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Technical Paper

Performance and Emissions of an Advanced Multi-Cylinder SI Engine Operating in Ultra-Lean Conditions

2019-09-09
2019-24-0075
Along the design process of a new engine, the calibration phase at the test bench usually involves a relevant percentage of the overall time-to-market. Each control variable, in fact, needs to be properly selected to optimize the performance and emissions, complying with thermal and mechanical stresses limits of the engine. This issue is still more critical for advanced engine architectures, which include additional control variables, such as valve phasing, turbocharger control, EGR level, etc. The aim of this work is the development of a numerically performed calibration procedure, applied to a prototype multi-cylinder Spark Ignition (SI) engine, designed to operate at very lean mixtures. To this aim, an active Pre-Chamber ignition system is considered. The required air flow rate is indeed provided by a Low-Pressure (LP) variable geometry turbocharger group, coupled to a high-pressure e-compressor.
Technical Paper

Fuel Consumption and Pollutant Emission Optimization at Part and Full Load of a High-Performance V12 SI Engine by a 1D Model

2019-09-09
2019-24-0080
Modern internal combustion engines show complex architectures in order to improve their performance in terms of brake torque and fuel consumption. Concerning naturally-aspirated engines, the arrangement of intake and exhaust systems is crucial to get the prescribed target. An optimization of the intake port geometry, together with the selection of a proper valve timing, allow to improve the cylinder filling and hence the performance. This possibility is enhanced by a variable valve timing, even more with unphased intake and exhaust controls. The identification of an optimal calibration strategy at test bench usually requires long and expensive experimental activities. Focusing on these aspects, numerical tools can help to support engine calibration, especially in the early design phases. In the present work, a 12-cylinder naturally aspirated spark ignition engine is investigated. In a preliminary stage, the engine is experimentally tested under full load operation.
Technical Paper

A Tabulated-Chemistry Approach Applied to a Quasi-Dimensional Combustion Model for a Fast and Accurate Knock Prediction in Spark-Ignition Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0471
The description of knock phenomenon is a critical issue in a combustion model for Spark-Ignition (SI) engines. The most known theory to explain this phenomenon is based on the Auto-Ignition (AI) of the end-gas, ahead the flame front. The accurate description of this process requires the handling of various aspects, such as the impact of the fuel composition, the presence of residual gas or water in the burning mixture, the influence of cool flame heat release, etc. This concern can be faced by the solution of proper chemistry schemes for gasoline blends. Whichever is the modeling environment, either 3D or 0D, the on-line solution of a chemical kinetic scheme drastically affects the computational time. In this paper, a procedure for an accurate and fast prediction of the hydrocarbons auto-ignition, applied to phenomenological SI engine combustion models, is proposed. It is based on a tabulated approach, operated on both ignition delay times and reaction rates.
Technical Paper

A Quasi-Dimensional Model of Pre-Chamber Spark-Ignition Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0470
Increasingly stringent pollutant and CO2 emission standards require the car manufacturers to investigate innovative solutions to further improve the fuel economy of their fleets. Among these techniques, an extremely lean combustion has a large potential to simultaneously reduce the NOx raw emissions and the fuel consumption of spark-ignition engines. Application of pre-chamber ignition systems is a promising solution to realize a favorable air/fuel mixture ignitability and an adequate combustion speed, even with very lean mixtures. In this work, the combustion characteristics of an active pre-chamber system are experimentally investigated using a single-cylinder research engine. Conventional gasoline fuel is injected into the main chamber, while the pre-chamber is fed with compressed natural gas. In a first stage, an experimental campaign was carried out at various speeds, spark timings and air-fuel ratios.
Technical Paper

Techniques for CO2 Emission Reduction over a WLTC. A Numerical Comparison of Increased Compression Ratio, Cooled EGR and Water Injection

2018-05-30
2018-37-0008
In this work, various techniques are numerically applied to a base engine - vehicle system to estimate their potential CO2 emission reduction. The reference thermal unit is a downsized turbocharged spark-ignition Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) engine, with a Compression Ratio (CR) of 10. In order to improve its fuel consumption, preserving the original full-load torque, various technologies are considered, including an increased CR, an external low-pressure cooled EGR, and a ported Water Injection (WI). The analyses are carried out by a 1D commercial software (GT-Power™), enhanced by refined user-models for the description of in-cylinder processes, namely turbulence, combustion, heat transfer and knock. The latter were validated with reference to the base engine architecture in previous activities. To minimize the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) all over the engine operating plane, the control parameters of the base and modified engines are calibrated based on PID controllers.
Journal Article

