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Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of High-Pressure Diesel Sprays with Multiple Injections at Engine Conditions

A numerical methodology to simulate the high pressure spray evolution and the fuel-air mixing in diesel engines is presented. Attention is focused on the employed atomization model, a modified version of the Huh and Gosman, on the definition of a turbulence length scale limiter and of an adaptive local mesh refinement technique to minimize the result grid dependency. All the discussed models were implemented into Lib-ICE, which is a set of libraries and solvers, specifically tailored for engine simulations, which runs under the open-source CFD technology OpenFOAM®. To provide a comprehensive assessment of the proposed methodology, the validation procedure consisted into simulating, with a unique and coherent setup of all models, two different sets of experiments: a non-evaporating diesel fuel spray in a constant-volume vessel with optical access and an evaporating non-reacting diesel fuel spray in an optical engine.
Technical Paper

LES Simulation to Predict the Cylinder Intake Phase Influence on the Airbox Efficiency

The fluid dynamic of fully turbulent flows is characterized by several length scales bounded between the flow field dimension (large scales) and the diffusive action of the molecular viscosity (small scale). The large scales of motion are responsible of the main momentum transport while the small scales of motion are responsible of the energy dissipation into heat. In some cases the analysis of the large scales could be enough to explain the behaviour of the fluid dynamic system under investigation but, in other cases, the effect of all the turbulent scales have to be considered. A classic example of the latter working condition is the aerodynamic field where the efficiency is dictated by a fine equilibrium between mean flow conditions (driven by large turbulent scales) and laminar/turbulent boundary layer evolution (driven by small turbulent scales).
Technical Paper

Parallel Computation of Mesh Motion for CFD of IC Engines

The burden of creating meshes increases the cost of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and slows the rate at which new engine geometries can be investigated. Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) with moving valves and piston present a special challenge, often requiring numerous different target meshes or case-specific codes for adapting the mesh. The goal of the present paper is to facilitate remeshing by calculating vertex motion, in parallel, for hybrid tetrahedral and hexahedral meshes. The calculated vertex motion is intended to maintain good mesh quality and reduce the need for interpolation to a new mesh. The demonstrated approach uses Laplacian-based smoothing for hexahedral cells and optimization-based smoothing for tetrahedral cells. Further, planar and cylindrical surfaces in the engine geometry are automatically recognized. As the engine volume changes shape, vertices may slide along the planar and cylindrical surfaces.
Technical Paper

Superheated Sprays of Alternative Fuels for Direct Injection Engines

Alternative and oxygenated fuels are nowadays being studied in order to increase engine efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions and also to limit the automotive industry's economical dependency from crude oil. These fuels are considered more ecological compared to hydrocarbons because they are obtained using renewable sources. Fuels like anhydrous/hydrous ethanol, methanol or alcohol/gasoline blends which are injected in liquid form must vaporize quickly, especially in direct injection engines, therefore their volatility is a very important factor and strongly depends on thermodynamic conditions and chemical properties. When a multi-component fuel blend is injected into a low pressure environment below its saturation pressure, a rapid boiling of the most volatile component triggers a thermodynamic atomization mechanism. These kinds of sprays show smaller droplets and lower penetration compared to mechanical break up.
Technical Paper

Primary Breakup Model for Turbulent Liquid Jet Based on Ligament Evolution

The overall performance of direct injection (DI) engines is strictly correlated to the fuel liquid spray evolution into the cylinder volume. More in detail, spray behavior can drastically affect mixture formation, combustion efficiency, cycle to cycle engine variability, soot amount, and lubricant contamination. For this reason, in DI engine an accurate numerical reproduction of the spray behavior is mandatory. In order to improve the spray simulation accuracy, authors defined a new atomization model based on experimental evidences about ligament and droplet formations from a turbulent liquid jet surface. The proposed atomization approach was based on the assumption that the droplet stripping in a turbulent liquid jet is mainly linked to ligament formations. Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) simulation method was adopted for the continuum phase while the liquid discrete phase is managed by Lagrangian approach.
Technical Paper

