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Technical Paper

1D and 3D CFD Investigation of Burning Process and Knock Occurrence in a Gasoline or CNG fuelled Two-Stroke SI Engine

The paper presents a combined experimental and numerical investigation of a small unit displacement two-stroke SI engine operated with gasoline and Natural Gas (CNG). A detailed multi-cycle 3D-CFD analysis of the scavenging process is at first performed in order to accurately characterize the engine behavior in terms of scavenging patterns and efficiency. Detailed CFD analyses are used to accurately model the complex set of physical and chemical processes and to properly estimate the fluid-dynamic behavior of the engine, where boundary conditions are provided by a in-house developed 1D model of the whole engine. It is in fact widely recognized that for two-stroke crankcase scavenged, carbureted engines the scavenging patterns (fuel short-circuiting, residual gas distribution, pointwise lambda field, etc.) plays a fundamental role on both of engine performance and tailpipe emissions.
Journal Article

4 L Light Duty LPG Engine Evaluated for Heavy Duty Application

Many applications of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to commercial vehicles have used their corresponding diesel engine counterparts for their basic architecture. Here a review is made of the application to commercial vehicle operation of a robust 4 L, light-duty, 6-cylinder in-line engine produced by Ford Australia on a unique long-term production line. Since 2000 it has had a dedicated LPG pick-up truck and cab-chassis variant. A sequence of research programs has focused on optimizing this engine for low carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. Best results (from steady state engine maps) suggest reductions in CO₂ emissions of over 30% are possible in New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) light-duty tests compared with the base gasoline engine counterpart. This has been achieved through increasing compression ratio to 12, running lean burn (to λ = 1.6) and careful study (through CFD and bench tests) of the injected LPG-air mixing system.
Technical Paper

A CNG Specific Fuel Injector Using Latching Solenoid Technology

An advanced fuel injector designed specifically for low energy density gaseous fuels has been developed which demonstrates compelling performance advantages over fuel injectors utilizing conventional solenoid technology. The injector incorporates design features that are necessary to optimize the performance for fuels such as CNG, LNG, and propane. This paper provides a background of magnetic latching technology and addresses the application of the technology to an advanced, pressure balanced, gaseous fuel injector. Performance of the injector will be discussed in detail as will features of the injector specifically adapted for gaseous applications. The ability of the injector to solve fuel metering problems facing the industry, such as turn down ratio limitations, accuracy, durability, and compatibility with existing engine electronics, are addressed.
Technical Paper

A Combustion Model with Reduced Kinetic Schemes for S.I. Engines Fuelled with Compressed Natural Gas

The paper describes the development of a reduced kinetic scheme for the evaluation of the main chemical species (particularly NO and CO) in premixed turbulent flame and its application to a quasi-dimensional combustion model for spark ignition engines. The proposed mechanism is based on the kinetic solution of three transport equations for NO, CO and H, coupled with the partial equilibrium of the so-called water-shuffle equations to derive the OH, O and H2 concentrations. The remaining species are computed applying the element conservation, while the required prompt levels were determined by a separate chemical 1D code for laminar combustion. The proposed chemical scheme was locally validated, considering a turbulent flame inside a premixed flow of air and methane, ignited by a parallel flow of hot gases, by means of a CFD simulation. Successively, it was embedded into a quasi-D thermodynamic combustion model developed by the authors for the simulation of S.I. and C.I. engines.
Technical Paper

A Comparative Study of Performance and Emission Characteristics of CNG and Gasoline on a Single Cylinder S. I. Engine

In this study some experiments were carried out to evaluate fuel consumption and exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx)) and hydrocarbons (HC) with compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline in a single cylinder engine. Compressed natural gas showed 3 to 5 percent higher thermal efficiency and 15 percent lower specific fuel consumption as compared to gasoline. Also CO emissions were lower by 30-80 percent in rich zone and NOx by about 12 percent at an equivalence of 1.0. At wide open throttle CNG operation resulted in 10 to 12 percent lower power output. However, thermal efficiency and brake specific fuel consumption (bsfc) was better with CNG as compared to gasoline. Dual spark plug operation increased power output by 3 to 5 percent.
Journal Article

A Comparison of Ammonia Emission Factors from Light-Duty Vehicles Operating on Gasoline, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

Vehicular ammonia emissions are currently unregulated, even though ammonia is harmful for a variety of reasons, and the gas is classed as toxic. Ammonia emissions represent a serious threat to air quality, particularly in urban settings; an ammonia emissions limit may be introduced in future legislation. Production of ammonia within the cylinder has long been known to be very limited. However, having reached its light-off temperature, a three-way catalyst can produce substantial quantities of ammonia through various reaction pathways. Production of ammonia is symptomatic of overly reducing conditions within the three-way catalyst (TWC), and depends somewhat upon the particular precious metals used. Emission is markedly higher during periods where demand for engine power is higher, when the engine will be operating under open-loop conditions.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of the Emissions from Gasoline vs. Compressed Natural Gas for an Electronic Fuel Injected Two Cylinder, Four-Stroke Engine

