Advanced Power Systems

The Advanced Power Systems (APS) Research Center explores alternative energy sources that help mitigate the economic ramifications of increased oil prices. The focus is on alternative energy sources, such as biofuels, fuel cells, and wind turbines.

The most immediately feasible alternative energy source is biofuels. With decades of expertise and numerous innovative engine research labs, the APS group is well equipped to devise the necessary modifications to internal combustion engines that will allow them to run on high mix biofuel, improving efficiency and reducing emissions without sacrificing torque, fuel economy, or smooth vehicle operation.

This group also focuses on energy system optimization to ensure efficient use of future fuel supplies. Thermal-fluid experts are working to characterize two-phase flows in heat exchangers, enhance flows in fuel cells, and develop methods and technologies that will allow the utilization of gasified natural material in power generation systems. Researchers are also investigating ways to optimize the flow of air across wind turbines in order to increase productivity. By investigating current and emerging technologies, the group is bridging the gap between today's fossil fuel economy and a multisource economy that promises a more stable and sustainable future.

Faculty + Research = Discovery

Our department boasts world-class faculty who have access to numerous innovative research labs and are committed to discovery and learning. This encompasses a range of research areas, experiences, and expertise related to advanced power systems. Learn more about our faculty and their research interests:

Research Projects

Our faculty engage in a number of research projects, many of which are publicly funded. A sample listing of recent research projects related to advanced power systems appears below. You can also view a broader list of research projects taking place across the mechanical engineering department.

Recently Funded Projects

Development of Dynamic Torsional Measurement Capability using Hybrid Electric Motor - Year 2

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Darrell Robinette
Co-Investigator: Jason Blough
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Abstract
As the role of the torque converter in the vehicle has changed with the increasing need for better fuel efficiency it has become important to better understand the torsional isolation properties of the torque converter. The torsional isolation performance is accomplished by the fluid coupling portion of the torque converter at low speeds, and by the torque converter clutch assembly once the converter clutch is applied. Recent changes in the operational profile of the torque converter to improve fuel efficiency require that the clutch be applied at lower and lower vehicle speeds. In addition, the use of reduced displacement engines and engine cylinder deactivation results in greater engine torsional excitations at lower engine firing frequencies, demanding increased isolation capability from the torque converter. Due to these changes in operation, as well as the increased torque carrying capacity of the clutch assembly, there is an important need to be able to study the response of the torque converter and clutch assembly to torsional inputs which are representative of the torsional excitation provided by an engine.
 
This project seeks to develop the necessary test stand to perform these required torsional isolation studies. The hardware will be developed from a hybrid electric drive motor. This project aims to use this motor to develop a torsional dynamometer that can be used to input a torsional excitation to a torque converter that has frequency content similar to an operating internal combustion engine.
 
Once the dynamometer is functional it will be used to study the isolation performance of torque converter clutch and isolator assemblies. Year two of this project will seek to validate the setup and begin testing torque converter clutch and isolator assemblies for damping characteristics. The experimental data will be used to validate a model methodology for torque converter clutch dampers on select production designs.
Awarded Amount: $92,457

Experimental and Modeling Studies of Mahle Smart Heat Injector Concept

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Youngchul Ra
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $226,438

NEXTCAR: Connected and Automated Control for Vehicle Dynamics and Powertrain Operation on a Light-duty Multi-Mode Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Bo Chen
Co-Investigator: Darrell Robinette
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Electrical & Computer Engineering,  Civil & Environmental Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary for Public Release
Michigan Technological University in partnership with General Motors will develop, validate and demonstrate on a fleet of eight model year 2016 Chevrolet Volts and a mobile connected cloud computing center, a model based vehicle and powertrain controller. The selected vehicle, the MY16 Volt contains a unique powertrain architecture and enables five distinct operating modes including all electric (EV), plug-in-electric hybrid (PHEV), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). The model based controller will encompass a full real-time physics based coupled powertrain vehicle dynamics model leveraging vehicle conductivity with vehicle-to-vehicle and infrastructure to vehicle communications with real-time traffic modeling and predictive speed horizons and eco-routing. The goal is to achieve at least a 20% reduction in energy consumption (electrical + fuel) and a 6% increase in electric range through the first ever implementation and connection of route planning, powertrain energy management model predictive controller algorithms.  Connectivity data from other vehicles, infrastructure, GPS, traffic, and desired route planning combined with a physical model of the powertrain-vehicle system allows prediction of the vehicle’s future speed and enables forward looking powertrain mode selection and reduction of the energy utilization from the battery and fuel.
Awarded Amount: $3,505,540
Keywords: Automated Controls, HEV, Vehicle Dynamics

Continuation of Engine Ignition Studies-B

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective
Utilize the optical engine to examine the interactions of in-cylinder flow with the ignition process (manipulating discharge characteristics & spark plug design variables) as supplemented by multiple locations of ion sensing.
 
Fundamental understating of how to optimize the ignition system's design attributes for different engine applications. Increased understanding will result in more efficient & cost effective hardware & controls.  This continues work from the Ford funded work through 2016 focused on ignition with optical engine. The work enables the development of a critical understanding of the ignition process and its interaction with the in-cylinder flow. Results will provide quantitative data on ignition processes including the initial flame kernel development, growth and transition to turbulent flame propagation in-cylinder. The results will also provide quantitative data on flow characteristic via high resolution particle image velocimetry (PIV) around the electrode in the optical engine.
Continue studies of combined imaging with high resolution PIV. High speed imaging and analysis shows high variability cycle to cycle of arc stretch and strong correlation of the arc stretch and flame development and burn rates. Areas of study for this year include:
  • Studies to be conducted under higher in-cylinder flows with tumble planks installed in the intake port
  • Studies of alternative geometry plugs
  • Studies of plug orientation and gap
  • Chemiluminescent imaging for combustion signature
Awarded Amount: $115,000

Ongoing Projects

Sensor Evaluation and Fusion for Closed Loop Combustion Control (CLCC) for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
This is continues work from the Ford DOE Program1 on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," and from work completed in 2014-2016 under Ford departmental budget working on Closed Loop Combustion Control (CLCC). As a separate activity a URP is underway working on metrics for combustion control, air-charge estimation, statistically significant combustion control decisions.Work focuses on a Ford 2.0L engine platform with integrated control via strategies connected through the Ford PCM to a Delphi Combustion Pressure Development Controller (CPDC).
 
Objective
Develop and employ closed loop combustion control (CLLC) via in-cylinder sensors with closed loop control for individual cylinder fuel, spark, and overall engine dilution on engine dynamometer with study of steady-state and transient performance. Additionally other sensors including exhaust pressure, integrated and standalone ion sensing will be added to the instrumentation and evaluated with respect to providing information for CLCC.
Awarded Amount: $165,000

Development of Advanced Model for Pre-Ignition Prediction in Gas Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Youngchul Ra
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $275,000

Advanced Engine Technologies for Light Duty Vehicles Consortium

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advanced Engine Technologies for Light Duty Vehicles Consortium
 
This year, the consortium research is focused on:
 
  • Advanced boosted engine cycle.
  • Assessment of instrumentation used for combustion analysis.
  • Advanced ignition studies.
  • How gases move around in the cylinder in high-flow ignition systems.
  • Developing best practices for cylinder pressure data analysis.
 Next year, the consortium will choose a new group of industry-proposed projects based on needs of the members at that time
Awarded Amount: $386,400

High BMEP and High Efficiency Micro-Pilot Ignition Natural Gas Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $137,905

High Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP) and High Efficiency Micro-Pilot Ignition Natural Gas Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this project is to develop the combustion system for a low-cost, low diesel contribution, high brake mean effective pressure (BMEP), high-efficiency premixed charge medium/heavy duty (MHD) natural gas engine and demonstrate the technology on an engine with peak thermal efficiency of up to 44%, diesel pilot contribution of 1-5%, and BMEP up to 25 bar. Emissions will be compliant with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for heavy-duty (HD) on-road engines by using a three-way catalyst.

SCOPE OF WORK:
This project will evaluate and develop solutions to the barriers to micro-pilot combustion in a stoichiometric natural gas engine. A combination of combustion vessel (CV) testing and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation will evaluate fundamental limitations and develop solutions. The results will then be applied to a multi-cylinder engine test bed, where the combustion system will be developed and emissions and efficiency demonstrated.
The project will be conducted in 3 budget periods:
Budget Period 1: Fundamental study of micro-pilot NG ignition
In BP 1, prior art on micro-pilot natural gas (NG) ignition will be investigated, CV will be set up and used to conduct some preliminary study on micro-pilot NG ignition, combustions models will be validated using existing data, and engine baseline will be established.
 Budget Period 2: Development of micro-pilot NG combustion
In BP2, more CV testing will be conducted to further develop the micro-pilot NG ignition concept.
Engine testing will then be carried out using the promising design and operating conditions determined by the CV and CFD simulation.
Budget Period 3: Optimization of micro-pilot NG engine
In BP3, micro-pilot NG engine concept will be further optimized on the engine with the help of both CV testing and CFD simulation. Based on that, design specifications will be provided and the readiness of the technology for commercialization will be assessed.
Awarded Amount: $1,229,000
Keywords: Stoichiometric Natural Gas Engine Combustion Vessel Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Evaporation Sub-Model Development for Volume of Fluid (eVOF) Method Applicable to Spray-Wall Interaction Including Film Characteristics with Validation at High Pressure- Temperature Conditions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-PI: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
BACKGROUND OF PROJECT PARTNERS
A multi-institutional team has been established including Michigan Technological University (MTU), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD), and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). The team has diverse capabilities in high-pressure diesel and gasoline sprays in applications to advanced engine combustion systems, CFD of spray dynamics with transient two-phase fluid, and turbulent-combustion interaction simulation under engine conditions.
PROJECT GOALS
The goal of this work is to develop and validate an advanced spray-wall interaction and associated film formation and vaporization modeling approach via application of a VOF method with an integrated evaporation sub-model (eVOF). With the inclusion of a vaporization sub-model for the film and the results of the DNS analysis of spray-wall impingement, accurate predictive simulations of sprays and their impingement can be eventually performed without need of extensive parameter tuning. This research will also develop sub-models for droplet formation characteristics post-wall impingement via details DNS and LES models which are supported by accurate experimentation. Targeted experimentation of the spray-wall interactions and liquid wall film under conditions matching the thermodynamic charge state and surface temperatures to those of engines will be performed to support development and validation of the spray-wall interaction models.
IMPACT
The unique and innovative approach of this concept is the development of an increasingly physics-based improved accuracy CFD modeling approach with fewer parameter-tuning requirements for predicting spray-wall interactions including wall-film characteristics. It is anticipated these new sub-models will yield considerably higher accuracy and predictive capability than those employed in current CFD codes. This technology has the potential for significant near term impact via the understanding of the high-density ratio vaporizing processes occurring in spray wall wetting and following combustion. Technical risks and issues are in the ability to extend a VOF model to evaporating conditions with impinging wall-jet interaction under high ambient pressure conditions.
Awarded Amount: $655,159

Development of Advanced Modeling Tools for Diesel Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Youngchul Ra
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $188,515

Thermal Modeling of a Prototype Hybrid Electric Military HMMWV

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $5,118

MTU Consortium in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Research

Investigators
Principal Investigator: John Johnson
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Gordon Parker
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

MTU Consortium in Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Research

Starting from a well-established research program and as a result of a Dept. of Energy 3 year project, we have significantly enhanced our laboratory, experimental methods and procedures, and modeling/estimator capability.  The faculty and students have produced thirteen publications from this research.

Consortium Goal:

The underling goal of the consortium is to develop and conduct precompetitive research on advanced aftertreatment systems through experimental engine methods, development and calibration of high fidelity models, and development and application of estimators and controllers. Achieving this goal will provide an improved understanding of the systems under dynamic and low temperature conditions characteristic of advanced medium and heavy duty diesel engines allowing the consortium members to apply this knowledge and models to improve system performance, reduce cost, and develop new approaches to diagnostics and increase robustness of their on-board-diagnostics.

Research Activities:

The existing facilities and an extensive model base will be used as developed in previous research including the current DOE program. This includes temperature controlled exhaust, positive torque drive cycles, and validated component models and estimators. Additionally we will add real-time functionality to perform aftertreatment estimation and control in the engine test cell.

The consortium research themes integrate fundamental and applied aspects of (1) Experimental Engine Studies (2) Modeling and Simulation and (3) Estimation, Control, and diagnostics. The proposed research is split into three major themes (I) Experimental, (II) Modeling, and (III) Estimation and Controls with a number of outcomes from the composite research program.

Areas of study will be determined based upon proposed research by MTU with input from the Partners to direct the research.

Based upon input from our partners and continuing some efforts from the DOE program, the following have been identified as key areas from which yearly research topics will be selected.

