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Journal Article

UV-visible Optical Characterization of the Early Combustion Stage in a DISI Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Gasoline Blend

2013-10-14
2013-01-2638
Detailed experimental information on the early stages of spark ignition process represent a substantial part for guiding the development of engines with higher efficiencies and reduced pollutant emissions. Flame kernel formation influences strongly combustion development inside the cylinder, especially for a direct injection spark ignition engine. This study presents the analysis of the evolution of spark-ignited flame kernels with detailed view upon cycle-to-cycle variations. Experiments are performed in a SI optical engine equipped with the cylinder head and injection system of a commercial turbocharged engine. Blend of commercial gasoline and butanol (40% by volume) is tested at stoichiometric and lean mixture conditions. Experiments are carried out at 2000 rpm through conventional tests (based on in-cylinder pressure measurements and exhaust emission analysis) and through optical diagnostics. In particular, UV-visible digital imaging and natural emission spectroscopy are applied.
Journal Article

Split Injection in a DISI Engine Fuelled with Butanol and Gasoline Analyzed through Integrated Methodologies

2015-04-14
2015-01-0748
In this study, experiments were carried out in an optical single-cylinder Direct Injection Spark Ignition engine fuelled with n-butanol and gasoline, alternatively. The engine is equipped with the head of a commercial turbocharged engine with similar geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio). The head has four valves and a centrally located spark device with surface charge ignition. A conventional elongated hollow Bowditch piston is used and an optical crown, accommodating fused-silica window, is screwed onto it. The injector is side mounted and features 6 holes oriented to guide the jets towards the piston crown. During the experimental activity, the injection pressure was maintained at 100 bar for all conditions; the injection timing and the number of injections were adjusted to investigate their influence on combustion and emissions.
Technical Paper

Quasi-Dimensional Simulation of Downsizing and Inverter Application for Efficient Part Load Operation of Spark Ignition Engine Driven Micro-Cogeneration Systems

2018-10-30
2018-32-0061
Within the context of distributed power generation, small size systems driven by spark ignition engines represent a valid and user-friendly choice, that ensures good fuel flexibility. One issue is that such applications are run at part load for extensive periods, thus lowering fuel economy. Employing an inverter (fitted between the generator and load) allows engine operation within a wide range of crankshaft rotational velocity, therefore improving efficiency. For the purpose of evaluating the benefits of this technology within a co-generation framework, two configurations were modeled by using the GT-Power simulation software. After model calibration based on measurements on a small size engine for two-wheel applications, the downsized version was compared to a larger power unit operated at constant engine speed for a scenario that featured up to 10 kW rated power.
Technical Paper

Plasma Assisted Ignition Effects on a DISI Engine Fueled with Gasoline and Butanol under Lean Conditions and with EGR

2016-04-05
2016-01-0710
Considering the generalized diversification of the energy mix, the use of alcohols as gasoline replacement is proposed as a viable option. Also, alternative control strategies for spark ignition engines (SI) such as lean operation and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) are used on an ever wider scale for improving fuel economy and reducing the environmental impact of automotive engines. In order to increase the stability of these operating points, alternative ignition systems are currently investigated. Within this context, the present work deals about the use of plasma assisted ignition (PAI) in a direct injection (DI) SI engine under lean conditions and cooled EGR, with gasoline and n-butanol fueling. The PAI system was tested in an optically accessible single-cylinder DISI engine equipped with the head of a commercial turbocharged power unit with similar geometrical specifications (bore, stroke, compression ratio).
Technical Paper

Optical Properties Investigation of Alternative Fuels Containing Carbon-Based Nanostructures

