Particulate number (PN) standards in current and future emissions legislation pose a challenge for designers and calibrators during the warm-up phases of cold direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engines. To achieve catalyst light-off conditions in the shortest time, engine strategies are often employed that inherently use more fuel to attain higher exhaust temperatures. These can lead to the generation of locally fuel-rich regions within the combustion chamber and hence the formation and emission of particulates.
To meet these emissions requirements, further understanding of the DISI in-cylinder processes during cold-start are required. This thesis investigates the effect of cooling an optical research engine to temperatures as low as -7°C, one of the legislative test conditions. A high-speed 9 kHz optical investigation of the in-cylinder combustion and fuel spray along with in-cylinder pressure measurements was completed with the engine motored and fired at 1500 rpm during combustion conditions that were essentially homogeneous and stoichiometric.
Results showed significant differences between the flame growth structures at various operating temperature conditions with the notable presence of fuel-rich regions, which are understood to be prominent areas of particulate formation. Measured engine performance parameters such as indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) and mass fraction burned (MFB) times correlated with the observed differences in combustion characteristics and flame growth speed. It was shown that flash boiling of the fuel spray was present in the fully heated engine case and significantly reduced the penetration of the spray plume and the likelihood of piston crown and cylinder liner impingement.
The flow and combustion processes of a transient production cold start-up strategy were analysed using high-speed particle image velocimetry (HSPIV). Results highlighted a broad range of flame structures and contrasting flame stoichiometry occurring at different times in the start-up process. Turbulent flow structures were identified that have an effect on the fuel spray development and combustion process as well as providing a path for cold-start emissions reduction.
PN and transient hydrocarbon (HC) emissions were measured at cold conditions to further elucidate the effect of operating temperature and correlate emissions data with in-cylinder measurements. A clear link between the quantity and size range of particulate and HC emissions and operating temperature was shown and the precise in-cylinder location of HC emissions, caused by fuel impingement, was inferred from the HC emissions data.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
EPSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover.