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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

A Visualization Study of Liquid Fuel Distribution and Combustion Inside a Port-Injected Gasoline Engine Under Different Start Conditions

High-speed video of combustion processes and cylinder pressure traces were obtained from a single-cylinder optical-accessible engine with a production four-valve cylinder head to study the mixture formation and flame propagation characteristics at near-stoichiometric start condition. Laser-sheet Mie-scattering images were collected for liquid droplet distributions inside the cylinder to correlate the mixture formation process with the combustion results. A dual-stream (DS) injector and a quad-stream (QS) injector were used to study the spray dispersion effect on engine starting, under different injection timings, throttle valve positions, engine speeds, and intake temperatures. It was found that most of the fuel under open-valve injection (OVI) conditions entered the cylinder as droplet mist. A significant part of the fuel droplets hit the far end of the cylinder wall at the exhaust-valve side.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Assessment of Turbulence Production, Reynolds Stress and Length Scale (Dissipation) Modeling in a Swirl-Supported DI Diesel Engine

Simultaneous measurements of the radial and the tangential components of velocity are obtained in a high-speed, direct-injection diesel engine typical of automotive applications. Results are presented for engine operation with fuel injection, but without combustion, for three different swirl ratios and four injection pressures. With the mean and fluctuating velocities, the r-θ plane shear stress and the mean flow gradients are obtained. Longitudinal and transverse length scales are also estimated via Taylor's hypothesis. The flow is shown to be sufficiently homogeneous and stationary to obtain meaningful length scale estimates. Concurrently, the flow and injection processes are simulated with KIVA-3V employing a RNG k-ε turbulence model. The measured turbulent kinetic energy k, r-θ plane mean strain rates ( 〈Srθ〉, 〈Srr〉, and 〈Sθθ〉 ), deviatoric turbulent stresses , and the r-θ plane turbulence production terms are compared directly to the simulated results.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Study of the Flow Structure Inside the Catalytic Converter of a Gasoline Engine

The flow structure inside the catalytic converter of gasoline engines is very important for consideration of the catalyst light-off condition, converter durability and conversion efficiency. However, the available experimental data under actual engine exhaust conditions are quite limited due to its complicated configuration, critical operating conditions and difficult optical access. Therefore, an experimental study was performed, using laser Doppler velocimetry technique, to measure the velocity distributions inside two production dual-monolith catalytic converters fitted on a firing gasoline engine over several engine operating conditions. This paper reports the normal velocity characteristics measured in a plane 1 mm away from the front surface of first monolith. A small fraction of titanium (IV) isopropoxide was dissolved in gasoline for generating titanium dioxide seeding particles during the engine combustion.
Technical Paper

An Experimental and Analytical Investigation of the Spray Structure from Automotive Port Injectors

Port fuel injection system in gasoline engines is receiving an increasing attention for its potential advantages in meeting the constrains of simultaneous reduction in fuel consumption and exhaust emission, and maintaining a good engine performance. The structure of port injector spray dominates the mixture preparation process and strongly affect the subsequent engine combustion characteristics over a wide range of operating conditions in port-injection gasoline engines. In this paper, an experimental and analytical study is made to characterize the breakup mechanism and atomization process of the non-air-assisted port injector sprays in gasoline engines. The liquid sprays resulted from various types of current and development-type automotive fuel injectors were visualized using planar laser-induced fluorescence imaging technique. A comparison was made on the spray structure of the single hole and multi-hole injectors.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of the Impact of Cycle-to-Cycle Variations on the Ionic Current Signal in SI Engines

The applicability of the Ionic Current sensing method in production application is severely limited by the extent of cycle-to-cycle variations in the signal trace. In an attempt to investigate the sources for these cyclic signal fluctuations, experiments were conducted on a single cylinder 4-stroke, propane-operated engine. The ionic current signal was measured at two locations. The flame development phase in the vicinity of the spark plug gap was optically monitored by means of a high-speed CCD camera. The results showed that only the second part of the Ionic Current signal is directly impacted by cyclic variations in combustion parameters. The optical results provided evidence that the characteristics of the early flame development phase have a strong impact on the features in the first part of the signal.
Technical Paper