Combined Effects of Valve Strategies, Compression Ratio, Water Injection, and Cooled EGR on the Fuel Consumption of a Small Turbocharged VVA Spark-Ignition Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0854
In this work, various techniques are numerically investigated to assess and quantify their relative effectiveness in reducing the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) of a downsized turbocharged spark-ignition Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) engine. The analyzed solutions include the Variable Compression Ratio (VCR), the port Water Injection (WI), and the external cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). The numerical analysis is developed in a 1D modeling framework. The engine is schematized in GT-Power™ environment, employing refined sub-models of the in-cylinder processes, such as the turbulence, combustion, knock, and heat transfer. The combustion and knock models have been extensively validated in previous papers, at different speed/load points and intake valve strategies, including operations with a relevant internal EGR rate and with liquid WI.
Technical Paper

A Comparison Between Two Phenomenological Combustion Models Applied to Different SI Engines

2017-10-08
2017-01-2184
Nowadays, the development of a new engine is becoming more and more complex due to conflicting factors regarding technical, environmental and economic issues. The experimental activity has to comply with the above complexities, resulting in increasing cost and duration of engine development. For this reason, the simulation is becoming even more prominent, thanks to its lower financial burden, together with the need of an improved predictive capability. Among the other numerical approaches, the 1D models represent a proper compromise between reliability and computational effort, especially if the engine behavior has to be investigated over a number of operating conditions. The combustion model has a key role in this contest and the research of consistent approaches is still on going. In this paper, two well-assessed combustion models for Spark Ignition (SI) engines are described and compared: the eddy burn-up theory and the fractal approach.
Technical Paper

Numerical Study of the Potential of a Variable Compression Ratio Concept Applied to a Downsized Turbocharged VVA Spark Ignition Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0015
Nowadays different technical solutions have been proposed to improve the performance of internal combustion engines, especially in terms of Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC). Its reduction of course contributes to comply with the CO2 emissions legislation for vehicle homologation. Concerning the spark ignition engines, the downsizing coupled to turbocharging demonstrated a proper effectiveness to improve the BSFC at part load. On the other hand, at high load, the above solution highly penalizes the fuel consumption mainly because of knock onset, that obliges to degrade the combustion phasing and/or enrich the air/fuel mixture. A promising technique to cope with the above drawbacks consists in the Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) concept. An optimal Compression Ratio (CR) selection, in fact, allows for further improvements of the thermodynamic efficiency at part load, while at high load, it permits to mitigate knock propensity, resulting in more optimized combustions.
Journal Article

Extension and Validation of a 1D Model Applied to the Analysis of a Water Injected Turbocharged Spark Ignited Engine at High Loads and over a WLTP Driving Cycle

2017-09-04
2017-24-0014
The technique of liquid Water Injection (WI) at the intake port of downsized boosted SI engines is a promising solution to improve the knock resistance at high loads. In this work, an existing 1D engine model has been extended to improve its ability to simulate the effects of the water injection on the flame propagation speed and knock onset. The new features of the 1D model include an improved treatment of the heat subtracted by the water evaporation, a newly developed correlation for the laminar flame speed, explicitly considering the amount of water in the unburned mixture, and a more detailed kinetic mechanism to predict the auto-ignition characteristics of fuel/air/water mixture. The extended 1D model is validated against experimental data collected at different engine speeds and loads, including knock-limited operation, for a twin-cylinder turbocharged SI engine.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Study of the Water Injection to Improve the Fuel Economy of a Small Size Turbocharged SI Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0540
In this work, a promising technique, consisting of a liquid Water Injection (WI) at the intake ports, is investigated to overcome over-fueling and delayed combustions typical of downsized boosted engines, operating at high loads. In a first stage, experimental tests are carried out in a spark-ignition twin-cylinder turbocharged engine at a fixed rotational speed and medium-high loads. In particular, a spark timing and a water-to-fuel ratio sweep are both specified, to analyze the WI capability in increasing the knock-limited spark advance. In a second stage, the considered engine is schematized in a 1D framework. The model, developed in the GT-Power™ environment, includes user defined procedures for the description of combustion and knock phenomena. Computed results are compared with collected data for all the considered operating conditions, in terms of average performance parameters, in-cylinder pressure cycles, burn rate profiles, and knock propensity, as well.
Journal Article

A Modeling Study of Cyclic Dispersion Impact on Fuel Economy for a Small Size Turbocharged SI Engine

