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Journal Article

Towards the LES Simulation of IC Engines with Parallel Topologically Changing Meshes

The implementation and the combination of advanced boundary conditions and subgrid scale models for Large Eddy Simulation (LES) in the multi-dimensional open-source CFD code OpenFOAM® are presented. The goal is to perform reliable cold flow LES simulations in complex geometries, such as in the cylinders of internal combustion engines. The implementation of a boundary condition for synthetic turbulence generation upstream of the valve port and of the compressible formulation of the Wall-Adapting Local Eddy-viscosity sgs model (WALE) is described. The WALE model is based on the square of the velocity gradient tensor and it accounts for the effects of both the strain and the rotation rate of the smallest resolved turbulent fluctuations and it recovers the proper y₃ near-wall scaling for the eddy viscosity without requiring dynamic procedure; hence, it is supposed to be a very reliable model for ICE simulation.
Technical Paper

Parametric Comparison of Well-Mixed and Flamelet n-dodecane Spray Combustion with Engine Experiments at Well Controlled Boundary Conditions

Extensive prior art within the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) using a Bosch single axial-hole injector called ‘Spray A’ in constant-volume vessels has provided a solid foundation from which to evaluate modeling tools relevant to spray combustion. In this paper, a new experiment using a Bosch three-hole nozzle called ‘Spray B’ mounted in a 2.34 L heavy-duty optical engine is compared to sector-mesh engine simulations. Two different approaches are employed to model combustion: the ‘well-mixed model’ considers every cell as a homogeneous reactor and employs multi-zone chemistry to reduce the computational time. The ‘flamelet’ approach represents combustion by an ensemble of laminar diffusion flames evolving in the mixture fraction space and can resolve the influence of mixing, or ‘turbulence-chemistry interactions,’ through the influence of the scalar dissipation rate on combustion.
Technical Paper

Oxygen and Propellant Extraction from Martian Atmosphere: Feasibility Study of a Small Technological Demonstration Plant

The sustainability of Martian outposts development is strongly based on the capability of achieving a high level of autonomy both in terms of operations management and of resources availability. In situ production of consumables is a key point to allow humans to work and live on Mars avoiding or limiting the need for re-supplies of materials from Earth. Required consumables can be produced in situ exploiting the locally available resources, but also by means of green-houses and waste recycle systems. Dedicated robotic missions for in situ demonstration of this type of technologies are a fundamental step of the Martian In Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) development roadmap. This paper is focused on the extraction of oxygen and fuels (e.g. methane) from the Martian atmosphere, and presents a feasibility study for a small technological demonstration plant.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of PPCI Combustion at Low and High Charge Stratification Levels

Partially premixed compression ignition combustion is one of the low temperature combustion techniques which is being actively investigated. This approach provides a significant reduction of both soot and NOx emissions. Comparing to the homogeneous charge compression ignition mode, PPCI combustion provides better control on ignition timing and noise reduction through air-fuel mixture stratification which lowers heat release rate compared to other advanced combustion modes. In this work, CFD simulations were conducted for a low and a high air-fuel mixture stratification cases on a light-duty optical engine operating in PPCI mode. Such conditions for PRF70 as fuel were experimentally achieved by injection timing and spray targeting at similar thermodynamic conditions.
Technical Paper

Multi-Dimensional Modeling of Combustion in Compression Ignition Engines Operating with Variable Charge Premixing Levels

Premixed combustion modes in compression ignition engines are studied as a promising solution to meet fuel economy and increasingly stringent emissions regulations. Nevertheless, PCCI combustion systems are not yet consolidated enough for practical applications. The high complexity of such combustion systems in terms of both air-fuel charge preparation and combustion process control requires the employment of robust and reliable numerical tools to provide adequate comprehension of the phenomena. Object of this work is the development and validation of suitable models to evaluate the effects of charge premixing levels in diesel combustion. This activity was performed using the Lib-ICE code, which is a set of applications and libraries for IC engine simulations developed using the OpenFOAM® technology.
Technical Paper

