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Technical Paper

Combustion Process Investigation in a Small SI Engine using Optical Diagnostics

2010-10-25
2010-01-2262
Nowadays an elevated number of two, three and four wheels vehicles circulating in the world-wide urban areas is equipped with Port Fuel Injection Spark Ignition (PFI SI) engines. Their technological level is high, but a further optimization is still possible, especially at low engine speed and high load. To this purpose, the scientific community is now focused on deepening the understanding of thermo fluid dynamic phenomena that takes place in this kind of engine: the final purpose is to find key points for the reduction in engine specific fuel consumption and exhaust emissions without a decrease in performance. In this work, the combustion process was investigated in an optically accessible single cylinder PFI SI engine. It was equipped with the head, injection device and exhaust line of a commercial small engine for two-wheel vehicles, it had the same geometrical characteristics in terms of bore, stroke and compression ratio.
Technical Paper

Fuel Injection Effect on In-cylinder Formation and Exhaust Emission of Particulate from a 4-Stroke Engine for 2-Wheel Vehicles

2010-04-12
2010-01-0354
The small engine for two-wheel vehicles has generally high possibility to be optimized at low speeds and high loads. In these conditions fuel consumption and pollutants emission should be reduced maintaining the performance levels. This optimization can be realized only improving the basic knowledge of the thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena occurring during the combustion process. It is known that, during the fuel injection phase in PFI SI engines, thin films of liquid fuel can form on the valves surface and on the cylinder walls. Successively the fuel films interact with the intake manifold and the combustion chamber gas flow. During the normal combustion process, it is possible to achieve gas temperature and mixture strength conditions that lead to fuel film ignition. This phenomenon can create diffusion-controlled flames that can persist well after the normal combustion event. These flames induce the emission of soot and unburned hydrocarbons.
Technical Paper

High Spatial Resolution Visualization and Spectroscopic Investigation of the Flame Front Propagation in the Combustion Chamber of a Scooter Engine

2010-04-12
2010-01-0351
The match between the increasing performance demands and stringent requirements of emissions and fuel consumption reduction needs a strong evolution in the 2-wheel vehicle technology. In particular many steps forward should be taken for the optimization of modern small motorcycle and scooter at low engine speeds and low temperature start. To this aim, the detailed understandings of thermal and fluid-dynamic phenomena that occur in the combustion chamber are fundamental. In this work, experimental activities were realized in the combustion chamber of a single-cylinder 4-stroke optical engine. The engine was equipped with a four-valve head of a commercial scooter engine. High spatial resolution imaging was used to follow the flame kernel growth and flame front propagation. Moreover, the effects of an abnormal combustion due to firing of fuel deposition near the intake valves and on the piston surface were investigated.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of Premixed Low-Temperature Combustion of Lighter Fuel Blends in Compression Ignition Engines

2011-09-11
2011-24-0045
Optical imaging and UV-visible detection of in-cylinder combustion phenomena were made in a single cylinder optically accessed high swirl multi-jets compression ignition engine operating with two different fuels and two EGR levels. A commercial diesel fuel and a lighter fuel blend of diesel (80%) and gasoline (20%), named G20, were tested for two injection pressures (70 and 140 MPa) and injection timings in the range 11 CAD BTDC to 5 CAD ATDC. The blend G20 has a lower cetane number, is more volatile and more resistant to the auto-ignition than diesel yielding an effect on the ignition delay and on the combustion performance. Instantaneous fuel injection rate, in-cylinder combustion pressure, NOx and smoke engine out emissions were measured. Taking into account the particular configuration of the engine, the efficiency was estimated by determining the area under the working engine cycle.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Alcohol Sprays from Multi-Hole Injector for DISI Engines through PIV Technique