Multicycle Simulation of the Mixture Formation Process of a PFI Gasoline Engine

The mixture composition heavily influences the combustion process of Port Fuel Injection (PFI) engines. The local mixture air-index at the spark plug is closely related to combustion instabilities and the cycle-by-cycle Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) Coefficient of Variation (CoV) well correlates with the variability of the flame kernel development. The needs of reducing the engine emissions and consumption push the engine manufactures to implement techniques providing a better control of the mixture quality in terms of homogeneity and variability. Simulating the mixture formation of a PFI engine by means of CFD techniques is a critical issue, since involved phenomena are highly heterogeneous and a two phase flow must be considered. The aim of the paper is to present a multi-cycle methodology for the simulation of the injection and the mixture formation processes of high performance PFI engine, based on the validation of all the main physical sub-models involved.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Influence of Intake Duct Geometrical Parameters on the Tumble Motion Generation in a Small Gasoline Engine

During the last years the deep re-examination of the engine design for lowering engine emissions involved two-wheel vehicles too. The IC engine overall efficiency plays a fundamental role in determining final raw emissions. From this point of view, the optimization of the in-cylinder flow organization is mandatory. In detail, in SI engines the generation of a coherent tumble vortex having dimensions comparable to the engine stroke could be of primary importance to extend the engines' ignition limits toward the field of the dilute/lean mixtures. For motorbike and motor scooter applications, the optimization of the tumble generation is considered an effective way to improve the combustion system efficiency and to lower emissions, considering also that the two-wheels layout represents an obstacle in adopting the advanced post-treatment concepts designed for automotive applications.
Technical Paper

3D CFD Analysis of the Influence of Some Geometrical Engine Parameters on Small PFI Engine Performances - The Effects on Tumble Motion and Mean Turbulent Intensity Distribution

In scooter/motorbike engines coherent and stable tumble motion generation is still considered an effective mean in order to both reduce engine emissions and promote higher levels of combustion efficiency. The scientific research also assessed that squish motion is an effective mean for speeding up the combustion in a combustion process already fast. In a previous technical paper the authors demonstrated that for an engine having a high C/D ratio the squish motion is not only not necessary but also detrimental for the stability of the tumble motion itself, because there is a strong interaction between these two motions with the consequent formation of secondary vortices, which in turn penalizes the tumble breakdown and the turbulent kinetic energy production.
Technical Paper

Influence of Cylindrical, k, and ks Diesel Nozzle Shape on the Injector Internal Flow Field and on the Emerging Spray Characteristics

Today, multi-hole Diesel injectors can be mainly characterized by three different nozzle hole shapes: cylindrical, k-hole, and ks-hole. The nozzle hole layout plays a direct influence on the injector internal flow field characteristics and, in particular, on the cavitation and turbulence evolution over the hole length. In turn, the changes on the injector internal flow correlated to the nozzle shape produce immediate effects on the emerging spray. In the present paper, the fluid dynamic performance of three different Diesel nozzle hole shapes are evaluated: cylindrical, k-hole, and ks-hole. The ks-hole geometry was experimentally characterized in order to find out its real internal shape. First, the three nozzle shapes were studied by a fully transient CFD multiphase simulation to understand their differences in the internal flow field evolutions. In detail, the attention was focused on the turbulence and cavitation levels at hole exit.
Technical Paper

A RANS CFD 3D Methodology for the Evaluation of the Effects of Cycle By Cycle Variation on Knock Tendency of a High Performance Spark Ignition Engine

Knocking combustions heavily limits the efficiency of Spark Ignition engines. The compression ratio is limited in the design stage of the engine development, letting to Spark Advance control the task of reducing the odds of abnormal combustions. A detailed analysis of knocking events can help improving engine performance and diagnosis strategies. An effective way is to use advanced 3D CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation for the analysis and prediction of combustion performance. Standard 3D CFD approach is based on RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes) equations and allows the analysis of the mean engine cycle. However knocking phenomenon is not deterministic and it is heavily affected by the cycle to cycle variation of engine combustions. A methodology for the evaluation of the effects of CCV (Cycle by Cycle Variability) on knocking combustions is here presented, based on both the use of Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools and experimental information.
Technical Paper

