Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Advanced Propulsion Technology Center
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) established the Advanced Propulsion Technology Center (APTC) to study a wide variety of technologies related to the transportation industry. The APTC is a technology development, integration, and evaluation facility for new technologies in diesel, gasoline, and alternative fuel engines; new material usage; diagnostics and control; emission measurement and reduction; and efficiency enhancing techniques. The APTC houses four dynamometer stands ranging from 25 to 400 hp; numerous single and multicylinder diesel and spark ignition engines provided by industry; emissions measuring equipment; a high-speed data acquisition system; and optical diagnostics for internal temperature measurements. A chassis dynamometer is available nearby at the University of Tennessee.
Temperature measurements in internal combustion engines provide necessary information to help engine designers develop cleaner, more efficient engines. By using phosphor thermometry, the APTC accomplished in-situ thermal characterization of engine components. Specific successes from this non-contact temperature measurement technique include steady-state piston crown temperature measurements and transient intake valve temperature monitoring during cold start conditions.
The APTC also developed the catalyst surface spectroscopy method. In-situ measurements of catalytic reactions provide invaluable data for catalyst development. To measure these reactions, the APTC invented an accessory for use with Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform (DRIFT) spectroscopy which allows the collection of spectra from surfaces that are heated and exposed to different gases. Presently, the APTC is evaluating this procedure for potential usage in examining in-situ reaction mechanisms of Nox reduction.
The APTC continues to research new technologies. Current efforts include electrical signature analysis (ESA) to detect, analyze, and correct unwanted changes in process conditions or abnormalities in electrical and electromechanical equipment; response and performance evaluations of catalytic converter materials based on the complex and dynamic nature of real-life engine exhaust; and development of a vehicle fuel consumption and emissions database for use in real-life traffic models.
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