  • Experimentally validated reduced order models and state estimation algorithms of aftertreatment components which are accurate for low temperature and dynamic operation.
  • Quantify particulate matter (PM) maldistribution, loading, and NO2/PM ratio effects on passive and active regeneration, bio-fuel blends, and aging for catalyzed particulate filters (CPFs).
  • Increased knowledge of ammonia (NH3) storage behavior, optimal NH3 loading, hydrocarbon (HC) poisoning, and aging for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts
  • Understanding effect of sensor type/configuration on state estimation quality.
  • Optimal reductant strategies for SCR operation and CPF regeneration.
  • Integrated response and optimization of engine feedgas and aftertreatment systems
  • Thermal control of the aftertreatment components for light-off, maintaining operational temperature, and regeneration relevant to engine low temperature operation and integration with exhaust energy recovery systems
  • Fundamental studies of DEF introduction and functional responses – hydrolysis and pyrolysis
  • Diagnostic concept development: Based upon existing virtual sensor and estimator work this will be translated into system and component diagnostics
  • Sensor displacement by applying estimators and virtual sensors. For example, determining whether a NH3 sensor is needed if an accurate SCR NH3 storage model is available.
  • Improved DPF PM estimation and measurement. Although systems are going to increase passive oxidation with engines moving to higher NOX and lower PM, this is still an important research area to improve methods to accurately estimate CPF loading.
  • Alternative and integrated aftertreatment technologies such as integrated SCR with PM filtration. Many fundamental questions remain about this technology including architecture of combining functions that still enable high passive PM oxidation and high NOX conversion.
  • PM Sampling and related diagnostic use. Quantifying the effect of sensor location on the ability to detect failures. does it matter where the sensor is and what the type of failure is. e.g.  For example, how does the location of the PM sensor impact the speed of CPF melt down detection and can this speed of detection be optimized?
Awarded Amount: $1,218,935

Past Projects

Evaluation of Additive Manufactured Part Integrity

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary
The goal of this program is to gain insight into what methods can be used to evaluate the structural integrity of additive manufactured parts. The parts, provided by the buyer, will be evaluated from a structural dynamics perspective exploring the concepts of different excitation and methods to measure the part response to allow the calculation of Frequency Response Functions and estimates of natural frequency, damping, and possibly mode shapes. The project is to provide proof of concept.
Awarded Amount: $30,000

Performance and Emissions Evaluation of a Yamaha Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary:
This project studies the impact of reduced intake air temperature on the performance and emissions of a, single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke Yamaha engine. The objective is to minimize emissions while maintaining power and acceptable throttle response. The engine is operated with a round-slide (VM) and a constant-velocity (CV) carburetor, with intake air temperatures of 20°C, 0°C and -10°C. VM carburetor tuning components include the pilot jet (PJ), needle position (NP}, and main jet {MJ). CV carburetor tuning components include the pilot jet (PJ), needle position (NP), main jet (MJ), vacuum spring (VS}.
 
The first performance parameter to be evaluated is peak power and is assessed by performing a wideopen throttle engine speed sweep. The second performance parameter is brake specific fuel consumption (g/kW-hr) and is evaluated by performing a steady-state, EPA, 5-mode test. The third performance parameter is throttle response and is evaluated by rapidly applying the throttle and incrementally applying more load to the engine, from the dynamometer, as the engine speed increases. Emissions are acquired during the EPA, 5-mode emissions test cycle. Exhaust emissions include CO, CO,HC, and O, for each of the five modes. Relative air/fuel ratio (lambda} at each mode is computed from emissions as well as measured using a wide-band oxygen sensor.
 
An existing test stand will be utilized for this project, which contains a high-speed, air-cooled, low inertia(0.01 kg-m2) eddy current dynamometer. The dynamometer is connected to the engine via a Love-joy coupler. Emissions are measured using an AVL SESAM emissions bench with a Fourier Transform  InfraRed (FTIR) spectrometer and conventional flame ionization detector (FID) for total hydrocarbons. The reduced intake air temperature is provided by a modified semi-trailer refrigerated unit. The refrigerated air is ducted directly to the intake of the engine, but is properly vented such that it does not produce a positive pressure in the intake manifold. The test cell ambient conditions may vary between 20-30°C during the tests. Test fuel will be sourced from a single gas station as E10 with a pump octane number of 87 (R+M/2).
 
To evaluate the impact of reduced inlet air temperature and corresponding changes to jetting, the following tests will be performed, as outlined in Table 1 for 20°C inlet temperature and the VM carburetor. The matrix would be repeated for 0°C and -10°C for the VM carburetor. A similar test matrix for the CV carburetor would also be followed.
Awarded Amount: $9,935

Fixture Design and Damage Potential

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator: Charles Van Karsen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary:
The goal of this program is to gain insight into what variables effect the damage potential of a unit under test on a surrogate fixture. The project will use a combination of modeling and testing to attempt to develop insight into a testing approach which generates a given damage potential at the unit under test.
 
This project will explore how to model and test the surrogate fixture dynamics. Analytical and experimental studies will be performed to understand the critical parameters in modeling and testing the surrogate fixture to understand what variables effect the part under test damage.
  • FEA models of the surrogate fixture will be created.
  • FEA models will be used to explore the critical design factors in understanding the relationship between the energy input location/direction and the damage produced at the unit under test.
  • Modal analysis will be performed on the surrogate fixture and unit under test to validate the FEA models.
  • A shaker test will be performed on the surrogate fixture to explore the effects of input location and drive file shaping on the strains and acceleration measured at the unit under test.
Awarded Amount: $30,900

Delivery of Professional Development Courses in Propulsion Systems

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Darrell Robinette
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
TARDEC has specifically requested delivery of Hands-On short courses in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Instrumentation and Experimentation, and High Voltage Safety.
 
The Mobile Lab, as a whole, consists of a range of facilities and equipment including:
  • A spacious classroom with thermostatically controlled heating and air-conditioning, a whiteboard, and large screen TV's for slides and video's.
  • Two full-functional powertrain test cells; AC Dynamometers, combustion analysis, emissions analysis, measurements of torque, flows, pressures, temperatures, etc., embedded I distributed rapid prototyping powertrain controls systems, and automated testing capability.
  • Fleet of instrumented test vehicles consisting of conventional powertrains, mild hybrids, strong hybrids, range extenders, and full electric vehicles.
  • Transport truck with capacity for 8 vehicles. The truck is also used to elevate vehicles for certain coursework activities requiring underbody access.
  • Wide array of cutaway engines and transmissions, and various components used for teaching aids.
 All standard courses are 2.5 days in duration and are suitable for Engineers, Managers, and
Technicians. As with any course, smaller class sizes are always better, but the Mobile Lab can comfortably accommodate group sizes as large as 16 participants with overflow potential to 20 if needed.
 
There are several advantages of professional development training offered through the Michigan
Tech Mobile Lab as compared to other available options:
  • The Mobile Lab is entirely self-supportive and is setup at the client's location, thus course participants do not need to travel to training, and remain on-site should a job related emergency arise.
  • All courses are delivered by professional educators with research and development expertise in their field.
  • All courses include both direct learning through slides and whiteboard combined with fully integrated hands-on experiments. It has been consistently proven, that experiential learning such as this significantly enhances the participant's comprehension and retention the subject matter.
  • As a University we can offer college credit for each course. This can be beneficial to employees pursuing an advanced degree.
Awarded Amount: 115,000

Investigations of Turbulent Energy's Device for Fuel Mixing and Homogenization on a Single Cylinder-Spark Ignition Test

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Summary
An experimental study investigating the engine performance utilizing Turbulent Energy's fuel mixing-homogenization device in a spark-ignition engine. It was determined the best platform for initiation of these tests is a single-cylinder spark-ignition engine Michigan Tech has setup and running for injector, ignition, fuel, and combustion studies. The following outlines the engine and the statement of work and estimated budget to perform this investigation.
Single Cylinder Test Engine (SCTE)
The engine selected for testing Turbulent Energy's fuel mixing-homogenization device is a single cylinder engine that is fully instrumented with custom controls to enable a wide range of studies. The engine is based upon GM's Ecotec2 engine family which is a direct-injection homogenous charge engine.
The objective of this project is to provide a direct comparison of engine performance utilizing Turbulent Energy's FAD fuel mixing-homogenization device and the Vortex Generator. This includes both gasoline and gasoline water testing under gasoline direct injection (GDI) and port fuel injection (PFI).
Awarded Amount: $29,750

Engine Heat Transfer Analysis

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
Increased demand to improve vehicle fuel economy and reduce engine emissions requires the development of accurate simulations to speed new product development. Experimental data is required to validate complex models to ensure the solutions are correct. One particular area of focus in internal combustion engines is the in-cylinder heat transfer process. Significant interest exists to better understand how heat transfer is affected by parameters such as fuel injection timing, the ratio of air and fuel in the cylinder, the amount of residual gas in the cylinder, and even the coolant temperature.
 
Project Work Plan:
Raw data files include: temperature and heat flux data from the piston, cylinder head, and liner (block) as well as cylinder pressure data from a four-cylinder, spark-ignited engine. The engine was operated at various speed/load points, with varying fuel injection and valve timing.
The post-processing includes writing software code to plot the raw signals, as well as correlate the temperature and heat flux with in-cylinder pressure measurements. Tasks include implementing proper signal filtering, time alignment, addressing drop-outs in the data, noise, and selecting appropriate material properties. A detailed explanation of transient versus steady-state heat flux is required, to understand the value added from each component. Overall trends in the data, as they relate to the operating conditions of the engine.
 
Deliverables:
The primary deliverable is the increased understanding of the complex heat transfer processes inside an internal combustion engine, to further improve the accuracy of complex simulations. This will be accomplished via weekly conference calls to discuss the observed trends in the processed data. All software code developed for this project will be offered to the sponsor.
Awarded Amount: $7,500

Engine Dynamometer System Build for 1kW Generator Engine Application

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
This work will result in a turn-key small engine (<3 kW) test system at MAHLE Powertrain LLC. to support development of a 1kW SI engine. With input on system requirements and constraints from Mahle Powertrain, APS LABS Staff will design, integrate, and fabricate the test system.
Proof of concept testing will be conducted with a commercially available SI Engine. APS LABS
Staff will deliver the test system to Mahle, and remain on-site for commissioning. A co-op student from Mahle will participate in the design review and final installation on site at Michigan Tech APS labs facilities.
 
Objective: To build and assemble test cell components on a bedplate for MAHLE Powertrain LLC. Complexity of test cell component installation dependent on MAHLE Powertrain LLC.'s request and timeframe.
Tasks and Tests: Tasks are broken up by activities to be performed.
  1. Identify and purchase components for test cell.
  2. Assemble, machine, and install components to bed plate.
  3. Prove system functionality using an off the shelf gasoline engine.
  4. Shipping of entire bedplate, dynamometer, and engine system.
  5. Support the integration of the bed plate dynamometer system at MAHLE Powertrain LLC.'s desired location.
Awarded Amount: $24,500

Analysis, Implementation, and Evaluation of Stochastic Knock

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
In this work MTU will analyze data from HRA on a single cylinder engine for implementation of the Stochastic Knock detection and control. MTU will work with HRA and Mahle Powertrain to integrate the detection and control into their ECU's for evaluation and test on dyno.
 
Statement of Work:
Objective: Characterized combustion knock using stochastic methods and assist HRA and Mahle Powertrain on the implementation of stochastic knock detection and steady-state control for testing on dynamometer of an HRA engine.
 
The specific tasks are as follows:
  1. Preliminary pressure data for setup of analysis is to be provided by HRA.
  2. Full data set data is to be provided by HRA over a range of speeds at full load and knock levels. A minimum of 300 cycles per test point is recommended. Data should including pressure based knock intensity and knock peak-to-peak on a cycle-by-cycle basis at fixed ignition-timings.
  3. Analyze single cylinder engine data provided by HRA. Data to include continuous cycle data of knock intensity and knock peak-to-peak. Data should be provided at fixed ignition timing with increments around the knock level for targeted control. Data will be analyzed to determine stochastic knock characteristics and applicability to use a lognormal distribution as its pdf. If the data is found not to follow characteristics of a lognormal distribution, other distributions will be explored but this will impact timing and associated detection and control
  4. Based up characteristics of the knock and knock pdf's, the feedback metric and set points for control will be determined.
Awarded Amount: $31,929
Keywords: Combustion Knock Stochastic

Delivery of Hands-On Professional Development Courses

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $37,000

Natural Gas Research with Argonne National Laboratory

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
The scope of research to be performed by a graduate student to be conducted over the time period from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017 in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory. The research is intended to support ongoing research programs in the areas of alternative fuels and advanced ignition systems for automotive spark ignition engines.
 
Scope of Work:
The experimental research is to be conducted on a single cylinder research engine operated at the Fuels,
Engine and Aftertreatment Research Section at Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Transportation
Research. The graduate student will support planning, execution and analysis of the three project tasks:
 
Task 1 - Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (OPTIMA)
The OPTIMA effort aims at reducing per-vehicle petroleum consumption by introducing advanced low carbon fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time advancing engine technology to perform optimally on the advanced fuels. A range of fuel blends covering laminar burning velocities and evaporation behavior of likely OPTIMA fuel candidates will be tested on a state-of-the-art research engine. The objective of the experimental activities is to quantify the impact of fuel properties on dilution tolerance of spark ignition engines.
 
Task 2 - Efficiency-Optimized Dual Fuel Engine with In-Cylinder Gasoline/CNG Blending
The goal of the research is to improve engine efficiency over the baseline gasoline and natural gas operation by blending both fuels, as well as provide a 50% reduction in petroleum consumption. While natural gas has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traditional methods of injecting natural gas has shown to reduce engine performance. Improvements in natural gas operation are to be achieved through the use of direct injection (DI) hardware. The experimental work to be performed will be focused on demonstrating efficiency and performance benefits of an advanced engine configuration and improved operating strategies.
 
Task 3 - High Efficiency GD/ Engine Research with Emphasis on Ignition Systems
The goal of this research is to maximize the efficiency of an automotive gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine by improving the dilution tolerance through the use of advanced ignition systems. Dilution will be achieved by either exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or lean combustion. The potential benefits of a corona ignition, non-thermal transient plasma, and kinetic spark ignition system will be explored. Endoscopic visualization techniques will also be used to determine the interaction of the advanced ignition system with added dilution.
Awarded Amount: $108,932
Keywords: Alternative Fuels Ignition Systems SI Engines

Investigation of Ignition Performance of Hitachi Coils for PFI Natural Gas Fueled Engine on a Single Cylinder, Boosted, Spark-Ignition Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Confidential

Awarded Amount: $42,500

Tailorable Resonant Plate Testing

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator: Charles Van Karsen
Co-Investigator: James DeClerck
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
The goal of this program is to gain insight into tunable resonant plate testing procedures. The project will use a combination of modeling and testing to attempt to develop insight which reduces test time and expands the range of possible testing. The following is a breakdown of the tasks:
 
Statement of Work:
Research will explore how to model the resonant plate and fixture dynamics. Analytical and experimental studies will be performed to understand the critical parameters in more accurately controlling and understanding the design of the resonant plate and fixture to extend its range of testing.
  • FEA models of the resonant plate and fixture will be created.
  • FEA models will be used to understand how each parameter of the test system effects the shock response spectrum.
  • Identify potential limits for the shock response spectrums which can be reproduced within the framework of the resonant plate test system.
  • Propose design approaches and tailoring strategies which will enable the resonant plate test system to deliver a specified shock response spectrum (within the capability limits of the resonant plate test system framework).
  • Mechanisms to add damping to the resonant plate will be explored both analytically and experimentally as a potential tailoring strategy.
 
