A Sequential Fluid-Mechanic Chemical-Kinetic Model of Propane HCCI Combustion 2001-01-1027
We have developed a methodology for predicting combustion and emissions in a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine. This methodology combines a detailed fluid mechanics code with a detailed chemical kinetics code. Instead of directly linking the two codes, which would require an extremely long computational time, the methodology consists of first running the fluid mechanics code to obtain temperature profiles as a function of time. These temperature profiles are then used as input to a multi-zone chemical kinetics code. The advantage of this procedure is that a small number of zones (10) is enough to obtain accurate results. This procedure achieves the benefits of linking the fluid mechanics and the chemical kinetics codes with a great reduction in the computational effort, to a level that can be handled with current computers. The success of this procedure is in large part a consequence of the fact that for much of the compression stroke the chemistry is inactive and thus has little influence on fluid mechanics and heat transfer. Then, when chemistry is active, combustion is rather sudden, leaving little time for interaction between chemistry and fluid mixing and heat transfer. This sequential methodology has been capable of explaining the main characteristics of HCCI combustion that have been observed in experiments.
In this paper, we use our model to explore an HCCI engine running on propane. The paper compares experimental and numerical pressure traces, heat release rates, and hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. The results show an excellent agreement, even in parameters that are difficult to predict, such as chemical heat release rates. Carbon monoxide emissions are reasonably well predicted, even though it is intrinsically difficult to make good predictions of CO emissions in HCCI engines. The paper includes a sensitivity study on the effect of the heat transfer correlation on the results of the analysis. Importantly, the paper also shows a numerical study on how parameters such as swirl rate, crevices and ceramic walls could help in reducing HC and CO emissions from HCCI engines.