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Technical Paper

Analysis of the Cooling Plant of a High Performance Motorbike Engine

This paper is based on a Research Project of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (DiME) in collaboration with Aprilia, the Italian motorbike manufacturer. In an attempt to simulate the functioning of the cooling plant of the Aprilia RSV-4 motorbike a numerical model was constructed using mono-dimensional and three-dimensional simulation codes. Our ultimate aim was to create a simulation model which could be of assistance to engine designers to improve cooling plant performance, thereby reducing research and development costs. The model allows to simulate the running conditions of the whole cooling circuit upon variations in environmental and running conditions. In particular, the centrifugal pump of the cooling plant was simulated by a 3D commercial software, while the whole circuit was built by a 1D commercial code which allows simulation of all the thermal exchanges and pressure drops in the cooling circuit.
Journal Article

Balancing Hydraulic Flow and Fuel Injection Parameters for Low-Emission and High-Efficiency Automotive Diesel Engines

The introduction of new light-duty vehicle emission limits to comply under real driving conditions (RDE) is pushing the diesel engine manufacturers to identify and improve the technologies and strategies for further emission reduction. The latest technology advancements on the after-treatment systems have permitted to achieve very low emission conformity factors over the RDE, and therefore, the biggest challenge of the diesel engine development is maintaining its competitiveness in the trade-off “CO2-system cost” in comparison to other propulsion systems. In this regard, diesel engines can continue to play an important role, in the short-medium term, to enable cost-effective compliance of CO2-fleet emission targets, either in conventional or hybrid propulsion systems configuration. This is especially true for large-size cars, SUVs and light commercial vehicles.
Technical Paper

CFD Modeling and Validation of the ECN Spray G Experiment under a Wide Range of Operating Conditions

The increasing diffusion of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines requires a more detailed and reliable description of the phenomena occurring during the fuel injection process. As well known the thermal and fluid-dynamic conditions present in the combustion chamber greatly influence the air-fuel mixture process deriving from GDI injectors. GDI fuel sprays typically evolve in wide range of ambient pressure and temperatures depending on the engine load. In some particular injection conditions, when in-cylinder pressure is relatively low, flash evaporation might occur significantly affecting the fuel-air mixing process. In some other particular injection conditions spray impingement on the piston wall might occur, causing high unburned hydrocarbons and soot emissions, so currently representing one of the main drawbacks of GDI engines.
Technical Paper

Chaos Theory Approach as Advanced Technique for GDI Spray Analysis

The paper reports an innovative method of analysis based on an advanced statistical techniques applied to images captured by a high-speed camera that allows highlighting phenomena and anomalies hardly detectable by conventional optical diagnostic techniques. The images, previously elaborated by neural network tools in order for clearly identifying the contours, have been analyzed in their time evolution as pseudo-chaotic variables that may have internal periodic components. In addition to the Fourier analysis, tools as Lyapunov and Hurst exponents and average Kω permitted to detect the chaos level of the signals. The use of this technique has permitted to distinguish periodic oscillations from chaotic variations and to detect those parameters that actually determine the spray behavior.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Combustion and Emissions of a Propane-Diesel Blend in a Research Diesel Engine

The interest of the vehicle producers in fulfillment emission legislations without adopting after treatment systems is driving to the use of non-conventional energy sources for modern engines. A previous test campaign dealing with the use of blends of diesel and propane in a CI engine has pointed out the potential of this non-conventional fuel for diesel engines. The soft adaptation of the common rail injection system and the potential benefits, in terms of engine performances and pollutant emissions, encourage the use of propane-diesel blends if an optimization of the injection strategies is performed. In this work, the performances of a propane-diesel mixture in a research diesel engine have been investigated. The injection strategies of Euro 5 calibration have been used as reference for the development of optimized strategies. The aim of the optimization process was to ensure the same engine power output and reduce the pollutant emissions.
Journal Article

Development of Chemistry-Based Laminar Flame Speed Correlation for Part-Load SI Conditions and Validation in a GDI Research Engine