Deliverable(s): All FEA models and test data will be provided. A report will be written which summarizes the analytical and experimental modeling and testing as well as any damping mechanisms/devices which were evaluated and their effectiveness.
Awarded Amount: $204,000
Keywords: FEA Modeling Resonant Plate

Ignition System Characterization for Chrysler

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jaclyn Johnson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description and Research Objectives:
Michigan Technological University (MTU) will investigate and characterize Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) supplied ignition systems to provide ignition characteristics and data for FCA model validation under various ambient conditions. Tests will be conducted in Michigan Tech’s optically accessible Combustion Vessel (CV) research facility. The ambient conditions that will be varied include Air-Fuel Ratio (AFR), charge velocity, and pressure at ignition. Limited testing will also occur to evaluate the impacts of spark plug orientation. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) will be conducted in the CV, without the presence of an igniter, to quantify charge velocity. A total of three ignition systems will be tested. Ignition system calibration settings will be defined by FCA. All testing will be conducted with propane fuel. Results will include high speed Schlieren imaging to quantify flame kernel development and flame propagation. Results will also include ignition system measurement of primary and secondary current and voltage ignition System Characterization for Chrysler
Awarded Amount: $90,606
Keywords: Ignition Characteristics Combustion Vessel

Testing of a NG CHP System for Leidos Engineering

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
The Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APS LABS) of Michigan Technological University (MTU) will conduct for Leidos Engineering on a natural gas (NG) combined heat and power (CHP) generator set to determine the destruction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the engine combustion process. The testing will be conducted on a lean burn NG engine setup at Michigan Tech's Advanced Power
Systems Research Center Building.
 
Objective: Determine destruction of seven VOC's via combustion in a NG lean burn spark-ignition generator - combined heat and power (CHP) system.
Tasks: Project tasks to be completed by Michigan Tech in this program are as follows:
  1. Setup VOC injection system
  2. Setup emission bench
  3. Setup generator system
  4. Conduct testing
  5. Report results
Awarded Amount: $107,380
Keywords: Combustion

The Impact of Fuel Properties on Ignition Delay in a Compression Ignition Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description
The focus of this project is to experimentally investigate the impact of various fuel constituents on the performance of a Compression Ignition diesel engine under high load operation. The test bed for this project will be a turbo charged 4-cylinder diesel engine made by Volkswagen.
 
Measurements to be made include, but are not limited to:
  • Mass flow rate of fuel
  • Mass flow rate of air
  • Brake Torque
  • Engine Speed
  • Various Temperatures (Intake Air, Fuel, Oil, Exhaust, etc.)
  • Various Pressures {Intake Manifold, Exhaust, Oil, etc.)
  • Cylinder Pressure and Crank Shaft Position
  • Fuel Pressure
  • Exhaust Filter Smoke Number (FSN)
 
Calculated parameters include but are not limited to:
  • Power (Brake, Indicated, & Net)
  • Specific Fuel Consumption (Brake, Indicated, & Net)
  • Thermal Efficiency (Brake, Indicated, & Net)
  • Volumetric Efficiency (Barometric Reference, Manifold Reference)
  • Start of Injection & Injection Duration
  • Cylinder Pressure @ Start of Injection
  • Cylinder Temperature @ Start of Injection
  • Ignition Delay
  • Crank Angle at Mass Fraction Burned (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 90%)
  • Early and Bulk Burn Duration
  • Exhaust PM concentration (mg/m3)
 
The test matrix will consist of a low speed and a high speed test point. At each speed the start of injection will be 0° BTDC (to achieve injection into the maximum temperature and pressure environment), and approximately 20° BTDC. The engine will be operated under high load at each condition. Maximum load will be determined by increasing injection duration until the response between injection duration and brake output has noticeably decreased.
 
Baseline testing will take place on any fuel of VP's choosing. The mass flow rate of fuel will be recorded for the baseline fuel, and will be maintained constant for all fuels to be testing. VP will supply the fuel blends. Data will be compiled, post processed and reduced as swiftly as possible. Results will be reviewed with VP Racing Fuels, and collectively the group will arrive at conclusions and determine what to change for the next test fuel blend. The intent is for VP Racing Fuels to be present at Michigan
Tech for several days, participate in the testing, data review, and fuel blending process.
Awarded Amount: $10,604
Keywords: Fuel Ignition Compression Ignition Engine

Closed Loop Combustion Control for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Continues work from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," and from work completed in 2014 and 2015 under Ford departmental budget working on Closed loop Combustion Control (CLCC). As a separate activity a URP is underway working on metrics for combustion control, air-charge estimation, statistically significant combustion control decisions.
 
Work focuses on a Ford 2.0l engine platform with integrated control via strategies connected through the Ford PCM to a Delphi Combustion Pressure Development Controller (CPDC).
Engine and Instrumentation
Objective: Develop and employ closed loop combustion control via in-cylinder sensors with closed loop control for individual cylinder fuel, spark, and overall engine dilution on engine dynamometer with study of steady-state and transient performance. The work will be performed on a Ford 2.0 VCT EcoBoost engine.

 

Awarded Amount: $89,317
Keywords: Combustion Control

Continuation of Engine Ignition Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
A continuation of research that Michigan Technological University (MTU) is conducting in conjunction with the Ford research team.
This continues work from the Ford funded work through 2014 - 2015 focused on ignition with three components: (1) metal engine, (2) optical engine and (3) combustion laboratory. It also follows on from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development'. The continuation of the ignition research areas (Tasks 1 & 2) with studies on an existing 2.0l. Ford Metal Engine and a Single Cylinder Mahle Optical engine. The project period is from December 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016
The work enables the development of a critical understanding of the ignition process and its interaction with the in-cylinder flow. Results will provide quantitative data on ignition processes including the initial flame kernel development, growth and transition to turbulent flame propagation in-cylinder. The results will also provide quantitative data on flow characteristic via high resolution particle image velocimetry (PIV) around the electrode in the optical engine.
In the past year (2015) efforts have focused on developing an understanding of ignition of single and dual coil discharges based upon optical engine studies using high speed imaging and correlating parameters quantified from the visualization with electrical discharge characteristic measured on the secondary of the coil, and combustion as quantified from mass fraction bum characteristics as measured from the cylinder pressure.
There are three phases - components of the work plan (i) optical engine, (ii) metal engine and (iii) anemometry bench studies proposed.
i) Optical Engine
Continue studies of combined imaging with high resolution PIV. High speed and analysis shows high variability cycle to cycle of arc stretch and strong correlation of the arc stretch and flame development and burn rates. Areas of study for this year include:
• Studies to be conducted under higher in-cylinder flows with tumble planks installed in the intake port
• Studies of alternative geometry plugs
• Studies of plug orientation and gap
• Chemiluminescent imaging for combustion signature
ii) Metal-Engine
• Subsets of studies matching conditions from the optical engine
• Discharge quenching and effectiveness of discharge energy and duration
iii) Spark Anemometry Bench
• Supplemental test plans
• Studies with alternative geometry spark plugs including rotation, tilt and flow velocity
Awarded Amount: $115,000
Keywords: Ignition, In-cylinder Flow, Flame Kernel, Optical Engine Studies

Delivery of Hands-On Professional Development Courses in Diesel Engine Systems

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
The short courses are specifically designed in response to requests from the Powertrain HEXOA group. The Mobile Lab delivered two courses to the Powertrain HEXOA group in the fall of 2014. Those courses were "Fundamentals of Diesel Engines" and "Instrumentation Systems". The courses proposed in this document are "Diesel Engine Calibration", and "Turbocharging Diesel Engines".
 
Michigan Tech's "Digital Signal Processing" or "Using Labview" would complement 2014's offering of "Instrumentation Systems". Additionally other advanced diesel engine courses such as "Diesel Engine Fuel Systems" and "Diesel Engine Combustion" would complement the 2014 offering of "Fundamentals of Diesel Engines". Furthermore, there may be benefit in offering the same "Fundamentals of Diesel Engines", or "Instrumentation Systems" that were offered in 2014. These courses could be of benefit to any new employees in the HEXOA group that were not able to take these courses in 2014, or could be of value to other groups outside of HEXOA. These course options will not be discussed in detail here, however, additional detail can be provided on request.
 
Participants in the Diesel Engine Calibration course (detailed schedule shown above) gain an understanding of the challenges associated with calibrating a modern diesel engine, as well as the processes and tools used to develop a completed calibration. Additional outcomes are summarized below:
  • In day One 2 participants will gain an appreciation for the motivation behind engine calibration, and the requirements the calibration must meet, and start to examine the major elements of an engine control system. A hands on experiment reinforces these topics, and prepares participants for forthcoming experiments.
  • In day Two the course digs deeper into calibration processes, and breaks down common misconceptions about the relationship between calibrations, algorithms, and software.
During hands-on activities, participants will develop passive calibrations for a fuel injector and a multivariate torque model calibration on a diesel engine.
  • In day Three participants will continue to enhance their calibration understanding by developing active calibrations optimizing engine parameters for injection timing and EGR rate. Participants will become familiar with calibration verification, certification, and trends in calibration.
 Participants in the Turbocharging Diesel Engines course (detailed schedule shown below} will develop a thorough understanding of turbocharger systems, including operational characteristics, as well as details associated with the design and selection of turbocharger systems for specific diesel engine applications. Additional outcomes are summarized below:
  • In day One 3 the course will build an appreciation for the benefits and needs for turbocharging through examinations of key engine performance metrics and exercises in selecting an engine for a specific application.
  • In day Two the engine gas exchange process and engine airflow characteristics are reviewed, with specific emphasis on the turbochargers impact. The specifics of turbomachinery are examined, including the thermodynamics associated with energy extraction and gas compression.
  • Day Three focuses on issues arising from application of turbocharger systems including material and fatigue issues, altitude issues, and transient issues.
 
Course content for both the Calibration of Diesel Engines course, and the Turbocharging Diesel Engines course has been customized to meet the needs of the HEXOA group specifically. The instructional team is committed to ensuring that course lecture materials, activities, discussions, and experiments are well scoped toward the particular target audience.
Awarded Amount: $84,858

Injector Evaluation and Validation on a Single Cylinder DI SI Engine with Combustion Analysis, Exhaust Gaseous and PN Emissions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description
This work continues activities from the previous sessions with testing, analysis, and evaluation of novel injectors for application to direct-injection (DI) spark-ignition (SI) engines. The primary work is to be conducted in the MEEM SB013 engine labs on the single cylinder Hydra engine. This work covers the evaluation and validation testing of a Nostrum impinging injectors and PFI injectors in comparison to a production injector on the direct injection single cylinder Hydra SI engine. Work will cover nominal flow injectors and high flow injectors for aftermarket needs. It also covers supplemental testing and analysis needs through this period.
 
Objective:
Quantify the performance in comparison to the production Bosch injector of sets of
Nostrum provided impinging injectors. This will provide evaluation and validation of the injector performance for ranking of nozzle geometry based upon engine performance and emissions. Modifications to the engine setup will be made to improve correlation to the Cadillac engine I vehicle studies. Resources includes one graduate student, staff, engine, combustion, and gaseous and PN/PM emissions.
Awarded Amount: $187,711
Keywords: Combustion Analysis Injector Exhaust Gaseous Emissions

Engine Dynamometer Studies and Analysis of Nostrum Cycle and Injectors on Cummins 6.7 ISB Diesel Engine with Facilities for Nostrum On-Site Engineering Team

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Description:
This work is to test, analyze, and evaluate the Nostrum converted Cummins 260 hp 6.7l ISB diesel engine in the MTU 465 hp AC dyno test cell at the APSRC in several stages and configurations. In addition this contract provides APSRC building utilization to office, conference room, and research areas in the APSRC building as outline below for the Nostrum onsite engineering team.
 
Awarded Amount: $129,215

Investigations of Fuel Injection Systems – Fundamental Nozzle Cavitation Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Youngchul Ra
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview:
Cavitation is a fluid-dynamic phenomenon that occurs when liquid-free regions (bubbles or cavities) are formed due to abrupt mechanical changes in flow configuration or direction. The current typical common-rail fuel injection systems for direct injection diesel engines, the flow from the injector has to turn sharply from the needle seat area when it enters into the nozzle discharge holes. The static pressure of the liquid at the entrance of the holes falls below its vapor pressure and cavitation is initiated. The occurrence of cavitation significantly affects spray formation and the discharge coefficient of the nozzle is mainly dependent on the cavitation number, which is a non-dimensional parameter indicating the expected cavitation intensity.
 
As fueling rate increases, the nozzle flows experience four different characteristic flow regimes,
i.e., turbulent flow, beginning of cavitation, growth of cavitation, and hydraulic flip. Beyond a threshold flow rate, the flow becomes turbulent. With increased flow rate, cavitation begins and bubbles are generated at the orifice entrance, then the cavitating bubbles grow along the nozzle orifice wall. At further increased flow rate, the bubbles reach the nozzle exit without attachment to the orifice wall, which is called hydraulic flip.
 
Subsequent atomization of the exiting jet is significantly affected by the cavitation intensity, thus the cavitation-induced atomization is regarded as one of the major liquid jet disintegration modes. The droplet distribution of injected sprays dominantly influences the fuel vapor distribution in the cylinder, and thus the combustion behavior of the engine. For this reason, in order to achieve enhancement of performance of diesel engines it is critical to obtain fundamental understanding the cavitation in nozzle flow and it has been an issue of much interest for decades and substantial effort has been made to investigate it both experimentally and theoretically.
 