2015-04-14
2015-01-0927
The use of alcohols as alternative to gasoline for fuelling spark-ignition (SI) engines is widespread. Growing interest is paid for n-butanol because of its characteristics that are similar to gasoline. If compared with other alcohols, n-butanol has higher energy content and miscibility with gasoline, lower hygroscope and corrosive properties making it an attractive solution for gasoline replacement. Even if several studies have been conduced to characterize the n-butanol combustion within Spark Ignition engines, few data are available on atomization and spray behavior. This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation to characterize the velocity vector field of two fuel-sprays injected by a 6-hole nozzle for Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine. 2D Mie-scattering and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements were carried out in an optically accessible vessel at ambient temperature and pressure.
Technical Paper

Image Processing for Early Flame Characterization and Initialization of Flamelet Models of Combustion in a GDI Engine

2015-09-06
2015-24-2405
Ignition and flame inception are well recognised as affecting performance and stable operation of spark ignition engines. The very early stage of combustion is indeed the main source of cycle-to-cycle variability, in particular in gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines, where mixture formation may lead to non-homogenous air-to-fuel distributions, especially under some speed and load conditions. From a numerical perspective, 3D modelling of combustion within Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) approaches is not sufficient to provide reliable information about cyclic variability, unless proper changes in the initial conditions of the flow transport equations are considered. Combustion models based on the flamelet concept prove being particularly suitable for the simulation of the energy conversion process in internal combustion engines, due to their low computational cost. These models include a transport equation for the flame surface density, which needs proper initialization.
Technical Paper

Experimental Study on the Spray Atomization of a Multi-hole Injector for Spark Ignition Engines Fuelled by Gasoline and n-Butanol

2014-10-13
2014-01-2743
Alcohols are largely used in spark-ignition (SI) engines as alternative fuels to gasoline. Particularly, the use of butanol meets growing interest due to its properties that are similar to gasoline, if compared with other alcohols. This paper aims to make a comparative analysis on the atomization process of gasoline and n-butanol fuel injected by a multi-hole injector nozzle for spark ignition engines. Phase Doppler Anemometry technique was applied to investigate the behavior of a spray emerging from a six-hole nozzle for direct injection spark ignition engine applications. Commercial gasoline and pure n-butanol were investigated. The fuels were injected at two pressures: namely at 5 and 10 MPa, in a test vessel at quiescent air conditions, ambient temperature and backpressure. Droplets diameter and velocity were estimated along the axis and on the edge direction of a jet through Phase Doppler Anemometry in order to provide useful information on the atomization process.
Technical Paper

Spectroscopic Investigation of Post-Injection Strategy Impact on Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Supplied with Diesel/Butanol and Gasoline Blends

2013-09-08
2013-24-0066
In this paper, a high temporal resolution optical technique, based on the multi-wavelength UV-visible-near IR extinction spectroscopy, was applied at the exhaust of an automotive diesel engine to investigate the post-injection strategy impact on the fuel vapor. Experimental investigations were carried out using three fuels: commercial diesel (B5), a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of gasoline (G20) and a blend of 80% diesel with 20% by vol. of n-butanol (BU20). Experiments were performed at the engine speed of 2500rpm and 0.8MPa of brake mean effective pressure exploring two post-injection timings and two EGR rates. The optical diagnostic allowed evaluating, during the post-injection activation, the evolution of the fuel vapor in the engine exhaust line. The investigation was focused on the impact of post-injection strategy and fuel properties on the aptitude to produce hydrocarbon rich gaseous exhaust for the regeneration of diesel particulate trap (DPF).
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Spectroscopic Measurements of Combustion Process in a SI Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Gasoline Blend

2013-04-08
2013-01-1318
In-cylinder optical diagnostic was applied to study butanol-gasoline blend combustion in a SI engine. Spark timing and fuel injection mode were changed to work in normal and knocking conditions. The experiments were realized in a single-cylinder ported fuel injection SI engine with an external boosting device. The engine worked like-stoichiometric mixture at 2000 rpm, medium boosting and wide open throttle. UV-visible natural emission spectroscopy allowed to follow the formation and the evolution of the main compounds and radical species that characterize the combustion process from the spark ignition until the exhaust. Particular interest was devoted to OH and CO₂* evolution, and to the spectral evidence of soot precursors due to fuel deposits burning. OH resulted the best marker for combustion both in normal and abnormal conditions.
Technical Paper