The Effect of the Throttle Valve Rotational Direction on the Tumble Motion at Different Partial Load Conditions

In PFI and GDI engines the tumble motion is the most important charge motion for enhancing the in-cylinder turbulence level at ignition time close to the spark plug position. In the open literature different studies were reported on the tumble motion, experimental and not. In the present paper the research activity on the tumble generation at partial load and very partial load conditions was presented. The added value of the analysis was the study of the effect of the throttle valve rotational direction on the tumble motion and the final level of turbulence at the ignition time close to the spark plug location. The focus was to determine if the throttle rotational direction was crucial for the tumble ratio and the turbulence level. The analyzed engine was a PFI 4-valves motorcycle engine. The engine geometry was formed by the intake duct and the cylinder. The CFD code was FIRE AVL code 2013.1.
Technical Paper

Comparison of the Homogeneous Relaxation Model and a Rayleigh Plesset Cavitation Model in Predicting the Cavitating Flow Through Various Injector Hole Shapes

Two cavitation models are evaluated based on their ability to reproduce the development of cavitation experimentally observed by Winklhofer et al. inside injector hole geometries. The first is Singhal's model, derived from a reduced form of the Rayleigh-Plesset equation, implemented in the commercial CFD package Fluent. The second is the homogeneous relaxation model, a continuum model that uses an empirical timescale to reproduce a range of vaporization mechanisms, implemented in the OpenFOAM framework. Previous work by Neroorkar et al. validated the homogeneous relaxation model for one of the nozzle geometries tested by Winklhofer et al. The present work extends that validation to all the three geometries considered by Winklhofer et al in order to compare the models' ability to capture the effects of nozzle convergence.
Technical Paper

Development of a 0D Model Starting from Different RANS CFD Tumble Flow Fields in Order to Predict the Turbulence Evolution at Ignition Timing

Faster combustion and lower cycle-to-cycle variability are mandatory tasks for naturally aspirated engines to reduce emission levels and to increase engine efficiency. The promotion of a stable and coherent tumble structure is considered as one of the best way to promote the in-cylinder turbulence and therefore the combustion velocity. During the compression stroke the tumble vortex is deformed, accelerated and its breakdown in smaller eddies leads to the turbulence enhancement process. The prediction of the final level of turbulence for a particular engine operating point is crucial during the engine design process because it represents a practical comparative means for different engine solutions. The tumble ratio parameter value represents a first step toward the evaluation of the turbulence level at ignition time, but it has an intrinsic limit.
Technical Paper

Parametric Analysis of the Effect of the Fluid Properties and the Mesh Setup by Using the Schnerr-Sauer Cavitation Model

The primary target of the internal combustion engines design is to lower the fuel consumption and to enhance the combustion process quality, in order to reduce the raw emission levels without performances penalty. In this scenario the direct injection system plays a key role for both diesel and gasoline engines. The spray dynamic behaviour is crucial in defining the global and the local air index of the mixture, which in turns affects the combustion process development. At the same time it is widely recognized that the spray formation is influenced by numerous parameters, among which also the cavitation process inside every single hole of the injector nozzle. The proper prediction of the cavitation development inside the injector nozzle holes is crucial in predicting the liquid jet emerging from them.
Technical Paper

Improving the Knowledge of High-Speed Liquid Jets Atomization by Using Quasi-Direct 3D Simulation

In this paper a quasi-direct solution of transient three-dimensional CFD calculations based on a finite volume approach has been adopted to simulate the atomization process of high velocity liquid jets issuing an injector-like nozzle. An accurate Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) method is used to reconstruct and advect the interface between the liquid and gas phases. An extended mesh which includes the injector nozzle and the upstream plenum has been considered in order to investigate accurately the effect of nozzle flow conditions on the liquid jet atomization. Cavitation modeling has not been included in the present computations. Two different mean injection velocities, 150 m/s and 270 m/s, respectively, have been considered in the calculations as representative of semi-turbulent and fully-turbulent nozzle flow conditions. The liquid-to-gas density ratio is kept fixed at 57.
Technical Paper

