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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.
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.
Technical Paper

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

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

Heat Transfer Analysis of Catalytic Converters during Cold Starts

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

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.
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.
Technical Paper

Numerical Optimization of a SCR System Based on the Injection of Pure Gaseous Ammonia for the NOx Reduction in Light-Duty Diesel Engines

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems are nowadays widely applied for the reduction of NOx emitted from Diesel engines. The typical process is based on the injection of aqueous urea in the exhaust gases before the SCR catalyst, which determines the production of the ammonia needed for the catalytic reduction of NOx. However, this technology is affected by two main limitations: a) the evaporation of the urea water solution (UWS) requires a sufficiently high temperature of the exhaust gases and b) the formation of solid deposits during the UWS evaporation is a frequent phenomenon which compromise the correct operation of the system. In this context, to overcome these issues, a technology based on the injection of gaseous ammonia has been recently proposed: in this case, ammonia is stored at the solid state in a cartridge containing a Strontium Chloride salt and it is desorbed by means of electrical heating.
Technical Paper

Validation of a Theoretical Model for the Correction of Heat Transfer Effects in Turbocharger Testing through a Quasi-3D Model

In the last few years, the effect of diabatic test conditions on compressor performance maps has been widely investigated, leading some Authors to propose different correction models. The accuracy of turbocharger performance map constitute the basis for the tuning and validation of a numerical method, usually adopted for the prediction of engine-turbocharger matching. Actually, it is common practice in automotive applications to use simulation codes, which can either require measured compression ratio and efficiency maps as input values or calculate them “on the fly” throughout specific sub-models integrated in the numerical procedures. Therefore, the ability to correct the measured performance maps taking into account internal heat transfer would allow the implementation of commercial simulation codes used for engine-turbocharger matching calculations.
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.