CFD Optimization of n-Butanol Mixture Preparation and Combustion in an Research GDI Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0063
The recent interest in alternative non-fossil fuels has led researchers to evaluate several alcohol-based formulations. However, one of the main requirements for innovative fuels is to be compatible with existing units’ hardware, so that full replacement or smart flexible-fuel strategies can be smoothly adopted. n-Butanol is considered as a promising candidate to replace commercial gasoline, given its ease of production from bio-mass and its main physical and chemical properties similar to those of Gasoline. The compared behavior of n-butanol and gasoline was analyzed in an optically-accessible DISI engine in a previous paper [1]. CFD simulations explained the main outcomes of the experimental campaign in terms of combustion behavior for two operating conditions. In particular, the first-order role of the slower evaporation rate of n-butanol compared to gasoline was highlighted when the two fuels were operated under the same injection phasing.
Technical Paper

On the Entrainment Velocity and Characteristic Length Scales Used for Quasi-Dimensional Turbulent Combustion Modeling in Spark Ignition Engines

2017-09-04
2017-24-0002
Quasi-dimensional modeling is used on a wide scale in engine development, given its potential for saving time and resources compared to experimental investigations. Often it is preferred to more complex CFD codes that are much more computationally intensive. Accuracy is one major issue of quasi-dimensional simulations and for this reason sub-models are continuously developed for improving predictive capabilities. This study considers the use of equivalent fluid velocity and characteristic length scales for simulating the processes of fresh charge entrainment and oxidation behind the flame front. Rather than dividing combustion into three different phases (i.e. laminar kernel, turbulent flame propagation and oxidation near the walls), the concept of turbulent heat and mass transfer is imposed throughout the entire process.
Technical Paper

Quasi-Dimensional Simulation of Downsizing and Inverter Application for Efficient Part Load Operation of Spark Ignition Engine Driven Micro-Cogeneration Systems

2018-10-30
2018-32-0061
Within the context of distributed power generation, small size systems driven by spark ignition engines represent a valid and user-friendly choice, that ensures good fuel flexibility. One issue is that such applications are run at part load for extensive periods, thus lowering fuel economy. Employing an inverter (fitted between the generator and load) allows engine operation within a wide range of crankshaft rotational velocity, therefore improving efficiency. For the purpose of evaluating the benefits of this technology within a co-generation framework, two configurations were modeled by using the GT-Power simulation software. After model calibration based on measurements on a small size engine for two-wheel applications, the downsized version was compared to a larger power unit operated at constant engine speed for a scenario that featured up to 10 kW rated power.
Journal Article

Butanol-Diesel Blend Spray Combustion Investigation by UV-Visible Flame Emission in a Prototype Single Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine

2015-09-06
2015-24-2435
The paper reports the results of an experimental investigation carried out in a prototype optically accessible compression ignition engine fuelled with different blends of commercial diesel and n-butanol. Thermodynamic analysis and exhaust gas measurements were supported by optical investigations performed through a wide optical access to the combustion chamber. UV-visible digital imaging and 2D chemiluminescence were applied to characterize the combustion process in terms of spatial and temporal occurrence of auto-ignition, flame propagation, soot and OH evolution. The paper illustrates the results of the spray combustion for diesel and n-butanol-diesel blends at 20% and 40% volume fraction, exploring a single and double injection strategy (pilot+main) from a common rail multi-jet injection system. Tests were performed setting a pilot+main strategy with a fixed dwell time and different starts of injection.
Journal Article