2014-10-13
2014-01-2765
Liquids with stable suspensions of nanoscale materials are defined as nanofluids. As reported in recent scientific literature, a very small amount of suspended nanostructures has the potential to enhance the thermo physical, transport and radiative properties of the base fluid. One of the main applications of this technology is in the field of combustion and fuels. In fact, adding nanomaterials (such as metals, oxides, carbides, nitrides, or carbon-based nanostructures) to liquid fuels is able to enhance ignition and combustion. The focus of this research is to gain a fundamental understanding of the characteristics of a nanofluid fuel prepared using carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) dispersed in butanol. This study starts with the investigation of the optical properties of the mixtures. The transmission spectra of the nanofluids are measured in a wide wavelength range from UV (250 nm) to near IR (800 nm).
Journal Article

Numerical Simulation of Gasoline and n-Butanol Combustion in an Optically Accessible Research Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0546
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.
Journal Article

Numerical Simulation and Flame Analysis of Combustion and Knock in a DISI Optically Accessible Research Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0555
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

Influence of Engine Speed and Injection Phasing on Lean Combustion for Different Dilution Rates in an Optically Accessible Wall-Guided Spark Ignition Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-1421
Alternative combustion control in the form of lean operation offers significant advantages such as high efficiency and “clean” fuel oxidation. Maximum dilution rates are limited by increasing instability that can ultimately lead to partial burning or even misfires. A compromise needs to be reached between high tumble-turbulence levels that “speed-up” combustion and the inherent stochastic nature of this fluid motion. The present study is focused on gaining improved insight into combustion characteristics through thermodynamic analysis and flame imaging, in a wall-guided direct injection spark ignition engine with optical accessibility. Engine speed values were investigated in the range of 1000 to 2000 rpm, with commercial gasoline fueling, in wide open throttle conditions; mixture strength ranged from stoichiometric, down to the equivalence ratios that allowed acceptable cycle-by-cycle variations; and all cases featured spark timing close to the point of maximum brake torque.
Technical Paper

Influence of Combustion Efficiency on the Operation of Spark Ignition Engines Fueled with Methane and Hydrogen Investigated in a Quasi-Dimensional Simulation Framework

2018-05-30
2018-37-0012
Within the context of widening application of numerical simulations for shortening engine development times, the present work covers the issue of quasi-dimensional simulation of spark ignition engines. Multi-fuel operation was the main goal of the study, with the analysis of methane and its blends with hydrogen; gasoline was also considered as a reference case. Data recorded on two engines with practically the same geometry, was used for calibrating the model. The first power unit was of commercial derivation for small applications, while the second one featured optical accessibility through the piston crown. The relative difference between the two engines allowed the top-land region crevice to be identified as the major contributor to overall combustion evolution, especially during its late stages.
Technical Paper

Flame Contour Analysis through UV-Visible Imaging during Regular and Abnormal Combustion in a DISI Engine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0754
Crank angle resolved imaging in the UV-visible spectral range was used to investigate flame front characteristics during normal combustion, surface ignition and light knock conditions. ‘Line of sight’ measurements provided information on local wrinkling: the evaluation was based on a statistical approach, with multiple frames taken at the same crank angle during consecutive cycles. This allowed the results during normal combustion to be representative for the specific operational conditions and to a good degree independent from the effects of cyclic variation. Abnormal combustion on the other hand, was investigated on a cycle-to-cycle basis, given the stochastic nature of such phenomena. The experimental trials were performed at fixed engine speed on an optically accessible direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine equipped with the cylinder head of a four cylinder 16-valves commercial power unit.
Technical Paper

Effect of Hydrogen Enrichment on Flame Morphology and Combustion Evolution in a SI Engine Under Lean Burn Conditions

2018-04-03
2018-01-1144
Uncertainty of fuel supply in the energy sector and environmental protection concerns have motivated studies on clean and renewable alternative fuels for vehicles as well as stationary applications. Among all fuel candidates, hydrogen is generally believed to be a promising alternative, with significant potential for a wide range of operating conditions. In this study, a comparison was carried out between CH4, two CH4/H2 blends and two mixtures of CO and H2, the last one taken as a reference composition representative of syngas. It is imperative to fully understand and characterize how these fuels behave in various conditions. In particular, a deep knowledge of how hydrogen concentrations affect the combustion process is necessary, given that it represents a fundamental issue for the optimization of internal combustion engines. To this aim, flame morphology and combustion stability were studied in a SI engine under lean burn conditions.
Technical Paper