LES of Flow Processes in an SI Engine Using Two Approaches: OpenFoam and PsiPhi

In this study two different simulation approaches to large eddy simulation of spark-ignition engines are compared. Additionally, some of the simulation results are compared to experimentally obtained in-cylinder velocity measurements. The first approach applies unstructured grids with an automated meshing procedure, using OpenFoam and Lib-ICE with a mapping approach. The second approach applies the efficient in-house code PsiPhi on equidistant, Cartesian grids, representing walls by immersed boundaries, where the moving piston and valves are described as topologically connected groups of Lagrangian particles. In the experiments, two-dimensional two-component particle image velocimetry is applied in the central tumble plane of the cylinder of an optically accessible engine. Good agreement between numerical results and experiment are obtained by both approaches.
Technical Paper

Industry 4.0 and Automotive 4.0: Challenges and Opportunities for Designing New Vehicle Components for Automated and/or Electric Vehicles

The paper deals with the “wise sensorization” of vehicle components. In the upcoming full digitalization of mobility, vehicle components are getting more and more sensorized. The problem is why, what, when and where vehicle components can be sensorized. The paper attempts a preliminary problem statement for the sensorization of vehicle components. A theoretical basic investigation is introduced, setting the main concepts on which extended sensorization is advisable or not. The paradigms of Industry 4.0 and Automotive 4.0 are addressed, namely sensors are proposed to be used both for monitoring the manufacturing process and for monitoring the service life of the component. In general, sensors are proposed to be used for multiple purposes. Two examples of sensorized components are briefly presented. One refers to a sensorized electric motor, the other one refers to a sensorized wheel.
Journal Article

Indoor/Outdoor Testing of a Passenger Car Suspension for Vibration and Harshness Analysis

This paper presents a validation method for indoor testing of a passenger car suspension. A study was done to design a supporting modular structure with comparable inertances with respect to a vehicle's actual suspension and body connection points. For the indoor test, the rear axle is positioned on a rotating drum. The suspension system is excited as the wheel passes over cleats fixed on the drum and transient wheel motions are recorded. The indoor test rig outputs (i.e., wheel and chassis accelerations) were compared with experimental data measured on an actual vehicle running at different speeds on the same set of cleats along a flat road. The comparison results validate the indoor testing method. The forces and moments acting at each suspension and chassis connection point were measured with a set of patented six-axis load cells. The forces, moments, wheel and subframe accelerations were measured up to 120 Hz.
Technical Paper

Identification of Agricultural Tyres' Handling Characteristics from Full Vehicle Experimental Tests

For passenger cars, individual tyre model parameters, used in vehicle models able to simulate vehicle handling behavior, are traditionally derived from expensive component indoor laboratory tests as a result of an identification procedure minimizing the error with respect to force and slip measurements. Indoor experiments on agricultural tyres are instead more challenging and thus generally not performed due to tyre size and applied forces. However, the knowledge of their handling characteristics is becoming more and more important since in the next few years, all agricultural vehicles are expected to run on ordinary asphalt roads at a speed of 80km/h. The present paper presents a methodology to identify agricultural tyres' handling characteristics based only on the measurements carried out on board vehicle (vehicle sideslip angle, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, speed and steer angle) during standard handling maneuvers (step-steers, J-turns, etc.), instead than during indoor tests.
Technical Paper

Gas Exchange and Injection Modeling of an Advanced Natural Gas Engine for Heavy Duty Applications

