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Journal Article

Analysis of flame kinematics and cycle variation in a Port Fuel Injection Spark Ignition Engine

This paper reports on the analysis of flame kinematics and cycle variation in port fuel injection (PFI) spark ignition (SI) engine. The engine was equipped with a four-valve head and with an external boost device. Different operating conditions were considered. Cycle-resolved digital imaging was used to investigate flame motion and the effects of an abnormal combustion due to the firing of fuel deposition near the intake valves and on the piston surface. Various algorithms are applied to the acquired images. Coefficients of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) were computed and used for a statistical analysis of cycle variability. The advantage is that the analysis can be run on a small number of scalar coefficients rather than on the full data set of pixel valued luminosity.
Journal Article

Capturing Cyclic Variability in SI Engine with Group Independent Component Analysis

Data decomposition techniques have become a standard approach for the analysis of 2D imaging data originating from optically accessible internal combustion engines. In particular, the method of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) has proven to be a valuable tool for the evaluation of cycle-to-cycle variability based on luminous combustion imaging and particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. POD basically permits to characterize the dominant structures of the process under consideration. Recently, an alternative procedure based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA) has been introduced in the engine field. Unlike POD, the method of ICA identifies the patterns corresponding to physical processes that are statistically independent. In this work, a Group-ICA approach is applied to 2D cycle-resolved images of the luminosity emitted by the combustion process. The analysis is meant to characterize cyclic variability of a port fuel injection spark ignition (PFI SI) engine.
Journal Article

Characterization of CH4 and CH4/H2 Mixtures Combustion in a Small Displacement Optical Engine

In the last years, even more attention was paid to the alternative fuels which can allow both reducing the fuel consumption and the pollutant emissions. Among gaseous fuels, methane is considered one of the most interesting in terms of engine application. It represents an immediate advantage over other hydrocarbon fuels leading to lower CO₂ emissions; if compared to gasoline, CH₄ has wider flammable limits and better anti-knock properties, but lower flame speed. The addition of H₂ to CH₄ can improve the already good qualities of methane and compensate its weak points. In this paper a comparison was carried out between CH₄ and different CH₄/H₂ mixtures. The measurements were carried out in an optically accessible small single-cylinder, Port Fuel Injection spark ignition (PFI SI), four-stroke engine. It was equipped with the cylinder head of a commercial 250 cc motorcycle engine representative of the most popular two-wheel vehicles in Europe.
Technical Paper

Combustion Process Investigation in a Small SI Engine using Optical Diagnostics

Nowadays an elevated number of two, three and four wheels vehicles circulating in the world-wide urban areas is equipped with Port Fuel Injection Spark Ignition (PFI SI) engines. Their technological level is high, but a further optimization is still possible, especially at low engine speed and high load. To this purpose, the scientific community is now focused on deepening the understanding of thermo fluid dynamic phenomena that takes place in this kind of engine: the final purpose is to find key points for the reduction in engine specific fuel consumption and exhaust emissions without a decrease in performance. In this work, the combustion process was investigated in an optically accessible single cylinder PFI SI engine. It was equipped with the head, injection device and exhaust line of a commercial small engine for two-wheel vehicles, it had the same geometrical characteristics in terms of bore, stroke and compression ratio.
Technical Paper

Experimental Characterization of an Ethanol DI - Gasoline PFI and Gasoline DI - Gasoline PFI Dual Fuel Small Displacement SI Engine

The aim of the paper is the comparison of the performance, gaseous and particle emissions from different injection configurations and fuels. The engine was operated in port fuel injection (PFI), direct injection (DI) and dual fuel (DF). For DF, ethanol DI-gasoline PFI and gasoline DI-gasoline PFI strategies were performed to discern the effect of injection strategy from the effect of the fuel. The experimental activity was carried out in a small displacement single cylinder engine, representative of 2-3 wheel vehicle engines or of 3-4 cylinder small displacement automotive engines. It was equipped with a prototype gasoline direct injection (GDI) head. The tests were carried out at 3000 rpm, 4000 rpm and 5000 rpm full load. The investigated engine operating conditions are representative of the homologation urban driving cycle. The gaseous and particle emissions were measured at the exhaust by means of a gas analyzer and a smoke meter.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Fuelled Prechamber Combustion in an Optical Small Displacement SI Methane Engine

The permanent aim of the automotive industry is the further improvement of engine efficiency and the simultaneous emissions reduction. In order to optimize the small internal combustion engines it is necessary to further improve the basic knowledge of the thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion process. In this context, the application of optical diagnostic techniques per-mits a deep insight into the fundamental processes such as flow development, fuel injection, and combustion process. In this paper the analysis of the combustion process of gaseous fuel ignited by the plasma jets coming from a prechamber were performed. The investigation was carried out in an optically accessible small Direct Injection Spark-Ignition (DI SI) engine fuelled with Methane. The ig-nition was obtained with a proper designed fuelled prechamber prototype equipped with a gas Direct Injector, used to inject the fuel into the prechamber, and a spark plug used to ignite the mixture.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Idle Operating Engine Condition for a GDI Engine

The increased limitations to both NOx and soot emissions have pushed engine researchers to rediscover gasoline engines. Among the many technologies and strategies, gasoline direct injection plays a key-role for improving fuel economy and engine performance. The paper aims to investigate an extremely complex task such as the idle operating engine condition when the engine runs at very low engine speeds and low engine loads and during the warm-up. Due to the low injection pressure and to the null contribution of the turbocharger, the engine condition is far from the standard points of investigation. Taking into account the warm-up engine condition, the analyses are performed with a temperature of the coolant of 50°C. The paper reports part of a combined numerical and experimental synergic activity aiming at the understanding of the physics of spray/wall interaction within the combustion chamber and particular care is used for air/fuel mixing and the combustion process analyses.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Idle Operating Engine Condition for a GDI Engine

