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Technical Paper

Investigation of the Ignition Process of Pilot Injections Using 3D CFD

2019-09-09
2019-24-0129
State of the art high-pressure fuel injectors offer the ability to inject multiple times per cycle, and can reach very low fuel amounts per injection event. This behaviour allows the application of pilot injections in diesel engine applications or dual fuel engines. In both diesel and dual fuel engines, the amount of pilot fuel affects the engine efficiency. The understanding of the underlying ignition mechanism of the pilot fuel is required to optimize injection parameters and the engines’ fuel consumption. The present work focuses on the differences of ignition mechanisms between long and short injections. The investigation has been performed numerically, using 3D CFD with a well-proven combustion model. The setup used contained a well characterized single orifice injector, injecting into a high temperature, pressurized environment with the composition of oxygen (15%) and nitrogen.
Technical Paper

Large Eddy Simulations and Tracer-LIF Diagnostics of Wall Film Dynamics in an Optically Accessible GDI Research Engine

2019-09-09
2019-24-0131
Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and tracer-based Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) measurements have been performed to study the dynamics of fuel wall-films on the piston top of an optically accessible, four-valve pent-roof GDI research engine for a total of eight operating conditions. Starting from a reference point, the systematic variations include changes in engine speed (600; 1,200 and 2,000 RPM) and load (WOT and 500 mbar intake pressure); concerning the fuel path the Start Of Injection (SOI=360°, 390° and 420° CA after gas exchange TDC) as well as the injection pressure (10, 20 and 35 MPa) have been varied. For each condition, 40 experimental images were acquired phase-locked at 10° CA intervals after SOI, providing valuable insights with respect to the wall film dynamics in terms of spatial extent, thickness and temperature.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Pre-Chamber Combustion Systems for Lean Burn Gas Engines

2019-04-02
2019-01-0260
The current trend in automobiles is towards electrical vehicles, but for the most part these vehicles still require an internal combustion engine to provide additional range and flexibility. These engines are under stringent emissions regulations, in particular, for the reduction of CO2. Gas engines which run lean burn combustion systems provide a viable route to these emission reductions, however designing these engines to provide sustainable and controlled combustion under lean conditions at λ=2.0 is challenging. To address this challenge, it is possible to use a scavenged Pre-Chamber Ignition (PCI) system which can deliver favorable conditions for ignition close to the spark plug. The lean charge in the main combustion chamber is then ignited by flame jets emanating from the pre-chamber nozzles. Accurate prediction of flame kernel development and propagation is essential for the analysis of PCI systems.
Technical Paper

Flamelet Generated Manifolds Applied to Dual-Fuel Combustion of Lean Methane/Air Mixtures at Engine Relevant Conditions Ignited by n Dodecane Micro Pilot Sprays

2019-04-02
2019-01-1163
In this study, a novel 3D-CFD combustion model employing Flamelet Generated Manifolds (FGM) for dual fuel combustion was developed. Validation of the platform was carried out using recent experimental results from an optically accessible Rapid Compression Expansion Machine (RCEM). Methane and n-dodecane were used as model fuels to remove any uncertainties in terms of fuel composition. The model used a tabulated chemistry approach employing a reaction mechanism of 130 species and 2399 reactions and was able to capture non-premixed auto ignition of the pilot fuel as well as premixed flame propagation of the background mixture. The CFD model was found to predict well all phases of the dual fuel combustion process: I) the pilot fuel ignition delay, II) the Heat Release Rate of the partially premixed conversion of the micro pilot spray with entrained methane/air and III) the sustained background mixture combustion following the consumption of the spray plume.
Technical Paper

Numerical Study of Turbulence and Fuel-Air Mixing within a Scavenged Pre-Chamber Using RANS and LES

2019-04-02
2019-01-0198
It is well-known that the spatial distribution of turbulence intensity and fuel concentration at spark-time play a pivotal role on the flame development within the pre-chamber in gas engines equipped with a scavenged pre-chamber. The combustion within the pre-chamber is in turn a determining factor in terms of combustion behaviour in the main chamber, and accordingly it influences the engine efficiency as well as pollutant emissions such as NOx and unburned hydrocarbons. This paper presents a numerical analysis of fuel concentration and turbulence distribution at spark time for an automotive-sized scavenged pre-chamber mounted at the head of a rapid compression-expansion machine (RCEM). Two different pre-chamber orifice orientations are considered: straight and tilted nozzles. The latter introduce a swirling flow within the pre-chamber. Simulations have been carried out using with two different turbulence models: Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Large-Eddy Simulation (LES).
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulations of Pre-Chamber Combustion in an Optically Accessible RCEM

