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Journal Article

A 3D CFD Simulation of GDI Sprays Accounting for Heat Transfer Effects on Wallfilm Formation

During gasoline direct injection (GDI) in spark ignition engines, droplets may hit piston or liner surfaces and be rebounded or deposit in the liquid phase as wallfilm. This may determine slower secondary atomization and local enrichments of the mixture, hence be the reason of increased unburned hydrocarbons and particulate matter emissions at the exhaust. Complex phenomena indeed characterize the in-cylinder turbulent multi-phase system, where heat transfer involves the gaseous mixture (made of air and gasoline vapor), the liquid phase (droplets not yet evaporated and wallfilm) and the solid walls. A reliable 3D CFD modelling of the in-cylinder processes, therefore, necessarily requires also the correct simulation of the cooling effect due to the subtraction of the latent heat of vaporization of gasoline needed for secondary evaporation in the zone where droplets hit the wall. The related conductive heat transfer within the solid is to be taken into account.
Journal Article

A Comparison Between External and Internal Resonators Employment to Reduce the Gas-Dynamic Noise of a SI Engine

This paper reports 1D and 3D CFD analyses aiming to improve the gas-dynamic noise emission of a downsized turbocharged VVA engine through the re-design of the intake air-box device, consisting in the introduction of external or internal resonators. Nowadays, modern spark-ignition (SI) engines show more and more complex architectures that, while improving the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC), may be responsible for the increased noise radiation at the engine intake mouth. In particular VVA systems allow for the actuation of advanced valve strategies that provide a reduction in the BSFC at part load operations thanks to the intake line de-throttling. In these conditions, due to a less effective attenuation of the pressure waves that travel along the intake system, VVA engines produce higher gas-dynamic noise levels.
Technical Paper

A Knock Model for 1D Simulations Accounting for Cyclic Dispersion Phenomena

Control of knock phenomenon is becoming more and more important in modern SI engine, due to the tendency to develop high boosted turbocharged engines (downsizing). To this aim, improved modeling and experimental techniques are required to precisely define the maximum allowable spark advance. On the experimental side, the knock limit is identified based on some indices derived by the analysis of the in-cylinder pressure traces or of the cylinder block vibrations. The threshold levels of the knock indices are usually defined following an heuristic approach. On the modeling side, in the 1D codes, the knock is usually described by simple correlation of the auto-ignition time of the unburned gas zone within the cylinders. In addition, the latter methodology commonly refers to ensemble-averaged pressure cycles and, for this reason, does not take into account the cycle-by-cycle variations.
Journal Article

A Modeling Study of Cyclic Dispersion Impact on Fuel Economy for a Small Size Turbocharged SI Engine

In this paper, the results of an extensive experimental analysis regarding a twin-cylinder spark-ignition turbocharged engine are employed to build up an advanced 1D model, which includes the effects of cycle-by-cycle variations (CCVs) on the combustion process. Objective of the activity is to numerically estimate the CCV impact primarily on fuel consumption and knock behavior. To this aim, the engine is experimentally characterized in terms of average performance parameters and CCVs at high and low load operation. In particular, both a spark advance and an air-to-fuel ratio (α) sweep are actuated. Acquired pressure signals are processed to estimate the rate of heat release and the main combustion events. Moreover, the Coefficient of Variation of IMEP (CoVIMEP) and of in-cylinder peak pressure (CoVpmax) are evaluated to quantify the cyclic dispersion and identify its dependency on peak pressure position.
Technical Paper

A Non-Linear Regression Technique to Estimate from Vibrational Engine Data the Instantaneous In-Cylinder Pressure Peak and Related Angular Position