Characteristics of a Common Rail Diesel Injection System under Pilot and Post Injection Modes

Experiments were conducted to investigate the characteristics of a common rail fuel injection system using a flow rate test rig and a single cylinder research diesel engine. Experiments covered speeds and loads typical to engine conditions under Hybrid Electric Vehicle operation. Different injection modes were investigated including main injection, main-post injection and pilot-main injection. The analysis indicated that the common rail fuel pressure affects all the injection parameters including the start of fuel delivery, its duration and amount under all modes of injection. Also, the pressure waves produced in the system have an impact on the operation of the nozzle-needle and fuel delivery particularly in the main-post injection mode.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Multi-hole Spray and Mixing of Ethanol and Gasoline Fuels under DI Engine Conditions

Because of their robustness and cost performance, multi-hole gasoline injectors are being adopted as the direct injection (DI) fuel injector of choice as vehicle manufacturers look for ways to reduce fuel consumption without sacrificing power and emission performance. To realize the full benefits of direct injection, the resulting spray needs to be well targeted, atomized, and appropriately mixed with charge air for the desirable fuel vapor concentration distributions in the combustion chamber. Ethanol and ethanol-gasoline blends synergistically improve the turbo-charged DI gasoline performance, especially in down-sized, down-sped and variable-valve-train engine architecture. This paper presents the spray imaging results from two multi-hole DI gasoline injectors with different design, fueled with pure ethanol (E100) or gasoline (E0), under homogeneous and stratified-charge conditions that represent typical engine operating points.
Journal Article

Characterization of the Near-Field Spray and Internal Flow of Single-Hole and Multi-Hole Sac Nozzles using Phase Contrast X-Ray Imaging and CFD

It is well know that the internal flow field and nozzle geometry affected the spray behavior, but without high-speed microscopic visualization, it is difficult to characterize the spray structure in details. Single-hole diesel injectors have been used in fundamental spray research, while most direct-injection engines use multi-hole nozzle to tailor to the combustion chamber geometry. Recent engine trends also use smaller orifice and higher injection pressure. This paper discussed the quasi-steady near-nozzle diesel spray structures of an axisymmetric single-hole nozzle and a symmetric two-hole nozzle configuration, with a nominal nozzle size of 130 μm, and an attempt to correlate the observed structure to the internal flow structure using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation. The test conditions include variation of injection pressure from 30 to 100 MPa, using both diesel and biodiesel fuels, under atmospheric condition.
Technical Paper

Combustion Visualization of DI Diesel Spray Combustion inside a Small-Bore Cylinder under different EGR and Swirl Ratios

An experimental setup using rapid compression machine to provide excellent optical access to visualize simulated high-speed small-bore direct injection diesel engine combustion processes is described. Typical combustion visualization results of diesel spray combustion under different EGR, swirl, and injection pressure and nozzle conditions are presented. Different swirl intensities are achieved using an air nozzle with variable orientations and a check valve to connect the compression chamber and the combustion chamber. Different EGR ratios are achieved by pre-injection of diesel fuel prior to the main observation sequence. Clear visualization of the high-pressure fuel injection, ignition, combustion and spray/wall/swirl interactions is obtained. The injection system is a high-pressure common-rail system with either a VCO or a mini-sac nozzle. High-speed movies up to 35,000 frame-per-second are taken using a framing drum camera to record the combustion events.
Journal Article

Comparison of Near-Field Structure and Growth of a Diesel Spray Using Light-Based Optical Microscopy and X-Ray Radiography

