1991-02-01

Three-Dimensional Analysis and Modeling of a Wankel Engine 910701

A new computer code, AGNI-3D, has been developed for the modeling of combustion, spray, and flow properties in a stratified-charge rotary engine (SCRE). The mathematical and numerical details of the new code are described by the first author in a separate NASA publication. The solution procedure is based on an Eulerian-Lagrangian approach where the unsteady, three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations for a perfect gas-mixture with variable properties are solved in generalized, Eulerian coordinates on a moving grid by making use of an implicit finite-volume, Steger-Warming flux vector splitting scheme. The liquid-phase equations are solved in Lagrangian coordinates. The engine configuration studied was similar to existing rotary engine flow-visualization and hot-firing test rigs. The results of limited test cases indicate a good degree of qualitative agreement between the predicted and measured pressures. It is conjectured that the impulsive nature of the torque generated by the observed pressure nonuniformity may be one of the mechanisms responsible for the excessive wear of the timing gears observed during the early stages of the rotary combustion engine (RCE) development. It was identified that the turbulence intensities near top-dead-center were dominated by the compression process and only slightly influenced by the intake and exhaust processes. Slow mixing resulting from small turbulence intensities within the rotor pocket and also from a lack of formation of any significant recirculation regions within the rotor pocket were identified as the major factors leading to incomplete combustion. Detailed flowfield results during exhaust and intake, fuel injection, fuel vaporization, combustion, mixing and expansion processes are also presented. The numerical procedure is very efficient as it takes 7 to 10 CPU hours on a CRAY Y-MP for one entire engine cycle when the computations are performed over a 31×16×20 grid.

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