The detailed study of part-load conditions is essential to characterize engine-out emissions in key operating conditions. The relevance of part-load operations is further emphasized by the recent regulations such as the new WLTP standard. Combustion development at part-load operations depends on a complex interplay between moderate turbulence levels (low engine speed and tumble ratio), low in-cylinder pressure and temperature, and stoichiometric-to-lean mixture quality (to maximize fuel efficiency). From a modelling standpoint, the reduced turbulence intensity compared to full-load operations complicates the interaction between different sub-models (e.g., reconsideration of the flamelet hypothesis adopted by common combustion models). In this article, the authors focus on chemistry-based simulations for laminar flame speed of gasoline surrogates at conditions typical of part-load operations. The analysis is an extension of a previous study focused on full-load operations.
Journal Article

Experimental Characterization of High-Pressure Impinging Sprays for CFD Modeling of GDI Engines

Today, Direct-Injection systems are widely used on Spark-Ignition engines in combination with turbo-charging to reduce the fuel-consumption and the knock risks. In particular, the spread of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) systems is mainly related to the use of new generations of multi-hole, high-pressure injectors whose characteristics are quite different with respect to the hollow-cone, low-pressure injectors adopted in the last decade. This paper presents the results of an experimental campaign conducted on the spray produced by a GDI six-holes injector into a constant volume vessel with optical access. The vessel was filled with air at atmospheric pressure. Different operating conditions were considered for an injection pressure ranging from 3 to 20 MPa. For each operating condition, spray images were acquired by a CCD camera and then post processed to evaluate the spray penetration and cone angles.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Characterization of Diesel Injection in Single-Cylinder Research Engine with Rate Shaping Strategy

The management of multiple injections in compression ignition (CI) engines is one of the most common ways to increase engine performance by avoiding hardware modifications and after-treatment systems. Great attention is given to the profile of the injection rate since it controls the fuel delivery in the cylinder. The Injection Rate Shaping (IRS) is a technique that aims to manage the quantity of injected fuel during the injection process via a proper definition of the injection timing (injection duration and dwell time). In particular, it consists in closer and centered injection events and in a split main injection with a very small dwell time. From the experimental point of view, the performance of an IRS strategy has been studied in an optical CI engine. In particular, liquid and vapor phases of the injected fuel have been acquired via visible and infrared imaging, respectively. Injection parameters, like penetration and cone angle have been determined and analyzed.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of High-Pressure Diesel Sprays with Multiple Injections at Engine Conditions

A numerical methodology to simulate the high pressure spray evolution and the fuel-air mixing in diesel engines is presented. Attention is focused on the employed atomization model, a modified version of the Huh and Gosman, on the definition of a turbulence length scale limiter and of an adaptive local mesh refinement technique to minimize the result grid dependency. All the discussed models were implemented into Lib-ICE, which is a set of libraries and solvers, specifically tailored for engine simulations, which runs under the open-source CFD technology OpenFOAM®. To provide a comprehensive assessment of the proposed methodology, the validation procedure consisted into simulating, with a unique and coherent setup of all models, two different sets of experiments: a non-evaporating diesel fuel spray in a constant-volume vessel with optical access and an evaporating non-reacting diesel fuel spray in an optical engine.
Technical Paper

Fuel Cell Propulsion System for Urban Bus Application

This paper presents the experimental results obtained on Fuel Cell System designed and realized in Istituto Motori and based on 16 kW PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) stack. This activity is part of the HBUS Project, whose goal is the realization of a midi-bus for public transportation in urban areas based on fuel cell technology. This Project involves several private and public partners, comprising Istituto Motori as research institution, I2T3 (Industrial Innovation Through Technological Transfer) agency for technological innovation and project management, together with public transportation companies and vehicle component makers.
Journal Article

Functional Requirements to Exceed the 100 kW/l Milestone for High Power Density Automotive Diesel Engines

