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Journal Article

Water Injection: a Technology to Improve Performance and Emissions of Downsized Turbocharged Spark Ignited Engines

Knock occurrence and fuel enrichment, which is required at high engine speed and load to limit the turbine inlet temperature, are the major obstacles to further increase performance and efficiency of down-sized turbocharged spark ignited engines. A technique that has the potential to overcome these restrictions is based on the injection of a precise amount of water within the mixture charge that can allow to achieve important benefits on knock mitigation, engine efficiency, gaseous and noise emissions. One of the main objectives of this investigation is to demonstrate that water injection (WI) could be a reliable solution to advance the spark timing and make the engine run at leaner mixture ratios with strong benefits on knock tendency and important improvement on fuel efficiency.
Technical Paper

The Use of Vibrational Signals for On-Board Knock Diagnostics Supported by In-Cylinder Pressure Analyses

In the present work, an Auto Regressive Moving Average (ARMA) model and a Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) are applied on vibrational signals, acquired by an accelerometer placed on the cylinder block of a Spark Ignition (SI) engine, for knock detection purposes. To the aim of tuning such procedures, the same analysis has been carried out by using the traditional MAPO (Maximum Amplitude of Pressure Oscillations) index and an Inverse Kinetic Model (IKM), both applied on the in-cylinder pressure signals. Vibrational and in-cylinder pressure signals have been collected on a four cylinder, four stroke engine, for different engine speeds, load conditions and spark advances. The results of the two vibrational based methods are compared and in depth discussed to the aim of highlighting the pros and cons of each methodology.
Technical Paper

Techniques for CO2 Emission Reduction over a WLTC. A Numerical Comparison of Increased Compression Ratio, Cooled EGR and Water Injection

In this work, various techniques are numerically applied to a base engine - vehicle system to estimate their potential CO2 emission reduction. The reference thermal unit is a downsized turbocharged spark-ignition Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) engine, with a Compression Ratio (CR) of 10. In order to improve its fuel consumption, preserving the original full-load torque, various technologies are considered, including an increased CR, an external low-pressure cooled EGR, and a ported Water Injection (WI). The analyses are carried out by a 1D commercial software (GT-Power™), enhanced by refined user-models for the description of in-cylinder processes, namely turbulence, combustion, heat transfer and knock. The latter were validated with reference to the base engine architecture in previous activities. To minimize the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) all over the engine operating plane, the control parameters of the base and modified engines are calibrated based on PID controllers.
Journal Article

Strategies for Improving Fuel Consumption at Part-Load in a Downsized Turbocharged SI Engine: a Comparative Study

It is commonly recognized that the paths for improving fuel consumption (BSFC) in a spark-ignition engine at part-load require more advanced valve actuation strategies, which largely affect the pumping work. Since several years, many different solutions have been proposed, characterized by different levels of complexity, effectiveness, and cost. Valve systems currently available on the market allow for variable phasing (VVT - Variable Valve Timing), and/or lift (VVA - Variable Valve Actuation). Usually VVT devices are applied on intake and exhaust camshafts, in the “phased” or “unphased” configuration, as well. VVA devices are instead commonly mounted on the intake camshaft. More recent VVA systems also allow for a double intake valve lift during a single engine cycle (multi-lift), or may include a small intake pre-lift during the exhaust stroke. The latter solutions may determine further BSFC reductions. Alternatively, an external-EGR circuit can be considered, as well.
Technical Paper

Steady and Unsteady Modeling of Turbocharger Compressors for Automotive Engines

Turbocharging technique will play a fundamental role in the near future not only to improve automotive engine performance, but also to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions both in Spark Ignition and Compression Ignition engines. To this end, one-dimensional (1D) modelling is usually employed to compute the engine-turbocharger matching, to select the boost level in different operating conditions and to estimate low end torque level and transient response. However, 1D modeling of a turbocharged engine requires the availability of the turbine and compressor characteristic maps. This leads to some typical drawbacks: performance maps of the turbocharger device are usually limited to a reduced number of rotational speeds, pressure ratios and mass flow rates.
Technical Paper

Refinement of a 0D Turbulence Model to Predict Tumble and Turbulent Intensity in SI Engines. Part I: 3D Analyses

