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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.
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.
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

Development and Application of a Quasi-3D Model for the Simulation of Radial Compressors of Turbochargers for Internal Combustion Engines

In this work the 3Dcell method, a quasi3D approach developed by the Internal Combustion Engine Group at Politecnico di Milano, has been extended and applied to the fluid dynamic simulation of turbocharging devices for internal combustion engines, focusing on the compressor side. The 3Dcell is based on a pseudo-staggered leapfrog method applied to the governing equation of a 1D problem arbitrarily oriented in space. The system of equations is solved referring to the relative system in the rotating zone, whereas the absolute reference system has been used elsewhere. The vaneless diffuser has been modelled resorting to the conservation of the angular momentum of the flow stream in the tangential direction, combined with the solution of the momentum equation in the radial direction.
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

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

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

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

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 1D procedure, usually adopted for the engine-turbocharger matching. Actually, it is common practice in automotive applications to use simulation codes, which require as an input the value of efficiency. 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. The practical purpose of an adiabatic test program is to obtain an accurate measurement of the work transfer, and of the real efficiency of compressor and turbine (unaffected by internal and external heat transfer rates).