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Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation on GDI Spray under High Injection Pressure up to 100 MPa

In recent years, the increase of gasoline fuel injection pressure is a way to improve thermal efficiency and lower engine-out emissions in GDI homogenous combustion concept. The challenge of controlling particulate formation as well in mass and number concentrations imposed by emissions regulations can be pursued improving the mixture preparation process and avoiding mixture inhomogeneity with ultra-high injection pressure values up to 100 MPa. The increase of the fuel injection pressure in GDI homogeneous systems meets the demand for increased injector static flow, while simultaneously improves the spray atomization and mixing characteristics with consequent better combustion performance. Few studies quantify the effects of high injection pressure on transient gasoline spray evolution. The aim of this work was to simulate with OpenFOAM the spray morphology of a commercial gasoline injected in a constant volume vessel by a prototypal GDI injector.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ultra-High Injection Pressures up to 100 MPa on Gasoline Spray Morphology

Very high pressures for injecting gasoline in internal combustion (i.c.) engines are recently explored for improving the air/fuel mixing process in order to control unburned hydrocarbons (UBHC) and particulate matter emissions such as for investigating new combustion concepts. The challenge remains the improvement of the spray parameters in terms of atomization, smaller droplets and their spread in the combustion chamber in order to enhance the combustion efficiency. In this framework, the raise of the injection pressure plays a key role in GDI engines for the trade-off of CO2 vs other pollutant emissions. This study aims contributing to the knowledge of the physical phenomena and mechanisms occurring when fuel is injected at ultra-high pressures for mapping and controlling the mixture formation.
Technical Paper

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

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

CFD Modeling and Validation of the ECN Spray G Experiment under a Wide Range of Operating Conditions

The increasing diffusion of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines requires a more detailed and reliable description of the phenomena occurring during the fuel injection process. As well known the thermal and fluid-dynamic conditions present in the combustion chamber greatly influence the air-fuel mixture process deriving from GDI injectors. GDI fuel sprays typically evolve in wide range of ambient pressure and temperatures depending on the engine load. In some particular injection conditions, when in-cylinder pressure is relatively low, flash evaporation might occur significantly affecting the fuel-air mixing process. In some other particular injection conditions spray impingement on the piston wall might occur, causing high unburned hydrocarbons and soot emissions, so currently representing one of the main drawbacks of GDI engines.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

Key Fuel Injection System Features for Efficiency Improvement in Future Diesel Passenger Cars

Diesel will continue to be an indispensable energy carrier for the car fleet CO2 emission targets in the short-term. This is particularly relevant for heavy-duty vehicles as for mid-size cars and SUVs. Looking at the latest technology achievements on the after-treatment systems, it can be stated that the concerning about the NOx emission gap between homologation test and real road use is basically solved, while the future challenge for diesel survival is to keep its competitiveness in the CO2 vs cost equation in comparison to other propulsion systems. The development of the combustion system design still represents an important leverage for further efficiency and emissions improvements while keeping the current excellent performance in terms of power density and low-end torque.
Journal Article

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

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

Iso-Octane Spray from a GDI Multi-Hole Injector under Non- and Flash Boiling Conditions

GDI injection systems have become dominant in passenger cars due to their flexibility in managing and advantages in the fuel economy. With the increasingly stringent emissions regulations and concurrent requirements for enhanced engine thermal efficiency, a comprehensive characterization of the fuel spray behavior has become essential. Different engine loads produce in a variety of fuel supplying conditions that affect the air/fuel mixture preparation and influence the efficiency and pollutant production. The flash boiling is a particular state that occurs for peculiar thermodynamic conditions of the engine. It could strongly influence the mixture in sub-atmospheric environments with detrimental effects on emissions. In order to obtain an in-depth understanding of the flash boiling phenomena, it is necessary to study the parameters influencing the mixture formation and their appearance in diverse engine conditions.
Journal Article

Functional Requirements to Exceed the 100 kW/l Milestone for High Power Density Automotive Diesel Engines

The paper describes the challenges and results achieved in developing a new high-speed Diesel combustion system capable of exceeding the imaginative threshold of 100 kW/l. High-performance, state-of-art prototype components from automotive diesel technology were provided in order to set-up a single-cylinder research engine demonstrator. Key design parameters were identified in terms boost, engine speed, fuel injection pressure and injector nozzle flow rates. In this regard, an advanced piezo injection system capable of 3000 bar of maximum injection pressure was selected, coupled to a robust base engine featuring ω-shaped combustion bowl and low swirl intake ports. The matching among the above-described elements has been thoroughly examined and experimentally parameterized.
Journal Article