The scope of the work presented in this paper was to apply the latest open source CFD achievements to design a state of the art, direct-injection (DI), heavy-duty, natural gas-fueled engine. Within this context, an initial steady-state analysis of the in-cylinder flow was performed by simulating three different intake ducts geometries, each one with seven different valve lift values, chosen according to an estabilished methodology proposed by AVL. The discharge coefficient (Cd) and the Tumble Ratio (TR) were calculated in each case, and an optimal intake ports geometry configuration was assessed in terms of a compromise between the desired intensity of tumble in the chamber and the satisfaction of an adequate value of Cd. Subsequently, full-cycle, cold-flow simulations were performed for three different engine operating points, in order to evaluate the in-cylinder development of TR and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) under transient conditions.
Journal Article

Full-Cycle CFD Modeling of Air/Fuel Mixing Process in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

This paper is focused on the development and application of a CFD methodology that can be applied to predict the fuel-air mixing process in stratified charge, sparkignition engines. The Eulerian-Lagrangian approach was used to model the spray evolution together with a liquid film model that properly takes into account its effects on the fuel-air mixing process into account. However, numerical simulation of stratified combustion in SI engines is a very challenging task for CFD modeling, due to the complex interaction of different physical phenomena involving turbulent, reacting and multiphase flows evolving inside a moving geometry. Hence, for a proper assessment of the different sub-models involved a detailed set of experimental optical data is required. To this end, a large experimental database was built by the authors.
Technical Paper

Effect of Spray-Wall Interaction on Air Entrainment in a Transient Diesel Spray

The influence of spray-wall interaction on air entrainment in an unsteady non-evaporating diesel spray was studied using laser Doppler anemometry. The spray was injected into confined quiescent air at ambient pressure and temperature and made to impact on a flat wall. The air velocity component normal to a cylindrical surface surrounding the spray was measured during the entire injection period, allowing to evaluate the time history of the entrained air mass flow rate. The influence of wall distance and spray impingement angle on air entrainment characteristics has been investigated and the results indicate that the presence of a wall increases the entrained mass flow rate in the region close to the surface, during the main injection period. Normal impingement appears to produce stronger effects than oblique incidence at 30 and 45 deg. A qualitative explanation of the results is also proposed, based on the drop-gas momentum exchange mechanism.
Journal Article

Development of an ESP Control Logic Based on Force Measurements Provided by Smart Tires

The present paper investigates possible enhancement of ESP performance associated with the use of smart tires. In particular a novel control logic based on a direct feedback on the longitudinal forces developed by the four tires is considered. The control logic was developed using a simulation tool including a 14 dofs vehicle model and a smart tires emulator. Performance of the control strategy was evaluated in a series of handling maneuvers. The same maneuvers were performed on a HiL test bench interfacing the same vehicle model with a production ESP ECU. Results of the two logics were analyzed and compared.
Technical Paper

Development of Fully-Automatic Parallel Algorithms for Mesh Handling in the OpenFOAM®-2.2.x Technology

The current development to set up an automatic procedure for automatic mesh generation and automatic mesh motion for internal combustion engine simulation in OpenFOAM®-2.2.x is here described. In order to automatically generate high-quality meshes of cylinder geometries, some technical issues need to be addressed: 1) automatic mesh generation should be able to control anisotropy and directionality of the grid; 2) during piston and valve motion, cells and faces must be introduced and removed without varying the overall area and volume of the cells, to avoid conservation errors. In particular, interpolation between discrete fields is frequent in computational physics: the use of adaptive and non-conformal meshes necessitates the interpolation of fields between different mesh regions. Interpolation problems also arise in areas such as model coupling, model initialization and visualisation.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of SI Combustion Models for Natural-Gas Heavy-Duty Engines

Flexible, reliable and consistent combustion models are necessary for the improvement of the next generation spark-ignition engines. Different approaches have been proposed and widely applied in the past. However, the complexity of the process involving ignition, laminar flame propagation and transition to turbulent combustion need further investigations. Purpose of this paper is to compare two different approaches describing turbulent flame propagation. The first is the one-equation flame wrinkling model by Weller, while the second is the Coherent Flamelet Model (CFM). Ignition is described by a simplified deposition model while the correlation from Herweg and Maly is used for the transition from the laminar to turbulent flame propagation. Validation of the proposed models was performed with experimental data of a natural-gas, heavy duty engine running at different operating conditions.
Journal Article

