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Technical Paper

CFD Modeling of Gas Exchange, Fuel-Air Mixing and Combustion in Gasoline Direct-Injection Engines

2019-09-09
2019-24-0095
Gasoline, direct injection engines represent one of the most widely adopted powertrain for passenger cars. However, further development efforts are necessary to meet the future fuel consumption and emission standards imposing an efficiency increase and a reduction of particulate matter emissions. Within this context, computational fluid dynamics is nowadays a consolidated tool to support engine design; this work is focused on the development of a set of CFD models for the prediction of combustion in modern GDI engines. The one-equation Weller model coupled with a zero-dimensional approach to handle initial flame kernel growth was applied to predict flame propagation. To account for mixture fraction fluctuations which might lead to the presence of soot precursor species, burned gas chemical composition is computed using tabulated kinetics with a presumed probability density function.
Technical Paper

CFD Modeling of Compact Heat Exchangers for I.C. Engine Oil Cooling

2019-09-09
2019-24-0179
This work describes the development of a computational model for the CFD simulation of compact heat exchangers applied for the oil cooling in internal combustion engines. Among the different cooler types, the present modeling effort will be focused on liquid-cooled solutions based on offset strip fins turbulators. The design of this type of coolers represents an issue of extreme concern, which requires a compromise between different objectives: high compactness, low pressure drop, high heat-transfer efficiency. In this work, a computational framework for the CFD simulation of compact oil-to-liquid heat exchangers, including offset-strip fins as heat transfer enhancer, has been developed. The main problem is represented by the need of considering different scales in the simulation, ranging from the characteristic size of the turbulator geometry (tipically μm - mm) to the full scale of the overall device (typically cm - dm).
Technical Paper

A Novel 1D Co-Simulation Framework for the Prediction of Tailpipe Emissions under Different IC Engine Operating Conditions

2019-09-09
2019-24-0147
The accurate prediction of pollutant emissions generated by IC engines is a key aspect to guarantee the respect of the emission regulation legislation. This paper describes the approach followed by the authors to achieve a strict numerical coupling of two different 1D modeling tools in a co-simulation environment, aiming at a reliable calculation of engine-out and tailpipe emissions. The main idea is to allow an accurate 1D simulation of the unsteady flows and wave motion inside the intake and exhaust systems, without resorting to an over-simplified geometrical discretization, and to rely on advanced thermodynamic combustion models and kinetic sub-models for the calculation of cylinder-out emissions. A specific fluid dynamic approach is then used to track the chemical composition along the exhaust duct-system, in order to evaluate the conversion efficiency of after-treatment devices, such as TWC, GPF, DPF, DOC, SCR and so on.
Technical Paper

Heat Transfer Analysis of Catalytic Converters during Cold Starts

2019-09-09
2019-24-0163
The transient heat transfer behavior of an automotive catalytic converter has been simulated with OpenFOAM in 1D. The model takes into consideration the gas-solid convective heat transfer, axial wall conduction and heat capacity effects in the solid phase, but also the chemical reactions of CO oxidation, based on simplified Arrhenius and Langmuir-Hinshelwood approaches. The associated parameters are the results of data in literature tuned by experiments. Simplified cases of constant flow rates and gas temperatures in the catalyst inflow have been chosen for a comprehensive analysis of the heat and mass transfer phenomena. The impact of inlet flow temperatures and inlet flow rates on the heat up characteristics as well as in the CO emissions have been quantified. A dimensional analysis is proposed and dimensionless temperature difference and space-time coordinates are introduced.
Technical Paper

Development and Application of a Quasi-3D Model for the Simulation of Radial Compressors of Turbochargers for Internal Combustion Engines

2019-09-09
2019-24-0187
In this work the 3Dcell method, a quasi3D approach developed by the Internal Combustion Engine Group at Politecnico di Milano, has been extended and applied to the fluid dynamic simulation of turbocharging devices for internal combustion engines, focusing on the compressor side. The 3Dcell is based on a pseudo-staggered leapfrog method applied to the governing equation of a 1D problem arbitrarily oriented in space. The system of equations is solved referring to the relative system in the rotating zone, whereas the absolute reference system has been used elsewhere. The vaneless diffuser has been modelled resorting to the conservation of the angular momentum of the flow stream in the tangential direction, combined with the solution of the momentum equation in the radial direction.
Technical Paper

