Dickinson, P., Hegarty, K., Collings, N., and Ramsander, T., "Application of Fast Oxygen Sensors for Investigations into Air-Path Dynamics and EGR Distribution in a Diesel Engine," SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-1177, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1177.
The control of NOX emissions by exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is of widespread application. However, despite dramatic improvements in all aspects of engine control, the subtle mixing processes that determine the cylinder-to-cylinder distribution of the recirculated gas often results in a mal-distribution that is still an issue for the engine designer and calibrator. In this paper we demonstrate the application of a relatively straightforward technique for the measurement of the absolute and relative dilution quantity in both steady state and transient operation. This was achieved by the use of oxygen sensors based on standard UEGO (universal exhaust gas oxygen) sensors but packaged so as to give good frequency response (∼ 10 ms time constant) and be completely insensitivity to the sample pressure and temperature. Measurements can be made at almost any location of interest, for example exhaust and inlet manifolds as well as EGR path(s), with virtually no flow disturbance. At the same time, the measurements yield insights into air-path dynamics. We argue that “dilution”, as indicated by the deviation of the oxygen concentration from that of air, is a more appropriate parameter than EGR rate in the context of NOX control, especially for diesel engines.Experimental results are presented for the EGR distribution in a current production light duty 4-cylinder diesel engine in which significant differences were found in the proportion of the recirculated gas that reached each cylinder. Even the individual inlet runners of the cylinders exhibited very different dilution rates - differences of nearly 50% were observed at some conditions. An application of such data may be in the improvement of calibration and validation of CFD and other modelling techniques.