Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
John L. Loth.
Pressing economic and environmental concerns related to the performance of fossil fuel burning internal combustion engines have revitalized research in more efficient, cleaner burning combustion methods such as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI). Although many variations of such engines now exist, several limiting factors have restrained the full potential of HCCI. A new method patented by West Virginia University (WVU) called Compression Ignition by Air Injection (CIBAI) may help broaden the range of effective HCCI operation. The CIBAI process is ideally facilitated by operating two synchronized piston-cylinders mounted head-to-head with one of the cylinders filled with a homogeneous mixture of air and fuel and the other cylinder filled with air. A specialized valve called the cylinder connecting valve (CCV) separates the two cylinders, opens just before reaching top dead center (TDC), and allows the injection air into the charge to achieve autoignition. The CCV remains open during the entire power stroke such that upon ignition the rapid pressure rise in the charge cylinder forces mass flow back through the CCV into the air-only cylinder. The limited mass transfer between the cylinders through the CCV limits the theoretical auto ignition timing capabilities and thermal efficiency of the CIBAI cycle. Research has been performed to: (1) Experimentally measure the transient behavior of a potential CCV design during valve opening between two chambers maintained at constant pressure and again at constant volume; (2) Develop a modified theoretical CCV mass flow model based upon the measured cold flow valve performance that is capable of predicting the operating conditions required for successful mixture autoignition; (3) Make recommendations for future CCV designs to maximize CIBAI combustion range.;Results indicate that the modified-ball CCV design offers suitable transient flow qualities required for application to the CIBAI concept. Mass injection events were experimentally mapped as a function of valve speed, inter-cylinder pressure ratios and volume ratios and the results were compared to compressible flow theoretical models. Specifically, the transient behavior suggested a short-lived loss-mode initiation closely resembled by shock tube theory followed by a quasi-steady flow regime resembling choked flow behavior. An empirical model was then employed to determine the useful range of the CCV design as applied to a four-stroke CIBAI engine cycle modeled using a 1-D quasi-steady numerical method, with particular emphasis on the cyclic timing of the CCV opening. Finally, a brief discussion of a high-temperature version of the CCV design is presented.
Browning, Patrick H., "Transient flow characteristics of a high speed rotary valve" (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2894.