Grant: $330,000 - National Science Foundation - Aug. 21, 2009
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Award Description: Advanced fuel injection strategies are central to efforts to improve the performance and emissions characteristics of internal combustion engines. Existing fuel injectors severely restrict the strategies that can be explored, however, because of their fixed spray geometries. We propose to develop and experimentally study a novel fuel injector that can continuously vary its spray angle throughout the injection process, and do so independently of fuel flow rate. Such an injector could increase engine efficiency and reduce pollutants by optimizing air-fuel mixing and the distribution of atomized fuel within the cylinder. Preliminary data (from experimental testing at atmospheric conditions and corresponding numerical simulations) supports the feasibility of our proposed Variable Geometry Spray (VGS) technology, but further testing at realistic engine conditions is needed. Using this VGS prototype, we propose to investigate the transient effects of spray geometry variation on fuel atomization, air-fuel mixing, ignition, and pollutant formation processes at realistic injection pressures and in-cylinder ambient conditions. Our research will experimentally demonstrate computer-controlled, VGS fuel injection and will quantify its impact on the production of NOx and SOx, as well as overall combustion efficiency. We will directly compare the results from our prototype injector to commercially available gasoline direct injectors. Various imaging and measurement techniques will be used to study the structure, droplet size, and mixing characteristics of variable geometry sprays. Chemiluminesence and [other techniques?] will be used to examine pollutant formation. If this research is successful, we expect it will lead to significant near-term improvements in existing IC engines and will facilitate the implementation of new combustion modes such as HCCI and flexible fuel capability.
Project Description: This project officially started on August 15, 2009. A PhD student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, J.P. Lien, has been recruited to work on injector design and CFD simulation tasks. The simulation work is in progress, as is preliminary design of the fuel injector pintle. An undergraduate research assistant, Jason Garms, is also working on CFD simulations of the combustion process. The combustion chamber components have been machined, and the system is being setup and instrumented in the lab.
Jobs Summary: This project includes employees classified as Graduate Assistant. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Aug. 21, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.