Design of Catalytic Devices by Means of Genetic Algorithm: Comparison Between Open-Cell Foam and Honeycomb Type Substrates

Metallic foams or sponges are materials with a cell structure suitable for many industrial applications, such as reformers, heat catalytic converters, etc. The success of these materials is due to the combination of various characteristics such as mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange properties, low flow resistance and sound absorption. Different materials and manufacturing processes produce different type of structure and properties for various applications. In this work a genetic algorithm has been developed and applied to support the design of catalytic devices. In particular, two substrates were considered, namely the traditional honeycomb and an alternative open-cell foam type. CFD simulations of pressure losses and literature based correlations for the heat and mass transfer were used to support the genetic algorithm in finding the best compromise between flow resistance and pollutant abatement.
Journal Article

Data Driven Estimation of Exhaust Manifold Pressure by Use of In-cylinder Pressure Information

Although the application of cylinder pressure sensors to gain insight into the combustion process is not a novel topic itself, the recent availability of inexpensive in-cylinder pressure sensors has again prompted an upcoming interest for the utilization of the cylinder pressure signal within engine control and monitoring. Besides the use of the in-cylinder pressure signal for combustion analysis and control the information can also be used to determine related quantities in the exhaust or intake manifold. Within this work two different methods to estimate the pressure inside the exhaust manifold are proposed and compared. In contrary to first principle based approaches, which may require time extensive parameterization, alternative data driven approaches were pursued. In the first method a Principle Component Analysis (PCA) is applied to extract the cylinder pressure information and combined with a polynomial model approach.
Technical Paper

Crash Performance of Rtm Composites for Automotive Applications

This paper describes the experimental activity carried out at Aerospace Engineering Department of Politecnico di Milano about energy absorption capability of glass-epoxy RTM specimens, representative of automotive crash front structure sub-components. After the analysis of some automotive crashworthiness aspects, especially relevant to the structural adoption of composite materials, the specimen used and the technological route to produce them are described. Then experimental arrangements, test procedure and measurement technique, relevant to static and crash test are presented. Finally test results, reported in the form of numerical values, diagrams and high-velocity films are shown and critically commented.
Technical Paper

Combustion Modeling in Heavy Duty Diesel Engines Using Detailed Chemistry and Turbulence-Chemistry Interaction

Diesel combustion is a very complex process, involving a reacting, turbulent and multi-phase flow. Furthermore, heavy duty engines operate mainly at medium and high loads, where injection durations are very long and cylinder pressure is high. Within such context, proper CFD tools are necessary to predict mixing controlled combustion, heat transfer and, eventually, flame wall interaction which might result from long injection durations and high injection pressures. In particular, detailed chemistry seems to be necessary to estimate correctly ignition under a wide range of operating conditions and formation of rich combustion products which might lead to soot formation. This work is dedicated to the identification of suitable methodologies to predict combustion in heavy-duty diesel engines using detailed chemistry.
Technical Paper

A Review of the State of the Art of Electric Traction Motors Cooling Techniques

This paper provides a review on state-of-art modern cooling systems employed for thermal cooling of electric motors for vehicle applications. In recent years, the pursue of a more sustainable and ecofriendly mobility has pushed the research towards the development of electric vehicle powertrain systems. Besides the evident advantages of the adoption of electric traction systems in terms of pollution and efficiency, the need of an effective cooling system for the electric machine components gained more and more importance in order to maintain high efficiency and ensure high durability. In fact, it is known that high temperatures can be harmful for the electric motor: besides the evident damages for mechanical parts, the influence on the permanent magnet properties is not negligible [1] [2]. In this fast-evolving environment, different solutions for the thermal problem have been researched and adopted, each one with its own pros and cons.