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

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.
Technical Paper

A Non-Linear Regression Technique to Estimate from Vibrational Engine Data the Instantaneous In-Cylinder Pressure Peak and Related Angular Position

In this paper, a downsized twin-cylinder turbocharged spark-ignition engine is experimentally investigated at test-bench in order to verify the potential to estimate the peak pressure value and the related crank angle position, based on vibrational data acquired by an accelerometer sensor. Purpose of the activity is to provide the ECU of additional information to establish a closed-loop control of the spark timing, on a cycle-by-cycle basis. In this way, an optimal combustion phasing can be more properly accomplished in each engine operating condition. Engine behavior is firstly characterized in terms of average thermodynamic and performance parameters and cycle-by-cycle variations (CCVs) at high-load operation. In particular, both a spark advance and an A/F ratio sweep are actuated. In-cylinder pressure data are acquired by pressure sensors flush-mounted within the combustion chamber of both cylinders.
Journal Article

Experimental Evaluation of an Advanced Ignition System for GDI Engines

A plasma ignition system was tested in a GDI engine with the target of combustion efficiency improvement without modifying engine configuration. The plasma was generated by spark discharge and successively sustained to enhance its duration up to 4 ms. The innovative ignition system was tested in an optically accessible single-cylinder DISI engine to investigate the effects of plasma on kernel stability and flame front propagation under low loads and lean mixture (λ≅1.3). The engine was equipped with the head of a commercial turbocharged engine with similar geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio). All experiments were performed at 2000 rpm and 100 bar injection pressure. UV-visible 2D chemiluminescence was applied in order to study the flame front inception and propagation with particular interest in the early combustion stages. A bandpass filter allowed selecting luminous signal due to OH radicals.
Technical Paper

Investigation of the Injection Process in a Research CR Diesel Engine using Different Blends of Propane-Diesel Fuel

Blends of propane-diesel fuel can be used in direct injection diesel engines to improve the air-fuel mixing and the premixed combustion phase, and to reduce pollutant emissions. The potential benefits of usinf propane in diesel engines are both environmental and economic; furthermore, its use does not require changes to the compression ratio of conventional diesel engines. The present paper describes an experimental investigation of the injection process for different liquid preformed blends of propane-diesel fuel in an optically accessible Common Rail diesel engine. Slight modifications of the injection system were required in order to operate with a blend of propane-diesel fuel. Pure diesel fuel and two propane-diesel mixtures at different mass ratios were tested (20% and 40% in mass of propane named P20 and P40). First, injection in air at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure were performed to verify the functionality of the modified Common Rail injection system.
Journal Article

Experimental Evaluation of Compression Ratio Influence on the Performance of a Dual-Fuel Methane-Diesel Light-Duty Engine

The paper reports an experimental study on the effect of compression ratio variation on the performance and pollutant emissions of a single-cylinder light-duty research diesel engine operating in DF mode. The architecture of the combustion system as well as the injection system represents the state-of-the-art of the automotive diesel technology. Two pistons with different bowl volume were selected for the experimental campaign, corresponding to two CR values: 16.5 and 14.5. The designs of the piston bowls were carefully performed with the 3D simulation in order to maintain the same air flow structure at the piston top dead center, thus keeping the same in-cylinder flow characteristics versus CR. The engine tests choice was performed to be representative of actual working conditions of an automotive light-duty diesel engine.
Technical Paper

Flash Boiling Evidences of a Multi-Hole GDI Spray under Engine Conditions by Mie-Scattering Measurements

During an injection process, a fluid undergoes a sudden pressure drop across the nozzle. If the pressure downstream the injector is below the saturation value of the fluid, superheated conditions are reached and thermodynamic instabilities realized. In internal combustion engines, flashing conditions greatly influence atomization and vaporization processes of a fuel as well as the mixture formation and combustion. This paper reports imaging behavior of a fuel under both flash boiling and non-flash boiling conditions. A GDI injector, eight-hole, 15.0 cc/s @ 10 MPa static flow, injected a single-component fluid (iso-octane), generating the spray. Experiments were carried out in an optically-accessible constant-volume quiescent vessel by Mie-scattering technique. A C-Mos high-speed camera was used to acquire cycle-resolved images of the spray evolving in the chamber filled with N2 which pressure ranged between 0.05 and 0.3 MPa.
Technical Paper

