Factors influencing cycle-by-cycle combustion characteristics of a diesel engine under cold idling conditions

McGhee, Michael James (2013) Factors influencing cycle-by-cycle combustion characteristics of a diesel engine under cold idling conditions. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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An experimental investigation of post-start cold idling behaviour has been carried out on a modern single-cylinder HPCR DI light duty diesel engine with a low compression ratio of 15.5:1 at temperatures between 10 and -20°C. The trend toward lower compression ratios from more common values of around 22:1 a few years ago has resulted in lower compression pressures and temperatures, which negatively affects cold idle operation. Improvements in cycle-by-cycle stability of indicated work output through fuel injection strategy and glow plug temperature changes have been explored. This is important to improve NVH and the consumer’s perception of vehicle quality. The key effects on heat release characteristics have been identified and the associated impact on stability discussed. High speed imaging of ignition in a combustion bomb has been used to aid interpretation of engine results.

Up to four pilot injections placed in advance of the main have been used. Shorter separation between pilots and pilot-to-main improves stability independent of the number of pilot injections and extends the range of main injection timings to meet target stability of 10% or lower at -20°C. Increasing the number of pilot injections was effective in stabilising combustion at all investigated soak temperatures at fuelling levels producing indicated work required to match friction and ancillary demands. Stability can be susceptible to deterioration at moderate soak temperatures because fuelling demand is relatively low. If a high number of pilot injections are to be avoided to reduce potential wear, then increasing main injection quantity is an effective method to stabilise combustion for a lower pilot number strategy but any increase above target load has to be harnessed by additional ancillary devices.

Very high glow plug temperatures of up to 1200°C were examined using a smaller diameter tip ceramic type design. Stable combustion cannot be achieved through higher glow plug temperatures alone. A temperature of 1000°C, which can be achieved using a low voltage metallic type, is adequate to stabilise combustion when combined with a triple-pilot strategy at sub-zero temperatures. The best stability is achieved using 1200°C, which can only be achieved using a more expensive ceramic type, in combination with a triple-pilot strategy producing the desirable target of ~5% or below; the effects are not mutually exclusive. At high glow plug temperatures and using three or four pilot injections, stability improved with warmer soak temperatures. At -5°C, stability was relatively poor when one or two pilots were used irrespective of glow plug temperature.

A high premixed contribution to main combustion is associated with improved stability. Minimum threshold values are necessary to stabilise combustion: ~25 J/° at -20°C, ~20 J/° at -5°C and only ~10 J/° at 10°C. A higher number of pilot injections raises pilot induced combustion and improves mixture distribution. These effects subsequently increase the premixed combustion and help sustain a strong main development with less variability. This benefit is maximised when using hotter glow plug temperatures raising IMEPg magnitude and reducing variation.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Shayler, P.J.
La Rocca, A.
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ751 Internal combustion engines. Diesel engines
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
Item ID: 13179
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2013 14:19
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 03:02
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13179

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