In this project, we propose a work to experimentally investigate the cavitation behavior of nozzle flow under typical diesel injection conditions pertinent to Cummins diesel engines. The obtained results are expected not only to help better understanding of the cavitating flow, but also to help guide the development of relevant computer models. In this work MTU will create seated optical nozzles to be attached to a heavy duty injector. Nozzles will be intended to run at typical injection pressures. The HD Injectors with optical nozzles will be studied in the MTU optical spray and combustion chamber using high speed micro-photograph.
 
Awarded Amount: $96,806
Keywords: Cavitation Injection Systems Optical Spray Combustion Vessel

Development of Dynamic Torsional Measurement Capability using Hybrid Electric Motor – Year 1

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator: Wayne Weaver
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Project Abstract and Research Summary
As the role of the torque converter in the vehicle has changed with the increasing need for better fuel efficiency it has become important to better understand the torsional isolation properties of the torque converter. The torsional isolation performance is accomplished by the fluid coupling portion of the torque converter at low speeds, and by the torque converter clutch assembly once the converter clutch is applied. Recent changes in the operational profile of the torque converter to improve fuel efficiency require that the clutch be applied at lower and lower vehicle speeds. In addition, the use of reduced displacement engines and engine cylinder deactivation results in greater engine torsional excitations at lower engine firing frequencies, demanding increased isolation capability from the torque converter. Due to these changes in operation, as well as the increased torque carrying capacity of the clutch assembly, there is an important need to be able to study the response of the torque converter and clutch assembly to torsional inputs which are representative of the torsional excitation provided by an engine.
 
This project seeks to develop the necessary test stand to perform these required torsional isolation studies. The hardware will be developed from a hybrid electric drive motor. This project aims to use this motor to develop a torsional dynamometer that can be used to input a torsional excitation to a torque converter that has frequency content similar to an operating internal combustion engine.Once the dynamometer is functional it will be used to study the isolation performance of torque converter clutch and isolator assemblies, with specific emphasis on the turbochargers impact. The specifics of turbomachinery are examined, including the thermodynamics associated with energy extraction and gas compression.
Awarded Amount: $94845

John Deere: Bosch G4 CR Injector Spray Characterization

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
Investigate and characterize four Bosch injectors including the effect of nozzle configuration on spray, ignition and combustion characteristics under a set of conditions with charge gas and injection pressure variants.
Overview:
Tests will be conducted in Michigan Tech's optically accessible combustion vessel (CV) research facility. Existing hardware in the facility will be used; including a high pressure diesel fuel system capable of pressures to 400 MPa, high speed imaging for liquid, vapor and combustion, and custom solenoid/piezo drivers which are tunable to the desired wave-form via John Deere. A fixture will be designed and fabricated to interface the injector into the combustion vessel. This injector fixture will include a heating-cooling system to control the injector temperature independent of the charge gas conditions and chamber wall temperature.
Charge gas conditions refer to the conditions in the combustion chamber at the time of injection. Charge gas conditions including temperature, pressure, density and composition will be matched to a wide range of engine conditions.
Awarded Amount: $86,343

Development of a High BMEP SI Engine and Determination of Combustion Knock Mitigation via Water Injection

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
The objective of this project is to develop a spark-ignited (SI), boosted engine test bed capable of producing a peak load of 50 bar BMEP. With an SI engine these high loads will only be attainable with advanced combustion strategies such as water injection. As such, a test bed will be used for studies in the proof of concept, development, and demonstration of Nostrum Energy technologies including water injection strategies and advanced fuel injectors. Results and knowledge obtained will directly support OEM and aftermarket business opportunities.
The 50 bar BMEP target is extremely aggressive but obtainable with the correct hardware and technology Integration. It is believed that such an aggressive goal will surely secure the attention of OEM and the aftermarket as this level of BMEP is simply unachievable without successful Implementation of advanced technologies.
Awarded Amount: $189,014

Injector Evaluation and Characterization on Mahle Optical Single Cylinder DI SI Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This study will investigate a Bosch HDEV injector and three Nostrum impinging injectors in the direct-injection (DJ), spark-ignition (SI) Mahle single-cylinder optical engine
Statement of Work
Objective: Investigate and compare the spray characteristics of the Bosch injector to three different Nostrum provided impinging injectors utilizing high speed imaging in the optical engine. Studies will be carried out under fired and non-fired conditions with E10 PON 87 gasoline. Additional tests will be done to study water direct-injection unfueled.
Awarded Amount: $63,477

Fixtures for Light Duty and Heavy Duty Injectors and Integration, Drive Setup, and Validation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
Design and fabrication of fixtures for light duty and heavy duty injectors. Each injector requires two fixtures, one for the Combustion Vesseland the second for the Rate of Injection measurement. It also includes engineering for integration, drive setup and validation.
 
Overview:
Tests will be conducted in Michigan Tech's optically accessible combustion vessel (CV) research facility.Existing hardware in the facility will be used; including a fuel system, high speed imaging for liquid, vapor and combustion, and custom solenoid/piezo drivers which are tunable to the desired wave-form(s).
Awarded Amount: $38,000

Interactive Demonstration of Automotive HVAC Manikin System Coupled with Radtherm

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Proposed tasks
The Mobile lab facilities are used as a hands-on, interactive mobile lab for both Thermetrics and TAI. In this mode, the Mobile Lab has proven to be a very effective venue for technical product demonstrations and likewise, a powerful marketing and sales platform.
The instrumented Chevy Volt and its HVAC system will be used as a test bed to demonstrate the capability of the Thermetrics HVAC sensor manikin coupled with RadTherm during a heat up and/or cool down cycle of the interior air temperatures of the vehicle. A volunteer (from either the group of attendees or staff from Thermetrics, TAI, or Michigan Tech) will sit in the vehicle with the Thermetrics provided HVAC manikin. In one potential scenario, the vehicles interior may be very warm due to solar loading for an extended period of time. The volunteer inside the vehicle would then be asked to make themselves comfortable by using the factory HVAC controls in the Volt. For simplicity, it is likely the vehicle would remain static during the experiment, however options with the vehicle moving exist. During the demonstration, data will be acquired both on the HVAC sensor manikin and the Chevy Volts data acquisition system.
Vehicle data will include:
• 10 temperature measurements at locations specified by Thermetrics and TAI
• High Voltage Battery current, voltage, and State of Charge
• Engine parameters including speed and load2
After the demonstration, the acquired data will be transferred from the automotive HVAC sensor manikin and fed into RadTherm software. RadTherm software is conveniently located at each of the four lab benches inside the Mobile lab. RadTherm will then be used to make a prediction as to what the HVAC manikin is experiencing. The participants will then work in four smaller groups to analyze the RadTherm prediction in parallel with the time aligned temperature and other vehicle data. Mobile Lab staff will be on hand throughout the entire event to support Thermetrics and TAI with test execution, data analysis, participant engagement, etc.
In preparation for the event, the Mobile lab staff will add ten k-type thermocouples to the Chevy Volt at the locations specified by Thermetrics and TAI. Potential locations may be at the vent outlets, the ceiling, and floor. An interior photo of a Chevy volt can be seen below in figure 4 to help visualize air vent locations. The Mobile lab Staff will work with Thermetrics and TAI to develop and rehearse the demonstration 1 to 2 weeks prior to the scheduled event.
Awarded Amount: $11,830

Development of a Robust Igniter for Methane Fueled SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $60,000

Mineral Removal from Biocoal Produced from Municipal Solid Waste

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Predebon
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Michigan Tech is a strategic partner in completion of the Proof of Concept for the proposed NSF STTR Project titled: "Mineral Removal from Biocoal Produced from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) for Power Generation". Michigan Tech offers access to unique torrefaction facilities that would be impossible for a small entity to reproduce. Such facilities are critical to successful completion of the project's technical objectives.
 
Objective
1)      Sample Preparation: Prepare MSW Samples, 50-100 kg each, from various locations/compositions
2)      High-shear Stirring: Determine size distribution of organic particles, and calibrate to rotation frequency
3)      Wet Sifting: Determine set of screens for best performance of continuous separation
4)      Dewatering: Determine efficiency of dissolving insoluble removal
5)      Drying: Samples ready for product testing
6)      Characterization of treated and untreated samples: Optimize mineral removal system
7)      Economic Analysis: Economic date and model
8)      Proof of Concept: Conclusions and report.
Awarded Amount: $67,500
Keywords: Biocoal, Torrefaction

Nostrum Injector Evaluation and Validation on a Single Cylinder DI SI Engine with Exhaust Gaseous and PN Emissions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
Quantify the performance in comparison to the production Bosch injector of sets of Nostrum provided impinging injectors. This will provide evaluation and validation of the injector performance for ranking of nozzle geometry based upon engine performance and emissions.
This work continues activities with testing, analysis, and evaluation of novel injectors for application to direct-injection (DI) spark-ignition (SI) engines. The primary work is to be conducted in the MEEM engine labs on the single cylinder Hydra engine. This work covers the evaluation and validation testing of a Nostrum impinging injectors and PFI injectors in comparison to a production injector on the direct injection single cylinder Hydra SI engine.
The specific tasks are as follows:
1. Continue testing at two load conditions at A=1.00, for new Nostrum impinging injectors, comparing to Baseline Bosch HDEV-5.
      • 330 kPa NMEP 1300 RPM
      • 800 kPa NMEP 2200 RPM
      The follow data is to be collected, analyzed and reported.
      a. Combustion metrics
      b. Emissions
      c. Vaporization via skip injection tests over range of SOI
2. Particle number emissions testing at the two load points for Bosch and Nostrum Injectors
3. Port Injector testing at two load points with Bosch and Nostrum Injectors
      a. Combustion metrics
4. Lean operation testing with Bosch and Nostrum Injectors
      a. Test at the low load condition at lambda values greater than 1.00 up to a 3% COV of IMEP threshold to find lowest ISFC.
      b. Report Combustion Metrics
Awarded Amount: $124,107

Demonstration of Densification of Biocoal Prepared from Low Lignin Woods

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ezra Bar-Ziv
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Background
Biocoal is considered a replacement for fossil coal in coal power plants because it conforms to carbon reduction requirements by EPA. Biocoal is produced by torrefaction which is a mild thermal treatment in absence of oxygen. There are many attempts to develop torrefaction technologies that would be produce biocoal in an economical viable way in commercial quantities.
 
A significant challenge in the utilization of biocoal for the commercial application in coal fired utilities for electric power generation is the reduction of the cost of the feedstock which can be up to 70% of the total cost of the biocoal. There are enormous amounts of un-merchantable wood from dead forests, forest residues, and decaying wood that are not used and cause severe wild fires. Using these woods can solve three issues: (I) dramatic decrease in feedstock cost for torrefaction, (2) turn a hurdle into an asset, and (3) reduce risks of wild fires. While the main motivation of US Endowment for Forestry and Communities is to increase the value of these un-merchantable woods, the Forest Service is mostly interested in reducing wild fires which consumes 50% of its budget. Forest Service has been looking for new approaches to minimize fire risks of dead forests for some time and this is the major reason for participating in the CA WES consortium and providing financial support to it.
 
An essential requirement from biocoal is that it should be compacted to densities close to those of fossil coals; this in order to use existing coal mills that are operating based on the volume flow rates. Densities of biocoal that are not matched will cause significant reduction of boiler loads. Compaction has other important considerations such as safety, storage and logistics.
 
Woody feedstock has significant amount of lignin that acts as a binder essential for biocoal compaction. The feedstock types mentioned above have all one major drawback – significant deterioration of the lignin and therefore the biocoal produced from these materials will not bind and will not compact. Biocoal produced from these materials require external binders to compact. The common binders used so far are organic materials, such as starch, synthetic glues, and the like. Although, these materials have been shown to work as good binders that produced good densified biocoal, they have two major drawbacks: (I) they are extremely expensive, and (2) they are hydrophilic and hence the densified biocoal degrades when exposed to water. Using these binders require the very expensive indoor storage, which makes this biocoal economically prohibitive.
 
Some mineral materials were another option to act as binders, however, they were not considered because of the potential damage they can cause to the coal boilers due to slagging. A recently developed a densification process using a family of minerals that produce strong compacted biocoal, however without the potential damage to the boiler water wall tubes. These minerals are rather abundant with a reasonable price. Adding a few percent of these materials will not affect: (i) the operating cost of biocoal, and (ii) the electrostatic precipitators that are normally designed to capture ash of up to 15% of the fuel.
 
The project is aimed at proving the process at a pilot scale environment of I ton/hour compacted biocoal at Michigan Tech. Upon success, results of this project will be implemented in a semi-industrial torrefaction facility at the torrefaction facility at the 600MW Boardman Coal Power Plant of Portland General Electric (PGE).
Awarded Amount: $285,613
Keywords: Biocoal, Torrefaction

Numerical Simulation Study of Post Collision Angles for Multiple Impinging Jet Injectors

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
The objective of the project is to perform simulations on multi-hole impinging jet injectors under different injection pressures and ambient conditions as well as number of hole to explore these effects on post collision angle. Also, the spray behavior and spray characteristics will be studied using
Michigan Tech established spray models. The primary aim of this simulation is to study the trend of post collision angles with changes in the impinging collision angle with various number of injector holes. The project includes two-step simulations, i.e., the first stage and second stage. The first stage covers the initial 21 case simulations requested by Nostrum while the second stage focuses on the parametric studies upon the agreement between Nostrum and Michigan Tech. Moreover, the influencing parameters on the post collision angle will be investigated for different injection pressures, chamber pressures as well as for different number of nozzle hole arrangement. This proposed work will be helpful for designing impinging jet injectors and evaluating injector's spray characteristics for Nostrum's novel impinging injector technology.
 
