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Technical Paper

Development and Application of 3D Generic Cells to the Acoustic Modelling of Exhaust Systems

The acoustic simulation of internal combustion engine exhaust systems is an important aspect to meet customer expectations and legislation targets. One dimensional gas dynamic simulation tools are used for the calculation of the exhaust orifice noise in the early stages of the engine development process. This includes the prediction of the acoustic performance of individual components in the exhaust line. One common element used in exhaust systems to increase the acoustic damping is the plug flow muffler. This study looks at the prediction of acoustic performance of various plug mufflers at different flow velocities. These include a single plug muffler, a double plug muffler and an eccentric plug muffler with different porosities for the perforated sections. To this purpose a generic 3D cell approach was developed and applied.
Technical Paper

A Comprehensive Model to Predict the Initial Stage of Combustion in SI Engines

A correct prediction of the initial stages of the combustion process in SI engines is of great importance to understand how local flow conditions, fuel properties, mixture stratification and ignition affect the in-cylinder pressure development and pollutant formation. However, flame kernel growth is governed by many interacting processes including energy transfer from the electrical circuit to the gas phase, interaction between the plasma channel and the flow field, transition between different combustion regimes and gas expansion at very high temperatures. In this work, the authors intend to present a comprehensive, multi-dimensional model that can be used to predict the initial combustion stages in SI engines. In particular, the spark channel is represented by a set of Lagrangian particles where each one of them acts as a single flame kernel.
Technical Paper

A Quasi-3D Model for the Simulation of the Unsteady Flows in I.C. Engine Pipe Systems

Increasing demands on the capabilities of engine simulation and the ability to accurately predict both performance and acoustics has lead to the development of several numerical tools to help engine manufacturers during the prototyping stage. The aid of CFD tools (3D and 1D) can remarkably reduce the duration and the costs of this stage. The need of achieving good accuracy, along with acceptable computational runtime, has given the spur to the development of a geometry based quasi-3D approach. This is designed to model the acoustics and the fluid dynamics of both intake and exhaust system components used in internal combustion engines. Models of components are built using a network of quasi-3D cells based primarily on the geometry of the system. The solution procedure is based on an explicitly time marching staggered grid approach making use of a flux limiter to prevent numerical instabilities.
Technical Paper

Automatic Mesh Generation for CFD Simulations of Direct-Injection Engines

Prediction of in-cylinder flows and fuel-air mixing are two fundamental pre-requisites for a successful simulation of direct-injection engines. Over the years, many efforts were carried out in order to improve available turbulence and spray models. However, enhancements in physical modeling can be drastically affected by how the mesh is structured. Grid quality can negatively influence the prediction of organized charge motion structures, turbulence generation and interaction between in-cylinder flows and injected sprays. This is even more relevant for modern direct injection engines, where multiple injections and control of charge motions are employed in a large portion of the operating map. Currently, two different approaches for mesh generation exist: manual and automatic. The first makes generally possible to generate high-quality meshes but, at the same time, it is very time consuming and not completely free from user errors.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulation of a Sliding Vane Expander Operating Inside a Small Scale ORC for Low Temperature Waste Heat Recovery

This work proposes a focus on the simulation of a rotative volumetric expander via a CFD code. A customized application of OpenFOAM® has been developed to handle the particular motion of the calculation grid. The model uses a mesh to mesh interpolation technique, switching from a calculation grid to the new one on the basis of mesh quality considerations performed on the fly. This particular approach allows to account for the presence of leakages occurring between the stator and blade tips and also occurring at the top and bottom of the vanes. The fluid considered is the refrigerant R245fa, whose particular properties have been determined resorting to the NIST database. Experimental data, measured at different conditions of mass flow and fluid temperature, are compared to calculation results. Moreover, the CFD analysis has allowed the estimation of the influence of the leakage mass flow occurring at the tip of the vanes on the overall machine performances.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Numerical and System Dynamics Methods for Modeling Wave Propagation in the Intake Manifold of a Single-Cylinder Engine

The automotive industry is striving to adopt model-based engine design and optimization procedures to reduce development time and costs. In this scenario, first-principles gas dynamic models predicting the mass, energy and momentum transport in the engine air path system with high accuracy and low computation effort are extremely important today for performance prediction, optimization and cylinder charge estimation and control. This paper presents a comparative study of two different modeling approaches to predict the one-dimensional unsteady compressible flow in the engine air path system. The first approach is based on a quasi-3D finite volume method, which relies on a geometrical reconstruction of the calculation domain using networks of zero-dimensional elements. The second approach is based on a model-order reduction procedure that projects the nonlinear hyperbolic partial differential equations describing the 1D unsteady flow in engine manifolds onto a predefined basis.
Technical Paper

