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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

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

Quasi-Dimensional Simulation of Downsizing and Inverter Application for Efficient Part Load Operation of Spark Ignition Engine Driven Micro-Cogeneration Systems

2018-10-30
2018-32-0061
Within the context of distributed power generation, small size systems driven by spark ignition engines represent a valid and user-friendly choice, that ensures good fuel flexibility. One issue is that such applications are run at part load for extensive periods, thus lowering fuel economy. Employing an inverter (fitted between the generator and load) allows engine operation within a wide range of crankshaft rotational velocity, therefore improving efficiency. For the purpose of evaluating the benefits of this technology within a co-generation framework, two configurations were modeled by using the GT-Power simulation software. After model calibration based on measurements on a small size engine for two-wheel applications, the downsized version was compared to a larger power unit operated at constant engine speed for a scenario that featured up to 10 kW rated power.
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.
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.
Journal Article

Influence of Engine Speed and Injection Phasing on Lean Combustion for Different Dilution Rates in an Optically Accessible Wall-Guided Spark Ignition Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-1421
Alternative combustion control in the form of lean operation offers significant advantages such as high efficiency and “clean” fuel oxidation. Maximum dilution rates are limited by increasing instability that can ultimately lead to partial burning or even misfires. A compromise needs to be reached between high tumble-turbulence levels that “speed-up” combustion and the inherent stochastic nature of this fluid motion. The present study is focused on gaining improved insight into combustion characteristics through thermodynamic analysis and flame imaging, in a wall-guided direct injection spark ignition engine with optical accessibility. Engine speed values were investigated in the range of 1000 to 2000 rpm, with commercial gasoline fueling, in wide open throttle conditions; mixture strength ranged from stoichiometric, down to the equivalence ratios that allowed acceptable cycle-by-cycle variations; and all cases featured spark timing close to the point of maximum brake torque.
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.
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.
Journal Article

Real Time Prediction of Particle Sizing at the Exhaust of a Diesel Engine by Using a Neural Network Model

2017-09-04
2017-24-0051
In order to meet the increasingly strict emission regulations, several solutions for NOx and PM emissions reduction have been studied. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology has become one of the more used methods to accomplish the NOx emissions reduction. However, actual control strategies do not consider, in the definition of optimal EGR, its effect on particle size and density. These latter have a great importance both for the optimal functioning of after-treatment systems, but also for the adverse effects that small particles have on human health. Epidemiological studies, in fact, highlighted that the toxicity of particulate particles increases as the particle size decreases. The aim of this paper is to present a Neural Network model able to provide real time information about the characteristics of exhaust particles emitted by a Diesel engine.
Journal Article

Development of a RANS-Based Knock Model to Infer the Knock Probability in a Research Spark-Ignition Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0551
Engine knock is one of the most limiting factors for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines to achieve high efficiency targets. The stochastic nature of knock in SI units hinders the predictive capability of RANS knock models, which are based on ensemble averaged quantities. To this aim, a knock model grounded in statistics was recently developed in the RANS formalism. The model is able to infer a presumed log-normal distribution of knocking cycles from a single RANS simulation by means of transport equations for variances and turbulence-derived probability density functions (PDFs) for physical quantities. As a main advantage, the model is able to estimate the earliest knock severity experienced when moving the operating condition into the knocking regime.
Journal Article

Numerical Simulation of Gasoline and n-Butanol Combustion in an Optically Accessible Research Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0546
Conventional fossil fuels are more and more regulated in terms of both engine-out emissions and fuel consumption. Moreover, oil price and political instabilities in oil-producer countries are pushing towards the use of alternative fuels compatible with the existing units. N-Butanol is an attractive candidate as conventional gasoline replacement, given its ease of production from bio-mass and key physico-chemical properties similar to their gasoline counterpart. A comparison in terms of combustion behavior of gasoline and n-Butanol is here presented by means of experiments and 3D-CFD simulations. The fuels are tested on a single-cylinder direct-injection spark-ignition (DISI) unit with an optically accessible flat piston. The analysis is carried out at stoichiometric undiluted condition and lean-diluted mixture for both pure fuels.
Journal Article

Numerical Simulation and Flame Analysis of Combustion and Knock in a DISI Optically Accessible Research Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0555
The increasing limitations in engine emissions and fuel consumption have led researchers to the need to accurately predict combustion and related events in gasoline engines. In particular, knock is one of the most limiting factors for modern SI units, severely hindering thermal efficiency improvements. Modern CFD simulations are becoming an affordable instrument to support experimental practice from the early design to the detailed calibration stage. To this aim, combustion and knock models in RANS formalism provide good time-to-solution trade-off allowing to simulate mean flame front propagation and flame brush geometry, as well as “ensemble average” knock tendency in end-gases. Still, the level of confidence in the use of CFD tools strongly relies on the possibility to validate models and methodologies against experimental measurements.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Soot Formation and Exhaust Particle Emissions in a Small Displacement Spark Ignition Engine Operating with Ethanol Mixed and Dual Fueled with Gasoline