A full understanding and characterization of the near-field of diesel sprays is daunting because the dense spray region inhibits most diagnostics. While x-ray diagnostics permit quantification of fuel mass along a line of sight, most laboratories necessarily use simple lighting to characterize the spray spreading angle, using it as an input for CFD modeling, for example. Questions arise as to what is meant by the “boundary” of the spray since liquid fuel concentration is not easily quantified in optical imaging. In this study we seek to establish a relationship between spray boundary obtained via optical diffused backlighting and the fuel concentration derived from tomographic reconstruction of x-ray radiography. Measurements are repeated in different facilities at the same specified operating conditions on the “Spray A” fuel injector of the Engine Combustion Network, which has a nozzle diameter of 90 μm.
Technical Paper

Correlating Port Fuel injection to Wetted Fuel Footprints on Combustion Chamber Walls and UBHC in Engine Start Processes

Unburned hydrocarbon (UBHC) emissions from gasoline engines remain a primary engineering research and development concern due to stricter emission regulations. Gasoline engines produce more UBHC emissions during cold start and warm-up than during any other stage of operation, because of insufficient fuel-air mixing, particularly in view of the additional fuel enrichment used for early starting. Impingement of fuel droplets on the cylinder wall is a major source of UBHC and a concern for oil dilution. This paper describes an experimental study that was carried out to investigate the distribution and “footprint” of fuel droplets impinging on the cylinder wall during the intake stroke under engine starting conditions. Injectors having different targeting and atomization characteristics were used in a 4-Valve engine with optical access to the intake port and combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Correlating the Diesel Spray Behavior to Nozzle Design

This paper studies the effect of nozzle geometry on the flow characteristics inside a diesel fuel injection nozzle and correlates to the subsequent atomization process under different operating conditions, using simple turbulent breakup model. Two kinds of nozzles, valve covered orifice (VCO) and mini-SAC nozzle, with various nozzle design parameters were studied. The internal flow inside the nozzle was simulated using 3-D computational fluid dynamics software with k-ε turbulence model. The flow field at the nozzle exit was characterized by two parameters: the fuel discharge coefficient Cd and the initial amplitude parameter amp0. The latter parameter represents the turbulence characteristics of the exit flow. The effects of nozzle geometry on the mean velocity and turbulent energy distribution of the exit flow were also studied. The characteristics of the exit flow were then incorporated into the spray model in KIVA-II to study the effect of nozzle design on diesel spray behavior.
Technical Paper

Diesel Cold-Starting Study Using Optically Accessible Engines

An experimental and numerical study was carried out to simulate the diesel spray behavior during cold starting conditions inside two single-cylinder optically accessible engines. One is an AVL single-cylinder research diesel engine converted for optical access; the other is a TACOM/LABECO engine retrofitted with mirror-coupled endoscope access. The first engine is suitable for sophisticated optical diagnostics but is constrained to limited consecutive fuel injections or firings. The second one is located inside a micro-processor controlled cold room; therefore it can be operated under a wide range of practical engine conditions and is ideal for cycle-to-cycle variation study. The intake and blow-by flow rates are carefully measured in order to clearly define the operation condition. In addition to cylinder pressure measurement, the experiment used 16-mm high-speed movie photography to directly visualize the global structures of the sprays and ignition process.
Technical Paper

Direct Visualization of Combustion in an E85-Fueled DISI Engine under Various Operation Conditions

Gasoline-direct-injection (GDI) engines have been adopted increasingly by the automotive industry in the recent years due to their performance, effects on the environment, and customers' demand on advanced technology. However, the knowledge of detailed combustion process in such engines is still not thoroughly analyzed and understood. With optically accessible engines (OAE) and advanced measuring techniques, such as high-speed digital imaging, the in-cylinder combustion process is made available directly to researchers. The present study primarily focuses on the effects of different parameters of engine control on the combustion process, such as fuel types, valve deactivation, ignition timing, spark energy, injection timing, air-fuel ratio, and exhaust gas recirculation. Three engine heads of a 2.0L GDI engine are used with modification to acquire different optical access.
Technical Paper

