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Technical Paper

Effects of Prechamber on Efficiency Improvement and Emissions Reduction of a SI Engine Fuelled with Gasoline

2019-10-07
2019-24-0236
The permanent aim of the automotive industry is the further improvement of the engine efficiency and the simultaneous pollutant emissions reduction. The aim of the study was the optimization of the gasoline combustion by means of a passive prechamber. This analysis allowed the improvement of the engine efficiency in lean-burn operation condition too. The investigation was carried out in a commercial small Spark Ignition (SI) engine fueled with gasoline and equipped with a proper designed passive prechamber. It was analyzed the effects of the prechamber on engine performance, Indicated Mean Effective Pressure, Heat Release Rate and Fuel Consumption were used. Gaseous emissions were measured as well. Particulate Mass, Number and Size Distributions were analyzed. Emissions samples were taken from the exhaust flow, just downstream of the valves. Four different engine speeds were investigated, namely 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 rpm.
Technical Paper

Knock Onset Detection Methods Evaluation by In-Cylinder Direct Observation

2019-10-07
2019-24-0233
Improvement of performance and emission of future internal combustion engine for passenger cars is mandatory during the transition period toward their substitution with electric propulsion systems. In middle time, direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engines could offer a good compromise between fuel economy and exhaust emissions. However, abnormal combustion and particularly knock and super-knock are some of the most important obstacles to the improvement of SI engines efficiency. Although knock has been studied for many years and its basic characteristics are clear, phenomena involved in its occurrence are very complex and are still worth of investigation. In particular, the definition of an absolute knock intensity and the precise determination of the knock onset are arduous and many indexes and methodologies has been proposed. In this work, most used methods for knock onset detection from in- cylinder pressure signal have been considered.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulation of Syngas Blends Combustion in a Research Single-Cylinder Engine

2019-09-09
2019-24-0094
Despite syngas is a promising alternative fuel for internal combustion engines (ICEs), its extensive adoption has not been adequately investigated so far. The dedicated literature offers several fundamental studies dealing with H2/CO blends burning at high pressure and room temperature, as well as preheated mixture at low pressure. However, these thermodynamic states are far from the operational conditions typical of ICEs. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the syngas combustion process at engine-like conditions to shed light on this fuel performance, in order to fully benefit from syngas characteristics in ICE application. One of the key properties to characterize a combustion process is laminar flame speed, which is also used by the most widespread turbulent combustion models.
Technical Paper

Experimental Characterization of Methane Direct Injection from an Outward-Opening Poppet-Valve Injector

2019-09-09
2019-24-0135
The in-cylinder direct injection of natural gas can be a further step towards cleaner and more efficient internal combustion engines (ICE). However, the injector design and its characterization, both experimentally and by numerical simulation, is challenging because of the complex fluid dynamics related to gas compressibility and the small length scale. In this work, the under-expanded flow of methane from an outward-opening poppet-valve injector has been experimentally characterized by high-speed schlieren imaging. The investigation has been performed at ambient temperature and pressure and different nozzle pressure ratios (NPR) ranging from 10 to 18. The gaseous jet has been characterized in terms of its macroscale parameters. A scaling-law analysis of the results has been performed. The gas-dynamic structure at the nozzle exit has been also investigated.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Fueled Prechamber Combustion in an Optical Small Displacement SI Methane Engine

2019-09-09
2019-24-0170
The constant aim of the automotive industry is the further improvement of engine efficiency and the simultaneous reduction of the exhaust emissions. In order to optimize the internal combustion engines it is necessary to further improve the basic knowledge of the thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion process. In this context, the application of optical diagnostic techniques permits a deep insight into the fundamental processes such as flow development, fuel injection, and combustion process. In this paper the analysis of the combustion process of gaseous fuel ignited by the plasma jets coming from a prechamber was performed. The investigation was carried out in an optically accessible small Direct Injection Spark-Ignition (DI SI) engine fueled with Methane. The ignition was obtained with a properly designed fueled prechamber prototype.
Technical Paper

CFD Analysis and Knock Prediction into Crevices of Piston to Liner Fireland of an High Performance ICE