2016-10-17
2016-01-2230
In this paper, the results of an extensive experimental analysis regarding a twin-cylinder spark-ignition turbocharged engine are employed to build up an advanced 1D model, which includes the effects of cycle-by-cycle variations (CCVs) on the combustion process. Objective of the activity is to numerically estimate the CCV impact primarily on fuel consumption and knock behavior. To this aim, the engine is experimentally characterized in terms of average performance parameters and CCVs at high and low load operation. In particular, both a spark advance and an air-to-fuel ratio (α) sweep are actuated. Acquired pressure signals are processed to estimate the rate of heat release and the main combustion events. Moreover, the Coefficient of Variation of IMEP (CoVIMEP) and of in-cylinder peak pressure (CoVpmax) are evaluated to quantify the cyclic dispersion and identify its dependency on peak pressure position.
Journal Article

Knock and Cycle by Cycle Analysis of a High Performance V12 Spark Ignition Engine. Part 2: 1D Combustion and Knock Modeling

2015-09-06
2015-24-2393
The results of the experimental analyses, described in Part 1, are here employed to build up an innovative numerical approach for the 1D modeling of combustion, cycle-by-cycle variations and knock of a high performance 12-cylinder spark-ignition engine. The whole engine is schematized in detail in a 1D framework simulation, developed in the GT-Power™ environment. Proper “in-house developed” sub-models are used to describe the combustion process, turbulence phenomenon, cycle-by-cycle variations (CCV) and knock occurrence. In particular, the knock onset is evaluated by a chemical kinetic scheme for a toluene reference fuel, able to detect the presence of auto-ignition reactions in the end-gas zone. In a first stage, the engine model is validated in terms of overall performance parameter and ensemble averaged pressure cycles, for various full and part load operating points and spark timings.
Journal Article

Knock and Cycle by Cycle Analysis of a High Performance V12 Spark Ignition Engine. Part 1: Experimental Data and Correlations Assessment

2015-09-06
2015-24-2392
In this paper, a high performance V12 spark-ignition engine is experimentally investigated at test-bench in order to fully characterize its behavior in terms of both average parameters, cycle-by-cycle variations and knock tendency, for different operating conditions. In particular, for each considered operating point, a spark advance sweep is actuated, starting from a knock-free calibration, up to intense knock operation. Sequences of 300 consecutive pressure cycles are measured for each cylinder, together with the main overall engine performance, including fuel flow, torque, and fuel consumption. Acquired data are statistically analyzed to derive the distributions of main indicated parameters, in order to find proper correlations with ensemble-averaged quantities. In particular, the Coefficient of Variation (CoV) of IMEP and of the in-cylinder peak pressure (pmax) are correlated to the average combustion phasing and duration (MFB50 and Δθb), with a good coefficient of determination.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy Improvement and Knock Tendency Reduction of a Downsized Turbocharged Engine at Full Load Operations through a Low-Pressure EGR System

2015-04-14
2015-01-1244
It is well known that the downsizing philosophy allows the improvement of Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) at part load operation for spark ignition engines. On the other hand, the BSFC is penalized at high/full load operation because of the knock occurrence and of further limitations on the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT). Knock control forces the adoption of a late combustion phasing, causing a deterioration of the thermodynamic efficiency, while TIT control requires enrichment of the Air-to-Fuel (A/F) ratio, with additional BSFC drawbacks. In this work, a promising technique, consisting of the introduction of a low-pressure cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, is analyzed by means of a 1D numerical approach with reference to a downsized turbocharged SI engine. Proper “in-house developed” sub-models are used to describe the combustion process, turbulence phenomenon and the knock occurrence.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation and 1D Simulation of a Turbocharger Compressor Close to Surge Operation

2015-04-14
2015-01-1720
Downsizing is widely considered one of the main path to reduce the fuel consumption of spark ignition internal combustion engines. As known, despite the reduced size, the required torque and power targets can be attained thanks to an adequate boost level provided by a turbocharger. However, some drawbacks usually arise when the engine operates at full load and low speeds. In fact, in the above conditions, the boost pressure and the engine performance is limited since the compressor experiences close-to-surge operation. This occurrence is even greater in case of extremely downsized engines with a reduced number of cylinders and a small intake circuit volume, where the compressor works under strongly unsteady flow conditions and its instantaneous operating point most likely overcomes the steady surge margin. In the paper, both experimental and numerical approaches are followed to describe the unsteady behavior of a small in-series turbocharger compressor.
Technical Paper

