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Technical Paper

A Model for Converting SI Engine Flame Arrival Signals into Flame Contours

A model which converts flame arrival times at a head gasket ionization probe, used in a spark-ignition engine, into flame contours has been developed. The head gasket was manufactured at MIT using printed circuit board techniques. It has eight electrodes symmetrically spaced around the circumference (top of cylinder liner) and it replaces the conventional head gasket. The model is based on engine flame propagation rate data taken from the literature. Data from optical studies of S.I. engine combustion or studies utilizing optical fiber or ionization probe diagnostics were analyzed in terms of the apparent flame speed and the entrainment speed (flame speed relative to the fluid ahead of the flame). This gives a scaling relationship between the flame speed and the mass fraction burned which is generic and independent of the chamber shape.
Technical Paper

A Model for Flame Initiation and Early Development in SI Engine and its Application to Cycle-to-Cycle Variations

This paper uses a model which calculates the flame kernel formation and its early development in spark ignition engines to examine the causes of cycle-to-cycle combustion variations. The model takes into account the primary physical factors influencing flame development. The spark-generated flame kernel size and temperature required to initialize the computation are completely determined by the breakdown energy and the heat conduction from burned region to unburned region. In order to verify the model, the computation results are compared with high-speed Schlieren photography flame development data from an operating spark-ignition engine; they match remarkably well with each other at all test conditions. For the application of this model to the study of cycle-to-cycle variation of the early stage of combustion, additional input is required.
Technical Paper

A Rapid Compression Machine Study of the Influence of Charge Temperature on Diesel Combustion

Difficulties in the starting and operation of diesel engines at low temperatures are an important consideration in their design and operation, and in selection of the fuels for their use. Improvements in operation have been achieved primarily through external components of the engine and associated subsystems. A Rapid Compression Machine (RCM) has been modified to operate over a wide range of temperatures (−20°C to 100°C). It is used to isolate the combustion chamber in an environment in which all significant parameters are carefully defined and monitored. The influence of temperature and cetane number on the ignition and combustion processes are analyzed. Examination of the combustion characteristics show that temperature is by far the most influential factor affecting both ignition delay and heat release profiles. Cetane number (ASTM D-613) is not found to be a strong indicator of ignition delay for the conditions investigated.
Technical Paper

A Study of Cycle-to-Cycle Variations in SI Engines Using a Modified Quasi-Dimensional Model

This paper describes the use of a modified quasi-dimensional spark-ignition engine simulation code to predict the extent of cycle-to-cycle variations in combustion. The modifications primarily relate to the combustion model and include the following: 1. A flame kernel model was developed and implemented to avoid choosing the initial flame size and temperature arbitrarily. 2. Instead of the usual assumption of the flame being spherical, ellipsoidal flame shapes are permitted in the model when the gas velocity in the vicinity of the spark plug during kernel development is high. Changes in flame shape influence the flame front area and the interaction of the enflamed volume with the combustion chamber walls. 3. The flame center shifts due to convection by the gas flow in the cylinder. This influences the flame front area through the interaction between the enflamed volume and the combustion chamber walls. 4. Turbulence intensity is not uniform in cylinder, and varies cycle-to-cycle.
Technical Paper

A Study of Flame Development and Engine Performance with Breakdown Ignition Systems in a Visualization Engine

A conventional coil ignition system and two breakdown ignition systems with different electrode configurations were compared in M.I.T.'s transparent square piston engine. The purpose was to gain a deeper understanding of how the breakdown and glow discharge phases affect flame development and engine performance. The engine was operated with a standard intake valve and with a shrouded intake valve to vary the characteristic burning rate of the engine. Cylinder pressure data were used to characterize the ignition-system performance. A newly developed schlieren system which provides two orthogonal views of the developing flame was used to define the initial flame growth process. The study shows that ignition systems with higher breakdown energy achieve a faster flame growth during the first 0.5 ms after spark onset for all conditions studied.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Gasoline Engine Knock Limited Performance and the Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement

