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Technical Paper

A Numerical Investigation on Scalability and Grid Convergence of Internal Combustion Engine Simulations

Traditional Lagrangian spray modeling approaches for internal combustion engines are highly grid-dependent due to insufficient resolution in the near nozzle region. This is primarily because of inherent restrictions of volume fraction with the Lagrangian assumption together with high computational costs associated with small grid sizes. A state-of-the-art grid-convergent spray modeling approach was recently developed and implemented by Senecal et al., (ASME-ICEF2012-92043) in the CONVERGE software. The key features of the methodology include Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR), advanced liquid-gas momentum coupling, and improved distribution of the liquid phase, which enables use of cell sizes smaller than the nozzle diameter. This modeling approach was rigorously validated against non-evaporating, evaporating, and reacting data from the literature.
Journal Article

CFD-Guided Heavy Duty Mixing-Controlled Combustion System Optimization with a Gasoline-Like Fuel

A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) guided combustion system optimization was conducted for a heavy-duty compression-ignition engine with a gasoline-like fuel that has an anti-knock index (AKI) of 58. The primary goal was to design an optimized combustion system utilizing the high volatility and low sooting tendency of the fuel for improved fuel efficiency with minimal hardware modifications to the engine. The CFD model predictions were first validated against experimental results generated using the stock engine hardware. A comprehensive design of experiments (DoE) study was performed at different operating conditions on a world-leading supercomputer, MIRA at Argonne National Laboratory, to accelerate the development of an optimized fuel-efficiency focused design while maintaining the engine-out NOx and soot emissions levels of the baseline production engine.
Technical Paper

Comparison and Standardization of Numerical Approaches for the Prediction of Non-reacting and Reacting Diesel Sprays

The primary objective of the research discussed here was to compare the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, CONVERGE, and a prevalent open-source code, OpenFOAM, with regard to their ability to predict spray and combustion characteristics. The high-fidelity data were obtained from the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) at Sandia National Laboratory in a constant-volume combustion vessel under well-defined, controlled conditions. The experiments and simulations were performed by using two diesel surrogate fuels (i.e., n-heptane and n-dodecane) under both non-reacting and reacting conditions. Specifically, ECN data on spray penetration, liquid length, vapor penetration, mixture fraction, ignition delay, and flame lift-off length (LOL) were used to validate both codes. Results indicate that both codes can predict the above experimental characteristics very well.
Technical Paper

Coupled Eulerian Internal Nozzle Flow and Lagrangian Spray Simulations for GDI Systems

An extensive numerical study of two-phase flow inside the nozzle holes and the issuing jets for a multi-hole direct injection gasoline injector is presented. The injector geometry is representative of the Spray G nozzle, an eight-hole counter-bored injector, from the Engine Combustion Network (ECN). Homogeneous Relaxation Model (HRM) coupled with the mixture multiphase approach in the Eulerian framework has been utilized to capture the phase change phenomena inside the nozzle holes. Our previous studies have demonstrated that this approach is capable of capturing the effect of injection transients and thermodynamic conditions in the combustion chamber, by predicting phenomenon such as flash boiling. However, these simulations were expensive, especially if there is significant interest in predicting the spray behavior as well.
Technical Paper

Cycle-to-Cycle Variations in Multi-Cycle Engine RANS Simulations

Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) modeling is expected to deliver an ensemble-averaged result for the majority of turbulent flows. This could lead to the conclusion that multi-cycle internal combustion engine (ICE) simulations performed using RANS must exhibit a converging numerical solution after a certain number of consecutive cycles. However, for some engine configurations unsteady RANS simulations are not guaranteed to deliver an ensemble-averaged result. In this paper it is shown that, when using RANS modeling to simulate multiple engine cycles, the cycle-to-cycle variations (CCV) generated from different initial conditions at each cycle are not damped out even after a large number of cycles. A single-cylinder GDI research engine is simulated using RANS modeling and the numerical results for 20 consecutive engine cycles are evaluated for two specific operating conditions.
Journal Article

LES of Diesel and Gasoline Sprays with Validation against X-Ray Radiography Data

This paper focuses on detailed numerical simulations of direct injection diesel and gasoline sprays from production grade, multi-hole injectors. In a dual-fuel engine the direct injection of both the fuels can facilitate appropriate mixture preparation prior to ignition and combustion. Diesel and gasoline sprays were simulated using high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulations (LES) with the dynamic structure sub-grid scale model. Numerical predictions of liquid penetration, fuel density distribution as well as transverse integrated mass (TIM) at different axial locations versus time were compared against x-ray radiography data obtained from Argonne National Laboratory. A necessary, but often overlooked, criterion of grid-convergence is ensured by using Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) for both diesel and gasoline. Nine different realizations were performed and the effects of random seeds on spray behavior were investigated.
Technical Paper

