Browse Publications Technical Papers 2016-01-0206

Optimization of Vehicle Air Intake System and Air Charge Temperature for Better Engine Performance and Fuel Economy 2016-01-0206

An Air intake system (AIS) is a duct system which leads the airflow going into the internal combustion engine. Combustion requires oxygen, and the more oxygen is provided into the combustion process the more power it will produce. The lower the air temperature, the higher its density, and hence there is more oxygen in a unit volume. The quality of air entering engine can be measured with the air temperature.
AIS design and routing influence the air charge temperature (ACT) at intake manifold runners and ACT is normally measured at AIS throttle body in reality. Higher ACT lead to inefficient combustion and can lead to spark retard. Optimization of AIS designs and reduction of ACT can improve engine performance and vehicle fuel economy.
High ACT can be a result of two different phenomena:
  • Recirculation - Hot air from the underhood environment ingested into the dirty side of the air intake system. This is the result of the AIS snorkel not being isolated or sealed from the engine compartment hot air.
  • Underhood temperature rise - Air inside AIS is heated by the ducts walls because it is routed through a hot underhood environment. The longer the length and larger the diameter of the air induction system, and the higher duct skin temperatures, the worse the temperature rise.
In this paper, it is planned to simulate and study the effects of following factors on ACT with CFD using a FCA production vehicle:
  • Snorkel location: snorkel sucking fresh air at side air guide or snorkel sucking underhood hot recirculation air.
  • Exhaust hot end at front of an east-west engine or at the rear of the engine; these two arrangements will result in different underhood air temperatures and radiation to AIS surfaces.
  • Heat shield effects on ACT: heat shield blocks radiation from exhaust system to AIS surfaces, and hence reduces charge air heat pick from AIS duct walls.
  • The effects of other measures such as cutting holes on hood or fenders to lower engine compartment air temperatures.
Although the airflow in vehicle AIS duct is transient in nature, steady CFD simulations will be performed to study the above cases for simplification, and CFD approach will be discussed in details. Vehicle test data will be used to validate the CFD models.
Finally, general practices of AIS development will be discussed, and future work on this topic will be outlined.


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