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Technical Paper

Assessment of the New Features of a Prototype High-Pressure “Hollow Cone Spray” Diesel Injector by Means of Engine Performance Characterization and Spray Visualization

The application of more efficient compression ignition combustion concepts requires advancement in terms of fuel injection technologies. The injector nozzle is the most critical component of the whole injection system for its impact on the combustion process. It is characterized by the number of holes, diameter, internal shape, and opening angle. The reduction of the nozzle hole diameter seems the simplest way to promote the atomization process but the number of holes must be increased to keep constant the injected fuel mass. This logic has been applied to the development of a new generation of injectors. First, the tendency to increase the nozzle number and to reduce the diameter has led to the replacement of the nozzle with a circular plate. The vertical movement of the needle generates an annulus area for the fuel delivery on 360 degrees, so controlling the atomization as a function of the vertical plate position.
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.
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

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.
Technical Paper

Correlation between Simulated Volume Fraction Burned Using a Quasi-Dimensional Model and Flame Area Measured in an Optically Accessible SI Engine

Multi-fuel operation is one of the main topics of investigative research in the field of internal combustion engines. Spark ignition (SI) power units are relatively easily adaptable to alternative liquid-as well as gaseous-fuels, with mixture preparation being the main modification required. Numerical simulations are used on an ever wider scale in engine research in order to reduce costs associated with experimental investigations. In this sense, quasi-dimensional models provide acceptable accuracy with reduced computational efforts. Within this context, the present study puts under scrutiny the assumption of spherical flame propagation and how calibration of a two-zone combustion simulation is affected when changing fuel type. A quasi-dimensional model was calibrated based on measured in-cylinder pressure, and numerical results related to the two-zone volumes were compared to recorded flame imaging.
Technical Paper

Design for an Optically Accessible Multicylinder High Performance GDI Engine

In this paper, the modifications realized to make optically accessible a commercial high performance spark ignition and direct injection (DI) 4-cylinder engine are reported. The engine has been designed trying to keep as much as possible its thermo-fluid dynamic configuration in order to maintain its performance and emissions. Two optical accesses have been realized in order to interfere as little as possible with the combustion chamber geometry. A first optical access has been achieved in the piston head and a second by inserting an endoscopic fiber probe in the head. Preliminary results demonstrated that this optical assessment responds to the design targets and allowed a characterization of a commercial GDI engine working with homogeneous and stratified charge mode.
Technical Paper

ECN Spray G Injector: Assessment of Numerical Modeling Accuracy

Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) is a leading technology for Spark Ignition (SI) engines: control of the injection process is a key to design the engine properly. The aim of this paper is a numerical investigation of the gasoline injection and the resulting development of plumes from an 8-hole Spray G injector into a quiescent chamber. A LES approach has been used to represent with high accuracy the mixing process between the injected fuel and the surrounding mixture. A Lagrangian approach is employed to model the liquid spray. The fuel, considered as a surrogate of gasoline, is the iso-octane which is injected into the high-pressure vessel filled with nitrogen. The numerical results have been compared against experimental data realized in the optical chamber. To reveal the geometry of plumes two different imaging techniques have been used in a quasi-simultaneous mode: Mie-scattering for the liquid phase and schlieren for the gaseous one.
Technical Paper

Emission Factors Evaluation in the RDE Context by a Multivariate Statistical Approach

The Real Driving Emission (RDE) procedure will measure the pollutants, such as NOx, emitted by cars while driven on the road. RDE will not replace laboratory tests, such as the current WLTP but it will be added to them. RDE is complementary to the laboratory-based procedure to check the pollutant emissions level of a light-duty vehicle in real driving conditions. This means that the car will be driven on a real road according to random acceleration and deceleration patterns conditioned by traffic flow. So, the procedure will ensure that cars deliver real emissions over on-road and so the currently observed differences between emissions measured in the laboratory and those measured on road under real-world conditions, will be reduced. However, the identification of a path on the road to check the test conditions of RDE is not easy and hardly repeatable.
Technical Paper

Experimental Analysis and CFD Simulation of GDI Sprays

Numerical and experimental analyses of hollow cone sprays generated by pressure-swirl injectors for Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engines have been performed. Spray characteristics have been measured by a gathering and processing system for spray images, including a CCD camera, a frame grabber and a pulsed sheet obtained by the second harmonic of Nd-YAG laser (wavelength 532 nm, width 12 ns, thickness 100 μm). A detailed spatial and temporal characterization of the emerging spray has been carried out showing interesting peculiarities of the jet for different operative conditions. Some results of a work in progress, aiming to select and to validate proper models for the spray development simulation are, also, discussed. Numerical calculations are based on the KIVA 3V code modified in basic spray sub models. Some important physical phenomena are captured in the computations at the backpressure of 0.1 MPa.
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 Characterization of Methane Direct Injection from an Outward-Opening Poppet-Valve Injector