Direct Visualization of High Pressure Diesel Spray and Engine Combustion

An experimental study was carried out to visualize the spray and combustion inside an AVL single-cylinder research diesel engine converted for optical access. The injection system was a hydraulically-amplified electronically-controlled unit injector capable of high injection pressure up to 180 MPa and injection rate shaping. The injection characteristics were carefully characterized with injection rate meter and with spray visualization in high-pressure chamber. The intake air was supplied by a compressor and heated with a 40kW electrical heater to simulate turbocharged intake condition. In addition to injection and cylinder pressure measurements, the experiment used 16-mm high-speed movie photography to directly visualize the global structures of the sprays and ignition process. The results showed that optically accessible engines provide very useful information for studying the diesel combustion conditions, which also provided a very critical test for diesel combustion models.
Technical Paper

Effect of Cycle-to-Cycle Variation in the Injection Pressure in a Common Rail Diesel Injection System on Engine Performance

The performance of the Common Rail diesel injection system (CRS) is investigated experimentally in a single cylinder engine and a test rig to determine the cycle-to-cycle variation in the injection pressure and its effects on the needle opening and rate of fuel delivery. The engine used is a single cylinder, simulated-turbocharged diesel engine. Data for the different injection and performance parameters are collected under steady state conditions for 35 consecutive cycles. Furthermore, a mathematical model has been developed to calculate the instantaneous fuel delivery rate at various injection pressures. The experimental results supported with the model computations indicated the presence of cycle-to-cycle variations in the fuel injection pressure and needle lift. The variations in the peak-cylinder gas pressure, rate of heat release, cylinder gas temperature and IMEP are correlated with the variation in the injection rate.
Technical Paper

Effect of Nozzle hole Geometry on a HSDI Diesel Engine-Out Emissions

The combustion and emission characteristics of a high speed, small-bore, direct injection, single cylinder, diesel engine are investigated using two different nozzles, a 430-VCO (0.171mm) and a 320 Mini sac (0.131mm). The experiments were conducted at conditions that represent a key point in the operation of a diesel engine in an electric hybrid vehicle (1500 rpm and light load condition). The experiments covered fuel injection pressures ranging from 400 to 1000 bar and EGR ratios ranging from 0 to 50%. The effects of nozzle hole geometry on the ignition delay (ID), apparent rate of energy release (ARER, ARHR), NOx, Bosch smoke unit (BSU), CO and hydrocarbons are investigated.
Technical Paper

Effects of B20 Fuel and Catalyst Entrance Section Length on the Performance of UREA SCR in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

The current study focused on the effects B20 fuel (20% soybean-based biodiesel) and SCR entrance shapes on a light-duty, high-speed, 2.8L common-rail 4-cylinder diesel engine, at different exhaust temperatures. The results indicate that B20 has less deNOX efficiency at low temperature than ULSD, and that N₂O emission need to be characterized as well as NH₃ slip. If a mixer and enough mixing length are used, longer divergence section does not improve the deNOX efficiency significantly under the speed ranges tested.
Technical Paper

Effects of Injection Timings and Intake Port Flow Control on the In-Cylinder Wetted Fuel Footprints during PFI Engine Startup Process

Wall-wetting due to liquid fuel film motion and fuel droplet impingement on combustion chamber walls is a major source of unburned hydrocarbons (UBHC), and is a concern for oil dilution in PFI engines. An experimental study was carried out to investigate the effects of injection timing, a charge motion control device, and the matching of injector with port geometry, on the “footprints” of liquid fuel inside the combustion chamber during the PFI engine starting process. Using a gasoline-soluble dye and filter paper deployed on the cylinder liner and piston top land surfaces to capture the liquid fuel footprints, the effects of the mixture formation processes on the wetted footprints can be qualitatively and quantitatively examined by comparing the wetted footprint locations and their color intensities. Real-time filming of the development of wetted footprints using a high-speed camera can also show the time history of the fuel wetting process inside an optically accessible engine.