2019-04-02
2019-01-0224
In this work, numerical simulations of an automotive-sized scavenged pre-chamber mounted in an optically-accessible rapid compression-expansion machine (RCEM) have been carried out using two different turbulence models: Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Large-Eddy Simulation (LES). The RANS approach is combined with the G-equation combustion model, whereas the LES approach is coupled with the flamelet generated manifold (FGM) model for partially-premixed combustion. Simulation results are compared with experimental data in terms of OH* chemiluminescence in the main chamber. Both RANS and LES results were found to qualitatively reproduce the main features observed experimentally in terms of spatial flame development. Simulation results are further analysed by means of early flame propagation within the pre-chamber (related to the fuel and turbulence intensity distributions) and the ignition process in the main chamber.
Technical Paper

POMDME as an Alternative Pilot Fuel for Dual-Fuel Engines: Optical Study in a RCEM and Application in an Automotive Size Dual-Fuel Diesel Engine

2018-09-10
2018-01-1734
Dual-fuel natural gas engines are seen as an attractive solution for simultaneous reduction of pollutant and CO2 emissions while maintaining high engine thermal efficiency. However, engines of this type exhibit a tradeoff between misfire as well as high UHC emissions for small pilot injection amounts and higher emissions of soot and NOX for operation strategies with higher pilot fuel proportion. The aim of this study was to investigate POMDME as an alternative pilot fuel having the potential to mitigate the emissions tradeoff, enabling smokeless combustion due to high degree of oxygenation, and being less prone to misfire due to its higher cetane number. Furthermore, POMDME can be synthetized carbon neutrally. First, characteristics of POMDME ignition in methane/air mixture and the transition into premixed flame propagation were investigated optically in a rapid compression-expansion machine (RCEM) by employing Schlieren and OH* chemiluminescence imaging.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Two Premixed LES Combustion Models in an Engine-Like Geometry

2018-04-03
2018-01-0176
Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of premixed turbulent combustion in a confined cylinder setup at engine relevant conditions has been carried out for three different initial turbulence intensities, mimicking different flame propagation regimes. Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of the setup under investigation provides the reference data to be compared against. The DNS fields have been filtered on the LES grid and are used as initial conditions for the LES at onset of combustion, guaranteeing a direct comparability of the single realizations between the modeled and reference data. Two different combustion models, the G-Equation and CMC-premixed (Conditional Moment Closure) are compared with respect to their predictive capabilities as well as their usability and computational cost. While the G-Equation is a widely adopted approach for industrial applications and usually relies on a tunable turbulent flame speed closure, the novel LES-CMC comes as a tuning parameter free model.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Soot Dynamics at Engine-Relevant Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0204
Formation of soot in an auto-igniting n-dodecane spray under diesel engine relevant conditions has been investigated numerically. As opposed to research addressing turbulence-chemistry interaction (TCI) by coupling diffusive turbulence models with more sophisticated models in the context of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS), this study employs the advanced sub-grid scale k-equation model in the framework of a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) together with the uninvolved Direct Integration (DI) approach. A reduced n-heptane chemical mechanism has been employed and artificially accelerated in order to predict the ignition for n-dodecane accurately. Soot processes have been modelled with an extended version of the semi-empirical, two-equation model of Leung, which considers C2H2 as the soot precursor and accounts for particle inception, surface growth by C2H2 addition, oxidation by O2, oxidation by OH and particle coagulation.
Technical Paper

A Zero Dimensional Turbulence and Heat Transfer Phenomenological Model for Pre-Chamber Gas Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-1453
Most of the phenomena that occur during the high pressure cycle of a spark ignition engine are highly influenced by the gas temperature, turbulence intensity and turbulence length scale inside the cylinder. For a pre chamber gas engine, the small volume and the high surface-to-volume ratio of the pre chamber increases the relative significance of the gas-to-wall heat losses, the early flame kernel development and the wall induced quenching; all of these phenomena are associated up to a certain extent with the turbulence and temperature field inside the pre chamber. While three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations can capture complex phenomena inside the pre chamber with high accuracy, they have high computational cost. Quasi dimensional models, on the contrary, provide a computationally inexpensive alternative for simulating multiple operating conditions as well as different geometries.
Journal Article

