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Technical Paper

Natural Gas Engines for Cogeneration: Highest Efficiency and Near-Zero-Emissions through Turbocharging, EGR and 3-Way Catalytic Converter

2000-10-16
2000-01-2825
Combustion engines for decentralized power generation or cogeneration in general, are subject to increasingly stringent pollutant emissions regulations. Motivated by the Europe-;wide lowest allowable NOx levels in Switzerland - particularly in the Zurich metropolitan area with 50 mg/Nm3 at 5% O2 - and in close cooperation with industry, the I.C. Engines and Combustion Laboratory (LVV) of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) has investigated some new operating concepts and engine processes in order to overcome the dilemma between low emissions and high efficiency, which is usually encountered in engine optimization. Our final approach thereby involves the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) combined with stoichiometric mixture (λ = 1) and a 3-way catalytic converter. The engine is supercharged and the intake mixture aftercooled for high power density and thermal efficiency.
Technical Paper

A Quasi-Dimensional Model for Estimating the Influence of Hydrogen-Rich Gas Addition on Turbulent Flame Speed and Flame Front Propagation in IC-SI Engines

2005-04-11
2005-01-0232
Addition of hydrogen-rich gas to gasoline in internal combustion engines is gaining increasing interest, as it seems suitable to reach near-zero emission combustion, able to easily meet future stringent regulations. Bottled gas was used to simulate the output of an on-board reformer (21%H2, 24%CO, 55%N2). Measurements were carried out on a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, 0.5-liter engine, with EGR, in order to calculate the heat release rate through a detailed two-zone model. A quasi-dimensional model of the flame was developed: it consists of a geometrical estimate of the flame surface, which is then coupled with the heat release rate. The turbulent flame speed can then be inferred. The model was then applied to blends of gasoline with hydrogen-rich gas, showing the effect on the flame speed and transition from laminar to turbulent combustion.
Technical Paper

Influence of Fuel Composition and Combustion Process on Thermodynamic Parameters of SI Engines

2012-09-10
2012-01-1633
In the field of heavy-duty applications almost all engines apply the compression ignition principle, spark ignition is used only in the niche of CNG engines. The main reason for this is the high efficiency advantage of diesel engines over SI engines. Beside this drawback SI engines have some favorable properties like lower weight, simple exhaust gas aftertreatment in case of stoichiometric operation, high robustness, simple packaging and lower costs. The main objective of this fundamental research was to evaluate the limits of a SI engine for heavy-duty applications. Considering heavy-duty SI engines fuel consumption under full load conditions has a high impact on CO₂ emissions. Therefore, downsizing is not a promising approach to improve fuel consumption and consequently the focus of this work lies on the enhancement of thermal efficiency in the complete engine map, intensively considering knocking issues.
Technical Paper

Advanced Emission and Fuel Economy Concept Using Combined Injection of Gasoline and Hydrogen in SI-Engines

2004-03-08
2004-01-1270
In order to meet future requirements for emission reduction and fuel economy a variety of concepts are available for gasoline engines. In the recent past new pathways have been found using alternative fuels and fuel combinations to establish cost optimized solutions. The presented concept for a SI-engine consists of combined injection of gasoline and hydrogen. A hydrogen enriched gas mixture is being injected additionally to gasoline into the engine manifold. The gas composition represents the output of an onboard gasoline reformer. The simulations and measurements show substantial benefits to improve the combustion process resulting in reduced cold start and warm up emissions and optimized part load operation. The replacement of gasoline by hydrogen-rich gas during engine start leads to zero hydrocarbons in the exhaust gas.
Technical Paper

Predictive Phenomenological C.I. Combustion Modeling Optimization on the Basis of Bio-Inspired Algorithms

2005-04-11
2005-01-1119
A new approach within the well-known trade-off in combustion process simulations between computational efforts (and thus the capability for engine operating map calculations) on the one hand, and accuracy of predictions on the other, has been developed and applied successfully to diesel combustion, in particular to energy release and pollutant formation. Using phenomenological models in combination with bio-inspired algorithms (for parameter identification), it is now possible to predict thermal, chemical and injection related engine characteristics over an entire operating map including different types of fuel (e.g. diesel, water-in-diesel emulsions and oxygenated diesel).
Technical Paper