Numerical Simulation and Flame Analysis of Combustion and Knock in a DISI Optically Accessible Research Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0555
The increasing limitations in engine emissions and fuel consumption have led researchers to the need to accurately predict combustion and related events in gasoline engines. In particular, knock is one of the most limiting factors for modern SI units, severely hindering thermal efficiency improvements. Modern CFD simulations are becoming an affordable instrument to support experimental practice from the early design to the detailed calibration stage. To this aim, combustion and knock models in RANS formalism provide good time-to-solution trade-off allowing to simulate mean flame front propagation and flame brush geometry, as well as “ensemble average” knock tendency in end-gases. Still, the level of confidence in the use of CFD tools strongly relies on the possibility to validate models and methodologies against experimental measurements.
Journal Article

Development of a RANS-Based Knock Model to Infer the Knock Probability in a Research Spark-Ignition Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0551
Engine knock is one of the most limiting factors for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines to achieve high efficiency targets. The stochastic nature of knock in SI units hinders the predictive capability of RANS knock models, which are based on ensemble averaged quantities. To this aim, a knock model grounded in statistics was recently developed in the RANS formalism. The model is able to infer a presumed log-normal distribution of knocking cycles from a single RANS simulation by means of transport equations for variances and turbulence-derived probability density functions (PDFs) for physical quantities. As a main advantage, the model is able to estimate the earliest knock severity experienced when moving the operating condition into the knocking regime.
Journal Article

Numerical Simulation of Gasoline and n-Butanol Combustion in an Optically Accessible Research Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0546
Conventional fossil fuels are more and more regulated in terms of both engine-out emissions and fuel consumption. Moreover, oil price and political instabilities in oil-producer countries are pushing towards the use of alternative fuels compatible with the existing units. N-Butanol is an attractive candidate as conventional gasoline replacement, given its ease of production from bio-mass and key physico-chemical properties similar to their gasoline counterpart. A comparison in terms of combustion behavior of gasoline and n-Butanol is here presented by means of experiments and 3D-CFD simulations. The fuels are tested on a single-cylinder direct-injection spark-ignition (DISI) unit with an optically accessible flat piston. The analysis is carried out at stoichiometric undiluted condition and lean-diluted mixture for both pure fuels.
Journal Article

CFD Analysis of Combustion and Knock in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0601
The occurrence of knock is the most limiting hindrance for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines. In order to understand its origin and move the operating condition as close as possible to onset of this potentially harmful phenomenon, a joint experimental and numerical investigation is the most recommended approach. A preliminary experimental activity was carried out at IM-CNR on a 0.4 liter GDI unit, equipped with a flat transparent piston. The analysis of flame front morphology allowed to correlate high levels of flame front wrinkling and negative curvature to knock prone operating conditions, such as increased spark timings or high levels of exhaust back-pressure. In this study a detailed CFD analysis is carried out for the same engine and operating point as the experiments. The aim of this activity is to deeper investigate the reasons behind the main outcomes of the experimental campaign.
Journal Article

Influence of Engine Speed and Injection Phasing on Lean Combustion for Different Dilution Rates in an Optically Accessible Wall-Guided Spark Ignition Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-1421
Alternative combustion control in the form of lean operation offers significant advantages such as high efficiency and “clean” fuel oxidation. Maximum dilution rates are limited by increasing instability that can ultimately lead to partial burning or even misfires. A compromise needs to be reached between high tumble-turbulence levels that “speed-up” combustion and the inherent stochastic nature of this fluid motion. The present study is focused on gaining improved insight into combustion characteristics through thermodynamic analysis and flame imaging, in a wall-guided direct injection spark ignition engine with optical accessibility. Engine speed values were investigated in the range of 1000 to 2000 rpm, with commercial gasoline fueling, in wide open throttle conditions; mixture strength ranged from stoichiometric, down to the equivalence ratios that allowed acceptable cycle-by-cycle variations; and all cases featured spark timing close to the point of maximum brake torque.
Journal Article

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

2018-04-03
2018-01-0174
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.
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