A Knock Model for 1D Simulations Accounting for Cyclic Dispersion Phenomena

2014-10-13
2014-01-2554
Control of knock phenomenon is becoming more and more important in modern SI engine, due to the tendency to develop high boosted turbocharged engines (downsizing). To this aim, improved modeling and experimental techniques are required to precisely define the maximum allowable spark advance. On the experimental side, the knock limit is identified based on some indices derived by the analysis of the in-cylinder pressure traces or of the cylinder block vibrations. The threshold levels of the knock indices are usually defined following an heuristic approach. On the modeling side, in the 1D codes, the knock is usually described by simple correlation of the auto-ignition time of the unburned gas zone within the cylinders. In addition, the latter methodology commonly refers to ensemble-averaged pressure cycles and, for this reason, does not take into account the cycle-by-cycle variations.
Journal Article

A Comparison Between External and Internal Resonators Employment to Reduce the Gas-Dynamic Noise of a SI Engine

2014-10-13
2014-01-2864
This paper reports 1D and 3D CFD analyses aiming to improve the gas-dynamic noise emission of a downsized turbocharged VVA engine through the re-design of the intake air-box device, consisting in the introduction of external or internal resonators. Nowadays, modern spark-ignition (SI) engines show more and more complex architectures that, while improving the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), may be responsible for the increased noise radiation at the engine intake mouth. In particular VVA systems allow for the actuation of advanced valve strategies that provide a reduction in the BSFC at part load operations thanks to the intake line de-throttling. In these conditions, due to a less effective attenuation of the pressure waves that travel along the intake system, VVA engines produce higher gas-dynamic noise levels.
Journal Article

Analysis of Knock Tendency in a Small VVA Turbocharged Engine Based on Integrated 1D-3D Simulations and Auto-Regressive Technique

2014-04-01
2014-01-1065
In the present paper, two different methodologies are adopted and critically integrated to analyze the knock behavior of a last generation small size spark ignition (SI) turbocharged VVA engine. Particularly, two full load operating points are selected, exhibiting relevant differences in terms of knock proximity. On one side, a knock investigation is carried out by means of an Auto-Regressive technique (AR model) to process experimental in-cylinder pressure signals. This mathematical procedure is used to estimate the statistical distribution of knocking cycles and provide a validation of the following 1D-3D knock investigations. On the other side, an integrated numerical approach is set up, based on the synergic use of 1D and 3D simulation tools. The 1D engine model is developed within the commercial software GT-Power™. It is used to provide time-varying boundary conditions (BCs) for the 3D code, Star-CD™.
Journal Article

Strategies for Improving Fuel Consumption at Part-Load in a Downsized Turbocharged SI Engine: a Comparative Study

2014-04-01
2014-01-1064
It is commonly recognized that the paths for improving fuel consumption (BSFC) in a spark-ignition engine at part-load require more advanced valve actuation strategies, which largely affect the pumping work. Since several years, many different solutions have been proposed, characterized by different levels of complexity, effectiveness, and cost. Valve systems currently available on the market allow for variable phasing (VVT - Variable Valve Timing), and/or lift (VVA - Variable Valve Actuation). Usually VVT devices are applied on intake and exhaust camshafts, in the “phased” or “unphased” configuration, as well. VVA devices are instead commonly mounted on the intake camshaft. More recent VVA systems also allow for a double intake valve lift during a single engine cycle (multi-lift), or may include a small intake pre-lift during the exhaust stroke. The latter solutions may determine further BSFC reductions. Alternatively, an external-EGR circuit can be considered, as well.
Journal Article

Fuel Consumption Optimization and Noise Reduction in a Spark-Ignition Turbocharged VVA Engine

2013-04-08
2013-01-1625
Modern VVA systems offer new potentialities in improving the fuel consumption for spark-ignition engines at low and medium load, meanwhile they grant a higher volumetric efficiency and performance at high load. Recently introduced systems enhance this concept through the possibility of concurrently modifying the intake valve opening, closing and lift leading to the development of almost "throttle-less" engines. However, at very low loads, the control of the air-flow motion and the turbulence intensity inside the cylinder may require to select a proper combination of the butterfly throttling and the intake valve control, to get the highest BSFC (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption) reduction. Moreover, a low throttling, while improving the fuel consumption, may also produce an increased gas-dynamic noise at the intake mouth. In highly "downsized" engines, the intake valve control is also linked to the turbocharger operating point, which may be changed by acting on the waste-gate valve.
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