Recently, a growing interest in the development of more accurate phenomenological turbulence models is observed, since this is a key pre-requisite to properly describe the burn rate in quasi-dimensional combustion models. The latter are increasingly utilized to predict engine performance in very different operating conditions, also including unconventional valve control strategies, such as EIVC or LIVC. Therefore, a reliable phenomenological turbulence model should be able to physically relate the actuated valve strategy to turbulence level during the engine cycle, with particular care in the angular phase when the combustion takes place.
Technical Paper

Reducing Fuel Consumption, Noxious Emissions and Radiated Noise by Selection of the Optimal Control Strategy of a Diesel Engine

Despite the recent efforts devoted to develop alternative technologies, it is likely that the internal combustion engine will remain the dominant propulsion system for the next 30 years and beyond. Also as a consequence of more and more stringent emissions regulations established in the main industrialized countries, strongly demanded are methods and technologies able to enhance the internal combustion engines performance in terms of both efficiency and environmental impact. Present work focuses on the development of a numerical method for the optimization of the control strategy of a diesel engine equipped with a high pressure injection system, a variable geometry turbocharger and an EGR circuit. A preliminary experimental analysis is presented to characterize the considered six-cylinder engine under various speeds, loads and EGR ratios.
Journal Article

Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Fuel Effects on Knock Occurrence and Combustion Noise in a 2-Stroke Engine

Knock occurrence is a widely recognized phenomenon to be controlled during the development and optimization of S.I. engines, since it bounds both compression ratio and spark advance, hence reducing the potential in gaining a lower fuel consumption. As a consequence, a clear understanding of the engine parameters affecting the onset of auto-ignition is mandatory for the engine setup. In view of the complexity of the phenomena, the use of combined experimental and numerical investigations is very promising. The paper reports such a combined activity, targeted at characterizing the combustion behavior of a small unit displacement two-stroke SI engine operated with either Gasoline or Natural Gas (CNG). In the paper, detailed multi-cycle 3D-CFD analyses, starting for preliminary 1D computed boundary conditions, are performed to accurately characterize the engine behavior in terms of scavenging efficiency and combustion.
Technical Paper

Numerical Study of the Potential of a Variable Compression Ratio Concept Applied to a Downsized Turbocharged VVA Spark Ignition Engine

Nowadays different technical solutions have been proposed to improve the performance of internal combustion engines, especially in terms of Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC). Its reduction of course contributes to comply with the CO2 emissions legislation for vehicle homologation. Concerning the spark ignition engines, the downsizing coupled to turbocharging demonstrated a proper effectiveness to improve the BSFC at part load. On the other hand, at high load, the above solution highly penalizes the fuel consumption mainly because of knock onset, that obliges to degrade the combustion phasing and/or enrich the air/fuel mixture. A promising technique to cope with the above drawbacks consists in the Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) concept. An optimal Compression Ratio (CR) selection, in fact, allows for further improvements of the thermodynamic efficiency at part load, while at high load, it permits to mitigate knock propensity, resulting in more optimized combustions.
Journal Article

Knock and Cycle by Cycle Analysis of a High Performance V12 Spark Ignition Engine. Part 2: 1D Combustion and Knock Modeling

The results of the experimental analyses, described in Part 1, are here employed to build up an innovative numerical approach for the 1D modeling of combustion, cycle-by-cycle variations and knock of a high performance 12-cylinder spark-ignition engine. The whole engine is schematized in detail in a 1D framework simulation, developed in the GT-Power™ environment. Proper “in-house developed” sub-models are used to describe the combustion process, turbulence phenomenon, cycle-by-cycle variations (CCV) and knock occurrence. In particular, the knock onset is evaluated by a chemical kinetic scheme for a toluene reference fuel, able to detect the presence of auto-ignition reactions in the end-gas zone. In a first stage, the engine model is validated in terms of overall performance parameter and ensemble averaged pressure cycles, for various full and part load operating points and spark timings.
Technical Paper

Knock Detection in a Turbocharged S.I. Engine Based on ARMA Technique and Chemical Kinetics