2017-03-28
2017-01-0653
This paper aims to correlate the in-cylinder soot formation and the exhaust particle emissions for different methods of gasoline/ethanol fueling in spark ignition engine. In particular, the engine was fueled with gasoline and ethanol separately and not, in this latter case both blended (E30) and dual fueled (EDF). For E30 the bend was direct injected and for EDF, the ethanol was injected in the combustion chamber and the gasoline into the intake duct. For both the injection configurations, the same percentage of ethanol in gasoline was supplied: 30%v/v. The measurements were carried out at 2000 and 4000 rpm, under full load, and stoichiometric condition, in small single cylinder optical engine. 2D-digital imaging was performed to follow the combustion process with a high spatial and temporal resolution through a full-bore optical piston. The two-color pyrometry was applied for the analysis of the in cylinder soot formation in the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Correlation between Simulated Volume Fraction Burned Using a Quasi-Dimensional Model and Flame Area Measured in an Optically Accessible SI Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0545
Multi-fuel operation is one of the main topics of investigative research in the field of internal combustion engines. Spark ignition (SI) power units are relatively easily adaptable to alternative liquid-as well as gaseous-fuels, with mixture preparation being the main modification required. Numerical simulations are used on an ever wider scale in engine research in order to reduce costs associated with experimental investigations. In this sense, quasi-dimensional models provide acceptable accuracy with reduced computational efforts. Within this context, the present study puts under scrutiny the assumption of spherical flame propagation and how calibration of a two-zone combustion simulation is affected when changing fuel type. A quasi-dimensional model was calibrated based on measured in-cylinder pressure, and numerical results related to the two-zone volumes were compared to recorded flame imaging.
Technical Paper

Performance, Gaseous and Particle Emissions of a Small Compression Ignition Engine Operating in Diesel/Methane Dual Fuel Mode

2016-04-05
2016-01-0771
This paper deals with the combustion behavior and exhaust emissions of a small compression ignition engine modified to operate in diesel/methane dual fuel mode. The engine is a three-cylinder, 1028 cm3 of displacement, equipped with a common rail injection system. The engine is provided with the production diesel oxidation catalyst. Intake manifold was modified in order to set up a gas injector managed by an external control unit. Experiments were carried out at different engine speeds and loads. For each engine operating condition, the majority of the total load was supplied by methane while a small percentage of the load was realized using diesel fuel; the latter was necessary to ignite the premixed charge of gaseous fuel. Thermodynamical analysis of the combustion phase was performed by in-cylinder pressure signal. Gas emissions and particulate matter were measured at the exhaust by commercial instruments.
Journal Article

CFD Analysis of Combustion and Knock in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0601
The occurrence of knock is the most limiting hindrance for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines. In order to understand its origin and move the operating condition as close as possible to onset of this potentially harmful phenomenon, a joint experimental and numerical investigation is the most recommended approach. A preliminary experimental activity was carried out at IM-CNR on a 0.4 liter GDI unit, equipped with a flat transparent piston. The analysis of flame front morphology allowed to correlate high levels of flame front wrinkling and negative curvature to knock prone operating conditions, such as increased spark timings or high levels of exhaust back-pressure. In this study a detailed CFD analysis is carried out for the same engine and operating point as the experiments. The aim of this activity is to deeper investigate the reasons behind the main outcomes of the experimental campaign.
Technical Paper

Image Processing for Early Flame Characterization and Initialization of Flamelet Models of Combustion in a GDI Engine

2015-09-06
2015-24-2405
Ignition and flame inception are well recognised as affecting performance and stable operation of spark ignition engines. The very early stage of combustion is indeed the main source of cycle-to-cycle variability, in particular in gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines, where mixture formation may lead to non-homogenous air-to-fuel distributions, especially under some speed and load conditions. From a numerical perspective, 3D modelling of combustion within Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) approaches is not sufficient to provide reliable information about cyclic variability, unless proper changes in the initial conditions of the flow transport equations are considered. Combustion models based on the flamelet concept prove being particularly suitable for the simulation of the energy conversion process in internal combustion engines, due to their low computational cost. These models include a transport equation for the flame surface density, which needs proper initialization.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ethanol and Gasoline Blending and Dual Fueling on Engine Performance and Emissions.

2015-09-06
2015-24-2490
Ethanol is the most promising alternative fuel for spark ignition (SI) engines, that is blended with gasoline, typically. Moreover, in the last years great attention is paid to the dual fueling, ethanol and gasoline are injected simultaneously. This paper aims to analyze the better methods, blending or dual fueling in order to best exploit the potential of ethanol in improving engine performance and reducing pollutant emissions. The experimental activity was carried out in a small displacement single cylinder engine, representative of 2-3 wheel vehicle engines or of 3-4 cylinder small displacement automotive engines. It was equipped with a prototype gasoline direct injection (GDI) head. The tests were carried out at 3000, 4000, and 5000 rpm full load. The investigated engine operating conditions are representative of the European homologation urban driving cycle.
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