Spray Model Based Phenomenological Combustion Description and Experimental Validation for a Dual Fuel Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0098
The operation of dual fuel engines, operated with natural gas as main fuel, offers the potential of substantial savings in CO2. Nevertheless, the operating map area where low pollutant emissions are produced is very narrow. Especially at low load, the raw exhaust gas contains high concentrations of unburned methane and, with high pilot fuel portions due to ignition limitations, also soot. The analysis of the combustion in those conditions in particular is not trivial, since multiple combustion modes are present concurrently. The present work focuses on the evaluation of the individual combustion modes of a dual fuel engine, operated with natural gas as main and diesel as pilot fuel, using a combustion model. The combustion has been split in two partwise concurrent combustion phases: the auto-ignition phase and the premixed flame propagation phase.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Nozzle-Geometry Variations and Back-Pressure Changes on High Pressure Gas Injections under Application-Relevant Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-1138
In the present work numerical simulations were carried out investigating the effect of fuel type, nozzle-geometry variations and back-pressure changes on high-pressure gas injections under application-relevant conditions. Methane, hydrogen and nitrogen with a total pressure of 500 bar served as high-pressure fuels and were injected into air at rest at 200 bar and 100 bar. Different nozzle shapes were simulated and the analysis of the results lead to a recommendation for the most advantageous geometry regarding jet penetration, volumetric growth, mixing enhancement and discharge coefficient. Additionally an artificial inlet boundary conditions was tested for the use with real-gas thermodynamics and was shown to be capable of reducing the simulation time significantly.
Technical Paper

Numerical Simulations of Pre-Chamber Combustion in an Optically Accessible RCEM

2019-04-02
2019-01-0224
In this work, numerical simulations of an automotive-sized scavenged pre-chamber mounted in an optically-accessible rapid compression-expansion machine (RCEM) have been carried out using two different turbulence models: Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Large-Eddy Simulation (LES). The RANS approach is combined with the G-equation combustion model, whereas the LES approach is coupled with the flamelet generated manifold (FGM) model for partially-premixed combustion. Simulation results are compared with experimental data in terms of OH* chemiluminescence in the main chamber. Both RANS and LES results were found to qualitatively reproduce the main features observed experimentally in terms of spatial flame development. Simulation results are further analysed by means of early flame propagation within the pre-chamber (related to the fuel and turbulence intensity distributions) and the ignition process in the main chamber.
Technical Paper

Numerical Study of Turbulence and Fuel-Air Mixing within a Scavenged Pre-Chamber Using RANS and LES

2019-04-02
2019-01-0198
It is well-known that the spatial distribution of turbulence intensity and fuel concentration at spark-time play a pivotal role on the flame development within the pre-chamber in gas engines equipped with a scavenged pre-chamber. The combustion within the pre-chamber is in turn a determining factor in terms of combustion behaviour in the main chamber, and accordingly it influences the engine efficiency as well as pollutant emissions such as NOx and unburned hydrocarbons. This paper presents a numerical analysis of fuel concentration and turbulence distribution at spark time for an automotive-sized scavenged pre-chamber mounted at the head of a rapid compression-expansion machine (RCEM). Two different pre-chamber orifice orientations are considered: straight and tilted nozzles. The latter introduce a swirling flow within the pre-chamber. Simulations have been carried out using with two different turbulence models: Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Large-Eddy Simulation (LES).
Technical Paper

Flamelet Generated Manifolds Applied to Dual-Fuel Combustion of Lean Methane/Air Mixtures at Engine Relevant Conditions Ignited by n Dodecane Micro Pilot Sprays

2019-04-02
2019-01-1163
In this study, a novel 3D-CFD combustion model employing Flamelet Generated Manifolds (FGM) for dual fuel combustion was developed. Validation of the platform was carried out using recent experimental results from an optically accessible Rapid Compression Expansion Machine (RCEM). Methane and n-dodecane were used as model fuels to remove any uncertainties in terms of fuel composition. The model used a tabulated chemistry approach employing a reaction mechanism of 130 species and 2399 reactions and was able to capture non-premixed auto ignition of the pilot fuel as well as premixed flame propagation of the background mixture. The CFD model was found to predict well all phases of the dual fuel combustion process: I) the pilot fuel ignition delay, II) the Heat Release Rate of the partially premixed conversion of the micro pilot spray with entrained methane/air and III) the sustained background mixture combustion following the consumption of the spray plume.
Technical Paper