2019-09-09
2019-24-0006
The paper aims at defining a methodology for the prediction and understanding of knock tendency in internal combustion engine piston crevices by means of CFD simulations. The motivation for the analysis comes from a real design requirement which appeared during the development of a new high performance SI unit: it is in fact widely known that, in high performance engines (especially the turbocharged ones), the high values of pressure and temperature inside the combustion chamber during the engine cycle may cause knocking phenomena. “Standard” knock can be easily recognized by direct observation of the in-cylinder measured pressure trace; it is then possible to undertake proper actions and implement design and control improvements to prevent it with relatively standard 3D-CFD analyses.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of a Pre-Chamber Turbulent Jet Ignition Combustion System

2019-09-09
2019-24-0018
Recent needs of reducing pollutant emissions of internal combustion engines have pushed the development of non-conventional ignition systems. One of the most promising techniques appears to be the so-called pre-chamber turbulent jet ignition combustion system in which a jet of hot combusting gases is employed to initiate the combustion in the main chamber. In the present study, the combustion process related to this ignition system has been experimentally investigated in an optically accessible single cylinder spark-ignition engine. The pre-chamber was composed of a gas injector and a spark-plug, embedded in a small annular chamber connected to the cylinder through a four-hole pipette. A small amount of methane is injected within the pre-chamber for initiating the combustion. The flame reaches the combustion chamber through four narrow orifices and rapidly consumes a homogeneous mixture of port injected methane and air.
Technical Paper

A Comparison between Different Moving Grid Techniques for the Analysis of the TCC Engine under Motored Conditions

2019-04-02
2019-01-0218
The accurate representation of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) flows via CFD is an extremely complex task: it strongly depends on a combination of highly impacting factors, such as grid resolution (both local and global), choice of the turbulence model, numeric schemes and mesh motion technique. A well-founded choice must be made in order to avoid excessive computational cost and numerical difficulties arising from the combination of fine computational grids, high-order numeric schemes and geometrical complexity typical of ICEs. The paper focuses on the comparison between different mesh motion technologies, namely layer addition and removal, morphing/remapping and overset grids. Different grid strategies for a chosen mesh motion technology are also discussed. The performance of each mesh technology and grid strategy is evaluated in terms of accuracy and computational efficiency (stability, scalability, robustness).
Technical Paper

Influence of Combustion Efficiency on the Operation of Spark Ignition Engines Fueled with Methane and Hydrogen Investigated in a Quasi-Dimensional Simulation Framework

2018-05-30
2018-37-0012
Within the context of widening application of numerical simulations for shortening engine development times, the present work covers the issue of quasi-dimensional simulation of spark ignition engines. Multi-fuel operation was the main goal of the study, with the analysis of methane and its blends with hydrogen; gasoline was also considered as a reference case. Data recorded on two engines with practically the same geometry, was used for calibrating the model. The first power unit was of commercial derivation for small applications, while the second one featured optical accessibility through the piston crown. The relative difference between the two engines allowed the top-land region crevice to be identified as the major contributor to overall combustion evolution, especially during its late stages.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Spray Evolution, Hydraulics and Atomization for a 60 MPa Injection Pressure GDI System

2018-04-03
2018-01-0271
In recent years, the GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) technology has significantly spread over the automotive market under the continuous push toward the adoption of combustion systems featuring high thermodynamic conversion efficiency and moderate pollutant emissions. Following this path, the injection pressure level has been progressively increased from the initial 5-15 MPa level nowadays approaching 35 MPa. The main reason behind the progressive injection pressure increase in GDI engines is the improved spray atomization, ensuring a better combustion process control and lower soot emissions. On the other hand, increasing injection pressure implies more power absorbed by the pumping system and hence a penalty in terms of overall efficiency. Therefore, the right trade-off has to be found between soot formation tendency reduction thanks to improved atomization and the energetic cost of a high pressure fuel injection system.
Technical Paper

