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Journal Article

A 1D/Quasi-3D Coupled Model for the Simulation of I.C. Engines: Development and Application of an Automatic Cell-Network Generator

Nowadays quasi-3D approaches are included in many commercial and research 1D numerical codes, in order to increase their simulation accuracy in presence of complex shape 3D volumes, e.g. plenums and silencers. In particular, these are regarded as valuable approaches for application during the design phase of an engine, for their capability of predicting non-planar waves motion and, on the other hand, for their low requirements in terms of computational runtime. However, the generation of a high-quality quasi-3D computational grid is not always straightforward, especially in case of complex elements, and can be a time-consuming operation, making the quasi-3D tool a less attractive option. In this work, a quasi-3D module has been implemented on the basis of the open-source CFD code OpenFOAM and coupled with the 1D code GASDYN.
Journal Article

A Comparison of Experimental and Modeled Velocity in Gasoline Direct-Injection Sprays with Plume Interaction and Collapse

Modeling plume interaction and collapse for direct-injection gasoline sprays is important because of its impact on fuel-air mixing and engine performance. Nevertheless, the aerodynamic interaction between plumes and the complicated two-phase coupling of the evaporating spray has shown to be notoriously difficult to predict. With the availability of high-speed (100 kHz) Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) experimental data, we compare velocity field predictions between plumes to observe the full temporal evolution leading up to plume merging and complete spray collapse. The target “Spray G” operating conditions of the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) is the focus of the work, including parametric variations in ambient gas temperature. We apply both LES and RANS spray models in different CFD platforms, outlining features of the spray that are most critical to model in order to predict the correct aerodynamics and fuel-air mixing.
Technical Paper

A Comprehensive Model to Predict the Initial Stage of Combustion in SI Engines

A correct prediction of the initial stages of the combustion process in SI engines is of great importance to understand how local flow conditions, fuel properties, mixture stratification and ignition affect the in-cylinder pressure development and pollutant formation. However, flame kernel growth is governed by many interacting processes including energy transfer from the electrical circuit to the gas phase, interaction between the plasma channel and the flow field, transition between different combustion regimes and gas expansion at very high temperatures. In this work, the authors intend to present a comprehensive, multi-dimensional model that can be used to predict the initial combustion stages in SI engines. In particular, the spark channel is represented by a set of Lagrangian particles where each one of them acts as a single flame kernel.
Technical Paper

A LES Study on the Evolution of Turbulent Structures in Moving Engine Geometries by an Open-Source CFD Code

The dynamics and evolution of turbulent structures inside an engine-like geometry are investigated by means of Large Eddy Simulation. A simplified configuration consisting of a flat-top cylinder head with a fixed, axis-centered valve and low-speed piston has been simulated by the finite volume CFD code OpenFOAM®; the standard version of the software has been extended to include the compressible WALE subgrid-scale model, models for the generation of synthetic turbulence, some improvements to the mesh motion strategy and algorithms for LES data post-processing. In order to study both the initial transient and the quasi- steady operating conditions, ten complete engine cycles have been simulated. Phase and spatial averages have been performed over cycles three to ten in order to extract first and second moment of velocity; these quantities have then been used to validate the numerical procedure by comparison against experimental data.
Technical Paper

A New Electric Powertrain for Light Trucks: Indoor Testing and Advanced Simulation

A new electric powertrain and axle for light/medium trucks is presented. The indoor testing and the simulation of the dynamic behavior are performed. The powertrain and axle has been produced by Streparava and tested at the Laboratory for the Safety of Transport of the Politecnico di Milano. The tests were aimed at defining the multi-physics perfomance of the powertrain and axle (efficiency, acceleration and braking, temperature and NVH). The whole system for indoor tests was composed by the powertrain and axle (electric motor, driveline, suspensions, wheels) and by the test rig (drums, driveline and electric motor). The (driving) axle was positioned on a couple of drums, and the drums provided the proper torques to the wheels to reproduce acceleration and braking. Additionally a cleat fixed on one drum excited the vibration of the suspensions and allowed assessing NVH performance. The simulations were based on a special co-simulation between 1D-AMESIM and VIRTUAL.LAB.
Journal Article

A Progress Review on Soot Experiments and Modeling in the Engine Combustion Network (ECN)