In this paper, a downsized twin-cylinder turbocharged spark-ignition engine is experimentally investigated at test-bench in order to verify the potential to estimate the peak pressure value and the related crank angle position, based on vibrational data acquired by an accelerometer sensor. Purpose of the activity is to provide the ECU of additional information to establish a closed-loop control of the spark timing, on a cycle-by-cycle basis. In this way, an optimal combustion phasing can be more properly accomplished in each engine operating condition. Engine behavior is firstly characterized in terms of average thermodynamic and performance parameters and cycle-by-cycle variations (CCVs) at high-load operation. In particular, both a spark advance and an A/F ratio sweep are actuated. In-cylinder pressure data are acquired by pressure sensors flush-mounted within the combustion chamber of both cylinders.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Diesel Injector Nozzle Flow Number Impact on Emissions and Performance of a Euro5 Automotive Diesel Engine

The present paper describes the results of a research project aimed at studying the impact of nozzle flow number on a Euro5 automotive diesel engine, featuring Closed-Loop Combustion Control. In order to optimize the trade-offs between fuel economy, combustion noise, emissions and power density for the next generation diesel engines, general trend among OEMs is lowering nozzle flow number and, as a consequence, nozzle hole size. In this context, three nozzle configurations have been characterized on a 2.0L Euro5 Common Rail Diesel engine, coupling experimental activities performed on multi-cylinder and optical single cylinder engines to analysis on spray bomb and injector test rigs. More in detail, this paper deeply describes the investigation carried out on the multi-cylinder engine, specifically devoted to the combustion evolution and engine performance analysis, varying the injector flow number.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Effect of the Sampling Conditions on the sub-23 nm Particles Emitted by a Small Displacement PFI and DI SI Engines Fueled with Gasoline, Ethanol and a Blend

The growing concerns on the emission of particles smaller than 23 nm, which are harmful to human health, lead to the necessity of introducing a regulation for these particles not yet included in the current emission standards. Considering that measurements of concentration of sub-23 nm particles are particularly sensitive to the sampling conditions, it is important to identify an effective assessment procedure. Aim of this paper is the characterization of the effect of the sampling conditions on sub-23 nm particles, emitted by PFI (port fuel injection) and DI (direct injection) spark ignition engines fueled with gasoline, ethanol and a mixture of ethanol and gasoline (E30). The experimental activity was carried out on a 250 cm3 displacement four stroke GDI and PFI single cylinder engines. The tests were conducted at 2000 rpm and 4000 rpm full load, representative of the homologation urban driving cycle.
Technical Paper

Back-Pressure and Fuel Type Effects on Exhaust Gas Oxygen Sensor Readings for a Single Cylinder Spark Ignition Engine Running on Gasoline and Ethanol

Application of more and more complex control strategies in spark ignition (SI) engines is required for ensuring high conversion efficiency and effective emissions reduction. Closed loop fuel injection is being implemented on an ever wider scale in small size SI units that generally feature single cylinder architecture. For such systems the readings from the exhaust gas oxygen sensor are essential for controlling air-fuel ratio and indirectly combustion. The present study looked at the influence of pressure oscillations on the values given by the sensor, for different equivalence ratio settings in wide open throttle conditions for an experimental SI unit. As expected, the readings were found to be influenced by pressure oscillations in the exhaust line during lean operation, while with stoichiometric and rich fueling the effects were minimal. Fuel type was also found to be an important aspect.
Journal Article

CFD Analysis of Combustion and Knock in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

The occurrence of knock is the most limiting hindrance for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines. In order to understand its origin and move the operating condition as close as possible to onset of this potentially harmful phenomenon, a joint experimental and numerical investigation is the most recommended approach. A preliminary experimental activity was carried out at IM-CNR on a 0.4 liter GDI unit, equipped with a flat transparent piston. The analysis of flame front morphology allowed to correlate high levels of flame front wrinkling and negative curvature to knock prone operating conditions, such as increased spark timings or high levels of exhaust back-pressure. In this study a detailed CFD analysis is carried out for the same engine and operating point as the experiments. The aim of this activity is to deeper investigate the reasons behind the main outcomes of the experimental campaign.
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.
Journal Article

Capturing Cyclic Variability in SI Engine with Group Independent Component Analysis