Quantitative Analysis of Low Pressure-Driven Spray Mass Distribution and Liquid Entrainment for SCR Application through a Mechanical Patternator

The application of liquid aqueous Urea Solution (AUS) as reductant in SCR exhaust after-treatment systems is now a commonly accepted industry standard. Unfortunately, less acceptable are the associated difficulties caused by incomplete decomposition of the liquid, resulting in solid deposits which accumulate in the exhaust pipe downstream of the dosing components. The correct prediction of the spray pattern and, therefore, the spray impact on the walls is a key feature for the system optimization. A mechanical patternator, designed on the basis of CFD performance assessment, involving a Lagrangian representation of the dispersed liquid fully coupled with a 3D Eulerian description of the carrier phase, has been built and used to measure the spray mass distribution.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

Fluid Dynamic and Acoustic Optimization Methodology of a Motorbike Intake Airbox Using Multilevel Numerical CFD Models and Experimental Validation Tests

In this work a multilevel CFD analysis have been applied for the design of an intake air-box with improved characteristics of noise reduction and fluid dynamic response. The approaches developed and applied for the optimization process range from the 1D to fully 3D CFD simulation, exploring hybrid approaches based on the integration of a 1D model with quasi-3D and 3D tools. In particular, the quasi-3D strategy is exploited to investigate several configurations, tailoring the best trade-off between noise abatement at frequencies below 1000 Hz and optimization of engine performances. Once the best configuration has been defined, the 1D-3D approach has been adopted to confirm the prediction carried out by means of the simplified approach, studying also the impact of the new configuration on the engine performances.
Journal Article

Fluid Dynamic Comparison of AdBlue Injectors for SCR Applications

The injection process of urea-water solution (AdBlue) determines initial conditions for reactions and catalysis and is fundamentally responsible for optimal operation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. The spray characteristics of four, commercially available, injectors (one air-assisted and three pressure-driven with different nozzle-hole configurations) are investigated with non-intrusive measuring techniques. Injection occurred in the crossflow of a channel blowing preheated air in an exhaust duct similar configuration. The effect of several gas temperatures and flows on the spray propagation and entrainment has been extensively studied by shadow imaging. Shadow images, in addition, show that the spray of the pressure-driven injectors is only marginally affected by the gas crossflow. In contrast, the air assisted spray is strongly deflected by the gas, the effect increasing with increasing gas flow.
Journal Article

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

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

A 1D/Quasi-3D Coupled Model for the Simulation of I.C. Engines: Development and Application of an Automatic Cell-Network Generator

Nowadays quasi-3D approaches are included in many commercial and research 1D numerical codes, in order to increase their simulation accuracy in presence of complex shape 3D volumes, e.g. plenums and silencers. In particular, these are regarded as valuable approaches for application during the design phase of an engine, for their capability of predicting non-planar waves motion and, on the other hand, for their low requirements in terms of computational runtime. However, the generation of a high-quality quasi-3D computational grid is not always straightforward, especially in case of complex elements, and can be a time-consuming operation, making the quasi-3D tool a less attractive option. In this work, a quasi-3D module has been implemented on the basis of the open-source CFD code OpenFOAM and coupled with the 1D code GASDYN.
Journal Article

The 3Dcell Approach for the Acoustic Modeling of After-Treatment Devices

In the last decades the continuously tightening limitations on pollutant emissions has led to an extensive adoption of after-treatment devices on the exhaust systems of modern internal combustion engines. While these devices are primarily introduced for reducing and controlling the emissions, they also play an important role influencing the wave motion inside the exhaust system and so affecting the acoustics and the performances of the engine. In this paper a novel approach is proposed for the modeling of two after-treatment devices: the catalyst and the Diesel Particulate Filter. The models are based on a fast quasi-3D approach, named 3Dcell, originally developed by the authors for the acoustic modeling of silencers. This approach allows to model the wave motion by solving the momentum equation along the three directions.
Journal Article

Geometric and Fluid-Dynamic Characterization of Actual Open Cell Foam Samples by a Novel Imaging Analysis Based Algorithm