Natural gas is a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel because it is a clean burning fuel that is available from a large domestic reserve through a mature infrastructure. The heavy dependence of the small engine sector on oil, much of which is imported from foreign countries and the small engine sector's negative impact on the air quality in urban areas are two pervasive problems that can be helped by using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a small engine fuel. In addition, CNG is typically over 80% methane, which is produced by the decay of organic material, so while natural gas is not renewable its use enables much of the infrastructure required for a methane-based renewable energy system. In order to determine the emissions benefit of using CNG as compared to gasoline in a small engine, a 750 cc 90 degree V Twin port-fuel-injected production engine rated at 29 horsepower (HP), designed and built by Kohler Inc.
Technical Paper

A Compressed Natural Gas Mass Flow Driven Heavy Duty Electronic Engine Management System

This paper describes the conversion of a stationary spark ignition engine to a heavy duty (HD) natural gas engine suitable for transportation applications, in response to the new urban truck and bus legislation of 1994 and 1998. The approach to the fuel and ignition control system is to use a microprocessor controlled engine management system based on inputs from combustion air and natural gas mass flow sensors. As the emission control system is also based on stoichiometric three way catalyst technology, it is felt that the control approach is very robust. The engine and control system were first mounted on a HD dynamometer for the development work where engine control parameters were calibrated. In addition steady state emission data were collected and estimates of the HD transient emission levels were obtained.
Technical Paper

A Controller for a Spark Ignition Engine with Bi-Fuel Capability

A bi-fuel engine with the ability to run optimally on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline is being developed. Such bi-fuel automotive engines are necessary to bridge the gap between gasoline and natural gas as an alternative fuel while natural gas fueling stations are not yet common enough to make a dedicated natural gas vehicle practical. As an example of modern progressive engine design, a Saturn 1.9 liter 4-cylinder dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine has been selected as a base powerplant for this development. Many previous natural gas conversions have made compromises in engine control strategies, including mapped open-loop methods, or resorting to translating the signals to or from the original controller. The engine control system described here, however, employs adaptive closed-loop control, optimizing fuel delivery and spark timing for both fuels.
Technical Paper

A Current Look at the Natural Gas Fueling Infrastructure in the United States

The natural gas utility industry has led the development of the natural gas fueling infrastructure in the United States. Focusing primarily on compressed natural gas (CNG), the utility industry has built fueling stations to serve their own fleets and those of targeted customers. In addition, gas utility companies have formed partnerships with traditional fuel retailers to offer natural gas to a broader range of customers. This paper will: Document the history of natural gas fueling infrastructure development from the early 1980's. It will provide statistics on the current status of the fueling infrastructure, including the numbers of private and public access stations and will forecast the number of stations required to serve projected natural gas vehicles (NGVs) through the year 2010. Examine the various types of CNG fueling technologies currently being used, and will discuss the major components of fueling systems.
Technical Paper

A Detailed Analysis of Proper Safety Features Implementation in the Design and Construction of Modern Automotive LPG and CNG Containers

Paper describes analysis of the design process of modern automotive LPG and CNG containers. Over decade experience in the field of both computer based analysis as well as in the real conditions testing has been collected and presented in the paper. Authors present the potentials of modern FEM methodologies in the optimization and production of lightweight steel containers. It has been proved that the most sophisticated numerical analysis have to be followed by the construction verification, particularly considering direct exposure to fire. Bonfire test have become obligatory for both liquid and compressed gases containers. Properly chosen fire protection system, together with the adequate level of quality of materials applied for its production together with proper directing of the gas flowing out from safety devices are the essential factors defining gas containers fire safety.
Technical Paper

A Detailed Well to Wheel Analysis of CNG Compared to Diesel Oil and Gasoline for the French and the European Markets

Pollutants emissions from transportation have become a major focus of environmental concerns in the last decades. Many alternative fuels are under consideration, among which Natural Gas as fossil resource offering an advantageous potential to reduce local emissions. The European Commission has set an objective of 10% of Natural Gas consumption for the transport sector by 2020. In a sustainable development view, both vehicle emissions and energy supply chain analysis from well to wheel must be addressed. Even if the main focus today is on CO2 emissions, it is interesting to evaluate the pollutant emissions of the whole Well to Wheel chain. Besides, as the potential of reducing pollutant emissions of vehicle (due to the improvement of engines and severization of norms), looking at pollutant emissions of the Well to Tank part of the chain could show the possible further improvements. Former studies exist, comparing Natural Gas to conventional and non conventional fuels.
Technical Paper

A Dynamometer Study of Off-Cycle Exhaust Emissions - The Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program

Four vehicle fleets, consisting of 3 to 4 vehicles each, were emission tested on a 48″ roll chassis dynamometer using both the FTP urban dynamometer driving cycle and the REP05 driving cycle. The REP05 cycle was developed to test vehicles under high speed and high load conditions not included in the FTP. The vehicle fleets consisted of 1989 light-duty gasoline vehicles, 1992-93 limited production FFV/VFV methanol vehicles, 1992-93 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and their gasoline counterparts, and a 1992 production and two prototype ethanol FFV/VFV vehicles. All vehicles (except the dedicated CNG vehicles) were tested using Auto/Oil AQIRP fuels A and C2. Other fuels used were M85 blended from A and C2, E85 blended from C1, which is similar to C2 but without MTBE, and four CNG fuels representing the range of in-use CNG fuels. In addition to bag measurements, tailpipe exhaust concentration and A/F data were collected once per second throughout every test.
Technical Paper