The paper investigates the idle operating condition of a current production turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) high performance engine both from an experimental and a numerical perspective. Due to the low engine speed, to the low injection pressure and to the null contribution of the turbocharger, the engine condition is far from the standard points of investigation. According to the low heat flux due to combustion, temperature levels are low and reduced fuel evaporation is expected. Consequently, fuel spray evolution within the combustion chamber and spray/wall interaction are key points for the understanding of the combustion process. In order to properly investigate and understand the many complex phenomena, a wide set of engine speeds was experimentally investigated and, as far as the understanding of the physics of spray/wall interaction is concerned, many different injection strategies are tested.
Technical Paper

Fuel Injection Effect on In-cylinder Formation and Exhaust Emission of Particulate from a 4-Stroke Engine for 2-Wheel Vehicles

The small engine for two-wheel vehicles has generally high possibility to be optimized at low speeds and high loads. In these conditions fuel consumption and pollutants emission should be reduced maintaining the performance levels. This optimization can be realized only improving the basic knowledge of the thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion process. It is known that, during the fuel injection phase in PFI SI engines, thin films of liquid fuel can form on the valves surface and on the cylinder walls. Successively the fuel films interact with the intake manifold and the combustion chamber gas flow. During the normal combustion process, it is possible to achieve gas temperature and mixture strength conditions that lead to fuel film ignition. This phenomenon can create diffusion-controlled flames that can persist well after the normal combustion event. These flames induce the emission of soot and unburned hydrocarbons.
Journal Article

Full-Cycle CFD Modeling of Air/Fuel Mixing Process in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

This paper is focused on the development and application of a CFD methodology that can be applied to predict the fuel-air mixing process in stratified charge, sparkignition engines. The Eulerian-Lagrangian approach was used to model the spray evolution together with a liquid film model that properly takes into account its effects on the fuel-air mixing process into account. However, numerical simulation of stratified combustion in SI engines is a very challenging task for CFD modeling, due to the complex interaction of different physical phenomena involving turbulent, reacting and multiphase flows evolving inside a moving geometry. Hence, for a proper assessment of the different sub-models involved a detailed set of experimental optical data is required. To this end, a large experimental database was built by the authors.
Journal Article

Non-Intrusive Investigation in a Small GDI Optical Engine Fuelled with Gasoline and Ethanol

The aim of this paper is the experimental investigation of the effect of direct fuel injection on the combustion process and pollutant formation in a spark ignition (SI) two-wheel engine. The engine is a 250cc single cylinder, four-stroke spark-ignition firstly equipped with a four-valve PFI head and then with GDI one operating with European commercial gasoline and Bio-ethanol. It is equipped with a wide sapphire window in the bottom of the chamber and quartz cylinder. In the combustion chamber, optical techniques based on 2D-digital imaging were used to follow the injection and flame propagation and spectroscopic measurements were carried out in order to evaluate the main radical species. Radical species such as OH and CH were detected and used to follow the chemical phenomena related to the fuel quality. Measurements were carried out at different engine speeds and combustion strategies based on different injection pressures.
Technical Paper

Particle Size Distributions from a DI High Performance SI Engine Fuelled with Gasoline-Ethanol Blended Fuels

This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation on the combustion characteristics and exhaust particulate emissions of a GDI high performance engine, fuelled with blends of bio-ethanol and European gasoline fuel. The engine is a 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, 1750 cm₃ displacement, and turbocharged. The engine was operated at fixed speed and load, namely 1500 rpm and 110 Nm, and fuelled with gasoline (E0), ethanol (E100) and two blends 50% v/v (E50) and 85% v/v (E85) of ethanol in gasoline. Two fuel injection strategies were investigated: homogeneous charge and stratified charge combustion mode. The study mainly focuses on the effects of fuel injection strategy and ethanol upon the emissions of particulate matter (PM), in terms of mass, number concentration and size distribution.
Technical Paper

Study of E10 and E85 Effect on Air Fuel Mixing and Combustion Process in Optical Multicylinder GDI Engine and in a Spray Imaging Chamber

The aim of the present work is the study of the combustion process in Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine fuelled with ethanol mixed with gasoline at percentages of 10 and 85. The characterization has been made in terms of performance and emission for different injection pressure conditions and the results correlated to the unperturbed non-evaporating evolution of the fuel injected in a pressurized quiescent vessel. Measurements were performed in the optically accessible combustion chamber made by modifying a real 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, high performance GDI engine. The cylinder head was instrumented by using an endoscopic system coupled to high spatial and temporal resolution camera in order to allow the visualization of the fuel injection and the combustion process. The engine is equipped with solenoid-actuated six-hole GDI injectors, 0.14 mm hole diameter, 9.0 g/s @ 10 MPa static flow.
Technical Paper

Use of Renewable Oxygenated Fuels in Order to Reduce Particle Emissions from a GDI High Performance Engine

The use of oxygenated and renewable fuels is nowadays a widespread means to reduce regulated pollutant emissions produced by internal combustion engines, as well as to reduce the greenhouse impact of transportation. Besides PM, NOx and HC emissions, also the size distribution of particles emitted at the engine exhaust represent meaningful information, considering its adverse effects on the environment and human health. In this work, the results of a comprehensive investigation on the combustion characteristics and the exhaust emissions of a GDI high performance engine, fuelled with pure bio-ethanol and European gasoline, are shown. The engine is a 4-cylinder, 4-stroke, 1750 cm₃ displacement, and turbocharged. The engine was operated at different speed/load conditions and two fuel injection strategies were investigated: homogeneous charge mode and stratified charge mode.