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Technical Paper

Limitations of Sector Mesh Geometry and Initial Conditions to Model Flow and Mixture Formation in Direct-Injection Diesel Engines

Sector mesh modeling is the dominant computational approach for combustion system design optimization. The aim of this work is to quantify the errors descending from the sector mesh approach through three geometric modeling approaches to an optical diesel engine. A full engine geometry mesh is created, including valves and intake and exhaust ports and runners, and a full-cycle flow simulation is performed until fired TDC. Next, an axisymmetric sector cylinder mesh is initialized with homogeneous bulk in-cylinder initial conditions initialized from the full-cycle simulation. Finally, a 360-degree azimuthal mesh of the cylinder is initialized with flow and thermodynamics fields at IVC mapped from the full engine geometry using a conservative interpolation approach. A study of the in-cylinder flow features until TDC showed that the geometric features on the cylinder head (valve tilt and protrusion into the combustion chamber, valve recesses) have a large impact on flow complexity.
Technical Paper

Piston Bowl Geometry Effects on Combustion Development in a High-Speed Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In this work we studied the effects of piston bowl design on combustion in a small-bore direct-injection diesel engine. Two bowl designs were compared: a conventional, omega-shaped bowl and a stepped-lip piston bowl. Experiments were carried out in the Sandia single-cylinder optical engine facility, with a medium-load, mild-boosted operating condition featuring a pilot+main injection strategy. CFD simulations were carried out with the FRESCO platform featuring full-geometric body-fitted mesh modeling of the engine and were validated against measured in-cylinder performance as well as soot natural luminosity images. Differences in combustion development were studied using the simulation results, and sensitivities to in-cylinder flow field (swirl ratio) and injection rate parameters were also analyzed.
Journal Article

Pilot Injection Ignition Properties Under Low-Temperature, Dilute In-Cylinder Conditions

Measurements of ignition behavior, homogeneous reactor simulations employing detailed kinetics, and quantitative in-cylinder imaging of fuel-air distributions are used to delineate the impact of temperature, dilution, pilot injection mass, and injection pressure on the pilot ignition process. For dilute, low-temperature conditions characterized by a lengthy ignition delay, pilot ignition is impeded by the formation of excessively lean mixture. Under these conditions, smaller pilot mass or higher injection pressures further lengthen the pilot ignition delay. Similarly, excessively rich mixtures formed under relatively short ignition delay conditions typical of conventional diesel combustion will also prolong the ignition delay. In this latter case, smaller pilot mass or higher injection pressures will shorten the ignition delay. The minimum charge temperature required to effect a robust pilot ignition event is strongly dependent on charge O2 concentration.
Journal Article

Characterization of Flow Asymmetry During the Compression Stroke Using Swirl-Plane PIV in a Light-Duty Optical Diesel Engine with the Re-entrant Piston Bowl Geometry

Flow field asymmetry can lead to an asymmetric mixture preparation in Diesel engines. To understand the evolution of this asymmetry, it is necessary to characterize the in-cylinder flow over the full compression stroke. Moreover, since bowl-in-piston cylinder geometries can substantially impact the in-cylinder flow, characterization of these flows requires the use of geometrically correct pistons. In this work, the flow has been visualized via a transparent piston top with a realistic bowl geometry, which causes severe experimental difficulties due to the spatial and temporal variation of the optical distortion. An advanced optical distortion correction method is described to allow reliable particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements through the full compression stroke. Based on the ensemble-averaged velocity results, flow asymmetry characterized by the swirl center offset and the associated tilting of the vortex axis is quantified.