During the last years, a number of techniques aimed at the experimental identification of the knocking onset in Spark-Ignition (SI) Internal Combustion Engines have been proposed. Besides the traditional procedures based on the processing of in-cylinder pressure data in the frequency domain, in the present paper two innovative methods are developed and compared. The first one is based on the use of statistical analysis by applying an Auto Regressive Moving Average (ARMA) technique, coupled to a prediction algorithm. It is shown that such parametric model, applied to the instantaneous in-cylinder pressure measurements, is highly sensitive to knock occurrence and is able to identify soft or heavy knock presence in different engine operating conditions. An alternative, more expensive procedure is developed and compared to the previous one.
Journal Article

Fuel Economy Improvement and Knock Tendency Reduction of a Downsized Turbocharged Engine at Full Load Operations through a Low-Pressure EGR System

It is well known that the downsizing philosophy allows the improvement of Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) at part load operation for spark ignition engines. On the other hand, the BSFC is penalized at high/full load operation because of the knock occurrence and of further limitations on the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT). Knock control forces the adoption of a late combustion phasing, causing a deterioration of the thermodynamic efficiency, while TIT control requires enrichment of the Air-to-Fuel (A/F) ratio, with additional BSFC drawbacks. In this work, a promising technique, consisting of the introduction of a low-pressure cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, is analyzed by means of a 1D numerical approach with reference to a downsized turbocharged SI engine. Proper “in-house developed” sub-models are used to describe the combustion process, turbulence phenomenon and the knock occurrence.
Journal Article

Fuel Consumption Optimization and Noise Reduction in a Spark-Ignition Turbocharged VVA Engine

Modern VVA systems offer new potentialities in improving the fuel consumption for spark-ignition engines at low and medium load, meanwhile they grant a higher volumetric efficiency and performance at high load. Recently introduced systems enhance this concept through the possibility of concurrently modifying the intake valve opening, closing and lift leading to the development of almost "throttle-less" engines. However, at very low loads, the control of the air-flow motion and the turbulence intensity inside the cylinder may require to select a proper combination of the butterfly throttling and the intake valve control, to get the highest BSFC (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption) reduction. Moreover, a low throttling, while improving the fuel consumption, may also produce an increased gas-dynamic noise at the intake mouth. In highly "downsized" engines, the intake valve control is also linked to the turbocharger operating point, which may be changed by acting on the waste-gate valve.
Journal Article

Extension and Validation of a 1D Model Applied to the Analysis of a Water Injected Turbocharged Spark Ignited Engine at High Loads and over a WLTP Driving Cycle

The technique of liquid Water Injection (WI) at the intake port of downsized boosted SI engines is a promising solution to improve the knock resistance at high loads. In this work, an existing 1D engine model has been extended to improve its ability to simulate the effects of the water injection on the flame propagation speed and knock onset. The new features of the 1D model include an improved treatment of the heat subtracted by the water evaporation, a newly developed correlation for the laminar flame speed, explicitly considering the amount of water in the unburned mixture, and a more detailed kinetic mechanism to predict the auto-ignition characteristics of fuel/air/water mixture. The extended 1D model is validated against experimental data collected at different engine speeds and loads, including knock-limited operation, for a twin-cylinder turbocharged SI engine.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Study of the Water Injection to Improve the Fuel Economy of a Small Size Turbocharged SI Engine

In this work, a promising technique, consisting of a liquid Water Injection (WI) at the intake ports, is investigated to overcome over-fueling and delayed combustions typical of downsized boosted engines, operating at high loads. In a first stage, experimental tests are carried out in a spark-ignition twin-cylinder turbocharged engine at a fixed rotational speed and medium-high loads. In particular, a spark timing and a water-to-fuel ratio sweep are both specified, to analyze the WI capability in increasing the knock-limited spark advance. In a second stage, the considered engine is schematized in a 1D framework. The model, developed in the GT-Power™ environment, includes user defined procedures for the description of combustion and knock phenomena. Computed results are compared with collected data for all the considered operating conditions, in terms of average performance parameters, in-cylinder pressure cycles, burn rate profiles, and knock propensity, as well.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Analyses for the Characterization of the Cyclic Dispersion and Knock Occurrence in a Small-Size SI Engine