A set of experiments was performed to investigate the effects of relative air-fuel ratio, inlet boost pressure, and compression ratio on engine knock behavior. Selected operating conditions were also examined with simulated hydrogen rich fuel reformate added to the gasoline-air intake mixture. For each operating condition knock limited spark advance was found for a range of octane numbers (ON) for two fuel types: primary reference fuels (PRFs), and toluene reference fuels (TRFs). A smaller set of experiments was also performed with unleaded test gasolines. A combustion phasing parameter based on the timing of 50% mass fraction burned, termed “combustion retard”, was used as it correlates well to engine performance. The combustion retard required to just avoid knock increases with relative air-fuel ratio for PRFs and decreases with air-fuel ratio for TRFs.
Technical Paper

An Overview of Hydrocarbon Emissions Mechanisms in Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper provides an overview of spark-ignition engine unburned hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms, and then uses this framework to relate measured engine-out hydrocarbon emission levels to the processes within the engine from which they result. Typically, spark-ignition engine-out HC levels are 1.5 to 2 percent of the gasoline fuel flow into the engine; about half this amount is unburned fuel and half is partially reacted fuel components. The different mechanisms by which hydrocarbons in the gasoline escape burning during the normal engine combustion process are described and approximately quantified. The in-cylinder oxidation of these HC during the expansion and exhaust processes, the fraction which exit the cylinder, and the fraction oxidized in the exhaust port and manifold are also estimated.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Fuel Behavior in the Spark-Ignition Engine Start-Up Process

An analysis method for characterizing fuel behavior during spark-ignition engine starting has been developed and applied to several sets of start-up data. The data sets were acquired from modern production vehicles during room temperature engine start-up. Two different engines, two control schemes, and two engine temperatures (cold and hot) were investigated. A cycle-by-cycle mass balance for the fuel was used to compare the amount of fuel injected with the amount burned or exhausted as unburned hydrocarbons. The difference was measured as “fuel unaccounted for”. The calculation for the amount of fuel burned used an energy release analysis of the cylinder pressure data. The results include an overview of starting behavior and a fuel accounting for each data set Overall, starting occurred quickly with combustion quality, manifold pressure, and engine speed beginning to stabilize by the seventh cycle, on average.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Hydrocarbon Emissions Mechanisms in a Direct Injection Spark-Ignition Engine

The direct injection spark-ignition engine is the only internal combustion engine with the potential to equal the efficiency of the diesel and to tolerate a wide range of fuel types and fuel qualities without deterioration of performance. However, this engine has low combustion efficiency and excessive hydrocarbon emissions when operating at light load. In this paper, potential sources of hydrocarbon emissions during light load operation are postulated and analyzed. The placement of fuel away from the primary combustion process in conjunction with a lack of secondary burnup are isolated as important hydrocarbon emissions mechanisms. Analyses show that increasing cylinder gas temperatures can improve secondary burnup of fuel which would reduce hydrocarbon emissions. Practical means to achieve this include higher compression ratio and use of ceramic parts in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Knock in a Spark-Ignition Engine

Spark-ignition engine knock was characterized in terms of when during the engine cycle and combustion process knock occurred and its magnitude or intensity. Cylinder pressure data from a large number of successive individual cycles were generated from a single-cylinder engine of hemispherical chamber design over a range of operating conditions where knock occurred in some or all of these cycles. Mean values and distributions of following parameters were quantified: knock occurrence crank angle, knock intensity, combustion rate and the end-gas thermodynamic state. These parameters were determined from the cylinder pressure data on an individual cycle basis using a mass-burn-rate analysis. The effects of engine operating variables on these parameters were studied, and correlations between these parameters were examined.
Technical Paper

Combustion Characterization in a Direct-Injection Stratified-Charge Engine and Implications on Hydrocarbon Emissions