Impact of Grid Density on the LES Analysis of Flow CCV: Application to the TCC-III Engine under Motored Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0203
Large-eddy simulation (LES) applications for internal combustion engine (ICE) flows are constantly growing due to the increase of computing resources and the availability of suitable CFD codes, methods and practices. The LES superior capability for modeling spatial and temporal evolution of turbulent flow structures with reference to RANS makes it a promising tool for describing, and possibly motivating, ICE cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) and cycle-resolved events such as knock and misfire. Despite the growing interest towards LES in the academic community, applications to ICE flows are still limited. One of the reasons for such discrepancy is the uncertainty in the estimation of the LES computational cost. This in turn is mainly dependent on grid density, the CFD domain extent, the time step size and the overall number of cycles to be run. Grid density is directly linked to the possibility of reducing modeling assumptions for sub-grid scales.
Technical Paper

Refinement of a 0D Turbulence Model to Predict Tumble and Turbulent Intensity in SI Engines. Part II: Model Concept, Validation and Discussion

2018-04-03
2018-01-0856
As known, reliable information about underlying turbulence intensity is a mandatory pre-requisite to predict the burning rate in quasi-dimensional combustion models. Based on 3D results reported in the companion part I paper, a quasi-dimensional turbulence model, embedded under the form of “user routine” in the GT-Power™ software, is here presented in detail. A deep discussion on the model concept is reported, compared to the alternative approaches available in the current literature. The model has the potential to estimate the impact of some geometrical parameters, such as the intake runner orientation, the compression ratio, or the bore-to-stroke ratio, thus opening the possibility to relate the burning rate to the engine architecture. Preliminarily, a well-assessed approach, embedded in GT-Power commercial software v.2016, is utilized to reproduce turbulence characteristics of a VVA engine.
Journal Article

Development of Chemistry-Based Laminar Flame Speed Correlation for Part-Load SI Conditions and Validation in a GDI Research Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0174
The detailed study of part-load conditions is essential to characterize engine-out emissions in key operating conditions. The relevance of part-load operations is further emphasized by the recent regulations such as the new WLTP standard. Combustion development at part-load operations depends on a complex interplay between moderate turbulence levels (low engine speed and tumble ratio), low in-cylinder pressure and temperature, and stoichiometric-to-lean mixture quality (to maximize fuel efficiency). From a modelling standpoint, the reduced turbulence intensity compared to full-load operations complicates the interaction between different sub-models (e.g., reconsideration of the flamelet hypothesis adopted by common combustion models). In this article, the authors focus on chemistry-based simulations for laminar flame speed of gasoline surrogates at conditions typical of part-load operations. The analysis is an extension of a previous study focused on full-load operations.
Technical Paper

Chemistry-Based Laminar Flame Speed Correlations for a Wide Range of Engine Conditions for Iso-Octane, n-Heptane, Toluene and Gasoline Surrogate Fuels

2017-10-08
2017-01-2190
CFD simulations of reacting flows are fundamental investigation tools used to predict combustion behaviour and pollutants formation in modern internal combustion engines. Focusing on spark-ignited units, most of the flamelet-based combustion models adopted in current simulations use the fuel/air/residual laminar flame propagation speed as a background to predict the turbulent flame speed. This, in turn, is a fundamental requirement to model the effective burn rate. A consolidated approach in engine combustion simulations relies on the adoption of empirical correlations for laminar flame speed, which are derived from fitting of combustion experiments. However, these last are conducted at pressure and temperature ranges largely different from those encountered in engines: for this reason, correlation extrapolation at engine conditions is inevitably accepted. As a consequence, relevant differences between proposed correlations emerge even for the same fuel and conditions.
Technical Paper

A Comprehensive CFD-CHT Methodology for the Characterization of a Diesel Engine: from the Heat Transfer Prediction to the Thermal Field Evaluation

2017-10-08
2017-01-2196
High power-density Diesel engines are characterized by remarkable thermo-mechanical loads. Therefore, compared to spark ignition engines, designers are forced to increase component strength in order to avoid failures. 3D-CFD simulations represent a powerful tool for the evaluation of the engine thermal field and may be used by designers, along with FE analyses, to ensure thermo-mechanical reliability. The present work aims at providing an integrated in-cylinder/CHT methodology for the estimation of a Diesel engine thermal field. On one hand, in-cylinder simulations are fundamental to evaluate not only the integral amount of heat transfer to the combustion chamber walls, but also its point-wise distribution. To this specific aim, an improved heat transfer model based on a modified thermal wall function is adopted to estimate correctly wall heat fluxes due to combustion.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Sub-Grid Model Effect on the Accuracy of In-Cylinder LES of the TCC Engine under Motored Conditions

