Kassa, M., Hall, C., Ickes, A., and Wallner, T., "Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variations in Power Production in a Dual Fuel Internal Combustion Engine Leveraging Late Intake Valve Closings," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(2):1049-1058, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0776.
Advanced internal combustion engines, although generally more efficient than conventional combustion engines, often encounter limitations in multi-cylinder applications due to variations in the combustion process. This study leverages experimental data from an inline 6-cylinder heavy-duty dual fuel engine equipped with a fully-flexible variable intake valve actuation system to study cylinder-to-cylinder variations in power production. The engine is operated with late intake valve closure timings in a dual-fuel combustion mode featuring a port-injection and a direct-injection fueling system in order to improve fuel efficiency and engine performance.Experimental results show increased cylinder-to-cylinder variation in IMEP as IVC timing moves from 570°ATDC to 610°ATDC, indicating an increasingly uneven fuel distribution between cylinders. These observations along with engine simulation models developed using GT-Power have been used to better understand the distribution of the port-injected fuel across cylinders under various operating conditions. This study revealed that the fuel distribution across cylinders in this dual fuel application is significantly affected by changes in the effective compression ratio as determined by the intake valve close timing as well as the design of the intake system (specifically the length of the intake runners). Late intake valve closures allow a portion of the trapped air and port injected fuel to flow back out of the cylinders into the intake manifold. The fuel that is pushed back in the intake manifold is then unevenly redistributed across the cylinders largely due to the dominating direction of the flow in the intake manifold. Experimental and simulation results discussing the impact of operating parameters on the fuel distribution are presented.