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Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Idle Operating Engine Condition for a GDI Engine

The paper investigates the idle operating condition of a current production turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) high performance engine both from an experimental and a numerical perspective. Due to the low engine speed, to the low injection pressure and to the null contribution of the turbocharger, the engine condition is far from the standard points of investigation. According to the low heat flux due to combustion, temperature levels are low and reduced fuel evaporation is expected. Consequently, fuel spray evolution within the combustion chamber and spray/wall interaction are key points for the understanding of the combustion process. In order to properly investigate and understand the many complex phenomena, a wide set of engine speeds was experimentally investigated and, as far as the understanding of the physics of spray/wall interaction is concerned, many different injection strategies are tested.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

Analysis of Knock Tendency in a Small VVA Turbocharged Engine Based on Integrated 1D-3D Simulations and Auto-Regressive Technique

In the present paper, two different methodologies are adopted and critically integrated to analyze the knock behavior of a last generation small size spark ignition (SI) turbocharged VVA engine. Particularly, two full load operating points are selected, exhibiting relevant differences in terms of knock proximity. On one side, a knock investigation is carried out by means of an Auto-Regressive technique (AR model) to process experimental in-cylinder pressure signals. This mathematical procedure is used to estimate the statistical distribution of knocking cycles and provide a validation of the following 1D-3D knock investigations. On the other side, an integrated numerical approach is set up, based on the synergic use of 1D and 3D simulation tools. The 1D engine model is developed within the commercial software GT-Power™. It is used to provide time-varying boundary conditions (BCs) for the 3D code, Star-CD™.
Journal Article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.