The paper describes the challenges and results achieved in developing a new high-speed Diesel combustion system capable of exceeding the imaginative threshold of 100 kW/l. High-performance, state-of-art prototype components from automotive diesel technology were provided in order to set-up a single-cylinder research engine demonstrator. Key design parameters were identified in terms boost, engine speed, fuel injection pressure and injector nozzle flow rates. In this regard, an advanced piezo injection system capable of 3000 bar of maximum injection pressure was selected, coupled to a robust base engine featuring ω-shaped combustion bowl and low swirl intake ports. The matching among the above-described elements has been thoroughly examined and experimentally parameterized.
Technical Paper

Fuzzy Logic Approach to GDI Spray Characterization

Advanced numerical techniques, such as fuzzy logic and neural networks have been applied in this work to digital images acquired on a mono-component fuel spray (iso-octane), in order to define, in a stochastic way, the gas-liquid interface evolution. The image is a numerical matrix and so it is possible to characterize geometrical parameters and the time evolution of the jet by using deterministic, statistical stochastic and other several kinds of approach. The algorithm used works with the fuzzy logic concept to binarize the shades gray of the pixel, depending them, by using the schlieren technique, on the gas density. Starting from a primary fixed threshold, the applied technique, can select the ‘gas’ pixel from the ‘liquid’ pixel and so it is possible define the first most probably boundary lines of the spray.
Technical Paper

GDI Spray-Wall Interaction with Numerical Characterization: Wall Temperature Influence

The work analyses, from both an experimental and a numerical point of view, the impingement of a spray generated from a GDI injector on a hot solid wall. The temperature of the surface is identified as an important parameter affecting the outcome after impact. A gasoline spray issuing from a customized single-hole injector is characterized in a quiescent optically-accessible vessel as it impacts on an aluminum plate placed at 22.5 mm from the injector tip. Optical investigations are carried out at atmospheric back-pressure by a direct schlieren optical set-up using a LED as light source. A synchronized C-Mos high-speed camera captures cycle-resolved images of the evolving impact. The spatial and temporal evolution of the liquid and vapor phases are derived. They serve to define a data base to be used for the validation of a properly formulated 3D CFD model suitable to describe the impact of the fuel on the piston head in a real engine.
Technical Paper

High-Speed Imaging of a Vaporizing GDI Spray: A Comparison between Schlieren, Shadowgraph, DBI and Scattering

Isooctane sprays from a multi-hole GDI injector were investigated in a constant volume chamber by means of high speed imaging techniques. The tests were performed under inert conditions (nitrogen), at temperatures and densities ranging between representative operating conditions of late injection, flash boiling and early injection in a GDI engine. The global parameters of the sprays were obtained by processing Schlieren, Shadowgraph, DBI and Mie-scattering images through an in-house image processing method. Thus, the boundaries of the spray vapor phase can be easily detected with great accuracy, regardless of whether Schlieren or the less sensitive shadowgraph imaging is used. Furthermore, the boundaries of the liquid phase were also obtained from shadowgraph images and compared with those obtained through DBI and scattering. The results show that the signature of the liquid phase in a shadowgraph image can be distinguished from that of the vaporized fuel.
Technical Paper

Imaging and Vibro-Acoustic Diagnostic Techniques Comparison for a GDI Fuel Injector

This work presents the results of an experimental investigation on a GDI injector, in order to analyze fuel injection process and atomization phenomenon, correlating imaging and vibro-acoustic diagnostic techniques. A single-hole, axially-disposed, 0.200 mm diameter GDI injector was used to spray commercial gasoline in a test chamber at room temperature and atmospheric backpressure. The explored injection pressures were ranged from 5.0 to 20.0 MPa. Cycle-resolved acquisitions of the spray evolution were acquired by a high-speed camera. Simultaneously, the vibro-acoustic response of the injector was evaluated. More in detail, noise data acquired by a microphone sensor were analyzed for characterizing the acoustic emission of the injection, while a spherical loudspeaker was used to excite the spray injection at a proper distance detecting possible fuel spray resonance phenomena.
Technical Paper

In-Cylinder Spectroscopic Measurements of Combustion Process in a SI Engine Fuelled with Butanol-Gasoline Blend

