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Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation on the Effects of Water/Methanol Injection as Knock Suppressor to Increase the Fuel Efficiency of a Highly Downsized GDI Engine

A new generation of highly downsized SI engines with specific power output around or above 150 HP/liter is emerging in the sport car market sector. Technologies such as high-boosting, direct injection and downsizing are adopted to increase power density and reduce fuel consumption. To counterbalance the increased risks of pre-ignition, knock or mega-knock, currently made turbocharged SI engines usually operate with high fuel enrichments and delayed (sometimes negative) spark advances. The former is responsible for high fuel consumption levels, while the latter induce an even lower A/F ratio (below 11), to limit the turbine inlet temperature, with huge negative effects on BSFC. A possible solution to increase knock resistance is investigated in the paper by means of 3D-CFD analyses: water/methanol emulsion is port-fuel injected to replace mixture enrichment while preserving, if not improving, indicated mean effective pressure and knock safety margins.
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

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.