Statement of Work:
The specific works are as follows:
1. Preparing input files for running simulations
- This includes calculating the coordinates and vectors of each nozzle for different multi-hole impinging jet injectors and setup the input files using Converge Studio.
2. Running simulations as per the simulation test matrix
3. Post-processing the simulation output results
- Post-processing of simulation data will be performed using EnSight which is installed in the PI lab.
- New version of EnSight will be purchased based on the progress and loads of the simulated data.
4. Analyze the results and summary
- The post processing will include measuring post collision angle and analyzing the averaged ratio between the post collision angle and collision angle for different conditions as well as exploring the reason behind it.
Awarded Amount: $38,000
Keywords: Jet Injectors, Spray Characterization,

Evaluation of an Advanced Ignitor for Spark Ignition Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
The objective is to conduct an evaluation and characterization set of tests to assess an advanced spark plug design for improved engine operational characteristics.
 
Tasks
Engine Testing: The engine testing will take place on a GM LHU. For this evaluation testing several engine speed, load points have been recommended to broadly explore the engine operational space, which includes idle, road load, and full load.
 
Tests with the production ignition system will be performed in accompaniment with testing with the advanced ignitor for A/B direct comparisons. At each speed I load test point the combustion phasing as defined by the 50% Mass Fraction Burned location (CA50) will be swept via commanded ignition timing. The combustion phasing will be limited by CA50 = 0° ATDC, the misfire limit, or the borderline knock limit on the advanced side, and CA50=50° ATDC, the misfire limit, or Exhaust Gas Temperature limit on the retarded side. There will be increased fidelity near optimal combustion phasing (expected at a CA50 between 6° ATDC and 10° ATDC).
 
During the combustion phasing sweep tests, the Intake and Exhaust cam timing will be locked, at a position representative of the production calibrated position for that speed and load. Exhaust air-fuel ratio will be held at the stoichiometric condition (normalized air/fuel ratio= lambda (A.)=1.0) for all throttled test points, and will be fixed at the production calibrated value for the Wide Open Throttle (WOT) test conditions. The baseline fuel will be 87 R+M/2 pump grade E10 gasoline.
 
During testing, several control points are run at the start and end of every test session; 1300 RPM
I 9S kPa map motoring, 1300 RPM I 330 kPa ENMEP firing, and zero speed engine off.
 
The swept parameters and the fixed parameters are adjusted through a calibration tool (ETAS) that interfaces with the engine electronic control unit. This provides full flexibility during testing.
 
Testing will be conducted first on a new set of production J-Wire spark plugs. Next the prototype ignitors will be installed and the full test matrix will be repeated. Lastly the production J-Wire spark plugs will be re-installed, and the standard control chart test points will be re-run. This will serve as confirmation repeatability and a gauge of test to test variation. Results will include combustion performance, combustion rates, combustion stability, knock level, and fuel consumption/efficiency.
 
Based on the results of evaluation testing, follow-up testing will be recommended. Appropriate follow-up tests may include:
• Sweeps of Intake & Exhaust cam timing. The ignition system has a profound impact on an engines dilution tolerance, thus having a strong influence on engine efficiency. Any hardware change that impacts the burn rate and flame development has the potential to improve dilution tolerance.
• Testing with additional fuels, which could include low octane (85 PON) and high octane (91-93PON) commercially available petroleum fuels, and alternative fuels including E85 or Natural Gas. The combustion burn rate has a strong impact on an engines knock tolerance. Increased knock tolerance can implicate the potential for increased operation at MBT combustion phasing, or increased compression ratio among others, thus leading to improve engine efficiency.
• Exhaust emissions measurement including C02, CO, UHC, NOX, 02, particulate measurements, or speciated measurements. From this combustion efficiency and other parameters can be determined as additional metrics for the ignition system.
Awarded Amount: $12,353

The Impact of Valve Timing on Intake Manifold Charge Temperature

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Measurement of Charge Temperature
Proposed Work includes:
1) Engine Testing on a GM LHU engine.  In addition to standard measurements, several additional thermocouples will be installed in the intake and exhaust runners.  Several exposed wire thermocouples will be installed in the intake system. 
The exposed wire Intake thermocouple locations are as follows:
     • Cylinder #1 Intake Port in the cylinder head
     • Cylinder #1 Intake Runner in the manifold
     • MAP Sensor location
     • If packaging space exists, additional exposed wire thermocouples will be installed in both the manifold and head
Additional intake track thermocouple locations that currently exist on the engine with standard sheathed thermocouples include:
     • Throttle body inlet/ lntercooler outlet
     • lntercooler inlet I Compressor outlet
     • Airbox inlet
Exhaust temperature measurements will include:
     • Exhaust port near the valve
     • Exhaust manifold runner
Initial attempts for these measurements will be with exposed wire thermocouples, however, it is expected these sensors will fail due to the harsh environment, in which case they will be replaced with sheathed thermocouples of the smallest possible diameter that will be durable enough to sustain testing.
Additional exhaust track thermocouple locations that currently exist on the engine with
standard sheathed thermocouples include:
     • Turbine Inlet
     • Turbine Outlet
The thermocouple data will be recorded with a National Instruments PXI DAQ system, recording at 10 Hz for 10 seconds and reporting an average value. Options exist for logging this information on a crank angle resolved basis.
2) GT-Power Simulation
GT-Power and comparisons made between GT-Power results and experimental results. Michigan Tech has a GT-Power model originally supplied as an LNF, this model will be modified to include any necessary changes in converting from an LNF to an LHU, as well as changes to the exhaust system and Air Induction System to better reflect the installation into the test cell. The model will be validated using data from the testcell. Once validated, the entire experimental test matrix will be run using the GT-Power model.
Awarded Amount: $12,563

Experimental Investigation for Characterization of a High Pressure 4-hole Impinging Jet Injector under Diesel Engine Conditions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Overview
This work involves the usage of the equipment from the constant volume combustion vessel from the Alternative Fuels Combustion Lab.
 
This project involves testing at the combustion vessel with a test matrix mentioned in the next section. The main aim of this experimental effort is to study the vaporization, non-vaporization and combustion characteristics of the newly patented 4-hole impinging jet injectors. This being a novel injector, characterization is important to study the performance of the injectors for vaporization/combustion. Comparisons with a baseline Bosch injector will be done for checking the improvement of these performance characteristics.
 
Statement of Work
Objective: The objective of the proposed work titled "Experimental Investigation for Characterization of High Pressure 4-Hole Impinging Jet Injectors under Diesel Engine Conditions" is to perform testing in the state-of-the-art combustion vessel under different ambient conditions which replicate the conditions of a diesel engine. Combustion vessel is a constant volume chamber capable of sustaining high-pressure, high-temperature conditions, generated through pre-burned combustion. The chosen simulating test points can be seen in the test matrix shown below. These test points correspond to a particular 'BTDC' timing in the engine, where the spray behavior is expected to be critical/interesting and this is where the injector will be characterized.
 
The specific tasks are as follows:
  1. Preparing a mount for the new injector labs
  2. Setting up the hardware for the tests
  3. Running the tests following test matrix
  4. Post processing the raw test images
  5. Analyze for characterization
Awarded Amount: $51,000

Rapid Screening with Paddle Fast Pyrolysis Systems

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ezra Bar-Ziv
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Pyrolysis is the thermochemical breakdown of organic matter into oil and gas products in inert atmosphere in the temperature range 350 to 600 °Celsius. Ensuring that the heating rate of the organic matter is faster than approximately 100 Celsius/sec (i.e. fast pyrolysis) ensures that the yield of product bio-oil is maximized. Through the process of fast pyrolysis, followed by bio-oil upgrading woody and herbaceous organic matter can be converted to liquid transportation fuels, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

 This project consists of two primary tasks. The first task will design, manufacture, test and operate two lab-scale paddle fast pyrolysis systems for rapid evaluation of biomass sample performance in fast pyrolysis conversion to bio-oil. Tests of several materials (minimum of 10) will be conducted to demonstrate operation of the reactors. The second task will develop a preliminary reaction model that predicts the loss of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CHO) molecules from the solid feedstock for the experiments.

This project is a collaboration of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Michigan Technological University (MTU). INL will provide the biomass feedstocks for the fast pyrolysis experiments and will also be responsible for chemical characterization of the feedstocks. MTU will first design and fabricate a small prototype paddle fast pyrolysis reactor capable of processing a minimum of 50 mg of material per minute. MTU will conduct preliminary tests using the small prototype reactor and will use the data to design and fabricate a second reactor that is capable of processing a minimum of 200 mg of material per minute. Preliminary tests using both reactors will determine whether the design concept is scalable. In this project, MTU will be responsible for conducting fast pyrolysis tests using the test reactors and for developing the preliminary predictive reaction models. MTU will retain ownership of one of the fast pyrolysis reactors and will deliver the other reactor to INL. If the reactor design and associated reaction model are successful, future work outside of the current project may design and fabricate a third reactor capable of processing l kg of material per hour (16,667 mg/min).

 Task 1: Design and fabricate a small prototype paddle fast pyrolysis reactor. Use the prototype reactor to conduct preliminary experiments on select feedstocks.

Task 2: Design and fabricate a second paddle fast pyrolysis reactor. The second reactor shall be capable of processing a minimum of 200 mg of material per minute.

Task3: Conduct validation tests with either reactor using a minimum of ten feedstocks. Each feedstock will be tested a minimum of four times to estimate repeatability. For the tests, INL will provide a minimum of 20 kg of each feedstock, which will be divided into a minimum of six consistent specimens. Solid and liquid products from each test will be delivered to INL for analysis. INL will analyze the solid products for CHON and total mineral content and the liquid products for CHON, water, and TAN. The liquid product may also be analyzed for sulfur, density, viscosity, pH, and product distribution using GC-MS or GC-FID. INL will characterize the raw feedstocks for elemental composition (CHONS), carbohydrate/fiber analysis (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin), mineral content, and heating value. INL will provide instructions for sample storage and transport for analytical analysis.

Task 4: Develop a preliminary reaction model that predicts the loss of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CHO) molecules from the solid feedstock for the experiments. In addition, the preliminary reaction model will predict the fate of these removed organic compounds as partitioned in the remaining solid char, in either the primary non-condensable gas (CO and C02) and primary condensable species (pyrolysis oil and water). No secondary reactions will be interpreted in the preliminary model. The reaction model will be able to include up to three stages at potentially different operating conditions to resolve the mass losses as the fast pyrolysis reaction progresses from mild to severe conditions. These three stages can potentially produce three distinct gas/vapor species, that in-tum could be targeted for fuel/chemical production or conversion.

Task 5: Deliver a paddle fast pyrolysis reactor systems to INL that meets the features described in Task 1.
Awarded Amount: $99,995
Keywords: Pyrolysis, Bio-fuels

Hitachi NG Gasoline Engine Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This project covers the study of port fuel-injected (PFI) natural gas (NG), gasoline direct injection (GDI) in a boosted single cylinder spark-ignition (SI) engine.  The statement of work includes setup, testing, analysis, and reporting.
Objective:
Study and characterize the performance and emissions with NG PFI, and gasoline DI fueling in a spark-ignition engine under NG only, gasoline only, and blended fueling under a set of 12 operating conditions.
Awarded Amount: $109,825

Cummins Vehicle Test Apparatus

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Kazuya Tajiri
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Description

The objective is to develop an automated oil sampling system to work on Cummins' heavy duty vehicle test fleet to collect oil samples at a scheduled interval or upon request via electronic trigger from a service tool.

 The work in this first phase is to perform the following tasks:

Review existing technologies - This task is to review and summarizing existing technical information including reports, standards, patents, and commercial systems specifications and concepts. Additionally, systems develop for other analogous applications for automated sampling will be investigated and summarized. This will provide background for design concepts.

 Requirement specifications

Requirement specifications will be guided based upon findings in task 3.1 and requirements gathering. Predominately the requirements gathering will be accomplished by discussion and consultation with the Cummins team. Requirements will feed the concept design. The students will examine one of the HD vehicles in the APS Lab fleet for further information.

 Concept Design

Based upon the requirement and technology review design concepts will be analyzed. Concepts will be ranked based upon ability to meet requirements, ease of integration on vehicle, complexity, and cost. From the initial concepts, one proposed system will be selected for analysis and design. The concept design will include the following.

1. Operational principle(s)

2. Hardware interface specifications

3. Software interface specifications

4. Software requirements

5. Layout of major components

6. Estimated development timing and cost including engineering, bill of material, fabrication cost, testing, and documentation.

Awarded Amount: $12,500

Chrysler Spray Test

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jaclyn Johnson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Objective:
Investigate and characterize a Chrysler supplied fuel injector to provide data for injector evaluation and model validation. Tests will be conducted under a set of ambient and injection conditions as defined by Chrysler.
Overview:
Tests will be conducted in Michigan Tech's optically accessible combustion vessel (CV) research facility. Existing hardware in the facility will be used; including a gasoline fuel system which will be modified to reach the target injection pressure of 250 bar, high speed imaging for liquid and vapor, and PLIEF diagnostics for fuel vapor distribution. Chrysler will provide the injector, fuel rail or other fuel system connections needed, electrical connector, and injector driver unit.
A fixture will need to be designed and fabricated to interface the injector into the combustion vessel. Chrysler will provide the injector mounting hold down and drawings required for this design. Note that the injector hold down may need to be modified to install into the combustion vessel. This injector fixture will include a heating-cooling system to control the injector temperature independent of the charge gas conditions and chamber wall temperature, if required for the tests.
Awarded Amount: $214,487
Keywords: Spray Characterization

Nostrum Engine Dynamometer Studies and Analysis of Nostrum Cycle and Injectors on Cummins 6.7L ISB Diesel Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Test, analyze, and evaluate the Nostrum converted Cummins 260 hp 6. 7L ISB diesel engine in the MTU 465 hp AC dyno test cell at the APSRC in several stages and configurations.
 
Objective:
Test and quantify the performance of Nostrum's converted Cummins 260 hp 6.7L ISB 6.7L diesel engine. Results are to include specific fuel consumption, combustion, and NOX and PM emissions under several different configurations. Tests to be conducted in the APSRC AC dynamometer test cell.
 