The Use of Vibrational Signals for On-Board Knock Diagnostics Supported by In-Cylinder Pressure Analyses

In the present work, an Auto Regressive Moving Average (ARMA) model and a Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) are applied on vibrational signals, acquired by an accelerometer placed on the cylinder block of a Spark Ignition (SI) engine, for knock detection purposes. To the aim of tuning such procedures, the same analysis has been carried out by using the traditional MAPO (Maximum Amplitude of Pressure Oscillations) index and an Inverse Kinetic Model (IKM), both applied on the in-cylinder pressure signals. Vibrational and in-cylinder pressure signals have been collected on a four cylinder, four stroke engine, for different engine speeds, load conditions and spark advances. The results of the two vibrational based methods are compared and in depth discussed to the aim of highlighting the pros and cons of each methodology.
Technical Paper

Engine Performance and Emissions of a Small Diesel Engine Fueled with Various Diesel/RME Blends

The present paper describes the results of an experimental activity performed on a small diesel engine for quadricycles, a category of vehicles that is spreading in Europe and is recently spreading over Indian countries. The engine is a prototype three-cylinder with 1000 cc of displacement and it is equipped with a direct common-rail injection system that reaches a maximum pressure of 1400 bar. The engine was designed to comply with Euro 4 emission standard that is a future regulation for quadricycles. It is worth underlining that the engine can meet emission limits just with EGR system and a DOC, without DPF. Various diesel/RME blends were tested; pure diesel and biodiesel fuels were also used. The investigation was carried out at the engine speeds of 1400, 2000 and 3400 rpm and full load. Combustion characteristics of both blended and pure RME were analyzed by means of in-cylinder pressure and heat released histories.
Technical Paper

Simultaneous Shadowgraph/Mie Scattering Imaging of Liquid and Vapor Phases of Diesel Sprays and Validation of a Numerical Model

Diesel sprays from an axially-disposed single-hole injector are studied under both non-vaporizing and vaporizing conditions in a constant-volume vessel. A hybrid shadowgraph/Mie-scattering imaging set-up is used to acquire the liquid and vapor phases of the fuel distribution in a near-simultaneous visualization mode by a high-speed camera (40,000 fps). A diesel injector with k0 factor is used, having the exit-hole diameter of 0.1 mm and the ratio L/d =10. The studies are performed at the injection pressures of 70, 120, and 180 MPa, 25.37 kg/m3 ambient gas density, at the environment temperature of 373, 453 and 900 K. The instantaneous tip penetration of the liquid and vapor phases is extracted from the collected images and processed by a properly assessed software, under the various operating conditions. The AVL FIRE™ code is also used to simulate the spray dynamics. The model is validated on the ground of the collected experimental data.
Journal Article

Measurement of Diesel Spray Formation and Combustion upon Different Nozzle Geometry using Hybrid Imaging Technique

High pressure diesel sprays were visualized under vaporizing and combusting conditions in a constant-volume combustion vessel. Near-simultaneous visualization of vapor and liquid phase fuel distribution were acquired using a hybrid shadowgraph/Mie-scattering imaging setup. This imaging technique used two pulsed LED's operating in an alternative manner to provide proper light sources for both shadowgraph and Mie scattering. In addition, combustion cases under the same ambient conditions were visualized through high-speed combustion luminosity measurement. Two single-hole diesel injectors with same nozzle diameters (100μm) but different k-factors (k0 and k1.5) were tested in this study. Detailed analysis based on spray penetration rate curves, rate of injection measurements, combustion indicators and 1D model comparison have been performed.
Technical Paper

Schlieren and Mie Scattering Visualization for Single-Hole Diesel Injector under Vaporizing Conditions with Numerical Validation

This paper reports an experimental and numerical investigation on the spatial and temporal liquid- and vapor-phase distributions of diesel fuel spray under engine-like conditions. The high pressure diesel spray was investigated in an optically-accessible constant volume combustion vessel for studying the influence of the k-factor (0 and 1.5) of a single-hole axial-disposed injector (0.100 mm diameter and 10 L/d ratio). Measurements were carried out by a high-speed imaging system capable of acquiring Mie-scattering and schlieren in a nearly simultaneous fashion mode using a high-speed camera and a pulsed-wave LED system. The time resolved pair of schlieren and Mie-scattering images identifies the instantaneous position of both the vapor and liquid phases of the fuel spray, respectively. The studies were performed at three injection pressures (70, 120, and 180 MPa), 23.9 kg/m3 ambient gas density, and 900 K gas temperature in the vessel.