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Technical Paper

Progress in Reducing Aerodynamic Drag for Higher Efficiency of Heavy Duty Trucks (Class 7-8)

This paper describes research and development for reducing the aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles by demonstrating new approaches for the numerical simulation and analysis of aerodynamic flow. In addition, greater use of newly developed computational tools holds promise for reducing the number of prototype tests, for cutting manufacturing costs, and for reducing overall time to market. Experimental verification and validation of new computational fluid dynamics methods are also an important part of this approach. Experiments on a model of an integrated tractor-trailer are underway at NASA Ames Research Center and the University of Southern California. Companion computer simulations are being performed by Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and California Institute of Technology using state-of- the-art techniques, with the intention of implementing more complex methods in the future.
Journal Article

Pathline Analysis of Full-cycle Four-stroke HCCI Engine Combustion Using CFD and Multi-Zone Modeling

This paper investigates flow and combustion in a full-cycle simulation of a four-stroke, three-valve HCCI engine by visualizing the flow with pathlines. Pathlines trace massless particles in a transient flow field. In addition to visualization, pathlines are used here to trace the history, or evolution, of flow fields and species. In this study evolution is followed from the intake port through combustion. Pathline analysis follows packets of intake charge in time and space from induction through combustion. The local scalar fields traversed by the individual packets in terms of velocity magnitude, turbulence, species concentration and temperatures are extracted from the simulation results. The results show how the intake event establishes local chemical and thermal environments in-cylinder and how the species respond (chemically react) to the local field.
Technical Paper

Operation of a Four-Cylinder 1.9L Propane Fueled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Engine: Basic Operating Characteristics and Cylinder-to-Cylinder Effects

A four-cylinder 1.9 Volkswagen TDI Engine has been converted to run in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) mode. The stock configuration is a turbo-charged direct injection Diesel engine. The combustion chamber has been modified by discarding the in-cylinder Diesel fuel injectors and replacing them with blank inserts (which contain pressure transducers). The stock pistons contain a reentrant bowl and have been retained for the tests reported here. The intake and exhaust manifolds have also been retained, but the turbocharger has been removed. A heater has been installed upstream of the intake manifold and fuel is added just downstream of this heater. The performance of this engine in naturally aspirated HCCI operation, subject to variable intake temperature and fuel flow rate, has been studied. The engine has been run with propane fuel at a constant speed of 1800 rpm.
Technical Paper

Investigation of a Trailer Underbody Fairing for Heavy Vehicle Aerodynamic Drag Reduction

The drag reduction capability of a trailer underbody fairing is investigated using steady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes simulations of a full-scale heavy vehicle traveling at highway speed within a crosswind. The flow field about the vehicle is modeled for two different fairing designs of varying length that yield reductions in the drag coefficient ranging from 0.013 to 0.042. Analysis of the trailer underbody flow field indicates that the fairings decrease the size of a recirculation zone that exists immediately downstream of the tractor drive wheels by providing a surface to which the separated underbody flow can reattach. A comparison of the pressure coefficients across the surface of the fairings demonstrates that the longer fairings produce greater pressure coefficients, hence resulting in a larger reduction in drag than the shorter fairings. One of the fairings is shown to outperform traditional trailer side skirts, which yield a reduction in the drag coefficient of 0.035.
Technical Paper

Injected Droplet Size Effects on Diesel Spray Results with RANS and LES Turbulence Models

Injection spray dynamics is known to be of great importance when modeling turbulent multi-phase flows in diesel engines. Two key aspects of spray dynamics are liquid breakup and penetration, both of which are affected by the initial sizes of the injected droplets. In the current study, injection of liquid n-heptane is characterized with initial droplet sizes with diameters on the order of 0.10 - 0.25 nozzle diameters. This is done for a Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) RNG k-ε turbulence model with a minimum grid size of 125 μm and for a Large Eddy Simulations (LES) viscosity turbulence model with a minimum grid size of 62.5 μm. The results of both turbulence models are validated against non-reacting experimental data from the Engine Combustion Network (ECN). The results show that the injected droplet sizes have a significant impact on both liquid and vapor penetration lengths.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Aerodynamic Benefits of Truck Platooning

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has conducted a series of scaled wind tunnel tests to investigate the aerodynamic benefits of heavy vehicle platooning and the availability of cooling air for trailing vehicles on two- and three-vehicle platoons. To measure the aerodynamic drag, scale models are mounted onto a LLNL designed splitter plate by means of a low-friction linear bearing and a load cell located within each model trailer. In addition to drag, pressure measurements are made with a pitot probe positioned at the center of each model radiator grill. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Infrared Thermography (IRT) measurements are used to map the three-dimensional velocity field and flow structures around the vehicles.
Technical Paper

