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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.
Journal Article

Exploring the Role of Reactivity Gradients in Direct Dual Fuel Stratification

Low-temperature combustion (LTC) strategies have been an active area of research due to their ability to achieve high thermal efficiency while avoiding the formation of NOx and particulate matter. One of the largest challenges with LTC is the relative lack of authority over the heat release rate profile, which, depending on the particular injection strategy, either limits the maximum attainable load, or creates a tradeoff between noise and efficiency at high load conditions. We have shown previously that control over heat release can be dramatically improved through a combination of reactivity stratification in the premixed charge and a diffusion-limited injection that occurs after the conclusion of the low-temperature heat release, in a strategy called direct dual fuel stratification (DDFS).
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.
Technical Paper

A Visual Investigation of CFD-Predicted In-Cylinder Mechanisms That Control First- and Second-Stage Ignition in Diesel Jets

The long-term goal of this work is to develop a conceptual model for multiple injections of diesel jets. The current work contributes to that effort by performing a detailed modeling investigation into mechanisms that are predicted to control 1st and 2nd stage ignition in single-pulse diesel (n-dodecane) jets under different conditions. One condition produces a jet with negative ignition dwell that is dominated by mixing-controlled heat release, and the other, a jet with positive ignition dwell and dominated by premixed heat release. During 1st stage ignition, fuel is predicted to burn similarly under both conditions; far upstream, gases at the radial-edge of the jet, where gas temperatures are hotter, partially react and reactions continue as gases flow downstream. Once beyond the point of complete fuel evaporation, near-axis gases are no longer cooled by the evaporation process and 1st stage ignition transitions to 2nd stage ignition.
Technical Paper

A Triangulated Lagrangian Ignition Kernel Model with Detailed Kinetics for Modeling Spark Ignition with the G-Equation-Part I: Geometric Aspects

Modeling ignition kernel development in spark ignition engines is crucial to capturing the sources of cyclic variability, both with RANS and LES simulations. Appropriate kernel modeling must ensure that energy transfer from the electrodes to the gas phase has the correct timing, rate and locations, until the flame surface is large enough to be represented on the mesh by the G-Equation level-set method. However, in most kernel models, geometric details driving kernel growth are missing: either because it is described as Lagrangian particles, or because its development is simplified, i.e., down to multiple spherical flames. This paper covers the geometric aspects of kernel development, which makes up the core of a Triangulated Lagrangian Ignition Kernel model. One (or multiple, if it restrikes) spark channel is initialized as a one-dimensional Lagrangian particle thread.