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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

Effects of the Domain Zonal Decomposition on the Hybrid URANS/LES Modeling of the TCC-III Motored Engine Flow

2019-09-09
2019-24-0097
Hybrid URANS/LES turbulence modeling is rapidly emerging as a valuable complement to standard LES for full-engine multi-cycle simulation. Among the available approaches, zonal hybrids are potentially attractive due to the possibility of clearly identify URANS and LES zones, eventually introducing further zone types with dynamically switching behavior. The present work aims at evaluating the impact of different zonal configurations on the simulated flow statistics using the well-assessed TCC-III experimental engine setup. More specifically, different methods (URANS, LES or seamless DES) are applied inside the cylinder volume, as well as into the intake/exhaust ports and plenums. For each of the five tested configurations, in-cylinder flow features are compared against the reference TCC-III experimental measurements, in terms of velocity field statistics and quality indices.
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

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

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

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

Study of LES Quality Criteria in a Motored Internal Combustion Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0549
In recent years, Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) is spotlighted as an engineering tool and severe research efforts are carried out on its applicability to Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs). However, there is a general lack of definitive conclusions on LES quality criteria for ICE. This paper focuses on the application of LES quality criteria to ICE and to their correlation, in order to draw a solid background on future LES quality assessments for ICE. In this paper, TCC-III single-cylinder optical engine from University of Michigan is investigated and the analysis is conducted under motored condition. LES quality is mainly affected by grid size and type, sub-grid scale (SGS) model, numeric schemes. In this study, the same grid size and type are used in order to focus on the effect on LES quality of SGS models and blending factors of numeric scheme only.
Journal Article

Critical Aspects on the Use of Thermal Wall Functions in CFD In-Cylinder Simulations of Spark-Ignition Engines

2017-03-28
2017-01-0569
CFD and FE tools are intensively adopted by engine manufacturers in order to prevent thermo-mechanical failures reducing time- and cost-to market. The capability to predict correctly the physical factors leading to damages is hence essential for their application in the industrial practice. This is even more important for last generation SI engines, where the more and more stringent need to lower fuel consumption and pollutant emissions is pushing designers to reduce engine displacement in favor of higher specific power, usually obtained by means of turbocharging. This brings to a new generation of SI engines characterized by higher and higher adiabatic efficiency and thermo-mechanical loads. A recent research highlighted the different behavior of the thermal boundary layer of such engines operated at high revving speeds and high loads if compared to the same engines operated at low loads and revving speeds or even engines with a lower specific power.
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.
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

Guidelines for the Optimization of a Muffler in a Small Two Stroke Engine

2016-11-08
2016-32-0050
It is well known that 3D CFD simulations can give detailed information about fluid and flow properties in complex 3D domains while 1D CFD simulation can provide important information at a system level, i.e. about the performance of the entire engine. The drawbacks of the two simulation methods are that the former requires high computational cost while the latter is not able to capture complex local 3D features of the flow. Therefore, the two simulation methods are to be seen as complementary, indeed a coupling of the two approaches can benefit from the pros of the two methods while minimizing the cons. In particular, with a multi-scale modeling approach (1D-3D) it is possible to simulate large and complex domains by modeling the complex part with a 3D approach and the rest of the domain with a 1D approach.
Journal Article

A RANS-Based CFD Model to Predict the Statistical Occurrence of Knock in Spark-Ignition Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0581
Engine knock is emerging as the main limiting factor for modern spark-ignition (SI) engines, facing increasing thermal loads and seeking demanding efficiency targets. To fulfill these requirements, the engine operating point must be moved as close as possible to the onset of abnormal combustion events. The turbulent regime characterizing in-cylinder flows and SI combustion leads to serious fluctuations between consecutive engine cycles. This forces the engine designer to further distance the target condition from its theoretical optimum, in order to prevent abnormal combustion to severely damage the engine components just because of few individual heavy-knocking cycles. A RANS-based model is presented in this study, which is able to predict not only the ensemble average knock occurrence but also a knock probability. This improves the knock tendency characterization, since the mean knock onset alone is a poorly meaningful indication in a stochastic event such as engine knock.
Journal Article

Integrated In-Cylinder / CHT Methodology for the Simulation of the Engine Thermal Field: An Application to High Performance Turbocharged DISI Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0578
New SI engine generations are characterized by a simultaneous reduction of the engine displacement and an increase of the brake power; such targets are achieved through the adoption of several techniques such as turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and variable port lengths. This design approach, called “downsizing”, leads to a marked increase in the thermal loads acting on the engine components, in particular on those facing the combustion chamber. Hence, an accurate evaluation of the thermal field is of primary importance in order to avoid mechanical failures. Moreover, the correct evaluation of the temperature distribution improves the prediction of pointwise abnormal combustion onset.
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