POMDME as an Alternative Pilot Fuel for Dual-Fuel Engines: Optical Study in a RCEM and Application in an Automotive Size Dual-Fuel Diesel Engine

2018-09-10
2018-01-1734
Dual-fuel natural gas engines are seen as an attractive solution for simultaneous reduction of pollutant and CO2 emissions while maintaining high engine thermal efficiency. However, engines of this type exhibit a tradeoff between misfire as well as high UHC emissions for small pilot injection amounts and higher emissions of soot and NOX for operation strategies with higher pilot fuel proportion. The aim of this study was to investigate POMDME as an alternative pilot fuel having the potential to mitigate the emissions tradeoff, enabling smokeless combustion due to high degree of oxygenation, and being less prone to misfire due to its higher cetane number. Furthermore, POMDME can be synthetized carbon neutrally. First, characteristics of POMDME ignition in methane/air mixture and the transition into premixed flame propagation were investigated optically in a rapid compression-expansion machine (RCEM) by employing Schlieren and OH* chemiluminescence imaging.
Technical Paper

A Zero Dimensional Turbulence and Heat Transfer Phenomenological Model for Pre-Chamber Gas Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-1453
Most of the phenomena that occur during the high pressure cycle of a spark ignition engine are highly influenced by the gas temperature, turbulence intensity and turbulence length scale inside the cylinder. For a pre chamber gas engine, the small volume and the high surface-to-volume ratio of the pre chamber increases the relative significance of the gas-to-wall heat losses, the early flame kernel development and the wall induced quenching; all of these phenomena are associated up to a certain extent with the turbulence and temperature field inside the pre chamber. While three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations can capture complex phenomena inside the pre chamber with high accuracy, they have high computational cost. Quasi dimensional models, on the contrary, provide a computationally inexpensive alternative for simulating multiple operating conditions as well as different geometries.
Technical Paper

Simulations of In-Cylinder Processes in a Diesel Engine Operated with Post-Injections Using an Extended CMC Model

2014-10-13
2014-01-2571
In this study, numerical simulations of in-cylinder processes associated to fuel post-injection in a diesel engine operated at Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) have been performed. An extended Conditional Moment Closure (CMC) model capable of accounting for an arbitrary number of subsequent injections has been employed: instead of a three-feed system, the problem has been described as a sequential two-feed system, using the total mixture fraction as the conditioning scalar. A reduced n-heptane chemical mechanism coupled with a two-equation soot model is employed. Numerical results have been validated with measurements from the optically accessible heavy-duty diesel engine installed at Sandia National Laboratories by comparing apparent heat release rate (AHRR) and in-cylinder soot mass evolutions for three different start of main injection, and a wide range of post injection dwell times.
Journal Article

Optical Investigation of Sooting Propensity of n-Dodecane Pilot/Lean-Premixed Methane Dual-Fuel Combustion in a Rapid Compression-Expansion Machine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0258
The sooting propensity of dual-fuel combustion with n-dodecane pilot injection in a lean-premixed methane-air charge has been investigated using an optically accessible Rapid Compression-Expansion Machine (RCEM) to achieve engine-relevant pressure and temperature conditions at the start of pilot injection. A Diesel injector with a 100 μm single-hole coaxial nozzle, mounted at the cylinder periphery, has been employed to admit the pilot fuel. The aim of this study was to enhance the fundamental understanding of soot formation and oxidation processes of n-dodecane in the presence of methane in the air charge by parametric variation of methane equivalence ratio, charge temperature, and pilot fuel injection duration. The influence of methane on ignition delay and flame extent of the pilot fuel jet has been determined by simultaneous excited-state hydroxyl radical (OH*) chemiluminescence and Schlieren imaging.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Two Premixed LES Combustion Models in an Engine-Like Geometry

