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Journal Article

A Hydrogen Direct Injection Engine Concept that Exceeds U.S. DOE Light-Duty Efficiency Targets

Striving for sustainable transportation solutions, hydrogen is often identified as a promising energy carrier and internal combustion engines are seen as a cost effective consumer of hydrogen to facilitate the development of a large-scale hydrogen infrastructure. Driven by efficiency and emissions targets defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, a research team at Argonne National Laboratory has worked on optimizing a spark-ignited direct injection engine for hydrogen. Using direct injection improves volumetric efficiency and provides the opportunity to properly stratify the fuel-air mixture in-cylinder. Collaborative 3D-CFD and experimental efforts have focused on optimizing the mixture stratification and have demonstrated the potential for high engine efficiency with low NOx emissions. Performance of the hydrogen engine is evaluated in this paper over a speed range from 1000 to 3000 RPM and a load range from 1.7 to 14.3 bar BMEP.
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

Assessment of Multiple Injection Strategies in a Direct-Injection Hydrogen Research Engine

Hydrogen is widely considered a promising fuel for future transportation applications for both, internal combustion engines and fuel cells. Due to their advanced stage of development and immediate availability hydrogen combustion engines could act as a bridging technology towards a wide-spread hydrogen infrastructure. Although fuel cell vehicles are expected to surpass hydrogen combustion engine vehicles in terms of efficiency, the difference in efficiency might not be as significant as widely anticipated [1]. Hydrogen combustion engines have been shown capable of achieving efficiencies of up to 45 % [2]. One of the remaining challenges is the reduction of nitric oxide emissions while achieving peak engine efficiencies. This paper summarizes research work performed on a single-cylinder hydrogen direct injection engine at Argonne National Laboratory.
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

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.
Technical Paper

Effects of Ignition and Injection Perturbation under Lean and Dilute GDI Engine Operation

Turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines are quickly becoming more prominent in light-duty automotive applications because of their potential improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. While EGR dilute and lean operation serve as potential pathways to further improve efficiencies and emissions in GDI engines, they also pose challenges for stable engine operation. Tests were performed on a single-cylinder research engine that is representative of current automotive-style GDI engines. Baseline cases were performed under steady-state operating conditions where combustion phasing and dilution were varied to determine the effects on indicated efficiency and combustion stability. Sensitivity studies were then carried out by introducing binary low-high perturbation of spark timing and injection duration on a cycle-by-cycle basis under EGR dilute and lean operation to determine dominant feedback mechanisms.
Technical Paper

Efficiency Improved Combustion System for Hydrogen Direct Injection Operation

This paper reports on research activities aiming to improve the efficiency of direct injected, hydrogen powered internal combustion engines. In a recent major change in the experimental setup the hydrogen single cylinder research engine at Argonne National Laboratory was upgraded to a new engine geometry providing increased compression ratio and a longer piston stroke compared to its predecessor. The higher compression ratio and the more advantageous volume to surface ratio of the combustion chamber are both intended to improve the overall efficiency of the experimental setup. Additionally, a new series of faster acting, piezo-activated injectors is used with the new engine providing increased flexibility for the optimization of DI injection strategies. This study focuses on the comparison of experimental data of the baseline versus the improved single cylinder research engine for similar engine operating conditions.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Diesel Spray-Wall Interaction and Morphology around Impingement Location

The necessity to study spray-wall interaction in internal combustion engines is driven by the evidence that fuel sprays impinge on chamber and piston surfaces resulting in the formation of wall films. This, in turn, may influence the air-fuel mixing and increase the hydrocarbon and particulate matter emissions. This work reports an experimental and numerical study on spray-wall impingement and liquid film formation in a constant volume combustion vessel. Diesel and n-heptane were selected as test fuels and injected from a side-mounted single-hole diesel injector at injection pressures of 120, 150, and 180 MPa on a flat transparent window. Ambient and plate temperatures were set at 423 K, the fuel temperature at 363 K, and the ambient densities at 14.8, 22.8, and 30 kg/m3. Simultaneous Mie scattering and schlieren imaging were carried out in the experiment to perform a visual tracking of the spray-wall interaction process from different perspectives.
Journal Article

Influence of injection strategy in a high-efficiency hydrogen direct injection engine

Energy security and climate change are two of the main drivers for development of sustainable and renewable transportation solutions. Entities around the globe have been working on strategic plans to reduce energy consumption and curb greenhouse gas emissions. In this context hydrogen is frequently mentioned as the fuel and energy carrier of the future. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) Program has identified hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as an important mid-term technology on the path to a large-scale hydrogen economy. DOE has set challenging goals for hydrogen internal combustion engines including 45% peak brake thermal efficiency (BTE). This paper summarizes recent research engine test results employing hydrogen direct injection with different injection strategies.
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.
Journal Article