3D Large Scale Simulation of the High-Speed Liquid Jet Atomization

In this paper three-dimensional Large Eddy Simulations (i.e., LES) by using a PLIC-VOF method have been adopted to investigate the atomization process of round liquid jets issuing from automotive multi-hole injector-like nozzles. LES method is used to compute directly the effect of the large flow structure, being the smallest one modelled. A mesh having a cell size of 4 μm was used in order to derive a statistics of the detached liquid structures, i.e. droplets and ligaments. The latter have been identified by using an algorithm coded by authors. Cavitation modeling has not been included in the present computations. Two different mean injection nozzle flow velocities of 50 m/s and 270 m/s, corresponding to two mean nozzle flow Reynolds numbers of 1600 and 8700, respectively, have been considered in the calculations as representative of laminar and turbulent nozzle flow conditions.
Journal Article

Assessment of Advanced SGS Models for LES Analysis of ICE Wall-Bounded Flows - Part I: Basic Test Case

Large Eddy Simulation (LES) represents nowadays one of the most promising techniques for the evaluation of the dynamics and evolution of turbulent structures characterizing internal combustion engines (ICE). In the present paper, subdivided into two parts, the capabilities of the open-source CFD code OpenFOAM® v2.3.0 are assessed in order to evaluate its suitability for engine cold flow LES analyses. Firstly, the code dissipative attitude is evaluated through an inviscid vortex convection test to ensure that the levels of numerical dissipation are compatible with LES needs. Quality and completeness estimators for LES simulations are then proposed. In particular the Pope M parameter is used as a LES completeness indicator while the LSR parameter provides useful insights far calibrating the grid density. Other parameters such as the two-grid LESIQk index are also discussed.
Journal Article

Relating Knocking Combustions Effects to Measurable Data

Knocking combustions heavily influence the efficiency of Spark Ignition engines, limiting the compression ratio and sometimes preventing the use of Maximum Brake Torque (MBT) Spark Advance (SA). A detailed analysis of knocking events can help in improving the engine performance and diagnostic strategies. An effective way is to use advanced 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation for the analysis and prediction of the combustion process. The standard 3D CFD approach based on RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes) equations allows the analysis of the average engine cycle. However, the knocking phenomenon is heavily affected by the Cycle to Cycle Variation (CCV): the effects of CCV on knocking combustions are then taken into account, maintaining a RANS CFD approach, while representing a complex running condition, where knock intensity changes from cycle to cycle.
Journal Article

A Numerical Model for Flash Boiling of Gasoline-Ethanol Blends in Fuel Injector Nozzles

Fuels are formulated by a variety of different components characterized by chemical and physical properties spanning a wide range of values. Changing the ratio between the mixture component molar fractions, it is possible to fulfill different requirements. One of the main properties that can be strongly affected by mixture composition is the volatility that represents the fuel tendency to vaporize. For example, changing the mixture ratio between alcohols and hydrocarbons, it is possible to vary the mixture saturation pressure, therefore the fuel vaporization ratio during the injection process. This paper presents a 1D numerical model to simulate the superheated injection process of a gasoline-ethanol mixture through real nozzle geometries. In order to test the influence of the mixture properties on flash atomization and flash evaporation, the simulation is repeated for different mixtures characterized by different gasoline-ethanol ratio.
Journal Article

Experimental Characterization of the Geometrical Shape of ks-hole and Comparison of its Fluid Dynamic Performance Respect to Cylindrical and k-hole Layouts

Diesel engine performances are strictly correlated to the fluid dynamic characteristics of the injection system. Actual Diesel engines employ injector characterized by micro-orifices operating at injection pressure till 20MPa. These main injection characteristics resulted in the critical relation between engine performance and injector hole shape. In the present study, the authors' attention was focused on the hole geometry influence on the main injector fluid dynamic characteristics. At this purpose, three different nozzle hole shapes were considered: cylindrical, k, and ks nozzle shapes. Because of the lack of information available about ks-hole real geometry, firstly it was completely characterized by the combined use of two non-destructive techniques. Secondly, all the three nozzle layouts were characterized from the fluid dynamic point of view by a fully transient CFD multiphase simulation methodology previously validated by the authors against experimental results.