The 4th Workshop of the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) was held September 5-6, 2015 in Kyoto, Japan. This manuscript presents a summary of the progress in experiments and modeling among ECN contributors leading to a better understanding of soot formation under the ECN “Spray A” configuration and some parametric variants. Relevant published and unpublished work from prior ECN workshops is reviewed. Experiments measuring soot particle size and morphology, soot volume fraction (fv), and transient soot mass have been conducted at various international institutions providing target data for improvements to computational models. Multiple modeling contributions using both the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) Equations approach and the Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) approach have been submitted. Among these, various chemical mechanisms, soot models, and turbulence-chemistry interaction (TCI) methodologies have been considered.
Technical Paper

A Review of the State of the Art of Electric Traction Motors Cooling Techniques

This paper provides a review on state-of-art modern cooling systems employed for thermal cooling of electric motors for vehicle applications. In recent years, the pursue of a more sustainable and ecofriendly mobility has pushed the research towards the development of electric vehicle powertrain systems. Besides the evident advantages of the adoption of electric traction systems in terms of pollution and efficiency, the need of an effective cooling system for the electric machine components gained more and more importance in order to maintain high efficiency and ensure high durability. In fact, it is known that high temperatures can be harmful for the electric motor: besides the evident damages for mechanical parts, the influence on the permanent magnet properties is not negligible [1] [2]. In this fast-evolving environment, different solutions for the thermal problem have been researched and adopted, each one with its own pros and cons.
Journal Article

A Scale Adaptive Filtering Technique for Turbulence Modeling of Unsteady Flows in IC Engines

Swirling flows are very dominant in applied technical problems, especially in IC engines, and their prediction requires rather sophisticated modeling. An adaptive low-pass filtering procedure for the modeled turbulent length and time scales is derived and applied to Menter' original k - ω SST turbulence model. The modeled length and time scales are compared to what can potentially be resolved by the computational grid and time step. If the modeled scales are larger than the resolvable scales, the resolvable scales will replace the modeled scales in the formulation of the eddy viscosity; therefore, the filtering technique helps the turbulence model to adapt in accordance with the mesh resolution and the scales to capture.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Analysis of an Unmanned Cyclogiro Aircraft

Very little is currently known of the aerodynamic interaction between neighboring cycloidal rotors. Such knowledge is, however, of crucial importance to tune the controller and rotor disposition of a cyclogiro aircraft. Thus, a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is developed, validated, and used to analyze the D-Dalus L1 four-rotor unmanned aircraft operating under several configurations. The model solves the Euler equations using the OpenFOAM toolbox in order to provide fast results on a desktop computer. Validation is performed against thrust forces and flow streamlines obtained during wind tunnel experiments at various flight velocities. Numerical results from CFD match the trends of the experimental data. Flow behavior matches the video footage of the wind tunnel tests. Although boundary layer effects are neglected, satisfactory results are obtained both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Technical Paper

An Extension of the Dynamic Mesh Handling with Topological Changes for LES of ICE in OpenFOAM®

The paper focuses on the development of a mesh moving method based on non-conformal topologically changing grids applied to the simulation of IC engines, where the prescribed motion of piston and valves is accomplished by rigidly translating the sub-domain representing the moving component. With respect to authors previous work, a more robust and efficient algorithm to handle the connectivity of non-conformal interfaces and a mesh-motion solver supporting multiple layer addition/removal of cells, to decouple the time-step constraints of the mesh motion and of the fluid dynamics, has been implemented as a C++ library to extend the already existing classes for dynamic mesh handling of the finite-volume, open-source CFD code OpenFOAM®. Other new features include automatic decomposition of large multiple region domains to preserve processors load balance with topological changes for parallel computations and additional tools for automatic preprocessing and case setup.
Technical Paper

Application of Derivative-Free Search Algorithms for Performance Optimization of Spark Ignition Engines

This paper exploits the possibilities of achieving an efficient performance optimization methodology to be applied to different spark ignition engine configurations. The objective of the task described here is to determine the combination of parameters which provides the highest volumetric efficiency and effective torque. The definition of general strategy requires first the identification and grouping of the geometric and operating variables to be optimized (duct diameters and lengths, valve timing, spark advance, etc…). The high number of possibilities entails critical choices to reduce, from an engineering design point of view before than from a mathematical point of view, the required computational time. Once proper thermo-fluid dynamic decisions are taken, the most efficient optimization methodology is required. The application of Design of Experiments techniques allows to screen the design space and give a first estimation of the optimal point.
Technical Paper

Automatic Mech Generation for Full-Cycle CFD Modeling of IC Engines: Application to the TCC Test Case