In-cylinder optical diagnostic was applied to study butanol-gasoline blend combustion in a SI engine. Spark timing and fuel injection mode were changed to work in normal and knocking conditions. The experiments were realized in a single-cylinder ported fuel injection SI engine with an external boosting device. The engine worked like-stoichiometric mixture at 2000 rpm, medium boosting and wide open throttle. UV-visible natural emission spectroscopy allowed to follow the formation and the evolution of the main compounds and radical species that characterize the combustion process from the spark ignition until the exhaust. Particular interest was devoted to OH and CO₂* evolution, and to the spectral evidence of soot precursors due to fuel deposits burning. OH resulted the best marker for combustion both in normal and abnormal conditions.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation on GDI Spray under High Injection Pressure up to 100 MPa

In recent years, the increase of gasoline fuel injection pressure is a way to improve thermal efficiency and lower engine-out emissions in GDI homogenous combustion concept. The challenge of controlling particulate formation as well in mass and number concentrations imposed by emissions regulations can be pursued improving the mixture preparation process and avoiding mixture inhomogeneity with ultra-high injection pressure values up to 100 MPa. The increase of the fuel injection pressure in GDI homogeneous systems meets the demand for increased injector static flow, while simultaneously improves the spray atomization and mixing characteristics with consequent better combustion performance. Few studies quantify the effects of high injection pressure on transient gasoline spray evolution. The aim of this work was to simulate with OpenFOAM the spray morphology of a commercial gasoline injected in a constant volume vessel by a prototypal GDI injector.
Technical Paper

Optical Investigation of Post-injection Strategy Impact on the Fuel Vapor within the Exhaust Line of a Light Duty Diesel Engine Supplied with Biodiesel Blends

Multi-wavelength ultraviolet-visible extinction spectroscopy was applied to follow the evolution of fuel vapor injected by post-injection along the exhaust line of a common-rail turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine at moderate speed and load. The exhaust line was specifically designed and customized to allow the insertion of the optical access upstream of the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst. During the experimental campaign, the engine was fuelled with commercial B5 fuel and a B30 v/v blend of RME and ultra low sulfur diesel, monitoring emissions upstream of the catalyst and exhaust gas temperature across the catalyst. Tests were performed at different engine operating conditions with particular attention to moderate speed and load.
Technical Paper

Optical Properties Investigation of Alternative Fuels Containing Carbon-Based Nanostructures

Liquids with stable suspensions of nanoscale materials are defined as nanofluids. As reported in recent scientific literature, a very small amount of suspended nanostructures has the potential to enhance the thermo physical, transport and radiative properties of the base fluid. One of the main applications of this technology is in the field of combustion and fuels. In fact, adding nanomaterials (such as metals, oxides, carbides, nitrides, or carbon-based nanostructures) to liquid fuels is able to enhance ignition and combustion. The focus of this research is to gain a fundamental understanding of the characteristics of a nanofluid fuel prepared using carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) dispersed in butanol. This study starts with the investigation of the optical properties of the mixtures. The transmission spectra of the nanofluids are measured in a wide wavelength range from UV (250 nm) to near IR (800 nm).
Technical Paper

Spatial-Temporal Characterization of Alternative Fuel Sprays from a Second-Generation Common-Rail Fuel Injection System for Euro4 Passenger Car Application

GM Powertrain Europe and Istituto Motori CNR have undergone a research project aimed at studying the effects on engine performance, emissions and fuel consumption of alternative diesel fuels, from both first (FAME) and second (GTL) generation. The present paper reports some of the results achieved studying the impact on injection and spray behavior of rapeseed and soybean methyl-esters, as well as of GTL diesel blends. The test were performed on a Bosch second generation common rail solenoid-driven fuel injection system capable of 1600bar maximum injection pressure, fitted on GM 1.9L Euro4 diesel engine for passenger cars. The characterization of the injection process has been carried out in terms both of fuel injection rate, as well as of spatial and temporal fuel distribution in a quiescent non-evaporative optically accessible chamber.