Optical Investigation of Sooting Propensity of n-Dodecane Pilot/Lean-Premixed Methane Dual-Fuel Combustion in a Rapid Compression-Expansion Machine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0258
The sooting propensity of dual-fuel combustion with n-dodecane pilot injection in a lean-premixed methane-air charge has been investigated using an optically accessible Rapid Compression-Expansion Machine (RCEM) to achieve engine-relevant pressure and temperature conditions at the start of pilot injection. A Diesel injector with a 100 μm single-hole coaxial nozzle, mounted at the cylinder periphery, has been employed to admit the pilot fuel. The aim of this study was to enhance the fundamental understanding of soot formation and oxidation processes of n-dodecane in the presence of methane in the air charge by parametric variation of methane equivalence ratio, charge temperature, and pilot fuel injection duration. The influence of methane on ignition delay and flame extent of the pilot fuel jet has been determined by simultaneous excited-state hydroxyl radical (OH*) chemiluminescence and Schlieren imaging.
Technical Paper

Spray Model Based Phenomenological Combustion Description and Experimental Validation for a Dual Fuel Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0098
The operation of dual fuel engines, operated with natural gas as main fuel, offers the potential of substantial savings in CO2. Nevertheless, the operating map area where low pollutant emissions are produced is very narrow. Especially at low load, the raw exhaust gas contains high concentrations of unburned methane and, with high pilot fuel portions due to ignition limitations, also soot. The analysis of the combustion in those conditions in particular is not trivial, since multiple combustion modes are present concurrently. The present work focuses on the evaluation of the individual combustion modes of a dual fuel engine, operated with natural gas as main and diesel as pilot fuel, using a combustion model. The combustion has been split in two partwise concurrent combustion phases: the auto-ignition phase and the premixed flame propagation phase.
Journal Article

The Effect of Cycle-to-Cycle Variations on the NOx-SFC Tradeoff in Diesel Engines under Long Ignition Delay Conditions

2017-09-04
2017-24-0100
Cycle-to-cycle variations in internal combustion engines are known to lead to limitations in engine load and efficiency, as well as increases in emissions. Recent research has led to the identification of the source of cyclic variations of pressure, soot and NO emissions in direct injection common rail diesel engines, when employing a single block injection and operating under long ignition delay conditions. The variations in peak pressure arise from changes in the diffusion combustion rate, caused by randomly occurring in-cylinder pressure fluctuations. These fluctuations result from the excitation of the first radial mode of vibration of the cylinder gases which arises from the rapid premixed combustion after the long ignition delay period. Cycles with high-intensity fluctuations present faster diffusion combustion, resulting in higher cycle peak pressure, as well as higher measured exhaust NO concentrations.
Journal Article

Fundamental Aspects of Jet Ignition for Natural Gas Engines

2017-09-04
2017-24-0097
Large-bore natural gas engines may use pre-chamber ignition. Despite extensive research in engine environments, the exact nature of the jet, as it exits the pre-chamber orifice, is not thoroughly understood and this leads to uncertainty in the design of such systems. In this work, a specially-designed rig comprising a quartz pre-chamber fit with an orifice and a turbulent flowing mixture outside the pre-chamber was used to study the pre-chamber flame, the jet, and the subsequent premixed flame initiation mechanism by OH* and CH* chemiluminescence. Ethylene and methane were used. The experimental results are supplemented by LES and 0D modelling, providing insights into the mass flow rate evolution at the orifice and into the nature of the fluid there. Both LES and experiment suggest that for large orifice diameters, the flow that exits the orifice is composed of a column of hot products surrounded by an annulus of unburnt pre-chamber fluid.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Engine Operational Conditions’ Influences on a Small Un-Scavenged Pre-Chamber’s Behavior

2017-09-04
2017-24-0094
Despite significant benefits in terms of the ignition enhancement, the strength and timing of the turbulent flame jets subsequently issuing into the main chamber strongly depend on the pre-chamber combustion process and, thus, are sensitive to the specific engine operating conditions it experienced. This poses considerable difficulties in optimizing engine operating conditions as well as controlling engine performance. This paper investigates the influence of engine operating conditions on the pre-chamber combustion event using both experimental and numerical methods. A miniaturized piezo-electric pressure transducer was designed to be placed inside the engine cylinder head to record the pre-chamber inner volume pressure, in addition to conventional pressure indication inside the main chamber.
Journal Article

