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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.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Studies of Bowl Geometry Impacts on Thermal Efficiency in a Light-Duty Diesel Engine

In light- and medium-duty diesel engines, piston bowl shape influences thermal efficiency, either due to changes in wall heat loss or to changes in the heat release rate. The relative contributions of these two factors are not clearly described in the literature. In this work, two production piston bowls are adapted for use in a single cylinder research engine: a conventional, re-entrant piston, and a stepped-lip piston. An injection timing sweep is performed at constant load with each piston, and heat release analyses provide information about thermal efficiency, wall heat loss, and the degree of constant volume combustion. Zero-dimensional thermodynamic simulations provide further insight and support for the experimental results. The effect of bowl geometry on wall heat loss depends on injection timing, but changes in wall heat loss cannot explain changes in efficiency.
Technical Paper

Bowl Geometry Effects on Turbulent Flow Structure in a Direct Injection Diesel Engine

Diesel piston bowl geometry can affect turbulent mixing and therefore it impacts heat-release rates, thermal efficiency, and soot emissions. The focus of this work is on the effects of bowl geometry and injection timing on turbulent flow structure. This computational study compares engine behavior with two pistons representing competing approaches to combustion chamber design: a conventional, re-entrant piston bowl and a stepped-lip piston bowl. Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are performed for a part-load, conventional diesel combustion operating point with a pilot-main injection strategy under non-combusting conditions. Two injection timings are simulated based on experimental findings: an injection timing for which the stepped-lip piston enables significant efficiency and emissions benefits, and an injection timing with diminished benefits compared to the conventional, re-entrant piston.
Journal Article

A Study of Piston Geometry Effects on Late-Stage Combustion in a Light-Duty Optical Diesel Engine Using Combustion Image Velocimetry

In light-duty direct-injection (DI) diesel engines, combustion chamber geometry influences the complex interactions between swirl and squish flows, spray-wall interactions, as well as late-cycle mixing. Because of these interactions, piston bowl geometry significantly affects fuel efficiency and emissions behavior. However, due to lack of reliable in-cylinder measurements, the mechanisms responsible for piston-induced changes in engine behavior are not well understood. Non-intrusive, in situ optical measurement techniques are necessary to provide a deeper understanding of the piston geometry effect on in-cylinder processes and to assist in the development of predictive engine simulation models. This study compares two substantially different piston bowls with geometries representative of existing technology: a conventional re-entrant bowl and a stepped-lip bowl. Both pistons are tested in a single-cylinder optical diesel engine under identical boundary conditions.