Dynamics of Combustion in a Diesel Engine Under the Influence of Air/Fuel Ratio

The dynamic stage of combustion - the intrinsic process for pushing the compression polytrope away from the expansion polytrope to generate the indicator work output of a piston engine - was studied to reveal the influence of the air/fuel ratio on the effectiveness with which the fuel was utilized. The results of tests carried out for this purpose, using a 12 liter diesel engine, were reported last year [SAE 1999-01-0517]. Presented here is an analytic interpretation of the data obtained for part-load operation at 1200 and 1800 rpm. A solution is thus provided for an inverse problem: deduction of information on the dynamic features of the exothermic process of combustion from measured pressure record. Provided thereby, in particular, is information on the effectiveness with which fuel was utilized in the course of this process - a parameter reflecting the effect of energy lost by heat transfer to the walls.
Technical Paper

Diesel Combustion: An Integrated View Combining Laser Diagnostics, Chemical Kinetics, And Empirical Validation

This paper proposes a structure for the diesel combustion process based on a combination of previously published and new results. Processes are analyzed with proven chemical kinetic models and validated with data from production-like direct injection diesel engines. The analysis provides new insight into the ignition and particulate formation processes, which combined with laser diagnostics, delineates the two-stage nature of combustion in diesel engines. Data are presented to quantify events occurring during the ignition and initial combustion processes that form soot precursors. A framework is also proposed for understanding the heat release and emission formation processes.
Technical Paper

Development of Optical Components for Space-Based Solar Plant Lighting

This paper summarizes the results of a program to develop key components for the Optical Waveguide (OW) Solar Plant Lighting System. In the OW solar lighting system, solar radiation is collected by the concentrator which transfers the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to the OW transmission line consisting of low-loss optical fibers. The OW line transmits the solar radiation to the plant growing units where the PAR component of the radiation is directed to the plants. The non-PAR components of the solar radiation is directed to the energy conversion device for non-plant lighting applications. This program, conducted by Physical Sciences Inc.
Technical Paper

DOE's Effort to Reduce Truck Aerodynamic Drag Through Joint Experiments and Computations

At 70 miles per hour, overcoming aerodynamic drag represents about 65% of the total energy expenditure for a typical heavy truck vehicle. The goal of this US Department of Energy supported consortium is to establish a clear understanding of the drag producing flow phenomena. This is being accomplished through joint experiments and computations, leading to the intelligent design of drag reducing devices. This paper will describe our objective and approach, provide an overview of our efforts and accomplishments related to drag reduction devices, and offer a brief discussion of our future direction.
Technical Paper

Computational Simulation of Tractor-Trailer Gap Flow with Drag-Reducing Aerodynamic Devices

Computational simulations of the Modified Ground Transportation System1 (M-GTS), a 1/14th-scale simplified tractor-trailer geometry, are performed at both laboratory and full-scale Reynolds numbers using the NASA overset grid code OVERFLOW2. Steady Reynolds' Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations are conducted to deepen the understanding of tractor-trailer gap flow structure, and to ascertain the time-averaged efficacy of tractor cab extenders and trailer-face splitter plates in reducing aerodynamic drag in typical crosswinds. Results of lab-scale simulations compare favorably to body force and particle image velocimetry (PIV) data obtained from University of Southern California (USC) experiments for two tractor-trailer gap lengths. Full-scale simulations highlight model geometry limitations and allude to the use of splitter plates in place of, or in conjunction with, tractor cab extenders.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Effect of Geometry Generated Turbulence on HCCI Combustion by Multi-Zone Modeling

This paper illustrates the applicability of a sequential fluid mechanics, multi-zone chemical kinetics model to analyze HCCI experimental data for two combustion chamber geometries with different levels of turbulence: a low turbulence disc geometry (flat top piston), and a high turbulence square geometry (piston with a square bowl). The model uses a fluid mechanics code to determine temperature histories in the engine as a function of crank angle. These temperature histories are then fed into a chemical kinetic solver, which determines combustion characteristics for a relatively small number of zones (40). The model makes the assumption that there is no direct linking between turbulence and combustion. The multi-zone model yields good results for both the disc and the square geometries. The model makes good predictions of pressure traces and heat release rates.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Drag of Heavy Vehicles (Class 7-8): Simulation and Benchmarking

This paper describes research and development for reducing the aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles by demonstrating new approaches for the numerical simulation and analysis of aerodynamic flow. Experimental validation of new computational fluid dynamics methods are also an important part of this approach. Experiments on a model of an integrated tractor-trailer are underway at NASA Ames Research Center and the University of Southern California (USC). Companion computer simulations are being performed by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) using state-of-the-art techniques.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of the Effect of Combustion Chamber Surface Area and In-Cylinder Turbulence on the Evolution of Gas Temperature Distribution from IVC to SOC: A Numerical and Fundamental Study

It has previously been shown experimentally and computationally that the process of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is very dependent on the pre-combustion gas temperature field. This study looks in detail at how temperature fields can evolve by comparing results of two combustion chamber designs, a piston with a square bowl and a disk shaped piston, and relates these temperature fields to measured HCCI combustion durations. The contributions of combustion chamber surface area and turbulence levels to the gas temperature evolution are considered over the crank angle range from intake valve closure to top-dead-center. This is a CFD study, whose results were transformed into traditional analysis methods of convective heat transfer (q=h*A*ΔT) and boundary layers.