Zheng, Junnian (2012-05). The Potential of Using Natural Gas in HCCI Engines: Results from Zero- and Multi-dimensional Simulations. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • With the depletion of petroleum based fuels and the corresponding concerns of national energy security issues, natural gas as an alternative fuel in IC engine applications has become an attractive option. Natural gas requires minimum mixture preparation, and is chemically stable, both of which make it a suitable fuel for homogeneous charged compression ignition (HCCI) engines. Compared to petroleum based fuels, natural gas produces less green-house emissions. However, natural gas is hard to auto-ignite and therefore requires a higher compression ratio, some amount of intake heating, or some type of pre-ignition. In addition, natural gas usually has large differences in fuel composition from field to field, which adds more uncertainties for engine applications. The current study determines the auto-ignition characteristics, engine performance, and nitric oxides emissions as functions of major operating parameters for a natural gas fueled HCCI engine, and determines differences relative to gasoline fueled HCCI engines which have been studied for many years. These tasks have been done using both zero- and multi-dimensional engine simulations. By zero-dimensional simulation, the effects of varying equivalence ratios, engine speeds, compression ratio, EGR level, intake pressure and fuel compositions are determined and analyzed in detail. To be able to account for the in-cylinder inhomogeneous effect on the HCCI combustion, multi-zone models coupled with cold-flow CFD simulations are employed in addition to the single-zone model. The effects of non-homogeneous temperature and equivalence ratio stratification on the ignition timing, combustion phasing, and emissions formation have been studied and discussed. Finally, the preliminary two-dimensional axial-symmetric CFD simulations have been conducted to study the in-cylinder temperature and the species distributions, which provide better visualization of the natural gas auto-ignition process.
  • With the depletion of petroleum based fuels and the corresponding concerns of national energy security issues, natural gas as an alternative fuel in IC engine applications has become an attractive option. Natural gas requires minimum mixture preparation, and is chemically stable, both of which make it a suitable fuel for homogeneous charged compression ignition (HCCI) engines. Compared to petroleum based fuels, natural gas produces less green-house emissions. However, natural gas is hard to auto-ignite and therefore requires a higher compression ratio, some amount of intake heating, or some type of pre-ignition. In addition, natural gas usually has large differences in fuel composition from field to field, which adds more uncertainties for engine applications.

    The current study determines the auto-ignition characteristics, engine performance, and nitric oxides emissions as functions of major operating parameters for a natural gas fueled HCCI engine, and determines differences relative to gasoline fueled HCCI engines which have been studied for many years. These tasks have been done using both zero- and multi-dimensional engine simulations.

    By zero-dimensional simulation, the effects of varying equivalence ratios, engine speeds, compression ratio, EGR level, intake pressure and fuel compositions are determined and analyzed in detail. To be able to account for the in-cylinder inhomogeneous effect on the HCCI combustion, multi-zone models coupled with cold-flow CFD simulations are employed in addition to the single-zone model. The effects of non-homogeneous temperature and equivalence ratio stratification on the ignition timing, combustion phasing, and emissions formation have been studied and discussed. Finally, the preliminary two-dimensional axial-symmetric CFD simulations have been conducted to study the in-cylinder temperature and the species distributions, which provide better visualization of the natural gas auto-ignition process.

publication date

  • May 2012