Mixing-Limited Combustion of Alcohol Fuels in a Diesel Engine

Diesel-fueled, heavy-duty engines are critical to global economies, but unfortunately they are currently coupled to the rising price and challenging emissions of Diesel fuel. Public awareness and increasingly stringent emissions standards have made Diesel OEMs consider possible alternatives to Diesel, including electrification, fuel cells, and spark ignition. While these technologies will likely find success in certain market segments, there are still many applications that will continue to require the performance and liquid-fueled simplicity of Diesel-style engines. Three-way catalysis represents a possible low-cost and highly-effective pathway to reducing Diesel emissions, but that aftertreatment system has typically been incompatible with Diesel operation due to the prohibitively high levels of soot formation at the required stoichiometric fuel-air ratios. This paper explores a possible method of integrating three-way catalysis with Diesel-style engine operation.
Technical Paper

Modeling the Dynamic Coupling of Internal Nozzle Flow and Spray Formation for Gasoline Direct Injection Applications

A numerical study has been carried out to assess the effects of needle movement and internal nozzle flow on spray formation for a multi-hole Gasoline Direct Injection system. The coupling of nozzle flow and spray formation is dynamic in nature and simulations with pragmatic choice of spatial and temporal resolutions are needed to analyze the sprays in a GDI system. The dynamic coupling of nozzle flow and spray formation will be performed using an Eulerian-Lagrangian Spray Atomization (ELSA) approach. In this approach, the liquid fuel will remain in the Eulerian framework while exiting the nozzle, while, depending on local instantaneous liquid concentration in a given cell and amount of liquid in the neighboring cells, part of the liquid mass will be transferred to the Lagrangian framework in the form of Lagrangian parcels.
Technical Paper

Multi-Dimensional Modeling and Validation of Combustion in a High-Efficiency Dual-Fuel Light-Duty Engine

Using gasoline and diesel simultaneously in a dual-fuel combustion system has shown effective benefits in terms of both brake thermal efficiency and exhaust emissions. In this study, the dual-fuel approach is applied to a light-duty spark ignition (SI) gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine. Three combustion modes are proposed based on the engine load, diesel micro-pilot (DMP) combustion at high load, SI combustion at low load, and diesel assisted spark-ignition (DASI) combustion in the transition zone. Major focus is put on the DMP mode, where the diesel fuel acts as an enhancer for ignition and combustion of the mixture of gasoline, air, and recirculated exhaust gas. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to simulate the dual-fuel combustion with the final goal of supporting the comprehensive optimization of the main engine parameters.
Journal Article

Numerical Investigation of Two-Phase Flow Evolution of In- and Near-Nozzle Regions of a Gasoline Direct Injection Engine During Needle Transients

This work involves modeling internal and near-nozzle flows of a gasoline direct injection (GDI) nozzle. The Engine Combustion Network (ECN) Spray G condition has been considered for these simulations using the nominal geometry of the Spray G injector. First, best practices for numerical simulation of the two-phase flow evolution inside and the near-nozzle regions of the Spray G injector are presented for the peak needle lift. The mass flow rate prediction for peak needle lift was in reasonable agreement with experimental data available in the ECN database. Liquid plume targeting angle and liquid penetration estimates showed promising agreement with experimental observations. The capability to assess the influence of different thermodynamic conditions on the two-phase flow nature was established by predicting non-flashing and flashing phenomena.
Technical Paper

Performance of a Printed Bimetallic (Stainless Steel and Bronze) Engine Head Operating under Stoichiometric and Lean Spark Ignited (SI) Combustion of Natural Gas

Additive manufacturing was used to fabricate a head for an automotive-scale single-cylinder engine operating on natural gas. The head was consisted of a bimetallic composition of stainless steel and bronze. The engine performance using the bimetallic head was compared against the stock cast iron head. The heads were tested at two speeds (1200 and 1800 rpm), two brake mean effective pressures (6 and 10 bar), and two equivalence ratios (0.7 and 1.0). The bimetallic head showed good durability over the test and produced equivalent efficiencies, exhaust temperatures, and heat rejection to the coolant to the stock head. Higher combustion temperatures and advanced combustion phasing resulted from use with the bimetallic head. The implication is that with optimization of the valve timing, an efficiency benefit may be realized with the bimetallic head.