Deliverables:
• Testing per above tasks and RASIC,
• Data packages for tests,
• Summary Excel Sheet with Test Results.
 
Nostrum will provide hardware and engineering support for the tests. MTU with work with the Nostrum team to setup the engine in the test cell.
 
MTU recently purchased a TSI Engine Exhaust Particle Sizer™ (EEPS™) spectrometer for use in characterizing particulate number concentrations and particulate size. This will be incorporated into the testing to characterize the particulate emissions, where PM is indicated.
Awarded Amount: $128,090
Keywords: Particulate Concentrations, Particulate Measurements, Emissions

Nostrum Injector Evaluation and Validation on a single cylinder DI SI Engine with Exhaust Emissions

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This work continues activities from the 2014 fall and summer sessions with testing, analysis, and evaluation of novel injectors for application to direct-injection (DI) spark-ignition (SI) engines. The primary work is to be conducted in the MEEM SB013 engine labs on the single cylinder Hydra engine. This work covers the evaluation and validation testing of a Nostrum impinging injectors and PFI injectors in comparison to a production injector on the direct injection single cylinder Hydra SI engine.
Statement of Work:
Objective: Quantify the performance in comparison to the production Bosch injector of sets of Nostrum provided impinging injectors. This will provide evaluation and validation of the injector performance for ranking of nozzle geometry based upon engine performance and emissions.
Awarded Amount: $59,089

Closed Loop Combustion Control (CLCC) for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This is continues work from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," and from work completed in 2014.
 
This project continues on the 3.SL IVCT engine that is fully instrumented and setup with closed loop combustion control (CLCC) via a ''TriBox" processing controller with in-cylinder pressure feedback to control individual spark and fueling and overall engine dilution. It has the Ford PCM with ability to integrate prototype code via ATI no-hooks, a prototype EGR system controlled by a prototyping ECU, a prototyping Ford Tri box controller for dosed loop pressure sensing and combustion control, and instrumentation including cylinder pressure transducers. Additionally the Ford Michigan Tech team will develop a 2.0 l engine platform to transition the work to over the year.
 
Statement of work
Objective: Develop and employ closed loop combustion control via in-cylinder sensors with closed loop control for individual cylinder fuel, spark, and overall engine dilution on engine dynamometer with study of steady-state and transient performance.
 
Combustion sensing and control via feedback from in-cylinder pressure sensors is broken down into the following subtasks.
  • Update to a 2.0 l engine
  • Update to a new combustion feedback controller
  • Evaluation of production intent sensors on engine via comparison of signal to instrument grade sensors,
  • Optimization of combustion metrics and controls for combustion phasing and stability,
  • Correcting individual cylinder A/F's to meet emissions based upon individual cylinder air charge and IMEP
  • Develop combustion control techniques for dynamic engine operation such as a binning concept for spark, fuel, and dilution
  • Application of combustion metrics and emissions for crank-start to include setup and measurement of HC and CO/C02 via fast analyzers
Awarded Amount: $89,861
Keywords: Combustion Control,

Torrefied Wood Biofuel

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Predebon
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $2,435

Continuation of Ignition Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Mahdi Shahbakhti
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
This is a program for a continuation of research that Michigan Technological University is conducting in conjunction with the Ford research team. It continues work on ignition with three components: (1) metal engine, (2) optical engine and (3) combustion laboratory.  It follows on from the Ford DOE Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development,"  The work enables the development of a critical understanding of the ignition process and its interaction with the in-cylinder flow. Results will provide quantitative data on ignition processes including the initial flame kernel development, growth and transition to turbulent flame propagation in-cylinder. The results will also provide quantitative data on flow characteristic via high resolution particle image velocimetry (PIV) around the electrode in the optical engine. This work will provide needed data for LES flame kernel model development and validation.
Awarded Amount: $115,000

Providing Hands-On STEM Education at the 2014 Heroes Alliance Young Urban Intellectual Summit

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Overview:

Michigan Tech supports the 2014 Heroes Alliance Young Urban Intellectual Summit.

Through this support, Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Staff will have three unique wheelchairs on display. The wheelchairs have been developed by engineering students at Michigan Tech to improve the mobility of disabled individuals. The wheelchairs are designed to be highly capable in off-road situations, allowing disabled individuals to experience and enjoy the outdoors. The Staff on hand will describe how the team identified a critical biomedical need, and engineered a solution. Participants will be able to sit in all three wheelchairs, and speak with Staff regarding the details of the project. Participants will have the opportunity to personally test the manual wheelchair.

Awarded Amount: $8,279

REU: CPS: Breakthrough: Toward Revolutionary Algorithms for Cyber-Physical Systems Architecture Optimization

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Ossama Abdelkhalik
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $4,000

Development of Conformable CNG Tanks for Automotive Development

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Gregory Odegard
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Paul Sanders
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Materials Science & Engineering,  Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

A group of researchers at Michigan Tech and REL propose to design, develop, integrate, and test a CNG tank that will have a conformable shape for efficient storage in a light-duty pick-up truck. Michigan Tech is well known for its research in automotive technology, design optimization via simulation, and aluminum material research. REL is the leader in design and manufacturing of aluminum conformable pressure tanks.

This research will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 (1 year) will be a proof-of concept phase in which existing technology will be used to fabricate, integrate, and test a conformable tank for a light-duty truck using existing materials technology and fabrication techniques. In Phase 1, the materials development effort will initiate.

The Phase 1 tank is a simple rectangular box geometry to demonstrate capability of non-cylindrical shapes. The end of Phase 2 (2 years) will result in a conformable tank with an optimized internal structure and improved lightweight material for greater efficiency, capacity and durability. The optimized tank will be integrated and tested on a light-duty pick-up truck that has been converted for CNG.

Awarded Amount: $2,107,965

Emissions Evaluation of a Yamaha Viper with a MPI Turbocharger

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $9,576

Global Conversations in Sustainable Transportation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $6,000

GOALI: Collaborative Research: Easily Verifiable Controller Design

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Mahdi Shahbakhti
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Overview:

Verification and Validation (V&V) of controller designs for complex dynamic systems is currently too costly and time consuming. The V&V process for a typical modem automotive electronic control unit can take about two man-years, and it can easily cost 5-6 million dollars. A large number of errors detected during independent V&V are errors that are introduced during the initial stages of controller development. V&V would cost 10 times less if those errors could be identified and fixed during the early stages of controller software design. Reducing cost and time of V&V is a major challenge for all complex control systems - a challenge that will be addressed in this project.

A critical gap occurs when uncertainty in controller software/hardware implementation is not considered as part of the controller design. This gap leads to the need for many V&V iterations and results in costly controller design. This project intends to fill this gap by (i) modeling and quantification of uncertainty that arises from controller implementation imprecisions, (ii) design of robust controllers to overcome implementation uncertainty, and (iii) development of an adaptive control framework to update uncertainty bounds from implementation imprecisions.

The outcome of this project will be a novel, easily verifiable controller design that can minimize V& V iterations for complex industrial control systems, thereby reducing cost. The control framework will be generic, and it will be applicable to a wide range of nonlinear control systems.

This multi-disciplinary research will be carried by scholars from UC Berkeley and Michigan

Tech. Toyota Motor Company will be the industrial partner for this project. The project will broadly reach industry and K-12 students through outreach activities that will be designed and implemented.

Intellectual Merit:

There are three main areas of intellectual merit for this project. The first area is filling the gap between control engineering and software/hardware engineering disciplines for improved controller design. The second area is the development of a novel generic control theory for easily verifiable controllers that can be widely applied to complex industrial control systems.

The third area is the development of control-oriented uncertainty models to characterize the implementation imprecision for industrial controllers, particularly for quantization and fixed-point arithmetic imprecisions. The overall expected outcome from these three main contributions will be an uncertainty-adaptive, easily verifiable control theory framework that industry can adapt to controller design processes to minimize the time and cost of controller development.

Awarded Amount: $198,390

HEV and EV Hands-On Education for the 2014 Calendar Year

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $34,791

Development of a Robust Igniter for Methane Fueled SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

OVERVIEW

Evaluate, and develop the durability and performance of E3 spark plugs when installed in a Natural Gas fueled application. To keep costs low, and lead times short, a Natural Gas fueled generator set is used as the testbed for this work. Work with E3 to develop additional testing programs on other specific engines, such as large truck engines and / or evaluate the combustion performance of the spark plug in Natural Gas applications.

EXPERIMENTATION PLAN

The testbed for this durability testing is a 30 kW Natural Gas fueled generator set. The genset is powered by a 4-cylinder GM engine. The engine is turbocharged, and therefore is capable of achieving a high specific load. The 4-cylinder engine allows for one or two baseline spark plugs and two or three spark plugs under test to be evaluated. As the objective of the testing is durability, the test bed is lightly instrumented providing only the most critical parameters needed for spark plug durability evaluation and / or engine control. Engine load is varied in two or three steps, with approximately equal time spent in each step over the course of the testing. One of the steps is 100% load. The other loads include a mid-load and / or a low-load. The speed is the generator required speed of 1800 RPM. After approximately every 50 hours of operation all spark plugs are removed and their gap measured, and their visual condition noted. After approximately every 100 hours of operation the spark plugs  also have photographs recorded, the mass of the spark plug recorded, and the electrical resistance of the core, and the resistance to the shell recorded. Additionally every 100 hours intermediate test results including data recorded on the spark plug itself (gap, resistance, mass, etc.) as well as engine data (EGT, load profile, etc.} sent to E3. After approximately every 350 hours of operation the engine undergoes maintenance including oil and filter changes, and new ignition components (distributor cap, rotor, and spark plug wires) to ensure all spark plugs are receiving a high quality "signal" throughout the testing. At this time the compression and leakdown rate of the engine is also measured to ensure the engine remains mechanically sound and / or all cylinders are approximately equal.

Awarded Amount: $28,929

Off-Highway Tire Drop Testing for Titan Tire

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $19,379

Testing and Analysis on a Single Cylinder DI SI Engine for Injector Evaluation and Validation with Exhaust Gas Analysis

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Confidential

Awarded Amount: $71,390

Characterization of Torque Converter Cavitation Level during Speed Ratio Operation - Year 3

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jason Blough
Co-Investigator: Carl Anderson
Co-Investigator: Mark Johnson, PE
College/School: College of Engineering,  School of Technology
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Introduction/ Abstract

Torque converter torus designs have evolved from axially long and round shapes to axially thin and elliptical shapes as automatic transmission content has increased in numbers of gears and in damping capability of the torque converter clutch. Future designs will include torque converters with even thinner tori with the torque converter to be used strictly as a vehicle launch device and the converter clutch applied in low gear at low vehicle speed.  These changes result in improved vehicle fuel economy, however, thinner torus torque converters are at increased risk for high levels of cavitation. The fluid in a small torus torque converter versus large at the same level of torque has greater pressure gradients across the blades of the converter pump, turbine, and stator. Greater pressure gradients result in lower pressures on the low pressure side of converter element blades which can lead to cavitation. Smaller torus converters also contain less transmission fluid which can lead to localized regions of higher temperature, further contributing to increased risks for high levels of cavitation. Understanding torque converter cavitation and noise characteristics, and the Influences of design parameters and operating conditions on cavitation level is vital to enabling new generations of transmission designs.

This research seeks to build upon knowledge gained from previous torque converter cavitation and noise studies executed at MTU. Previous research has established that moderate levels of cavitation are present in many torque converters under normal operating conditions. This research intends to quantify the level of cavitation present under normal and overload operating conditions and to develop a method to compare designs relative to design parameters and loading.

 Introduction

Starting in 1997, extensive research was conducted into techniques for detecting the presence of cavitation in the flow field of an operating torque converter. These studies have produced novel methodologies for sensing the onset of cavitation and quantifying its intensity at various operating conditions using microwave telemetry and specially instrumented torque converters. In 2000, a separate project was undertaken to develop a technique to acquire and evaluate noise generated by a torque converter during operation using acoustic measurements. Large quantities of data were acquired in both vehicles and in the dynamometer lab, advanced software was used to disassemble the noise spectrum into its critical components. Very successful measurement and analysis methodologies were developed, but no attempt was made to utilize these tools on converters of widely different sizes and designs. In 2004, a project was undertaken in which converters of different sizes and designs were operated over a range of charge pressures and torques at the stall operating condition. Noise data was acquired during the tests, processed by the recently developed numerical techniques, and non-dimensionalized or otherwise correlated against the converter's design and load parameters. The acoustical method of cavitation sensing was employed to similarly define the influence of converter design on cavitation potential. This data was used to validate the dimensional analysis approach to cavitation prediction suggested by the earlier work. To provide the precision and repeatability necessary for testing performed, both the dynamometers and hydraulic system of the test facility were updated to full computer control. The body of work has nicely correlated the cavitation characteristics of torque converters at stall conditions. In 2007, a project was initiated to characterize torque converter cavitation through a range of speed ratio operation and normal input torque and power levels. Test data was analyzed to develop dimensionless models to predict the speed ratio for cavitation desinense based on torque converter design parameters and operating conditions.

The research established that moderate levels of cavitation are present with no adverse effects in many production torque converters functioning under normal operating conditions. There are no complaints of objectionable noise from cavitation and no evidence of material wear or damage due to the implosion of cavitation bubbles. As torque converter torus designs continue to get smaller, this may no longer be the case. This study proposes to develop a method to measure and quantify the level of cavitation in a torque converter, determine criteria for acceptable levels of cavitation, test a matrix of torque converter designs for cavitation, and perform dimensional analysis to create a model capable of predicting cavitation level based on design parameters and operating conditions

Awarded Amount: $98,837

Nostrum Continued Engine Research

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Bo Chen
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $25,571

Collaborative Research: Nexus of Simulation, Sensing, and Actuation for Aerodynamic Vibration Reduction of Wind Turbine Blades

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Qingli Dai
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics,  Civil & Environmental Engineering
Awarded Amount: $346,476

Ford Diesel Spray Studies: Rate of Injection Measurement Phase 2

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jaclyn Johnson
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Ford Diesel Spray Studies: Rate of Injection Measurement Phase 2

Overview:

To supplement the acquired rate of injection (ROI) data from the initial momentum flux measurements, additional tests will be undertaken to characterize the initial transient rate of injection spray development. This will include investigating the effect of impingement distance on the transient rate of injection, accomplished through the use of differing anvil lengths. Tests will be conducting using the standard Baseline B multi-hole Injector. An option to look at the hole to hole variations in transient ROI development and to correlate this to the Bosch ROI is included along with other testing and analysis options.