CFD Investigation of the Impact of Electrical Heating on the Light-off of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst

2018-04-03
2018-01-0961
In the last years, as a response to the more and more restrictive emission legislation, new devices (SRC, DOC, NOx-trap, DPF) have been progressively introduced as standard components of modern after-treatment system for Diesel engines. In addition, the adoption of electrical heating is nowadays regarded with interest as an effective solution to promote the light-off of the catalyst at low temperature, especially at the start-up of the engine and during the low load operation of the engine typical of the urban drive. In this work, a state-of-the-art 48 V electrical heated catalyst is considered, in order to investigate its effect in increasing the abatement efficiency of a standard DOC. The electrical heating device considered is based on a metallic support, arranged in a spiral layout, and it is heated by the Joule effect due to the passage of the electrical current.
Technical Paper

Combined Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the ECN Spray G under Different Engine-Like Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0281
A detailed understanding of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) techniques applied to spark-ignition (SI) engines is necessary as they allow for many technical advantages such as increased power output, higher fuel efficiency and better cold start performances. Within this context, the extensive validation of multi-dimensional models against experimental data is a fundamental task in order to achieve an accurate reproduction of the physical phenomena characterizing the injected fuel spray. In this work, simulations of different Engine Combustion Network (ECN) Spray G conditions were performed with the Lib-ICE code, which is based on the open source OpenFOAM technology, by using a RANS Eulerian-Lagrangian approach to model the ambient gas-fuel spray interaction.
Technical Paper

Experimental Validation of Combustion Models for Diesel Engines Based on Tabulated Kinetics in a Wide Range of Operating Conditions

2017-09-04
2017-24-0029
Computational fluid dynamics represents a useful tool to support the design and development of Heavy Duty Engines, making possible to test the effects of injection strategies and combustion chamber design for a wide range of operating conditions. Predictive models are required to ensure accurate estimations of heat release and the main pollutant emissions within a limited amount of time. For this reason, both detailed chemistry and turbulence chemistry interaction need to be included. In this work, the authors intend to apply combustion models based on tabulated kinetics for the prediction of Diesel combustion in Heavy Duty Engines. Four different approaches were considered: well-mixed model, presumed PDF, representative interactive flamelets and flamelet progress variable. Tabulated kinetics was also used for the estimation of NOx emissions.
Journal Article

Modeling Non-Premixed Combustion Using Tabulated Kinetics and Different Fame Structure Assumptions

2017-03-28
2017-01-0556
Nowadays, detailed kinetics is necessary for a proper estimation of both flame structure and pollutant formation in compression ignition engines. However, large mechanisms and the need to include turbulence/chemistry interaction introduce significant computational overheads. For this reason, tabulated kinetics is employed as a possible solution to reduce the CPU time even if table discretization is generally limited by memory occupation. In this work the authors applied tabulated homogeneous reactors (HR) in combination with different turbulent-chemistry interaction approaches to model non-premixed turbulent combustion. The proposed methodologies represent good compromises between accuracy, required memory and computational time. The experimental validation was carried out by considering both constant-volume vessel and Diesel engine experiments.
Technical Paper

Modeling Ignition and Premixed Combustion Including Flame Stretch Effects

2017-03-28
2017-01-0553
Objective of this work is the incorporation of the flame stretch effects in an Eulerian-Lagrangian model for premixed SI combustion in order to describe ignition and flame propagation under highly inhomogeneous flow conditions. To this end, effects of energy transfer from electrical circuit and turbulent flame propagation were fully decoupled. The first ones are taken into account by Lagrangian particles whose main purpose is to generate an initial burned field in the computational domain. Turbulent flame development is instead considered only in the Eulerian gas phase for a better description of the local flow effects. To improve the model predictive capabilities, flame stretch effects were introduced in the turbulent combustion model by using formulations coming from the asymptotic theory and recently verified by means of DNS studies. Experiments carried out at Michigan Tech University in a pressurized, constant-volume vessel were used to validate the proposed approach.
Journal Article

CFD Investigation of the Effect of Fluid-Structure Interaction on the Transmission Loss of ICE Silencers