A Hybrid Natural Gas Vehicles

Increased emphasis on reducing vehicle emissions has led San Diego Gas & Electric Company to develop a hybrid electric vehicle powered by a natural gas fueled engine. This vehicle employs a downsized internal combustion engine driving an alternator for average power needs, and a small battery pack to provide additional power for acceleration, and to store energy during regenerative braking. The vehicle is driven by advanced, high efficiency, brushless DC motors through a fixed gear reduction transmission. Keeping up with the ever changing California emission requirements is an important part of San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) business, touching all aspects of company operation. To reduce emissions in its vehicle fleet, SDG&E has instituted a program of converting certain vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel to act as a “pathfinder” for other fleet vehicle operators in its service territory as anticipated tighter emission controls on California fleet vehicles are enacted.
Technical Paper

A Joint Work to Develop a Predictive 1D Modelling Approach for Heavy Duty Gaseous Fueled Engines through Experiments and 3D CFD Simulations

The present paper reports experimental and numerical research activities devoted to deeply characterize the behavior and performance of a Heavy Duty (HD) internal combustion engine fed by compressed natural gas (CNG). Current research interest in HD engines fed by gaseous fuels with low C/H ratios is related to the well-known potential of such fuels in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, combined to extremely low particulate matter emissions too. Moreover, methane, the main CNG component, can be produced through alternative processes relying on renewable sources, or in the next future replaced by methane/H2 blends. The final goal of the presented investigations is the development of a predictive 0D combustion submodel within the framework of a 1D numerical simulation platform.
Technical Paper

A Lean Burn Turbocharged, Natural Gas Engine for the US Medium Duty Automotive Market

This paper describes the first phase of a project to develop a medium duty engine to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel for vehicles such as school buses and medium trucks. The engine uses a lean burn, open chamber design featuring the Nebula combustion system. Mechanical air-fuel ratio control and a mapped high energy ignition system, combined with a wastegated turbocharger, will contribute to the low emissions. The CNG engine will have the maximum commonality with the existing diesel engine and will use the same production tooling wherever possible. The initial build of CNG engine is intended to avoid the expense and complication of an intercooler and catalyst. Future potential for even lower emissions and higher pressure could be achieved by the use of electronic air-fuel ratio control and the addition of intercooling and an oxidation catalyst.
Technical Paper

A Life Cycle Comparison of Alternative Transportation Fuels

The paper analyzes energy use and emissions per GJ of various fuels delivered to the vehicle fuel tank, covering extraction, fuel production, transportation, storage, and distribution phases of the life cycle of alternative fuels. Drawing on a number of existing studies, the modeling issues and approaches, main results and insights are summarized. The range of estimates in various studies is large; however, common patterns can be observed. The analysis indicates, that conventional gasoline fuel cycle has robust advantages with respect to energy efficiency, conventional pollutant emissions, and most importantly, existing infrastructure compared to alternative fuels. Fossil fuel based alternatives like CNG, NG–Methanol, NG–FTL do not result in significant improvement in fuel cycle environmental performance. Biofuels offer the benefits of lower and even negative GHG emissions, sustainability, and domestic fuel production.
Technical Paper

A Method for Evaluating the Atmospheric Ozone Impact of Actual Vehicle Emissions

A method for analyzing and evaluating the potential atmospheric ozone formed by the actual emissions of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds from motor vehicles is described. The method is illustrated using the results of some recently published emission tests performed on a variety of vehicles equipped to utilize gasoline and several alternative fuels including methanol, ethanol, alcohol/gasoline blends, LPG and CNG. The reactivity contributions of the various constituent species as well as the overall ozone potential of the emissions are determined. Some of the scientific and application issues raised by the method are also discussed including the effects of nitrogen oxide concentrations, varying airshed characteristics, emission standards and test procedures.
Technical Paper

A Mixed Numerical-Experimental Analysis for the Development of a Partially Stratified Compressed Natural Gas Engine

This paper discusses a partially stratified technology for engines running lean on natural gas. A single cylinder research engine has been modified to enable direct injection of a small quantity of natural gas through the spark plug to the region of the electrodes, independent of the overall lean homogeneous charge. Thus, a Partially Stratified Charge (PSC) is formed within the chamber allowing significant extension of the lean limit of combustion. Although PSC has been shown to reduce NOX emissions and improve combustion efficiency, high hydrocarbon emissions have been observed and this was thought to be due to poor mixing of the injected fuel air charge. The mixed experimental-numerical activity described herein, carried out by the Universities of British Columbia of Vancouver and Roma Tor Vergata, is aimed at improving the micro-direct injection PSC process.