Generation of Turbulence in a RCEM towards Engine Relevant Conditions for Premixed Combustion Based on CFD and PIV Investigations

2017-09-04
2017-24-0043
The interaction of turbulent premixed methane combustion with the surrounding flow field can be studied using optically accessible test rigs such as a rapid compression expansion machine (RCEM). The high flexibility offered by such a test rig allows its operation at various thermochemical conditions at ignition. However, limitations inherent to such test rigs due to the absence of an intake stroke do not allow turbulence production as found in IC-engines. Hence, means to introduce turbulence need to be implemented and the relevant turbulence quantities have to be identified in order to enable comparability with engine relevant conditions. A dedicated high-pressure direct injection of air at the beginning of the compression phase is considered as a measure to generate adjustable turbulence intensities at spark timing and during the early flame propagation.
Journal Article

Development and Experimental Validation of a Fast Spray Ignition Model for Diesel Engines Using Insights from CFD Spray Calculations

2017-03-28
2017-01-0812
Modern Diesel engines have become ever more complex systems with many degrees of freedom. Simultaneously, with increasing computational power, simulations of engines have become more popular, and can be used to find the optimum set up of engine operation parameters which result in the desired point in the emission-efficiency trade off. With increasing number of engine operation parameter combinations, the number of calculations increase exponentially. Therefore, adequate models for combustion and emissions with limited calculation costs are required. For obvious reasons, the accuracy of the ignition timing is a key point for the following combustion and emission model quality. Furthermore, the combination of mixing and chemical processes during the ignition delay is very challenging to model in a fast way for a wide range of operation conditions.
Journal Article

Comparison and Sensitivity Analysis of Turbulent Flame Speed Closures in the RANS G-Equation Context for Two Distinct Engines

2016-10-17
2016-01-2236
Three-dimensional reactive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) plays a crucial role in IC engine development tasks complementing experimental efforts by providing improved understanding of the combustion process. A widely adopted combustion model in the engine community for (partially) premixed combustion is the G-Equation where the flame front is represented by an iso-level of an arbitrary scalar G. A convective-reactive equation for this iso-surface is solved, for which the turbulent flame speed ST must be provided. In this study, the commonly used and well-established Damköhler approach is compared to a novel correlation, derived from an algebraic closure for the scalar dissipation of reaction progress as proposed by Kolla et al. [1].
Journal Article

Modeling Split Injections of ECN “Spray A” Using a Conditional Moment Closure Combustion Model with RANS and LES

2016-10-17
2016-01-2237
This study investigates n-dodecane split injections of “Spray A” from the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) using two different turbulence treatments (RANS and LES) in conjunction with a Conditional Moment Closure combustion model (CMC). The two modeling approaches are first assessed in terms of vapor spray penetration evolutions of non-reacting split injections showing a clearly superior performance of the LES compared to RANS: while the former successfully reproduces the experimental results for both first and second injection events, the slipstream effect in the wake of the first injection jet is not accurately captured by RANS leading to an over-predicted spray tip penetration of the second pulse. In a second step, two reactive operating conditions with the same ambient density were investigated, namely one at a diesel-like condition (900K, 60bar) and one at a lower temperature (750K, 50bar).
Technical Paper

CFD-Simulation of Ignition and Combustion in Lean Burn Gas Engines

2016-04-05
2016-01-0800
In this study, the ignition and combustion process in a lean burn, spark-ignited stationary gas engine was investigated using a level-set (G-equation) combustion model in the context of Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations. An ignition model based on Herweg and Maly [1] and its coupling with the G-equation combustion model was implemented in the framework of the STARCD/es-ICE solver. A first validation was performed by means of spherically expanding methane/air flame measurements in an optically accessible spherical combustion bomb at elevated pressure by Lawes et al. [2]: predictions of the kernel size and the flame expansion are in good agreement with the experimental data at both stoichiometric and lean conditions. The model was subsequently applied to study combustion in a premixed lean burn stationary gas engine with a displacement volume of roughly two liters, ignited by means of a centrally located “G-type” spark plug.
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