An experimental study was conducted on a direct-injection stratified-charge (DISC) engine incorporating a combustion process similar to the Texaco Controlled Combustion System and operated with gasoline. Analysis of the injected fuel flow and the heat release showed that the combustion process was characterized by three distinct phases: fuel injection and distribution around the piston bowl, flame propagation through the stratified fuel-air mixture, and mixing-controlled burn-out with the heat-release rate proportional to the amount of unburned fuel in the combustion chamber. This characterization was consistent with previous visualization studies conducted on rapid-compression machines with similar configurations. Experiments with varied injection timing, spark plug location, and spark timing showed that the combustion timing relative to injection was critical to the hydrocarbon emissions from the engine.
Technical Paper

Combustion Optimization in a Hydrogen-Enhanced Lean-Burn SI Engine

As part of ongoing research on hydrogen-enhanced lean burn SI engines, this paper details an experimental combustion system optimization program. Experiments focused on three key areas: the ignition system, in-cylinder charge motion produced by changes in the inlet ports, and uniformity of fuel-air mixture preparation. Hydrogen enhancement is obtained with a H2, CO, N2 mixture produced by a fuel reformer such as the plasmatron. The ignition system tests compared a standard inductive coil scheme against high-energy discharge systems. Charge motion experiments focused on the impact of different flow and turbulence patterns generated within the cylinder by restrictor plates at the intake port entrance, as well as novel inlet flow modification cones. The in-cylinder fluid motion generated by each configuration was characterized using swirl and tumble flow benches. Mixture preparation tests compared a standard single-hole pintle port fuel injector against a fine atomizing 12-hole injector.
Technical Paper

Computer Models For Evaluating Premixed and Disc Wankel Engine Performance

This paper describes two types of computer models which have been developed to analyze the performance of both premixed-charge and direct-injection stratified-charge Wankel engines. The models are based on a thermodynamic analysis of the contents of the engine's chambers. In the first type of model, the rate of combustion is predicted from measured chamber pressure by use of a heat release analysis. The analysis includes heat transfer to the chamber walls, work transfer to the rotor, enthalpy loss due to flows into crevices and due to leakage flows into adjacent chambers, and enthalpy gain due to fuel injection. The second type of computer model may be used to predict the chamber pressure during a complete engine cycle. From the predicted chamber pressure, the overall engine performance parameters are calculated. The rate of fuel burning as an algebraic function of crank angle is specified.
Technical Paper

Development and Use of a Cycle Simulation to Predict SI Engine Efficiency and NOx Emissions

A computer simulation of the four-stroke spark-ignition engine cycle has been developed for studies of the effects of variations in engine design and operating parameters on engine performance, efficiency and NO emissions. The simulation computes the flows into and out of the engine, calculates the changes in thermodynamic properties and composition of the unburned and burned gas mixtures within the cylinder through the engine cycle due to work, heat and mass transfers, and follows the kinetics of NO formation and decomposition in the burned gas. The combustion process is specified as an input to the program through use of a normalized rate of mass burning profile. From this information, the simulation computes engine power, fuel consumption and NO emissions. Predictions made with the simulation have been compared with data from a single-cylinder CFR engine over a range of equivalence ratios, spark-timings and compression ratios.
Technical Paper

Divided-Chamber Diesel Engine, Part I: A Cycle-Simulation Which Predicts Performance and Emissions

A model has been developed for a divided-chamber automotive diesel engine which describes the intake, compression, combustion and expansion, and exhaust processes in sufficient detail to permit calculations of pressure, fuel-air ratio distribution, heat release distribution, NO formation, soot mass loading, and soot oxidation processes. The novel feature of this model is the use of a stochastic mixing approach during the combustion and expansion processes to describe the nonuniform fuel-air ratio distribution within the engine. In this approach, the fuel-air ratio distribution during the combustion and emissions formation processes can be followed as it evolves with time. Experimental data generated on a single-cylinder divided-chamber diesel engine were used to verify the accuracy of the model predictions. Agreement between experimental data and predicted values of engine performance and NOx emissions levels was good.
Technical Paper

Divided-Chamber Diesel Engine, Part II: Experimental Validation of a Predictive Cycle-Simulation and Heat Release Analysis

