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Technical Paper

Fuel Consumption Reduction on Heavy-Duty and Light-Duty Commercial Vehicles by Means of Advanced Central Tire Inflation Systems

Tire inflation pressure has a relevant impact on fuel consumption and tire wear, and therefore affects both CO2 emissions and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The latter is extremely important in the case of commercial vehicles, where the cost of fuel is responsible for about 30% of the TCO. A possible advanced central tire inflation system, which is able to inflate and deflate tires autonomously, as part of a smart energy management system, and as an active safety device, have been studied. This system allows misuse due to under-inflation to be avoided, and adapts the tires to the current working conditions of the vehicle. For instance, the tire pressure can be adapted according to the carried load, or during tire warm up. An on-board software is able to evaluate the working conditions of the vehicle and select the tire pressure that minimizes the energy expense, the TCO or the braking distance, according to a multi-objective optimization strategy.
Technical Paper

Active Tire Pressure Control (ATPC) for Passenger Cars: Design, Performance and Analysis of the Potential Fuel Economy Improvement

Active Tire Pressure Control (ATPC) is an automatic central tire inflation system, designed, prototyped and tested at the Politecnico di Torino, which is aimed at improving the fuel consumption, safety and drivability of passenger vehicles. The pneumatic layout of the system and the designed solution for on-board integration are presented. The critical design choices are explained in detail and supported by experimental evidence. In particular, the results of experimental tests, including the characterizations of various pneumatic components in working conditions, have been exploited to obtain a design, which allows reliable performance of the system in a lightweight solution. The complete system has been tested to verify its dynamics, in terms of actuation time needed to obtain a desired pressure variation, starting from the current tire pressure, and to validate the design.
Technical Paper

Performance and Emission Comparison between a Conventional Euro VI Diesel Engine and an optimized PCCI Version and Effect of EGR Cooler Fouling on PCCI Combustion

Premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) is an advanced combustion mode that has the aim of simultaneously reducing particulate matter and nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions, compared with conventional diesel combustion, thanks to a partially premixed charge and low temperature combustion. In this work, PCCI combustion has been implemented by means of an early single-injection strategy and large amounts of recirculated exhaust gas. Starting from a commercial Euro VI on-road engine, the engine hardware has been modified to optimize PCCI operations. This has involved adopting a smaller turbo group, a new combustion chamber and injectors, and a dedicated high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system. The results, in terms of engine performance and exhaust emissions, under steady-state operation conditions, are presented in this work, where the original Euro VI calibration of the conventional engine has been compared with the PCCI calibration of the optimized hardware engine.
Technical Paper

Zero Dimensional Models for EGR Mass-Rate and EGR Unbalance Estimation in Diesel Engines

Abstract A precise estimation of the recirculated exhaust gas rate and oxygen concentration as well as a predictive evaluation of the possible EGR unbalance among cylinders are of paramount importance, especially if non-conventional combustion modes, which require high EGR flow-rates, are implemented. In the present paper, starting from the equation related to convergent nozzles, the EGR mass flow-rate is modeled considering the pressure and the temperature upstream of the EGR control valve, as well as the pressure downstream of it. The restricted flow-area at the valve-seat passage and the discharge coefficient are carefully assessed as functions of the valve lift. Other models were fitted using parameters describing the engine working conditions as inputs, following a semi-physical and a purely statistical approach. The resulting models are then applied to estimate EGR rates to both conventional and non-conventional combustion conditions.
Journal Article

Steady-State and Transient Operations of a Euro VI 3.0L HD Diesel Engine with Innovative Model-Based and Pressure-Based Combustion Control Techniques

Abstract In the present work, different combustion control strategies have been experimentally tested in a heavy-duty 3.0 L Euro VI diesel engine. In particular, closed-loop pressure-based and open-loop model-based techniques, able to perform a real-time control of the center of combustion (MFB50), have been compared with the standard map-based engine calibration in order to highlight their potentialities. In the pressure-based technique, the instantaneous measurement of in-cylinder pressure signal is performed by a pressure transducer, from which the MFB50 can be directly calculated and the start of the injection of the main pulse (SOImain) is set in a closed-loop control to reach the MFB50 target, while the model-based approach exploits a heat release rate predictive model to estimate the MFB50 value and sets the corresponding SOImain in an open-loop control. The experimental campaign involved both steady-state and transient tests.
Journal Article

Potentialities of Boot Injection Combined with After Shot for the Optimization of Pollutant Emissions, Fuel Consumption and Combustion Noise in Passenger Car Diesel Engines