The definition of a robust methodology to perform a full-cycle CFD simulation of IC engines requires as first step the availability of a reliable grid generation tool, which does not only have to guarantee a high quality mesh but also has to prove to be efficient in terms of required time. In this work the authors discuss a novel approach entirely based on the OpenFOAM technology, in which the available 3D grid generator was employed to automatically create meshes containing hexahedra and split-hexahedra from triangulated surface geometries in Stereolithography (STL) format. The possibility to introduce local refinements and boundary layers makes this tool suitable for IC engine simulations. Grids are sequentially generated at target crank angles which are automatically determined depending on user specified settings such as maximum mesh validity interval and quality parameters like non-orthogonality, skewness and aspect ratio.
Technical Paper

CFD Investigation of the Impact of Electrical Heating on the Light-off of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst

In the last years, as a response to the more and more restrictive emission legislation, new devices (SRC, DOC, NOx-trap, DPF) have been progressively introduced as standard components of modern after-treatment system for Diesel engines. In addition, the adoption of electrical heating is nowadays regarded with interest as an effective solution to promote the light-off of the catalyst at low temperature, especially at the start-up of the engine and during the low load operation of the engine typical of the urban drive. In this work, a state-of-the-art 48 V electrical heated catalyst is considered, in order to investigate its effect in increasing the abatement efficiency of a standard DOC. The electrical heating device considered is based on a metallic support, arranged in a spiral layout, and it is heated by the Joule effect due to the passage of the electrical current.
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

CFD Modelling of Gasoline Sprays

A comprehensive model for sprays emerging from high pressure swirl injectors for GDI engine application has been developed. The primary and secondary atomization mechanism as well as the evaporation process both in standard and superheated conditions are taken into account. The spray modelling after the injection is based on the Liquid Instability Sheet Atomization (LISA) approach, modified to correctly predict the liquid sheet thickness at the breakup length. The effect of different values of the superheat degree on evaporation and impact on the spray distribution and fuel-air mixing is analyzed. Comparisons with experimental data show good agreements under atmospheric conditions and with different superheated degrees, while some discrepancies occur under higher ambient pressures.
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

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

Crash Performance of Rtm Composites for Automotive Applications

This paper describes the experimental activity carried out at Aerospace Engineering Department of Politecnico di Milano about energy absorption capability of glass-epoxy RTM specimens, representative of automotive crash front structure sub-components. After the analysis of some automotive crashworthiness aspects, especially relevant to the structural adoption of composite materials, the specimen used and the technological route to produce them are described. Then experimental arrangements, test procedure and measurement technique, relevant to static and crash test are presented. Finally test results, reported in the form of numerical values, diagrams and high-velocity films are shown and critically commented.
Technical Paper

Design and Construction of a Test Rig for Assessing Tyre Characteristics at Rollover

The paper presents a new test rig (named RuotaVia) composed basically by a drum (2,6 m diameter), providing a running contact surface for vehicle wheels. A number of measurements on either full vehicles or vehicle sub-systems (single suspension system or single tyre) can be performed. Tire characteristics influencing rollover can be assessed. The steady-state maximum loads are as follows: Radial: 100kN, tangential: 100kN, lateral (axial with respect to the drum): 100kN. The superstructure carrying a measuring hub can excite the wheel under test up to 20 Hz in lateral and vertical directions. The steer angle range is ± 25 deg, the camber range is ± 80 deg. The minimum eigenfrequency of the drum is higher than 90 Hz and its maximum tangential speed is 440 km/h.
Technical Paper

Design and Evaluation of the ELEVATE Two-stroke Automotive Engine

ELEVATE (European Low Emission V4 Automotive Two-stroke Engine) was a research project part funded by the European Commission to design and develop a compact and efficient gasoline two-stroke automotive engine. Five partners were involved in the project, IFP (Institut Français Du Pétrole) who were the project leaders, Lotus, Opcon (Autorotor and SEM), Politecnico di Milano and Queen's University Belfast. The general project targets were to achieve Euro 3 emissions compliance without DeNOx catalisation, and a power output of 120 kW at 5000 rev/min with maximum torque of 250 Nm at 2000 rev/min. Specific targets were a 15% reduction in fuel consumption compared to its four-stroke counterpart and a size and weight advantage over the four-stroke diesel with significant reduction in particulate and NOx emissions. This paper describes the design philosophy of the engine as well as the application of the various partner technologies used.