2017-09-04
2017-24-0040
The increasing interest in the application of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) to Internal Combustion Engines (hereafter ICEs) flows is motivated by its capability to capture spatial and temporal evolution of turbulent flow structures. Furthermore, LES is universally recognized as capable of simulating highly unsteady and random phenomena driving cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) and cycle-resolved events such as knock and misfire. Several quality criteria were proposed in the recent past to estimate LES uncertainty: however, definitive conclusions on LES quality criteria for ICEs are still far to be found. This paper describes the application of LES quality criteria to the TCC-III single-cylinder optical engine from University of Michigan and GM Global R&D; the analyses are carried out under motored condition.
Technical Paper

Particle Formation and Emissions in an Optical Small Displacement SI Engine Dual Fueled with CNG DI and Gasoline PFI

2017-09-04
2017-24-0092
Fuel depletion as well as the growing concerns on environmental issues prompt to the use of more eco-friendly fuels. The compressed natural gas (CNG) is considered one of the most promising alternative fuel for engine applications because of the lower emissions. Nevertheless, recent studies highlighted the presence of ultrafine particle emissions at the exhaust of CNG engines. The present study aims to investigate the effect of CNG on particle formation and emissions when it was direct injected and when it was dual fueled with gasoline. In this latter case, the CNG was direct injected and the gasoline port fuel injected. The study was carried out on a transparent single cylinder SI engine in order to investigate the in-cylinder process by real time non-intrusive diagnostics. In-cylinder 2D chemiluminescence measurements from UV to visible were carried out.
Technical Paper

CFD Optimization of n-Butanol Mixture Preparation and Combustion in an Research GDI Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0063
The recent interest in alternative non-fossil fuels has led researchers to evaluate several alcohol-based formulations. However, one of the main requirements for innovative fuels is to be compatible with existing units’ hardware, so that full replacement or smart flexible-fuel strategies can be smoothly adopted. n-Butanol is considered as a promising candidate to replace commercial gasoline, given its ease of production from bio-mass and its main physical and chemical properties similar to those of Gasoline. The compared behavior of n-butanol and gasoline was analyzed in an optically-accessible DISI engine in a previous paper [1]. CFD simulations explained the main outcomes of the experimental campaign in terms of combustion behavior for two operating conditions. In particular, the first-order role of the slower evaporation rate of n-butanol compared to gasoline was highlighted when the two fuels were operated under the same injection phasing.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigations on the Sources of Particulate Emission within a Natural Gas Spark-Ignition Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0141
The aim of the present work is to provide further guidance into better understanding the production mechanisms of soot emissions in Spark-Ignition SI engines fueled with compressed natural gas. In particular, extensive experimental investigations were designed with the aim to isolate the contribution of the fuel from that of lubricant oil to particle emissions. This because the common thought is that particulate emerging from the engine derives mainly from fuel, otherwise the contribute of lubricant oil cannot be neglected or underestimated, especially when the fuel itself produces low levels of soot emissions, such as in the case of premixed natural gas. The fuel-derived contribution was studied by analyzing the influence that natural gas composition has on soot emitted from a single cylinder Spark-Ignition (SI) engine. To achieve this purpose, methane/propane mixtures were realized and injected into the intake manifold of a Single-Cylinder SI engine.
Technical Paper

On the Entrainment Velocity and Characteristic Length Scales Used for Quasi-Dimensional Turbulent Combustion Modeling in Spark Ignition Engines

2017-09-04
2017-24-0002
Quasi-dimensional modeling is used on a wide scale in engine development, given its potential for saving time and resources compared to experimental investigations. Often it is preferred to more complex CFD codes that are much more computationally intensive. Accuracy is one major issue of quasi-dimensional simulations and for this reason sub-models are continuously developed for improving predictive capabilities. This study considers the use of equivalent fluid velocity and characteristic length scales for simulating the processes of fresh charge entrainment and oxidation behind the flame front. Rather than dividing combustion into three different phases (i.e. laminar kernel, turbulent flame propagation and oxidation near the walls), the concept of turbulent heat and mass transfer is imposed throughout the entire process.
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