In this paper, an experimental and numerical analysis of combustion process and knock occurrence in a small displacement spark-ignition engine is presented. A wide experimental campaign is preliminarily carried out in order to fully characterize the engine behavior in different operating conditions. In particular, the acquisition of a large number of consecutive pressure cycle is realized to analyze the Cyclic Variability (CV) effects in terms of Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) Coefficient of Variation (CoV). The spark advance is also changed up to incipient knocking conditions, basing on a proper definition of a knock index. The latter is estimated through the decomposition and the FFT analysis of the instantaneous pressure cycles. Contemporary, a quasi-dimensional combustion and knock model, included within a whole engine one-dimensional (1D) modeling framework, are developed. Combustion and knock models are extended to include the CV effects, too.
Journal Article

Experimental Investigation and 1D Simulation of a Turbocharger Compressor Close to Surge Operation

Downsizing is widely considered one of the main path to reduce the fuel consumption of spark ignition internal combustion engines. As known, despite the reduced size, the required torque and power targets can be attained thanks to an adequate boost level provided by a turbocharger. However, some drawbacks usually arise when the engine operates at full load and low speeds. In fact, in the above conditions, the boost pressure and the engine performance is limited since the compressor experiences close-to-surge operation. This occurrence is even greater in case of extremely downsized engines with a reduced number of cylinders and a small intake circuit volume, where the compressor works under strongly unsteady flow conditions and its instantaneous operating point most likely overcomes the steady surge margin. In the paper, both experimental and numerical approaches are followed to describe the unsteady behavior of a small in-series turbocharger compressor.
Journal Article

Development of a Phenomenological Turbulence Model through a Hierarchical 1D/3D Approach Applied to a VVA Turbocharged Engine

It is widely recognized that spatial and temporal evolution of both macro- and micro- turbulent scales inside internal combustion engines affect air-fuel mixing, combustion and pollutants formation. Particularly, in spark ignition engines, tumbling macro-structure induces the generation of a proper turbulence level to sustain the development and propagation of the flame front. As known, 3D-CFD codes are able to describe the evolution of the in-cylinder flow and turbulence fields with good accuracy, although a high computational effort is required. For this reason, only a limited set of operating conditions is usually investigated. On the other hand, thanks to a lower computational burden, 1D codes can be employed to study engine performance in the whole operating domain, despite of a less detailed description of in-cylinder processes. The integration of 1D and 3D approaches appears hence a promising path to combine the advantages of both.
Journal Article

Combined Effects of Valve Strategies, Compression Ratio, Water Injection, and Cooled EGR on the Fuel Consumption of a Small Turbocharged VVA Spark-Ignition Engine

In this work, various techniques are numerically investigated to assess and quantify their relative effectiveness in reducing the Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) of a downsized turbocharged spark-ignition Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) engine. The analyzed solutions include the Variable Compression Ratio (VCR), the port Water Injection (WI), and the external cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). The numerical analysis is developed in a 1D modeling framework. The engine is schematized in GT-Power™ environment, employing refined sub-models of the in-cylinder processes, such as the turbulence, combustion, knock, and heat transfer. The combustion and knock models have been extensively validated in previous papers, at different speed/load points and intake valve strategies, including operations with a relevant internal EGR rate and with liquid WI.
Journal Article

CFD Gas-Dynamic Noise Prediction of a VVA Engine Intake System

Modern VVA systems offer new potentialities in improving fuel consumption for spark-ignition engines at low and medium load, meanwhile they grant a higher volumetric efficiency and performance at high load. Recently introduced systems enhance this concept through the possibility of modifying the intake valve opening, closing and lift, leading to the development of almost ‘throttle-less’ engines. However, at low loads, the absence of throttling, while improving the fuel consumption, also produces an increased gas-dynamic noise at the intake mouth. Wave propagation inside the intake system is in fact no longer absorbed by the throttle valve and directly impact the radiated noise. In the paper, 1D and 3D simulations of the gas-dynamic noise radiated by a production VVA engine are performed at full load and in two part-load conditions. Both models are firstly validated at full load, through comparisons with experimental data.