Data decomposition techniques have become a standard approach for the analysis of 2D imaging data originating from optically accessible internal combustion engines. In particular, the method of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) has proven to be a valuable tool for the evaluation of cycle-to-cycle variability based on luminous combustion imaging and particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. POD basically permits to characterize the dominant structures of the process under consideration. Recently, an alternative procedure based on Independent Component Analysis (ICA) has been introduced in the engine field. Unlike POD, the method of ICA identifies the patterns corresponding to physical processes that are statistically independent. In this work, a Group-ICA approach is applied to 2D cycle-resolved images of the luminosity emitted by the combustion process. The analysis is meant to characterize cyclic variability of a port fuel injection spark ignition (PFI SI) engine.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Alcohol Sprays from Multi-Hole Injector for DISI Engines through PIV Technique

The use of alcohols as alternative to gasoline for fuelling spark-ignition (SI) engines is widespread. Growing interest is paid for n-butanol because of its characteristics that are similar to gasoline. If compared with other alcohols, n-butanol has higher energy content and miscibility with gasoline, lower hygroscope and corrosive properties making it an attractive solution for gasoline replacement. Even if several studies have been conduced to characterize the n-butanol combustion within Spark Ignition engines, few data are available on atomization and spray behavior. This paper reports the results of an experimental investigation to characterize the velocity vector field of two fuel-sprays injected by a 6-hole nozzle for Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine. 2D Mie-scattering and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements were carried out in an optically accessible vessel at ambient temperature and pressure.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Ethanol-Gasoline Blends Combustion processes and Particle Emissions in a GDI/PFI Small Engine

The objective of this paper is the evaluation of the effect of the fuel properties and the comparison of a PFI and GDI injection system on the performances and on particle emission in a Spark Ignition engine. Experimental investigation was carried out in a small single cylinder engine for two wheel vehicles. The engine displacement was 250 cc. It was equipped with a prototype GDI head and also with an injector in the intake manifold. This makes it possible to run the engine both in GDI and PFI configurations. The engine was fuelled with neat gasoline and ethanol, and ethanol/gasoline blends at 10% v/v, 50% v/v and 85% v/v. The engine was equipped of a quartz pressure transducer that was flush-mounted in the region between intake and exhaust valves. Tests were carried out at 3000 rpm and 4000 rpm full load and two different lambda conditions. These engine points were chosen as representative of urban driving conditions.
Journal Article

Characterization of Knock Tendency and Onset in a GDI Engine by Means of Conventional Measurements and a Non-Conventional Flame Dynamics Optical Analysis

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) allows knock tendency reduction in spark-ignition engines mainly due to the cooling effect of the in-cylinder fuel evaporation. However, the charge formation and thus the injection timing and strategies deeply affect the flame propagation and consequently the knock occurrence probability and intensity. In particular, split injection allows a reduction of knock intensity by inducing different AFR gradient and turbulent energy distribution. Present work investigates the tendency to knock of a GDI engine at 1500 rpm full load under different injection strategies, single and double injections, obtained delivering the same amount of gasoline in two equal parts, the first during intake, the second during compression stroke. In these conditions, conventional and non-conventional measurements are performed on a 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, turbocharged GDI engine endowed of optical accesses to the combustion chamber.
Technical Paper

Combined Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the ECN Spray G under Different Engine-Like Conditions

A detailed understanding of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) techniques applied to spark-ignition (SI) engines is necessary as they allow for many technical advantages such as increased power output, higher fuel efficiency and better cold start performances. Within this context, the extensive validation of multi-dimensional models against experimental data is a fundamental task in order to achieve an accurate reproduction of the physical phenomena characterizing the injected fuel spray. In this work, simulations of different Engine Combustion Network (ECN) Spray G conditions were performed with the Lib-ICE code, which is based on the open source OpenFOAM technology, by using a RANS Eulerian-Lagrangian approach to model the ambient gas-fuel spray interaction.
Technical Paper