Abstract The present paper illustrates an investigation about the potentialities of injection rate shaping coupled with an after injection. A pilot shot can either be absent or present before the rate-shaped boot injection. The experimental tests have been performed on a partial PCCI Euro 5 diesel engine endowed with direct-acting piezoelectric injectors. Starting from optimized triple pilot-main-after injection strategies, boot injection was implemented by maintaining the direct-acting piezo injector needle open at part lift. The results of two steady state working conditions have been presented in terms of engine-out emissions, combustion noise and brake specific fuel consumption. In addition, in-cylinder analyses of the pressure, heat-release rate, temperature and emissions have been evaluated. Considering the in-cylinder pressure traces and the heat release rate curves, the injection rate shaping proved to influence combustion in the absence of a pilot injection to a great extent.
Journal Article

Impact on Performance, Emissions and Thermal Behavior of a New Integrated Exhaust Manifold Cylinder Head Euro 6 Diesel Engine

The integration of the exhaust manifold in the engine cylinder head has received considerable attention in recent years for automotive gasoline engines, due to the proven benefits in: engine weight diminution, cost saving, reduced power enrichment, quicker engine and aftertreatment warm-up, improved packaging and simplification of the turbocharger installation. This design practice is still largely unknown in diesel engines because of the greater difficulties, caused by the more complex cylinder head layout, and the expected lower benefits, due to the absence of high-load enrichment. However, the need for improved engine thermomanagement and a quicker catalytic converter warm-up in efficient Euro 6 diesel engines is posing new challenges that an integrated exhaust manifold architecture could effectively address. A recently developed General Motors 1.6L Euro 6 diesel engine has been modified so that the intake and exhaust manifolds are integrated in the cylinder head.
Technical Paper

Performance and Emissions of a Turbocharged Spark Ignition Engine Fuelled with CNG and CNG/Hydrogen Blends

An experimental investigation was performed on a turbocharged spark-ignition 4-cylinder production engine fuelled with natural gas and with two blends of natural gas and hydrogen (15% and 25% in volume of H₂). The engine was purposely designed to give optimal performance when running on CNG. The first part of the experimental campaign was carried out at MBT timing under stoichiometric conditions: load sweeps at constant engine speed and speed sweeps at constant load were performed. Afterwards, spark advance sweeps and relative air/fuel ratio sweeps were acquired at constant engine speed and load. The three fuels were compared in terms of performance (fuel conversion efficiency, brake specific fuel consumption, brake specific energy consumption and indicated mean effective pressure) and brake specific emissions (THC, NOx, CO).
Journal Article

Effects of Rail Pressure, Pilot Scheduling and EGR Rate on Combustion and Emissions in Conventional and PCCI Diesel Engines

In diesel engines the optimization of engine-out emissions, combustion noise and fuel consumption requires the experimental investigation of the effects of different injection strategies as well as of a large number of engine operating variables, such as scheduling of pilot and after pulses, rail pressure, EGR rate and swirl level. Due to the high number of testing conditions involved full factorial approaches are not viable, whereas Design of Experiment techniques have demonstrated to be a valid methodology. However, the results obtained with such techniques require a subsequent critical analysis, so as to investigate the cause and effect relationships between the set of engine operating variables and the combustion process characteristics that affect pollutant formation, noise of combustion and engine efficiency.
Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis of Combustion Processes and Emissions in a 2.0L Multi-Cylinder Diesel Engine Featuring a New Generation Piezo-Driven Injector

In this paper, the potential of new generation piezo-driven indirect acting injectors on high feature diesel engine performance and emissions was assessed by combining experimental tests (carried out at both hydraulic and engine test beds) with the diagnostics of combustion and emissions. This latter was performed by means of a refined multizone combustion diagnostic tool previously developed at Politecnico di Torino. More in detail, a complete hydraulic characterization of the injection system has been carried out and injector performance, in terms of robustness and repeatability of the injection process, has been also evaluated. Injectors were then installed on 4-cylinder 2.0L Diesel engine and tests were performed in seven key-points, which were specifically selected so as to reproduce the engine operations over NEDC in terms of emissions and fuel consumption.
Journal Article

Combustion System Optimization of a Low Compression-Ratio PCCI Diesel Engine for Light-Duty Application

A new combustion system with a low compression ratio (CR), specifically oriented towards the exploitment of partially Premixed Charge Compression Ignition (PCCI) diesel engines, has been developed and tested. The work is part of a cooperative research program between Politecnico di Torino (PT) and GM Powertrain Europe (GMPT-E) in the frame of Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) diesel combustion-system design and control. The baseline engine is derived from the GM 2.0L 4-cylinder in-line, 4-valve-per-cylinder EU5 engine. It features a CR of 16.5, a single stage VGT turbocharger and a second generation Common Rail (1600 bar). A newly designed combustion bowl was applied. It features a central dome and a large inlet diameter, in order to maximize the air utilization factor at high load and to tolerate advanced injection timings at partial load. Two different piston prototypes were manufactured by changing the internal volume of the new bowl so as to reach CR targets of 15.5 and 15.
Technical Paper