Metallic open-cell foams have proven to be valuable for many engineering applications. Their success is mainly related to mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange, low flow resistance and sound absorption properties. The present work aims to investigate three principal aspects of real foams: the geometrical characterization, the flow regime characterization, the effects of the pore size and the porosity on the pressure drop. The first aspect is very important, since the geometrical properties depend on other parameters, such as porosity, cell/pore size and specific surface. A statistical evaluation of the cell size of a foam sample is necessary to define both its geometrical characteristics and the flow pattern at a given input velocity. To this purpose, a procedure which statistically computes the number of cells and pores with a given size has been implemented in order to obtain the diameter distribution.
Journal Article

Design of Catalytic Devices by Means of Genetic Algorithm: Comparison Between Open-Cell Foam and Honeycomb Type Substrates

Metallic foams or sponges are materials with a cell structure suitable for many industrial applications, such as reformers, heat catalytic converters, etc. The success of these materials is due to the combination of various characteristics such as mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange properties, low flow resistance and sound absorption. Different materials and manufacturing processes produce different type of structure and properties for various applications. In this work a genetic algorithm has been developed and applied to support the design of catalytic devices. In particular, two substrates were considered, namely the traditional honeycomb and an alternative open-cell foam type. CFD simulations of pressure losses and literature based correlations for the heat and mass transfer were used to support the genetic algorithm in finding the best compromise between flow resistance and pollutant abatement.
Journal Article

Fluid Dynamic Optimization of a Moto3TM Engine by Means of 1D and 1D-3D Simulations

In this work an integration between a 1D code (Gasdyn) with a CFD code (OpenFOAM®) has been applied to improve the performance of a Moto3TM engine. The four-stroke, single cylinder S.I. engine was modeled, in order to predict the wave motion in the intake and exhaust systems and study how it affects the cylinder gas exchange process. The engine considered was characterized by having an air induction system with integrated filter cartridge, air-box and intake runner, resulting in a complex air-path form the intake mouth to the intake valves, which presents critical aspects when a 1D modeling is addressed. This paper presents a combined and integrated simulation, in which the intake systems was modeled as a 3D geometry whereas the exhaust system, which presented a simpler geometry, was modeled by means of a 1D approach.
Technical Paper

1D-3D Coupled Simulation of the Fuel Spray Propagation Inside the Air-Box of a Moto3 Motorbike: Analysis of Spray Targeting and Injection Timing

In this work an integration between a 1D code (Gasdyn) with a CFD code (OpenFOAM®) has been applied to improve the performance of a Moto3 engine. The four-stroke, single cylinder S.I. engine was modeled, in order to predict the wave motion in the intake and exhaust systems and to study how it affects the cylinder gas exchange process. The engine considered was characterized by having an air induction system with integrated filter cartridge, air-box and intake runner, including two fuel injectors, resulting in a complex air-path from the intake mouth to the intake valves, which presents critical aspects when a 1D modeling is addressed. The exhaust and intake systems have been optimized form the point of view of the wave action. However, due to the high revolution speed reached by this type of engine, the interaction between the gas stream and the fuel spray becomes a key aspect to be addressed in order to achieve the best performance at the desired operating condition.
Technical Paper

Low Pressure-Driven Injection Characterization for SCR Applications

Aqueous Urea is a non-toxic and stable ammonia carrier and its injection and mixing represent the basis for the most common de-NOx technology for mobile applications. The reactant feed preparation process is defined by evaporation, thermolysis and hydrolysis of the liquid mixture upstream the Selective Catalytic Reduction reactor, and it is strongly dependent on the interaction between spray and gaseous flow. Low-pressure driven injectors are the common industrial standard for these applications, and their behavior in almost-ambient pressure cross flows is significantly different from any in-cylinder application. For this reason, two substantially different injectors in terms of geometry and design are experimentally studied, characterizing drop sizes and velocities through Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) and liquid mass spatial distribution through Shadow Imaging (SI).
Technical Paper

Direct Evaluation of Turbine Isentropic Efficiency in Turbochargers: CFD Assisted Design of an Innovative Measuring Technique

Turbocharging is playing today a fundamental role not only to improve automotive engine performance, but also to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions for both Spark Ignition and Diesel engines. Dedicated experimental investigations on turbochargers are therefore necessary to assess a better understanding of its performance. The availability of experimental information on turbocharger steady flow performance is an essential requirement to optimize the engine-turbocharger matching, which is usually achieved by means of simulation models. This aspect is even more important when referred to the turbine efficiency, since its swallowing capacity can be accurately evaluated through the measurement of mass flow rate, inlet temperature and pressure ratio across the machine.