The in-cylinder direct injection of natural gas can be a further step towards cleaner and more efficient internal combustion engines (ICE). However, the injector design and its characterization, both experimentally and by numerical simulation, is challenging because of the complex fluid dynamics related to gas compressibility and the small length scale. In this work, the under-expanded flow of methane from an outward-opening poppet-valve injector has been experimentally characterized by high-speed schlieren imaging. The investigation has been performed at ambient temperature and pressure and different nozzle pressure ratios (NPR) ranging from 10 to 18. The gaseous jet has been characterized in terms of its macroscale parameters. A scaling-law analysis of the results has been performed. The gas-dynamic structure at the nozzle exit has been also investigated.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Methane-Gasoline Dual-Fuel Combustion in a Small Displacement Optical Engine

In this paper the methane-gasoline dual fuel combustion was investigated. Gasoline was injected in the intake manifold (PFI fuel), while methane was injected in the combustion chamber (DI fuel), in order to reproduce a stratified combustion. The combustion process and the related engine performance and pollutant emissions were analyzed. The measurements were carried out in an optically accessible small single-cylinder four-stroke engine. It was equipped with the cylinder head of a commercial 250 cc engine representative of the most popular two-wheel vehicles in Europe. Optical measurements were performed to analyze the combustion process with high spatial and temporal resolution. In particular, optical techniques based on 2D-digital imaging were used to follow the flame front propagation and the soot and temperature concentration in the combustion chamber.
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.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Investigation in a Turbocharged GDI Engine Under Knock Condition by Means of Conventional and Non-Conventional Methods

The present paper deals with a comprehensive analysis of the knocking phenomenon through experiments and numerical simulations. Conventional and non-conventional measurements are performed on a 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, turbocharged GDI engine. The engine exhibits optical accesses to the combustion chamber. Imaging in the UV-visible range is carried out by means of a high spatial and temporal resolution camera through an endoscopic system and a transparent window in the piston head. This last is modified to allow the view of the whole combustion chamber almost until the cylinder walls, to include the so-called eng-gas zones. Optical data are correlated to in-cylinder pressure-based indicated analyses in a cycle resolved approach.
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

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Idle Operating Engine Condition for a GDI Engine

The increased limitations to both NOx and soot emissions have pushed engine researchers to rediscover gasoline engines. Among the many technologies and strategies, gasoline direct injection plays a key-role for improving fuel economy and engine performance. The paper aims to investigate an extremely complex task such as the idle operating engine condition when the engine runs at very low engine speeds and low engine loads and during the warm-up. Due to the low injection pressure and to the null contribution of the turbocharger, the engine condition is far from the standard points of investigation. Taking into account the warm-up engine condition, the analyses are performed with a temperature of the coolant of 50°C. The paper reports part of a combined numerical and experimental synergic activity aiming at the understanding of the physics of spray/wall interaction within the combustion chamber and particular care is used for air/fuel mixing and the combustion process analyses.
Technical Paper

Flash Boiling Evidences of a Multi-Hole GDI Spray under Engine Conditions by Mie-Scattering Measurements

During an injection process, a fluid undergoes a sudden pressure drop across the nozzle. If the pressure downstream the injector is below the saturation value of the fluid, superheated conditions are reached and thermodynamic instabilities realized. In internal combustion engines, flashing conditions greatly influence atomization and vaporization processes of a fuel as well as the mixture formation and combustion. This paper reports imaging behavior of a fuel under both flash boiling and non-flash boiling conditions. A GDI injector, eight-hole, 15.0 cc/s @ 10 MPa static flow, injected a single-component fluid (iso-octane), generating the spray. Experiments were carried out in an optically-accessible constant-volume quiescent vessel by Mie-scattering technique. A C-Mos high-speed camera was used to acquire cycle-resolved images of the spray evolving in the chamber filled with N2 which pressure ranged between 0.05 and 0.3 MPa.
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

Full-Cycle CFD Modeling of Air/Fuel Mixing Process in an Optically Accessible GDI Engine

This paper is focused on the development and application of a CFD methodology that can be applied to predict the fuel-air mixing process in stratified charge, sparkignition engines. The Eulerian-Lagrangian approach was used to model the spray evolution together with a liquid film model that properly takes into account its effects on the fuel-air mixing process into account. However, numerical simulation of stratified combustion in SI engines is a very challenging task for CFD modeling, due to the complex interaction of different physical phenomena involving turbulent, reacting and multiphase flows evolving inside a moving geometry. Hence, for a proper assessment of the different sub-models involved a detailed set of experimental optical data is required. To this end, a large experimental database was built by the authors.