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Research Project Overview

Core Competencies

Advanced model development and application to engines

i.e. KIVA ERC-3V calculated fuel mass fraction distribution


Development and application of advanced diagnostics to engines

i.e In-cylinder temperature measurements


Combustion & Emissions optimization using advanced technologies

i.e. CFD and Genetic algorithms


In summary, ERC research integrates advanced experimental diagnostics and theoretical advancements to produce validated engine simulation codes for practical applications. Coupling of these technologies will allow development of high fidelity tools for more comprehensive engine design. Goals for the 2006-2020 period include the application of high fidelity models and analysis techniques for the optimization of low emission diesel combustion concepts, and the use of modeling for the development of advanced model-based control technologies.

These resources could be applied pre-competitively by Consortium member companies, for solving specific engineering problems within their own business strategy, to achieve future diesel engine emission regulations. The evolution of ERC activities may help to achieve stretching industry goals.

Technology Road Map

The need for mobility will grow in the next 20 years and it will be supported mainly by internal combustion engines, this requires responsibly balancing environmental impacts, economics and user needs. For the diesel engine to successfully compete with the spark ignition engine, the emission standards will have to be met while still maintaining their fuel consumption advantage. Two research areas which could provide significant enabling capabilities for diesel emission reductions are briefly described next.

Exploring low temperature diesel combustion

If this type of combustion can be perfected the conversion efficiency requirements for the aftertreatment systems will be significantly reduced. The approaches being followed in the quest for operational low temperature combustion are various. Diesel HCCI with very high intake boost pressures and extensive charge cooling is one approach. Trying to achieve near stoichiometric combustion via very high EGR recirculation, with load capability being achieved via high boost pressures. Sophisticated injection systems appear to be a critical component with high injection pressure and small nozzle holes in attempts to achieve mixing controlled autoignition - with its attendant low particulate and NOx emissions, as well as multiple injections - to pre-condition the charge, ignite it, and promote enhanced oxidation during expansion. Spray targeting with a narrow spray angle facilitates low load operation while wider spray angles are better for high low operation.

Making the aftertreatment system the controlling element of the powertrain

The slower combustion rate and the low exhaust temperatures occurring in low temperature combustion make catalytic cleanup in the exhaust very challenging. one unexpected ramification of low temperature combustion is the difficulty in cleaning up CO and HC. That is, operation of the engine will be predicated on supplying the optimal exhaust composition for maximum emission conversion.

A systematic view for the reduction of diesel engine emission supported by advanced technologies will require that we push our conceptual understanding of engine operation far beyond its current position.

Technology Road Map

ERCís key contributions to the understanding of engine physics and foresight of needed technologies