Effect of Control Parameters in an Optical DISI Engine with Gasoline-Butanol Fueling

2015-09-01
2015-01-1944
Effects of n-butanol on the combustion process in a direct injection spark ignition engine were investigated through flame visualization and spectroscopy. An optically accessible engine was equipped for the trials with a commercial cylinder head and wall guided injection system. Injection pressure (100 bar) and engine speed (2000 rpm) were fixed while injection timing and duration were changed to realise stoichiometric and lean fuelling in homogenous charge conditions. Specifically, UV-visible digital imaging was applied in order to study the flame front inception and propagation with particular interest in the early combustion stages. UV-visible natural emission spectroscopy was applied to investigate the formation and the evolution of the main chemical compounds characterizing the spark ignition and combustion processes. Detailed image processing allowed to correlate the morphology and the local flame front curvature with thermodynamic data.
Journal Article

Development of a RANS-Based Knock Model to Infer the Knock Probability in a Research Spark-Ignition Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0551
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

Development of Chemistry-Based Laminar Flame Speed Correlation for Part-Load SI Conditions and Validation in a GDI Research Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0174
The detailed study of part-load conditions is essential to characterize engine-out emissions in key operating conditions. The relevance of part-load operations is further emphasized by the recent regulations such as the new WLTP standard. Combustion development at part-load operations depends on a complex interplay between moderate turbulence levels (low engine speed and tumble ratio), low in-cylinder pressure and temperature, and stoichiometric-to-lean mixture quality (to maximize fuel efficiency). From a modelling standpoint, the reduced turbulence intensity compared to full-load operations complicates the interaction between different sub-models (e.g., reconsideration of the flamelet hypothesis adopted by common combustion models). In this article, the authors focus on chemistry-based simulations for laminar flame speed of gasoline surrogates at conditions typical of part-load operations. The analysis is an extension of a previous study focused on full-load operations.
Technical Paper

Correlation between Simulated Volume Fraction Burned Using a Quasi-Dimensional Model and Flame Area Measured in an Optically Accessible SI Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0545
Multi-fuel operation is one of the main topics of investigative research in the field of internal combustion engines. Spark ignition (SI) power units are relatively easily adaptable to alternative liquid-as well as gaseous-fuels, with mixture preparation being the main modification required. Numerical simulations are used on an ever wider scale in engine research in order to reduce costs associated with experimental investigations. In this sense, quasi-dimensional models provide acceptable accuracy with reduced computational efforts. Within this context, the present study puts under scrutiny the assumption of spherical flame propagation and how calibration of a two-zone combustion simulation is affected when changing fuel type. A quasi-dimensional model was calibrated based on measured in-cylinder pressure, and numerical results related to the two-zone volumes were compared to recorded flame imaging.
Technical Paper

CFD Optimization of n-Butanol Mixture Preparation and Combustion in an Research GDI Engine

2017-09-04
2017-24-0063
The recent interest in alternative non-fossil fuels has led researchers to evaluate several alcohol-based formulations. However, one of the main requirements for innovative fuels is to be compatible with existing units’ hardware, so that full replacement or smart flexible-fuel strategies can be smoothly adopted. n-Butanol is considered as a promising candidate to replace commercial gasoline, given its ease of production from bio-mass and its main physical and chemical properties similar to those of Gasoline. The compared behavior of n-butanol and gasoline was analyzed in an optically-accessible DISI engine in a previous paper [1]. CFD simulations explained the main outcomes of the experimental campaign in terms of combustion behavior for two operating conditions. In particular, the first-order role of the slower evaporation rate of n-butanol compared to gasoline was highlighted when the two fuels were operated under the same injection phasing.
Journal Article

CFD Analysis of Combustion and Knock in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0601
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.
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