 

Objectives

Utilizing the impingement momentum flux method for ROI, determine the following:

Characterize the influence of impingement distance on the measured transient rate of injection by measuring at 4 distances (nozzle exit to anvil).

Options are included for the following:

  • Characterize the plume to plume differences at early injection and compare to the Bosch ROI by appropriately phasing and summing the individual nozzle impingement ROI measurements.
  • Model the impact of ROI distance using the momentum flux model of Naber and Siebers (1) extended to transient spray momentum flux by Musculus and Kattke (2)
  • Image the impingement with high speed micro-photography.  Imaging will be acquired of the first impingement only, through the Plexiglass viewing port on the ROI fixture.

 

This work will utilize the developed ROI fixture from Phase 1 testing and the existing DAQ system, but will require hardware modifications in the form of different anvils. Included would be characterization at different injection pressures and impingement distances.

Awarded Amount: $10,379

High Impact STEM Outreach Utilizing the Michigan Tech Mobile Laboratory at the 2014 Michigan Civil Air Patrol Summer Cadet Encampment

Investigators
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Abstract

Michigan Tech is home to a versatile mobile laboratory that travels the North American continent serving as a venue for a wide range of educational opportunities. Hands-on discovery based learning activities are an effective means of enabling students to grasp and retain complex topics in engineering and science. Students excel when they can relate an individual concept to the overall larger context of product development and societal advancement.

The Mobile Lab is utilized to deliver hands-on, high-impact STEM based explorations at the 2014 Michigan Civil Air Patrol Summer Cadet Encampment.

Explorations designed to demonstrate how aeronautics and engineering subsystems for space work, and illustrate the importance of STEM education and career fields in continuing to improve and move along the pathway towards sustainable air and space transportation. This project engages students and provides opportunities to explore STEM activities and concepts that are fundamental to the aeronautic and space technologies.

Awarded Amount: $10,001

NSF/DOE Parternship on Advanced Combustion Engines: Ignition and Combustion Characteristics of Transporation Fuels under Lean-Burn Conditions for Advanced Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jaclyn Johnson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $712,274

MTU Combustion Vessel Test - Phase 1: Effect of Low Turbulent Velocity on Spark Channel and Flame Kernel Formation Processes in Propane-EGR Mixtures

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $48,000

Nostrum Energy Statement of Work for Continued Engine Research

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $56,800

Development and Research of Nostrum Energy's Novel Fluid Injector Technology through Experimentation and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Simulation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $121,469

Enhancement of Corn-based Fuel for Recreational Engines and Vehicles

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Scott Miers
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Relevance

The Renewable Fuel Standard within the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 sets the required quantities of renewable fuels required in the marketplace, over a 14-year period. In order to meet the renewable fuel requirement of 2012, the ethanol content in gasoline increased above 10%.

E15 is slowly replacing E10 at fuel stations, which means snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles will be required to operate on a fuel that they have not been calibrated for. While a majority of current research projects focus on automotive applications of renewable fuels, little work to date has focused on recreational power sports applications. The effects of renewable fuels on open-loop systems, such as those on most recreational vehicles, are highly unknown and thus produce concern on the part of owners and manufacturers.

The state of Minnesota has over 250,000 registered snowmobiles, the highest number in the United States. However, E15 is not currently approved for use in these vehicles due to detrimental impacts and limited test data. A recent study conducted by Michigan Technological University and funded by the Department of Energy, found that E15 fuel in snowmobiles caused increased exhaust system temperature and NOx emissions, reduced carbon monoxide and 1,3 butadiene emissions, degraded cold-start performance, and increased fuel consumption. The engine calibrations were not modified for E15, and thus the data represents the situation of misfueling a snowmobile with E15.

The goal of this project is to determine the required calibration changes to minimize the negative impacts from higher oxygen concentration fuel while also taking advantage of improved fuel properties to increase fuel economy, reduce emissions, and improve performance. In addition, evaluating what sensors are required to implement the calibration changes in a real-time manner will be assessed. This data ultimately improves the recreational manufacturer's acceptance of these new fuels, because they understand the required changes necessary to successfully implement the fuels.

 Benefit of the Project to Minnesota Corn Farmers

Creating a high demand for corn products is important for Minnesota farmers. E15 fuel has increased the demand for corn-based fuel but it is not approved for use in recreational engines and vehicles. To maximize the demand for higher alcohol content fuel, all vehicles must be legally allowed to use it. This project provides real-world data that recreational engine and vehicle manufacturers can use to determine the impact of higher oxygen concentration fuel on their products and thus implement the necessary changes to take advantage of the new fuel properties. Exploiting the benefits of ethanol blended fuels helps offset the reduction in fuel economy and increased exhaust temperature. This in turn improves the acceptance of these new blends and ultimately the demand for corn-based fuel.

Awarded Amount: $192,578

IP8 Ignition and Liquid Length Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $98,352

Combustion Control for SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Bo Chen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Overview

This is continues work from the Ford Dept. of Energy Program on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development."

Work will continue on the 3.SL IVCT engine that is instrumented and controlled at Michigan Tech. It has the Ford PCM with ability to integrate prototype code via ATI no-hooks, a prototype EGR system controlled by a prototyping ECU, a prototyping Ford Tribox controller for closed loop pressure sensing and combustion control, and instrumentation including cylinder pressure transducers.

At Ford's discretion a different engine will be provided by Ford to instrument and replace the 3.SL. MTU will instrument and install the engine according to the tasks below.

 Objectives:

Combustion Sensing and Control via feedback from in-cylinder pressure sensors is broken down into the following subtasks.

a. Evaluation of production intent sensors on engine via comparison of signal to instrument grade sensors.

b. Optimization of combustion metrics for combustion phasing and stability.

c. Development of methods of improved torque estimation from cylinder pressure measures (e.g, net IMEP).

d. Develop combustion control techniques for dynamic engine conditions.

e. Investigate cylinder Air/Fuel balancing and cylinder air charge estimation.

f. Develop adaptive correction techniques for combustion control and integrate and test.

  1. Provide analytical analysis of dynamic vehicle traces provided by Ford.
Awarded Amount: $113,827

Ignition Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jaclyn Johnson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

This continues work from the Ford DOE Program1 on "Advanced Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDI) Engine Development," for which Michigan Tech was subcontracted to conduct. The following is the proposed SOW for continuation of the ignition research areas with additional studies in an optical engine.

The proposed work is broken into the three components, (1) combustion lab, (2) metal engine, and (3) optical engine studies. The advantage of this workflow is that details on the Ignition system can be synergistically studied at multiple stages with specific instrumentation to determine the underlining principles behind the drivers for ignition system requirements and performance under highly stressed operation resulting from lean/dilute operation with in-cylinder flow.

1. Combustion Laboratory

Studies in the Combustion lab in the combustion vessel build on work conducted during the DOE program. In this work isolated ignition events can be studied in detail under controlled thermodynamic and flow conditions. The combustion lab is instrumented with a Ford provided Variable Output Ignition System (VOIS) capable of driving four coils with variable dwell, phasing, and quenching to a single spark-plug. The combustion vessel is highly configurable with instrument ports and window ports. The combustion vessel can be setup and arranged to cover a wide array of optical studies under conditions representative of in-cylinder conditions. The thermodynamic conditions are generated by controlling the fuel mixture composition and stoichiometry through mixing individual gases (fuel, 0 21 N21 C021 etc.), pressure, and temperature.

The flow conditions are set by using a shrouded fan system.  By changing the fan configuration, fans' speed and shroud, the flow past the spark plug electrode can be controlled. As a result the ignition (break-down, arc and glow discharge) and initial flame kernel development can be studied with high speed imaging and other diagnostics.  The proposed work is to conduct 200 tests in which the conditions will be determined by direction of Ford technical staff in consultation with Michigan Tech. These tests are broken up into multiple stages.

2. Metal Engine

The metal engine work continues on the V6 3.SL IVCT engine that is setup for testing at Michigan Tech in a dynamometer engine test cell. It has the Ford PCM with ability to integrate prototype code via ATI no-hooks, a prototype EGR system controlled by a prototyping ECU, the Ford Variable Output Ignition System (VOIS) for dual coil per cylinder control, and instrumentation including cylinder pressure transducers coupled with a combustion analysis tool. Additionally a high speed 10M samples per second, long record length, National Instrument system has been incorporated for measurement of ignition system secondary characterization. This coupled with the cylinder pressure combustion analysis tool provides characterization of ignition system performance with combustion metrics including combustion phasing, combustion durations (0-10, 10-90% mass faction bum, combustion variability through coefficient of variance (COV) and lowest net value (LNV) of IMEP and percent misfires. In-cylinder flow motion can be set to low or high by inserting tumble planks in the intake ports.

The Ford VIOS system drives two coils per cylinder and when used with variable duration (short, medium, long, and extra-long) coils with controlled dwells can provide a wide range of ignition energy profiles including continuous and discontinuous discharges with variable delays and individual durations. The system drives all 6 cylinders with secondary measurements on cylinder 1. Additionally quenching has been added to truncate the tail of the glow discharge for additional energy-phasing-duration control for cylinder 1. Supplemental measurements of secondary voltage and current are measured in the DAQ systems.

Standard tests include:

  • EGR and lean sweeps at constant speed I load to identify dilution limits as a function of coil energy and discharge duration
  • Dwell sweeps with varying coils
  • Coil 8 delay sweeps where the interval between the first coil (A) and second call discharges is changed
  • Restrike and quenching with variable energy and delay

3. Optical Engine

Michigan Tech has been working with Mahle Powertrain (MPT) on the development and integration of an optical engine for research at Michigan Tech for research purposes. To develop the setup and controls for the engine, MTU has setup a 2013 2.0L EcoBoost metal engine. Finalization of the development on the metal engine was completed in December of 2013.  The engine is setup with standard DI side mount injection and single coil ignition. The engine controls are done via a rapid prototyping controller. As part of this work MTU will develop controls for a dual coil ignition system for the engine. The system will perform individual control for the dwell and phasing of the two coils with a diode pack similar to the Ford VIOS to drive to a single spark plug. Ford will provide necessary coils and plugs for study. Optionally MTU will setup for N2/C02 gas dilution as a surrogate for external EGR.

The proposed work is to conduct 4 weeks of testing once the engine setup is complete starting in April. The tests will be broken up into 4 phases each 1 week in duration. The test conditions will be determined by direction of Ford technical staff in consultation with Michigan Tech.

Awarded Amount: $95,752

Engine Development and Instrumentation for the Nostrum Cycle on Cummins ISB Diesel Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $202,694

Engine Preparation and Instrumentation for Development and Test of the Nostrum Cycle on a Cummins ISB Diesel Engine

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $37,357

John Deere Denso GS CB Injector Spray Characterization

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
Co-Investigator: Seong-Young Lee
Co-Investigator: Jaclyn Johnson
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Objective:

Investigate and characterize five injectors including the effect of nozzle hole details on spray characteristics under a baseline set of conditions with options for charge gas variants and combustion characterization.

Overview:

Tests will be conducted in Michigan Tech's optically accessible combustion vessel (CV) research facility. Existing hardware in the facility will be used; including a high pressure diesel fuel system capable of pressures to 400 MPa, high speed imaging for liquid, vapor and combustion, and custom solenoid/piezo drivers which are tunable to the desired wave-form via John Deere.

A Fixture will be designed and fabricated to interface the injector into the combustion vessel. This injector fixture will include a heating-cooling system to control the injector temperature independent of the charge gas conditions and chamber wall temperature.

Awarded Amount: $73,855

Testing on Single Cylinder DI SI Engine for Injector Evaluation and Validation

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $8,350

Development of Biomass Torrefaction for Coal-fired (CF) Power Industry

Investigators
Principal Investigator: William Predebon
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $150,000

An Overview of Powertrain Testcell Technologies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $5,979

High Impact STEM Outreach Utilizing the MTU Mobile Laboratory at 2013 Heros Alliance Parental Bootcamp

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab, will be utilized to deliver hands-on, short duration, high-impact Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) based explorations at the 2013 Heroes Alliance Parental Boot Camp on August 17th, 2013.

The outreach activities will be setup and delivered by the Mobile Lab's trained team of Staff and Students. The STEM outreach activities will be organized to follow a systems level approach and will be themed around sustainable transportation. Upon approaching the lab, participants will be greeted and introduced to the concept of sustainable transportation, the importance of the concept, and the role that Scientists and Engineers play in this area. Also at this time, participants will learn that Hybrid Vehicles are one element of sustainable transportation, and will learn the basics of hybrid vehicles by seeing actual production and educational based hybrid vehicles.

Upon entering the lab, participants will have the opportunity to explore several work stations, each with a Mobile Lab Mentor. The explorations at the work stations are designed to show participants how each of the major subsystems of a Hybrid Vehicle works, and how important STEM is in continuing to improve those subsystems and move along the pathway towards sustainable transportation.

