CFD and X-Ray Analysis of Gaseous Direct Injection from an Outward Opening Injector 2016-01-0850
Using natural gas in an internal combustion engine (ICE) is emerging as a promising way to improve thermal efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions. In the development of such engine platforms, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) plays a fundamental role in the optimization of geometries and operating parameters. One of the most relevant issues in the simulation of direct injection (DI) gaseous processes is the accurate prediction of the gas jet evolution.
The simulation of the injection process for a gaseous fuel does not require complex modeling, nevertheless properly describing high-pressure gas jets remains a challenging task. At the exit of the nozzle, the injected gas is under-expanded, the flow becomes supersonic and shocks occur due to compressibility effects. These phenomena lead to challenging computational requirements resulting from high grid resolution and low computational time-steps.
In this paper, the simulation of gaseous injection from an outward opening injector was carried out with the commercial CFD software CONVERGE. Argon was injected into a quiescent chamber filled with Nitrogen. Two free-jet cases with injection pressure of 15 and 10 bar, and ambient pressure of 1 and 2 bar respectively, were tested. For the 15 bar injection pressure and 1 bar ambient pressure, a jet impinging on a barrier case was performed as well. The numerical results were validated against experimental mass measurements using X-ray radiography.
The results, presented in terms of 2D maps and transverse sections of equivalent path length of argon, showed good agreement between modeling and experiments in terms of jet penetration, shape and gas mass distribution. These emphasized the significant impact of mesh size on the results for the simulation of this type of injector. Due to the small geometrical dimensions a fine mesh is required in order to deliver an accurate description of the mixture formation. Numerical results were discussed with a particular emphasis on the application to engine simulations, where a trade-off between accuracy and computational time is a necessity.