Internal Combustion Engine

This semester I’ve been taking an Internal Combustion Engines course that has a hands-on lab component. Tomorrow is the last lab of the semester.

The class had a total of two labs and I really enjoyed the first lab. The first lab was therapeutic! We were given the tools to take apart a 4.2 L Ford engine from a Ford Focus. We were also given the engine and told to go at it. The purpose of the dis-assembly lab was to give us an intuition of the scale of parts inside the engine and to give us an opportunity to see how the length, thickness and area of different engine components directly affected the overall performance of the engine. We measured the different engine parts and then ran calculations to understand how the size of the different engine parts affected engine performance at different loads.

For tomorrow’s lab, we want to study the engine in operation at several different operating points. To do this, we will vary the timing of the spark ignition (within +/- 20 dgrees of the timing for max brake torque) and the throttle position.

To characteristic the engine’s performance, we will take data on

… the net indicated specific fuel consumption

… coefficient of variation in the Gross indicated mean effective pressure

… NOx, ppm and the emission index

… HC, ppmCl and emission index

… CO, as a mole fraction and emission index

… CO2, as a mole fraction and emission index

I’ll try to take some pictures of the cylinder we’re working with – we’re using a modified five-cylinder Volvo B5254 engine. The modification is that we’re running the test with four of the five cylinders removed so that we can operate the engine at part load.

Wish me luck!

– J.


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