Combustion Process Investigation in a Small SI Engine using Optical Diagnostics

Nowadays an elevated number of two, three and four wheels vehicles circulating in the world-wide urban areas is equipped with Port Fuel Injection Spark Ignition (PFI SI) engines. Their technological level is high, but a further optimization is still possible, especially at low engine speed and high load. To this purpose, the scientific community is now focused on deepening the understanding of thermo fluid dynamic phenomena that takes place in this kind of engine: the final purpose is to find key points for the reduction in engine specific fuel consumption and exhaust emissions without a decrease in performance. In this work, the combustion process was investigated in an optically accessible single cylinder PFI SI engine. It was equipped with the head, injection device and exhaust line of a commercial small engine for two-wheel vehicles, it had the same geometrical characteristics in terms of bore, stroke and compression ratio.
Journal Article

Development of a RANS-Based Knock Model to Infer the Knock Probability in a Research Spark-Ignition Engine

Engine knock is one of the most limiting factors for modern Spark-Ignition (SI) engines to achieve high efficiency targets. The stochastic nature of knock in SI units hinders the predictive capability of RANS knock models, which are based on ensemble averaged quantities. To this aim, a knock model grounded in statistics was recently developed in the RANS formalism. The model is able to infer a presumed log-normal distribution of knocking cycles from a single RANS simulation by means of transport equations for variances and turbulence-derived probability density functions (PDFs) for physical quantities. As a main advantage, the model is able to estimate the earliest knock severity experienced when moving the operating condition into the knocking regime.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Thermal Behavior of a GDI Spray Impacting on a Heated Thin Foil by Phase-Averaged Infrared Thermography

The regulations about pollutant emissions imposed by Community’s laws encourage the investigation on the combustion optimization in modern engines and in particular in those adopting the gasoline direct injection (GDI) or direct injection spark-ignited (DISI) configuration. It is known that the piston head and cylinder surface temperatures, coupled with the fuel injection pressure, strongly influence the interaction between droplets of injected fluid and the impinged wall. In the present study, the Infrared (IR) thermography is applied to investigate the thermal footprint of an iso-octane spray generated by a multi-hole GDI injector impinging on a heated thin foil. The experimental apparatus includes an Invar foil (50 μm in thickness) heated by Joule effect, clamped within a rigid frame, and the GDI injector located 11 mm above the surface.
Technical Paper

Effect of Control Parameters in an Optical DISI Engine with Gasoline-Butanol Fueling

Effects of n-butanol on the combustion process in a direct injection spark ignition engine were investigated through flame visualization and spectroscopy. An optically accessible engine was equipped for the trials with a commercial cylinder head and wall guided injection system. Injection pressure (100 bar) and engine speed (2000 rpm) were fixed while injection timing and duration were changed to realise stoichiometric and lean fuelling in homogenous charge conditions. Specifically, UV-visible digital imaging was applied in order to study the flame front inception and propagation with particular interest in the early combustion stages. UV-visible natural emission spectroscopy was applied to investigate the formation and the evolution of the main chemical compounds characterizing the spark ignition and combustion processes. Detailed image processing allowed to correlate the morphology and the local flame front curvature with thermodynamic data.
Technical Paper

Effect of Hydrogen Enrichment on Flame Morphology and Combustion Evolution in a SI Engine Under Lean Burn Conditions

Uncertainty of fuel supply in the energy sector and environmental protection concerns have motivated studies on clean and renewable alternative fuels for vehicles as well as stationary applications. Among all fuel candidates, hydrogen is generally believed to be a promising alternative, with significant potential for a wide range of operating conditions. In this study, a comparison was carried out between CH4, two CH4/H2 blends and two mixtures of CO and H2, the last one taken as a reference composition representative of syngas. It is imperative to fully understand and characterize how these fuels behave in various conditions. In particular, a deep knowledge of how hydrogen concentrations affect the combustion process is necessary, given that it represents a fundamental issue for the optimization of internal combustion engines. To this aim, flame morphology and combustion stability were studied in a SI engine under lean burn conditions.