New Modeling for Reliable Evaluation of Parameter Variability Effects on Vehicle Fuel Consumption

In the next decade, energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction will be key issues for developing new vehicles and powertrains. As is well known, CO2 emissions are straightly related to fuel consumption, and their measurement is carried out on the chassis dynamometer test bench simulating the vehicle road load. However, the measurement of vehicle fuel consumption by the NEDC procedure on the dynamometer test bench is affected not only by experimental uncertainties but also by test tolerances due to vehicle and powertrain parameters as well as to test facility and procedure. As a consequence, the test-result repeatability (results of different tests with the same vehicle on the same bench) and reproducibility (results of different tests with the same vehicle on different benches)must be carefully taken into account. An overall uncertainty of up to ± 10% can be expected for CO2 emission and fuel consumption figures.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Fuel Consumption, Exhaust Emissions and Heat Release of a Small-Displacement Turbocharged CNG Engine

An experimental investigation of fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and heat release was performed on a prototype 1.2 liter 4 cylinder turbocharged CNG engine, which has been specifically developed and optimized in order to fully exploit natural gas potential. More specifically, the combination of a high CR of 10.1:1 and a Garrett high-performance turbocharger featuring selectable levels of boost produced a favorable efficiency map, with peak values exceeding 35%. The experimental tests were carried out in order to assess the engine performance improvement attainable through turbocharging and to define the best control strategies for this latter. The investigation included ample variations of engine speed and load, RAFR as well as trade-offs between boost level and throttle position. At each test point, in-cylinder pressure, fuel consumption and ‘engine-out’ pollutant emissions, including methane unburned hydrocarbons concentration, were measured.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Combustion Velocities in Bi-fuel Engines by Means of an Enhanced Diagnostic Tool Based on a Quasi-Dimensional Multizone Model

The burned-gas propagation process has been characterized in two bi-fuel engines by means of a combustion diagnostic tool resulting from the integration of an original multizone heat-release model with a CAD procedure for the burned-gas front geometry simulation. Burned-gas mean expansion speed ub, mean gas speed ug and burning velocity Sb were computed as functions of crank angle and burned-gas radius for a wide range of engine speeds (n = 2000-5500 rpm), loads (bmep = 200-790 kPa), relative air-fuel ratios (RAFR = 0.80-1.60) and spark advances (SA ranging from 8 deg retard to 8 deg advance from MBT), under both gasoline and CNG operations. Finally, the influence of intake runner and combustion chamber geometries on flame propagation process was investigated. Main results show that Sb is generally comparable for the engine running on both gasoline and CNG, at the same engine speed and load, under stoichiometric and MBT operations.
Technical Paper

High-Boost C.R. Diesel Engine: A Feasibility Study of Performance Enhancement and Exhaust-Gas Power Cogeneration

The present work concerns the study of the potentialities of high-boost small-displacement C.R. (Common Rail) diesel engines where the compressor and the expander are mechanically disengaged for the purpose of power cogeneration from the exhaust gas. This objective can be achieved by means of advanced concept electrical devices capable of delivering the energy produced by the expander either to the drivetrain transmission or to the even more power-demanding auxiliary equipment of both the engine and the vehicle. The performance of a small-displacement boosted diesel engine with a common-rail injection system has been predicted by means of a computational code obtained by integrating different in-house non-commercial codes that simulate the intake, combustion and exhaust processes. The model validation has been carried out by means of the experimental data obtained at Fiat Research Center on a commercial small-displacement C.R. turbocharged diesel engine.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Fuel Consumption and Exhaust Emissions of a 16V Pent-Roof Engine Fueled by Gasoline and CNG

A systematic experimental investigation was undertaken to compare the fuel consumption and exhaust emissions of a production SI engine fueled by either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). The investigation was carried out on a two-liter four-cylinder engine featuring a fast-burn pent-roof chamber, one centrally located spark plug, four valves per cylinder and variable intake-system geometry. The engine was originally designed at Fiat to operate with unleaded gasoline and was then converted at Politecnico di Torino to run on CNG. A Magneti Marelli IAW electronic module for injection-duration and spark-advance setting was used to obtain a carefully controlled multipoint sequential injection for both fuels.