2018-04-03
2018-01-0176
Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of premixed turbulent combustion in a confined cylinder setup at engine relevant conditions has been carried out for three different initial turbulence intensities, mimicking different flame propagation regimes. Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of the setup under investigation provides the reference data to be compared against. The DNS fields have been filtered on the LES grid and are used as initial conditions for the LES at onset of combustion, guaranteeing a direct comparability of the single realizations between the modeled and reference data. Two different combustion models, the G-Equation and CMC-premixed (Conditional Moment Closure) are compared with respect to their predictive capabilities as well as their usability and computational cost. While the G-Equation is a widely adopted approach for industrial applications and usually relies on a tunable turbulent flame speed closure, the novel LES-CMC comes as a tuning parameter free model.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Soot Dynamics at Engine-Relevant Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-0204
Formation of soot in an auto-igniting n-dodecane spray under diesel engine relevant conditions has been investigated numerically. As opposed to research addressing turbulence-chemistry interaction (TCI) by coupling diffusive turbulence models with more sophisticated models in the context of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS), this study employs the advanced sub-grid scale k-equation model in the framework of a Large Eddy Simulation (LES) together with the uninvolved Direct Integration (DI) approach. A reduced n-heptane chemical mechanism has been employed and artificially accelerated in order to predict the ignition for n-dodecane accurately. Soot processes have been modelled with an extended version of the semi-empirical, two-equation model of Leung, which considers C2H2 as the soot precursor and accounts for particle inception, surface growth by C2H2 addition, oxidation by O2, oxidation by OH and particle coagulation.
Journal Article

Generation of Turbulence in a RCEM towards Engine Relevant Conditions for Premixed Combustion Based on CFD and PIV Investigations

2017-09-04
2017-24-0043
The interaction of turbulent premixed methane combustion with the surrounding flow field can be studied using optically accessible test rigs such as a rapid compression expansion machine (RCEM). The high flexibility offered by such a test rig allows its operation at various thermochemical conditions at ignition. However, limitations inherent to such test rigs due to the absence of an intake stroke do not allow turbulence production as found in IC-engines. Hence, means to introduce turbulence need to be implemented and the relevant turbulence quantities have to be identified in order to enable comparability with engine relevant conditions. A dedicated high-pressure direct injection of air at the beginning of the compression phase is considered as a measure to generate adjustable turbulence intensities at spark timing and during the early flame propagation.
Journal Article

Fundamental Aspects of Jet Ignition for Natural Gas Engines

2017-09-04
2017-24-0097
Large-bore natural gas engines may use pre-chamber ignition. Despite extensive research in engine environments, the exact nature of the jet, as it exits the pre-chamber orifice, is not thoroughly understood and this leads to uncertainty in the design of such systems. In this work, a specially-designed rig comprising a quartz pre-chamber fit with an orifice and a turbulent flowing mixture outside the pre-chamber was used to study the pre-chamber flame, the jet, and the subsequent premixed flame initiation mechanism by OH* and CH* chemiluminescence. Ethylene and methane were used. The experimental results are supplemented by LES and 0D modelling, providing insights into the mass flow rate evolution at the orifice and into the nature of the fluid there. Both LES and experiment suggest that for large orifice diameters, the flow that exits the orifice is composed of a column of hot products surrounded by an annulus of unburnt pre-chamber fluid.
Journal Article

Extension of the Phenomenological 3-Arrhenius Auto-Ignition Model for Six Surrogate Automotive Fuels

2016-04-05
2016-01-0755
An existing three-stage ignition delay model which has seen successful application to Primary Reference Fuels (PRFs) has been extended to six surrogate fuels which constitute potential candidates for future Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines. The fuels include petroleum-derived and oxygenated components and can be divided into low, intermediate and high cetane number groups. A new methodology to obtain the model parameters is presented which relies jointly on simulation and experimental data: in a first step, constant volume adiabatic reactor simulations using chemical kinetic mechanisms are performed to generate ignition delays for a very wide range of conditions, namely variations in equivalence ratio, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), pressure and temperature.
Journal Article

Comparison and Sensitivity Analysis of Turbulent Flame Speed Closures in the RANS G-Equation Context for Two Distinct Engines

2016-10-17
2016-01-2236
Three-dimensional reactive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) plays a crucial role in IC engine development tasks complementing experimental efforts by providing improved understanding of the combustion process. A widely adopted combustion model in the engine community for (partially) premixed combustion is the G-Equation where the flame front is represented by an iso-level of an arbitrary scalar G. A convective-reactive equation for this iso-surface is solved, for which the turbulent flame speed ST must be provided. In this study, the commonly used and well-established Damköhler approach is compared to a novel correlation, derived from an algebraic closure for the scalar dissipation of reaction progress as proposed by Kolla et al. [1].
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