2016-06-15
2016-01-1815
In the last decades numerical simulations have become reliable tools for the design and the optimization of silencers for internal combustion engines. Different approaches, ranging from simple 1D models to detailed 3D models, are nowadays commonly applied in the engine development process, with the aim to predict the acoustic behavior of intake and exhaust systems. However, the acoustic analysis is usually performed under the hypothesis of infinite stiffness of the silencer walls. This assumption, which can be regarded as reasonable for most of the applications, can lose validity if low wall thickness are considered. This consideration is even more significant if the recent trends in the automotive industry are taken into account: in fact, the increasing attention to the weight of the vehicle has lead to a general reduction of the thickness of the metal sheets, due also to the adoption of high-strength steels, making the vibration of the components a non negligible issue.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Study of Flame Kernel Formation Processes of Propane-Air Mixture in a Pressurized Combustion Vessel

2016-04-05
2016-01-0696
Fuel lean combustion and exhaust gas dilution are known to increase the thermal efficiency and reduce NOx emissions. In this study, experiments are performed to understand the effect of equivalence ratio on flame kernel formation and flame propagation around the spark plug for different low turbulent velocities. A series of experiments are carried out for propane-air mixtures to simulate engine-like conditions. For these experiments, equivalence ratios of 0.7 and 0.9 are tested with 20 percent mass-based exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Turbulence is generated by a shrouded fan design in the vicinity of J-spark plug. A closed loop feedback control system is used for the fan to generate a consistent flow field. The flow profile is characterized by using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. High-speed Schlieren visualization is used for the spark formation and flame propagation.
Technical Paper

Parametric Comparison of Well-Mixed and Flamelet n-dodecane Spray Combustion with Engine Experiments at Well Controlled Boundary Conditions

2016-04-05
2016-01-0577
Extensive prior art within the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) using a Bosch single axial-hole injector called ‘Spray A’ in constant-volume vessels has provided a solid foundation from which to evaluate modeling tools relevant to spray combustion. In this paper, a new experiment using a Bosch three-hole nozzle called ‘Spray B’ mounted in a 2.34 L heavy-duty optical engine is compared to sector-mesh engine simulations. Two different approaches are employed to model combustion: the ‘well-mixed model’ considers every cell as a homogeneous reactor and employs multi-zone chemistry to reduce the computational time. The ‘flamelet’ approach represents combustion by an ensemble of laminar diffusion flames evolving in the mixture fraction space and can resolve the influence of mixing, or ‘turbulence-chemistry interactions,’ through the influence of the scalar dissipation rate on combustion.
Technical Paper

An Extension of the Dynamic Mesh Handling with Topological Changes for LES of ICE in OpenFOAM®

2015-04-14
2015-01-0384
The paper focuses on the development of a mesh moving method based on non-conformal topologically changing grids applied to the simulation of IC engines, where the prescribed motion of piston and valves is accomplished by rigidly translating the sub-domain representing the moving component. With respect to authors previous work, a more robust and efficient algorithm to handle the connectivity of non-conformal interfaces and a mesh-motion solver supporting multiple layer addition/removal of cells, to decouple the time-step constraints of the mesh motion and of the fluid dynamics, has been implemented as a C++ library to extend the already existing classes for dynamic mesh handling of the finite-volume, open-source CFD code OpenFOAM®. Other new features include automatic decomposition of large multiple region domains to preserve processors load balance with topological changes for parallel computations and additional tools for automatic preprocessing and case setup.
Technical Paper

A LES Study on the Evolution of Turbulent Structures in Moving Engine Geometries by an Open-Source CFD Code

2014-04-01
2014-01-1147
The dynamics and evolution of turbulent structures inside an engine-like geometry are investigated by means of Large Eddy Simulation. A simplified configuration consisting of a flat-top cylinder head with a fixed, axis-centered valve and low-speed piston has been simulated by the finite volume CFD code OpenFOAM®; the standard version of the software has been extended to include the compressible WALE subgrid-scale model, models for the generation of synthetic turbulence, some improvements to the mesh motion strategy and algorithms for LES data post-processing. In order to study both the initial transient and the quasi- steady operating conditions, ten complete engine cycles have been simulated. Phase and spatial averages have been performed over cycles three to ten in order to extract first and second moment of velocity; these quantities have then been used to validate the numerical procedure by comparison against experimental data.
Technical Paper