Mixture Formation in Direct Injection Hydrogen Engines: CFD and Optical Analysis of Single- and Multi-Hole Nozzles

This paper describes the validation of a CFD code for mixture preparation in a direct injection hydrogen-fueled engine. The cylinder geometry is typical of passenger-car sized spark-ignited engines, with a centrally located injector. A single-hole and a 13-hole nozzle are used at about 100 bar and 25 bar injection pressure. Numerical results from the commercial code Fluent (v6.3.35) are compared to measurements in an optically accessible engine. Quantitative planar laser-induced fluorescence provides phase-locked images of the fuel mole-fraction, while single-cycle visualization of the early jet penetration is achieved by a high-speed schlieren technique. The characteristics of the computational grids are discussed, especially for the near-nozzle region, where the jets are under-expanded. Simulation of injection from the single-hole nozzle yields good agreement between numerical and optical results in terms of jet penetration and overall evolution.
Technical Paper

Modeling Heat Loss through Pistons and Effect of Thermal Boundary Coatings in Diesel Engine Simulations using a Conjugate Heat Transfer Model

Heat loss through wall boundaries play a dominant role in the overall performance and efficiency of internal combustion engines. Typical engine simulations use constant temperature wall boundary conditions [1, 2, 3]. These boundary conditions cannot be estimated accurately from experiments due to the complexities involved with engine combustion. As a result, they introduce a large uncertainty in engine simulations and serve as a tuning parameter. Modeling the process of heat transfer through the solid walls in an unsteady engine computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation can lead to the development of higher fidelity engine models. These models can be used to study the impact of heat loss on engine efficiency and explore new design methodologies that can reduce heat losses. In this work, a single cylinder diesel engine is modeled along with the solid piston coupled to the fluid domain.
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.
Technical Paper

Multi-dimensional Modeling of Non-equilibrium Plasma for Automotive Applications

While spark-ignition (SI) engine technology is aggressively moving towards challenging (dilute and boosted) combustion regimes, advanced ignition technologies generating non-equilibrium types of plasma are being considered by the automotive industry as a potential replacement for the conventional spark-plug technology. However, there are currently no models that can describe the low-temperature plasma (LTP) ignition process in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes that are typically used in the multi-dimensional engine modeling community. A key question for the engine modelers that are trying to describe the non-equilibrium ignition physics concerns the plasma characteristics. A key challenge is also represented by the plasma formation timescale (nanoseconds) that can hardly be resolved within a full engine cycle simulation.
Technical Paper

Numerical Analysis of Fuel Impacts on Advanced Compression Ignition Strategies for Multi-Mode Internal Combustion Engines

Multi-mode combustion strategies may provide a promising pathway to improve thermal efficiency in light-duty spark ignition (SI) engines by enabling switchable combustion modes, wherein an engine may operate under advanced compression ignition (ACI) at low load and spark-assisted ignition at high load. The extension from the SI mode to the ACI mode requires accurate control of intake charge conditions; e.g., pressure, temperature and equivalence ratio, in order to achieve stable combustion phasing and rapid mode-switches. This study presents results from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to gain physical insights into mixture charge formation and combustion dynamics pertaining to auto-ignition processes.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Combustion in a Lean Burn Gasoline Engine

This research effort focuses on lean-burn combustion in gasoline internal combustion engines. Gasoline is largely known to be characterized by narrow flammability range, which makes the use of ultra-lean mixtures very challenging. In order to fully explore the gasoline lean burn potential, a promising strategy should combine advanced intake geometries, injection strategies, and ignition technologies. In this paper, a CFD methodology is developed in order to provide proper insight into lean-burn gasoline combustion. A baseline homogenous/lean case is analyzed and numerical results are validated against engine data. Two critical issues are addressed. First, a relatively large detailed mechanism is validated against the experimental data for extreme operating conditions (low pressure values, lean mixtures). The large cycle-to-cycle variation characterizing lean combustion is shown experimentally.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Spark Ignition Events in Lean and Dilute Methane/Air Mixtures Using a Detailed Energy Deposition Model

It is beneficial but challenging to operate spark-ignition engines under highly lean and dilute conditions. The unstable ignition behavior can result in downgraded combustion performance in engine cylinders. Numerical approach is serving as a promising tool to identify the ignition requirements by providing insight into the complex physical/chemical phenomena. An effort to simulate the early stage of flame kernel initiation in lean and dilute fuel/air mixture has been made and discussed in this paper. The simulations are set to validate against laboratory results of spark ignition behavior in a constant volume combustion vessel. In order to present a practical as well as comprehensive ignition model, the simulations are performed by taking into consideration the discharge circuit analysis, the detailed reaction mechanism, and local heat transfer between the flame kernel and spark plug.
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.