Explorations may include:

• How it works: Electric Machines

• How it works: Batteries

• How it works: Engines

• How it works: Aerodynamics

• How it works: Controls

• Powertrain Testing

• Vehicle Testing

• Effect of Vehicle Parameters on Performance

 

The exploration Mentor can adjust the activity depth and content "on the fly" such that the activity is exciting and educational to the wide range of participants that attend public outreach events

Awarded Amount: $19,099

Investigation of Igniter Geometry as an Enabler for Improved Dilution Tolerance and Increased Burn Rates in SI Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

OVERVIEW

This Statement of Work (SOW) proposes an experimental study to assess the impacts of a spark plug, employing advanced geometry and technology, on the performance of a modern automotive engine. Phase I of the study will be a proof of concept test to generate preliminary engine based results at a limited speed and load condition. Phase II of the study will be expanded to focus on a wider range of operating conditions including full-load and part-load operating conditions, and will examine performance parameters including brake power, fuel consumption, and combustion stability, as well as diagnostic parameters including combustion phasing, burn rates, bum duration, Mean Effective Pressures and their cyclic variation, Indicated Efficiency, and engine out emissions. Phase II testing will also include optical studies in Michigan Tech's unique Combustion Vessel.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this experimental study are to:

1. Compare the PowerSTAR Spark Plug to the production spark plug under full-load conditions, primarily examining the effect on engine output, with spark timing and A/F optimized for each spark plug, as well as with the engine ECU parameters left as calibrated.

2. Compare the PowerSTAR Spark Plug to the production spark plug under part-load conditions, primarily examining the potential of the PowerSTAR spark plug to increase the dilution tolerance, and increase combustion stability.

3. Compare the PowerSTAR Spark Plug to the production spark plug in an optical combustion vessel.

Awarded Amount: $5,094

Mobile Lab HEV Courses for Ford Motor Company

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Overview

Hands-on education with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab will be utilized to deliver the training to Ford employees during Ford's annual training week in October of 2013.

Audience

This training is intended for Engineers, Managers, and Technicians who are either new to the area of Hybrid Electric Vehicles, or wish to broaden their knowledge to assist in vehicle integration or communication with colleagues across various HEV subsystems. An engineering degree is recommended, but not required for this training. The proposed sessions are designed for a maximum of 20 participants. There is no minimum number of participants.

Outline

The proposed hands-on training covers several topics in HEV's and EV's. The hands-on training takes place over 5 days and is comprised of 6 topical modules. The material is a mix of traditional direct learning and hands-on experimentation with data analysis and discussion. The direct learning portion is taught from the Mobile Lab's classroom, which seats up to 20 participants. The hands-on experimentation will be conducted utilizing a multitude of the Mobile Lab's equipment which may include production hybrid vehicles, a configurable hybrid vehicle, vehicle chassis dynamometer, and hybrid powertrain test cells. Each module is repeated at least 3 times, allowing for as many as 60 participants to be exposed to that particular subject matter. Participants can attend all 6 modules, or choose to only attend those which they find will be the most beneficial to them.

Awarded Amount: $20,997

Collaborative Teaching

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Scope

Michigan Tech Staff Member, support Northcentral Technical College (NTC} faculty in the preparation and delivery of course materials at NTC during the Fall 2013 semester. To support the courses the Michigan Tech Staff Member will spend three weeks at NTC working with NTC faculty in the classroom and lab.

The specific courses and utilization within those courses will be left to the discretion of NTC within the scope of the staff experience. Examples of collaboration could Include guest lectures, assisting NTC Instructors In the lab, and development of new educational apparatus, class projects, and learning modules.

Awarded Amount: $7,719

Hands-On Education in Engines & Experimental Studies

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Overview

Hands-on education with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab will be utilized to deliver the training to John Deer employees during training week in September 2014.

Audience

This training is intended for Engineers, Managers, and Technicians who are either new to the area of Instrumentation & Experimental Methods and the Fundamentals of Diesel Engines, or wish to broaden their knowledge to assist in vehicle integration or communication with colleagues across various subsystems. An engineering degree is recommended, but not required for this training. The proposed sessions are designed for a maximum of 20 participants. There is no minimum number of participants.

Outline

The proposed hands-on training covers two topics 1) Instrumentation & Experimental Methods and 2) Fundamentals of Diesel Engines and takes place over 5 days. The material is a mix of traditional direct learning and hands-on experimentation with data analysis and discussion. The direct learning portion is taught from the Mobile Lab's classroom, which seats up to 20 participants. The hands-on experimentation will be conducted utilizing a multitude of the Mobile Lab's equipment which may include production hybrid vehicles, a configurable hybrid vehicle, vehicle chassis dynamometer, and hybrid powertrain test cells. Each topic is 2.5 days of training.

Awarded Amount: $48,964

Hands-On Experiential Learning Through Development of an Electric Drive Vehicle

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

OVERVIEW

This Statement of Work (SOW) proposes a support structure to assist Heroes Alliance in administering an afterschool program in the Detroit Michigan area. Through this afterschool program, the youth (grades 9-12) will design and build a small electric vehicle, showing them the power of STEM, giving them confidence in their own capabilities, and inspiring them to pursue a STEM career where they can continue to give back to society. Construction of such a vehicle however, presents a complex engineering challenge, but one in which Michigan Tech proposes to support through on-site and off-site coaching, engineering design, and consultation.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the proposed Michigan Tech involvement in this project are to support Heroes Alliance in the successful design and build of an electric vehicle, which will in turn teach the value of STEM to high school youth.

WORK PLAN

It is proposed that a Michigan Tech Mobile Lab Staff Engineer be assigned to support this project. It is understood that the youth will meet for 3-4 hours per day, Monday through Thursday, each week beginning April 2014, and continuing to September 2014. Michigan Tech Staff will travel to Heroes Alliance in Detroit for one week long visit per month for the 6 month duration of the project. If, through subsequent discussions with Heroes Alliance Leadership, it is deemed useful, the Michigan Tech Configurable Hybrid Electric Vehicle will be brought to Heroes Alliance, tt is felt that this vehicle would prove to be a valuable educational resource and provide a source of excitement and motivation to the youth during this project, especially in the early months before their own vehicle starts "taking shape

Awarded Amount: $18,866

Experiencing Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies at the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology 2014 Conference

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

OVERVIEW

Supporting the 2014 Macomb Community College CAAT Conference with the Michigan Tech Mobile Lab. Additionally the Mobile Lab will provide 1-day of open house style engagement for the Students, Faculty, and Staff of Macomb Community College the day before the CAAT conference.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the proposed Michigan Tech involvement in this project are:

1. Provide an open house of the Mobile Lab,

2. Provide a location for a short presentation on HEV Technology prior the CAAT Rid & Drive.

WORK PLAN

The Mobile Lab will provide an open house, during which the Lab will be open to any persons including Macomb Community College Students, Faculty, Staff, and the general public. During this time there will be two Mobile Lab Staff on hand to talk to the guests about various vehicle technologies, experimental technologies, educational programs or opportunities at Michigan Tech, etc. Various demonstrations can also be provided during this period of time on a case by case basis depending on the individuals attending the open house.

During the CAAT Conference the Mobile Lab will provide an open-house experience beginning at 8AM and will continue until the Ride and Drive begins. At the beginning of the Ride and Drive, participants of the ride and drive will be given a short presentation on HEV Technology from within the Mobile Lab prior to driving the vehicles obtained by Macomb Community College. The presentation can be repeated as many times as necessary as the Ride and Drive event continues.

Additionally, Mobile Lab Staff can assist in delivery of the short presentation to give the Macomb Community College Faculty a break throughout the evening. Two Mobile Lab Staff will be on-hand throughout the CAAT Conference event.

Awarded Amount: $8,500

Diagnosing Induction System Degradation and Evaluation of Remedial Chemicals in Automotive Engines

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
Co-Investigator: Jeffrey Naber
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

OVERVIEW

Following a project to evaluate the AUTOEKG FSA8 on four vehicles "Diagnosing Induction System Degradation and Evaluation of Remedial Chemicals in Automotive Engines," it has been mutually determined by ITW and Michigan Tech that additional testing should take place. The additional testing will be done on a population of 30 vehicles, but will not include the extensive tests and measurements taken during the first study.

The population of 30 vehicles will allow for more statistically significant results. The study will be advertised in a Michigan Tech newsletter to find willing participants. Participants will be incentivized with a pre-paid gift card. The volunteered vehicles will first be examined by the research team to ensure the vehicles meet the requirements of the project. After choosing 30 suitable vehicles, each vehicle will be scheduled for an appointment at the Advanced Power Systems Research Center. During this appointment each of the vehicles will have borescope images taken of at least 1 intake valve, and have EKGFSA scores recorded. A portion of the vehicles will have their fuel systems cleaned using ITW chemical products, while a portion will remain as a control group. The owners will be instructed to consume 1 tank of fuel, then bring their vehicle back In for a follow-up appointment, where once again EKGFSA scores will be recorded and borescope images collected. Following this work, results will be summarized and presented to ITW in a web conference. A written report will also be issued.

Awarded Amount: $121,395

CAREER: Dynamics of Fluid-Structure-Control Interaction in Rotating Aerodynamic Bodies

Investigators
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Summary

Studying the nonlinear dynamics of fluid-structure interaction provides insights into a widespread physical topic which makes appearances in many scientific disciplines and several branches of Engineering. These phenomena manifest themselves at a wide range of scales and present excellent opportunities for scientific discovery with a richness of technical application. In cases like a rotor blade or an insect wing, where a body is subject to a complex motion due to the intrinsic operation of a certain mechanism or the dynamics of its control system, the scientific challenge is still greater.

 The objective of the CAREER program proposed is to provide a better understanding of the underlying physics in slender-body aeroelastic dynamics through improved mathematical computational models of the multiphysics process. The program is divided into three overlapping phases each of them building upon previous work the PI has published. The first phase focuses on a new series of adaptive algorithms, based on the hybrid (or vorticity-velocity) formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations. The kinematic laplacian equation (KLE) technique will be used to create a complete decoupling of the two hybrid variables in a  vorticity-in-time/velocity-in-space split approach. The resulting global scheme is intrinsically compatible with non-linear adaptive ODE algorithms, providing a way in which the submodels for the different problems involved (flow, structure, control-system dynamics, etc.) may be treated individually as rnodules that interface with the main ODE routine. This allows for the simultaneous analysis of the aeroelastic problem together with any innovative control strategy into a single computationally-efficient self-adaptive algorithm. The second phase consists of qualitative studies on vortex-shedding and wake dynamics behind oscillating bodies, which play a critical role in the aeroelasic problem. In the third phase, quantitative studies on prototypes of innovative wind-turbine blades, and their associated control strategies, will be conducted.

 Intellectual Merit

The intellectual merit of this work is the advancement of computational mathematical models for the complex multiphysics problems involving fluid-structure-control interaction that are present in many engineering designs, providing also a fundamental tool for a better understanding of the underlying physics. The experimental analysis of these coupled multiphysics problems is extremely difficult. In some cases (like wind-turbine blades), huge size differences complicate extrapolation of experimental data from the wind tunnel to the prototype scale. In others (like the lifting surfaces used in Micro-Air-Vehicle applications inspired in the flapping-wing biological mechanisms observed in bird and insect flight), the sheer task of placing sensors on a small-scale mechanisrn in complex rototranslational motion becomes almost insurmountable. If

successful, the innovative mathematical models proposed here would improve the efficiency and flexibility of the computational implementation and provide a way to tackle these difficulties.

Awarded Amount: $548,111
Keywords: Wind Turbine, Fluid Structure Control, Fluid Dynamics

High Performance, Durable, Low Cost Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Transportation Applications

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Allen
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Water Management Modeling for Cold Start

Material Property and Segmented Cell Measurements The objective of this task is measurement of material and transport properties required as inputs for the Anode GDL Model and FEA Model being developed at Michigan Technological University (MTU) and Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) respectively.

 GDL Modeling for Cold Start The objective of this task is to determine the most relevant GDL material and transport properties for enabling improved cold-start response. An existing water transport model for hydrophobic GDLs will be modified to accommodate hydrophilic anode GDLs in conjunction with state-of-the-art catalyst layers and membranes.The Anode GDL model will be used to develop a mechanistic understanding of anode GDL material properties that have a significant affect on low-temperature transient response and cold startup. GDL, MEA Model Integration The Anode GDL model is a 'local' model focused on a land-channel section of the GDL. This model can be used to track the location of the product water and where evaporation will occur. However the Anode GDL model cannot predict cell performance. The FEA model is a 'cell-level' model that can be used to predict performance response, but requires bulk property relationships for the GDL-FEA interface. For this task, the parameter output of the two models will be integrated. The Anode GDL model will, based on a land-channel unit cell provide bulk transport predictions as source terms for the FEA model. The FEA model will provide the flux conditions for the Anode GDL model. The model integration will be iterative and will need to be conditioned with single-cell experiments.

The objective of this task is to develop a design methodology, or design tool, that can be used to predict fuel cell performance for unique combinations of fuel cell component. Michigan Tech will work closely with LANL on this task. Model Validation This task is focused on the design and conduct single-cell experiments for the purpose of generating data sets specifically for model validation; as opposed to cell performance or durability testing. Experiments  may incorporate  segmentation in order to collect spatially and temporally varying current distribution and to potentially control voltage and current distribution for model validation purposes. The experiments will be conducted at 3M.  Michigan Tech and LANL will provide guidance on experiment conditions to use for validation tests

Awarded Amount: $653,620

Titan Agriculture and Off-Road Tire Test Fixture

Investigators
Principal Investigator: John Beard
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Introduction

Soil compaction is a function of numerous variables such as vertical tire load, lug and cavity shape, tire width and diameter, bias or radial construction, dynamic loading, tire pressure, soil type, moisture content and wheel slippage. Soil compaction testing facilities utilize various methods for loading the tire, measuring compaction and tire-soil interface for a broad range of tires, loading conditions, soil moisture, etc.

 

Problem Statement

The proposed work is the design and fabrication of a tire test fixture to measure the influence of tire pressure, vertical and draw bar loads on soil compaction for agricultural and off-road tires. The fixture will apply calibrated vertical and draw bar loads. The stress distribution in the soil pan will be measured with pressure pads.

Awarded Amount: $120,275

Raising Awareness to the Need for Growth in Engineering Talent in Michigan and the Training Assets Available at the 2014 CAR Conference

Investigators
Principal Investigator: Jeremy Worm
College/School: College of Engineering
Department(s): Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Awarded Amount: $12,810