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Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Study of Flame Kernel Formation Processes of Propane-Air Mixture in a Pressurized Combustion Vessel

Fuel lean combustion and exhaust gas dilution are known to increase the thermal efficiency and reduce NOx emissions. In this study, experiments are performed to understand the effect of equivalence ratio on flame kernel formation and flame propagation around the spark plug for different low turbulent velocities. A series of experiments are carried out for propane-air mixtures to simulate engine-like conditions. For these experiments, equivalence ratios of 0.7 and 0.9 are tested with 20 percent mass-based exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Turbulence is generated by a shrouded fan design in the vicinity of J-spark plug. A closed loop feedback control system is used for the fan to generate a consistent flow field. The flow profile is characterized by using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. High-speed Schlieren visualization is used for the spark formation and flame propagation.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of SI Combustion Models for Natural-Gas Heavy-Duty Engines

Flexible, reliable and consistent combustion models are necessary for the improvement of the next generation spark-ignition engines. Different approaches have been proposed and widely applied in the past. However, the complexity of the process involving ignition, laminar flame propagation and transition to turbulent combustion need further investigations. Purpose of this paper is to compare two different approaches describing turbulent flame propagation. The first is the one-equation flame wrinkling model by Weller, while the second is the Coherent Flamelet Model (CFM). Ignition is described by a simplified deposition model while the correlation from Herweg and Maly is used for the transition from the laminar to turbulent flame propagation. Validation of the proposed models was performed with experimental data of a natural-gas, heavy duty engine running at different operating conditions.
Technical Paper

CFD Modeling of Gas Exchange, Fuel-Air Mixing and Combustion in Gasoline Direct-Injection Engines

Gasoline, direct injection engines represent one of the most widely adopted powertrain for passenger cars. However, further development efforts are necessary to meet the future fuel consumption and emission standards imposing an efficiency increase and a reduction of particulate matter emissions. Within this context, computational fluid dynamics is nowadays a consolidated tool to support engine design; this work is focused on the development of a set of CFD models for the prediction of combustion in modern GDI engines. The one-equation Weller model coupled with a zero-dimensional approach to handle initial flame kernel growth was applied to predict flame propagation. To account for mixture fraction fluctuations which might lead to the presence of soot precursor species, burned gas chemical composition is computed using tabulated kinetics with a presumed probability density function.
Technical Paper

Modeling Ignition and Premixed Combustion Including Flame Stretch Effects

Objective of this work is the incorporation of the flame stretch effects in an Eulerian-Lagrangian model for premixed SI combustion in order to describe ignition and flame propagation under highly inhomogeneous flow conditions. To this end, effects of energy transfer from electrical circuit and turbulent flame propagation were fully decoupled. The first ones are taken into account by Lagrangian particles whose main purpose is to generate an initial burned field in the computational domain. Turbulent flame development is instead considered only in the Eulerian gas phase for a better description of the local flow effects. To improve the model predictive capabilities, flame stretch effects were introduced in the turbulent combustion model by using formulations coming from the asymptotic theory and recently verified by means of DNS studies. Experiments carried out at Michigan Tech University in a pressurized, constant-volume vessel were used to validate the proposed approach.