Development of Fully-Automatic Parallel Algorithms for Mesh Handling in the OpenFOAM®-2.2.x Technology

2013-09-08
2013-24-0027
The current development to set up an automatic procedure for automatic mesh generation and automatic mesh motion for internal combustion engine simulation in OpenFOAM®-2.2.x is here described. In order to automatically generate high-quality meshes of cylinder geometries, some technical issues need to be addressed: 1) automatic mesh generation should be able to control anisotropy and directionality of the grid; 2) during piston and valve motion, cells and faces must be introduced and removed without varying the overall area and volume of the cells, to avoid conservation errors. In particular, interpolation between discrete fields is frequent in computational physics: the use of adaptive and non-conformal meshes necessitates the interpolation of fields between different mesh regions. Interpolation problems also arise in areas such as model coupling, model initialization and visualisation.
Journal Article

Full-Cycle CFD Modeling of Air/Fuel Mixing Process in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

2013-09-08
2013-24-0024
This paper is focused on the development and application of a CFD methodology that can be applied to predict the fuel-air mixing process in stratified charge, sparkignition engines. The Eulerian-Lagrangian approach was used to model the spray evolution together with a liquid film model that properly takes into account its effects on the fuel-air mixing process into account. However, numerical simulation of stratified combustion in SI engines is a very challenging task for CFD modeling, due to the complex interaction of different physical phenomena involving turbulent, reacting and multiphase flows evolving inside a moving geometry. Hence, for a proper assessment of the different sub-models involved a detailed set of experimental optical data is required. To this end, a large experimental database was built by the authors.
Journal Article

Towards the LES Simulation of IC Engines with Parallel Topologically Changing Meshes

2013-04-08
2013-01-1096
The implementation and the combination of advanced boundary conditions and subgrid scale models for Large Eddy Simulation (LES) in the multi-dimensional open-source CFD code OpenFOAM® are presented. The goal is to perform reliable cold flow LES simulations in complex geometries, such as in the cylinders of internal combustion engines. The implementation of a boundary condition for synthetic turbulence generation upstream of the valve port and of the compressible formulation of the Wall-Adapting Local Eddy-viscosity sgs model (WALE) is described. The WALE model is based on the square of the velocity gradient tensor and it accounts for the effects of both the strain and the rotation rate of the smallest resolved turbulent fluctuations and it recovers the proper y₃ near-wall scaling for the eddy viscosity without requiring dynamic procedure; hence, it is supposed to be a very reliable model for ICE simulation.
Technical Paper

Development of a CFD Approach to Model Fuel-Air Mixing in Gasoline Direct-Injection Engines

2012-04-16
2012-01-0146
Direct-injection represents a consolidated technology to increase performance and efficiency in spark-ignition engines. It reduces the knock tendency and makes engine downsizing possible through the use of turbocharging. Better control of CO and HC emissions at cold-start is also ensured since there is no wall-impingement in the intake port. However, to take advantages of all the theoretical benefits derived from GDI technology, detailed investigations of both fuel-air mixing and combustion processes are necessary to extend the stratified charge operations in the engine map and to reduce soot emissions, that are now severely regulated by emission standards. In this work, the authors developed a CFD methodology to investigate and optimize the fuel-air mixing process in direct-injection, spark-ignition engines. The Eulerian-Lagrangian approach is used to model the evolution of the fuel spray emerging from a multi-hole injector.
Journal Article

Improving the Simulation of the Acoustic Performance of Complex Silencers for ICE by a Multi-Dimensional Non-Linear Approach

2012-04-16
2012-01-0828
In this paper a three-dimensional time-domain CFD approach has been employed to predict and analyze the acoustic attenuation performance of complex perforated muffler geometries, where strong 3D effects limit the validity of the use of one-dimensional models. A pressure pulse has been imposed at the inlet to excite the wave motion, while unsteady flow computation have been performed to acquire the time histories of the pressures upstream and downstream of the silencer. Pressures in the time domain have been then transformed to acoustic pressures in the frequency domain, to predict the transmission loss.
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