In this study, a set of performance and emissions data, obtained from a single-cylinder divided-chamber automotive diesel engine over the normal engine operating range, is described and analyzed. The data are used to evaluate a computer simulation of the engine's operating cycle, described in a companion paper, which predicts the properties of gases inside the engine cylinder throughout the cycle, and engine efficiency, power and NOx emissions. Satisfactory agreement between predictions and measurements is obtained over most of the engine's operating range. The characteristics of the experimental pre- and main-chamber pressure versus crank angle data are then examined in detail. A heat release analysis appropriate for divided-chamber diesel engines is developed and used to obtain heat release rate profiles through the combustion process.
Technical Paper

Effect of Engine and Fuel Variables on Liquid Fuel Transport into the Cylinder in Port-Injected SI Engines

Liquid fuel inflow into the cylinder is considered to be an important source of exhaust hydrocarbon (HC) emissions from automotive spark ignition engines. These liquid-fuel-caused emissions are increased significantly during the start up and subsequent warm-up period. This study analyzes the influence of several engine and injector design variables, and fuel parameters, on the in-cylinder liquid fuel behavior. The effect of the following parameters on the characteristics of the fuel droplets entering the cylinder was studied: Fuel volatility, injection timing, intake valve timing, injector type, spray geometry, and spray targeting in the intake port. A Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer (PDPA) was used in a single-cylinder flow visualization combustion engine to assess this in-cylinder liquid fuel behavior. Measurements of fuel droplet characteristics (size and velocity) were taken in selected locations in the vicinity of the intake valve during starting and warm up.
Technical Paper

Effects of Charge Motion Control During Cold Start of SI Engines

An experimental study was performed to investigate the effects of various intake charge motion control valves (CMCVs) on mixture preparation, combustion, and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during the cold start-up process of a port fuel injected spark ignition (SI) engine. Different charge motions were produced by three differently shaped plates in the CMCV device, each of which blocked off 75% of the engine's intake ports. Time-resolved HC, CO and CO2 concentrations were measured at the exhaust port exit in order to achieve cycle-by-cycle engine-out HC mass and in-cylinder air/fuel ratio. Combustion characteristics were examined through a thermodynamic burn rate analysis. Cold-fluid steady state experiments were carried out with the CMCV open and closed. Enhanced charge motion with the CMCV closed was found to shorten the combustion duration, which caused the location of 50% mass fraction burned (MFB) to occur up to 5° CA earlier for the same spark timing.
Technical Paper

Effects of Combustion Phasing, Relative Air-fuel Ratio, Compression Ratio, and Load on SI Engine Efficiency

In an effort to both increase engine efficiency and generate new, consistent, and reliable data useful for the development of engine concepts, a modern single-cylinder 4-valve spark-ignition research engine was used to determine the response of indicated engine efficiency to combustion phasing, relative air-fuel ratio, compression ratio, and load. Combustion modeling was then used to help explain the observed trends, and the limitations on achieving higher efficiency. This paper analyzes the logic behind such gains in efficiency and presents correlations of the experimental data. The results are helpful for examining the potential for more efficient engine designs, where high compression ratios can be used under lean or dilute regimes, at a variety of loads.
Technical Paper

Effects of Hydrogen Enhancement on Efficiency and NOx Emissions of Lean and EGR-Diluted Mixtures in a SI Engine

Dilute operation of a SI engine offers attractive performance incentives. Lowered combustion temperatures and changes in the mixture composition inhibit NOx formation and increase the effective value of the ratio of burned gas specific heats, increasing gross indicated efficiency. Additionally, reduced intake manifold throttling minimizes pumping losses, leading to higher net indicated efficiency. These benefits are offset by the reduced combustion speed of dilute fuel-air mixtures, which can lead to high cycle-to-cycle variation and unacceptable engine behavior characteristics. Hydrogen enhancement can suppress the undesirable consequences of dilute operation by accelerating the combustion process, thereby extending the dilution limit. Hydrogen would be produced on-board the vehicle with a gasoline reforming device such as the plasmatron. High dilution at higher loads would necessitate boosting to meet the appropriate engine specific power requirements.