion instability, carbonaceous emissions, and power losses. In order to improve the engine combustion process with the use of heavy EGR, the influences of boost pressure, intake temperature, and fuel injection timing are evaluated. An adaptive fuel injection strategy is applied as the EGR level is progressively elevated towards the limiting conditions. Additionally, characterization tests are performed to improve the control of the homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) type of engine cycles, especially when heavy EGR levels are applied to increase the load level of HCCI operations. This paper constitutes the preparation work for a variety of algorithms currently being investigated at the authors' laboratory as a part of the model-based NOx control research.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of EGR Treatment on the Emission and Operating Characteristics of Modern Diesel Engines

Tests are conducted to improve the use of exhaust gas recirculation on a single cylinder diesel engine with EGR stream treatment techniques that include intake heating, combustible substance oxidation, catalytic fuel reforming, and partial bypass-flow control. In parallel with the empirical work, theoretical modeling analyses are performed to investigate the effectiveness of the reforming process and the combined effects on the overall system efficiency. The research is aimed at stabilizing and expanding the limits of heavy EGR during steady and transient operations so that the individual limiting conditions of EGR can be better identified. Additionally, the heavy EGR is applied to enable in-cylinder low temperature combustion. The effectiveness of EGR treatment on engine emission and operating characteristics are therefore reported.
Technical Paper

Development of a Fuel Injection Strategy for Diesel LTC

A production V-8 engine was redesigned to run on low temperature combustion (LTC) with conventional Diesel fuel. Two fuel injection strategies were used to attain reduction in soot and NOx; a) early premixed injection strategy: fuel injected early during the compression stroke and b) late premixed injection strategy: fuel injected close to TDC with heavy EGR. The early premixed injection strategy yielded low NOx and soot but struggled to vaporize the fuel as noted in unburned hydrocarbons readings. The late premixed injection strategy introduced the fuel at higher in-cylinder temperatures and densities, improving the fuel's vaporization and limited the unburned hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide. The use of high EGR and high injection pressure for late premixed injection strategy provided sufficiently long ignition delay that resulted in partially premixed cylinder charge before combustion, and thereby prevented high soot, even in presence of high EGR.
Technical Paper

Heat Release Based Adaptive Control to Improve Low Temperature Diesel Engine Combustion

Heat-release and cylinder pressure based adaptive fuel-injection control tests were performed on a modern common-rail diesel engine to improve the engine operation in the low-temperature combustion (LTC) region. A single shot injection strategy with heavy amount of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) was used to modulate the in-cylinder charge conditions to achieve the low-temperature combustion. Adaptive fuel-injection techniques were used to anchor the cylinder pressure characteristics in the desired crank angle window and thereby stabilize the engine operation. The response of the adaptive control to boost, fueling, and engine speed variations was also tested. A combination of adaptive fuel-injection and automatic boost/back-pressure controls had helped to make the transient emissions comparable to the steady-state LTC emissions.
Journal Article

Heat Release Pattern Diagnostics to Improve Diesel Low Temperature Combustion

Empirical results indicated that the engine emission and fuel efficiency of low-temperature combustion (LTC) cycles can be optimized by adjusting the fuel-injection scheduling in order to obtain appropriate combustion energy release or heat-release rate patterns. Based on these empirical results the heat-release characteristics were correlated with the regulated emissions such as soot, hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen. The transition from conventional combustion to LTC with the desired set of heat-release rate has been implemented. This transition was facilitated with the simplified heat-release characterization wherein each of the consecutive engine cycles was analyzed with a real-time controller embedded with an FPGA (field programmable gate array) device. The analyzed results served as the primary feedback control signals to adjust fuel injection scheduling. The experimental efforts included the boost/backpressure, exhaust gas recirculation, and load transients in the LTC region.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Energy Efficiency Analysis of an EGR Fuel-Reformer

Diesel engine exhausts commonly contain a high level of surplus oxygen and a significant amount of thermal energy. In this study the authors have theoretically investigated a way of utilizing the thermal energy and the surplus oxygen of exhaust gases to produce gaseous fuel in a rich combustor placed in an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) loop. In the rich combustor, a small amount of diesel fuel will be catalytically reformed on a palladium/platinum based catalyst to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Since the catalytic EGR reformer is incorporated in the EGR loop, it enables the partial recovery of exhaust heat. The gaseous fuel produced in the rich combustor can be brought back into the engine in a pre-mixed condition, potentially reducing soot formation. The preliminary energy efficiency analysis has been performed by using CHEMKIN and an in-house engine simulation software SAES.