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Technical Paper

3D CFD Analysis of the Influence of Some Geometrical Engine Parameters on Small PFI Engine Performances - The Effects on Tumble Motion and Mean Turbulent Intensity Distribution

In scooter/motorbike engines coherent and stable tumble motion generation is still considered an effective mean in order to both reduce engine emissions and promote higher levels of combustion efficiency. The scientific research also assessed that squish motion is an effective mean for speeding up the combustion in a combustion process already fast. In a previous technical paper the authors demonstrated that for an engine having a high C/D ratio the squish motion is not only not necessary but also detrimental for the stability of the tumble motion itself, because there is a strong interaction between these two motions with the consequent formation of secondary vortices, which in turn penalizes the tumble breakdown and the turbulent kinetic energy production.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for In-Cylinder Flow Field Evaluation in a Low Stroke-to-Bore SI Engine

This paper presents a methodology for the 3D CFD simulation of the intake and compression processes of four stroke internal combustion engines.The main feature of this approach is to provide very accurate initial conditions by means of a cost-effective initialization step. Calculations are applied to a low stroke-to-bore SI engine, operated at full load and maximum engine speed. It is demonstrated that initial conditions for this kind of engines have an important influence on flow field development, particularly in terms of mean velocities close to the firing TDC. Simulation results are used to discuss the choice of a set of parameters for the flow field characterization of low stroke-to-bore engines, as well as to provide an insight into the flow patterns during the overlapping period.
Technical Paper

A Numerical Methodology for the Multi-Objective Optimization of an Automotive DI Diesel Engine

Nowadays, an automotive DI Diesel engine is demanded to provide an adequate power output together with limit-complying NOx and soot emissions so that the development of a specific combustion concept is the result of a trade-off between conflicting objectives. In other words, the development of a low-emission DI diesel combustion concept could be mathematically represented as a multi-objective optimization problem. In recent years, genetic algorithm and CFD simulations were successfully applied to this kind of problem. However, combining GA optimization with actual CFD-3D combustion simulations can be too onerous since a large number of simulations is usually required, resulting in a high computational cost and, thus, limiting the suitability of this method for industrial processes.
Journal Article

A Numerical Model for Flash Boiling of Gasoline-Ethanol Blends in Fuel Injector Nozzles

Fuels are formulated by a variety of different components characterized by chemical and physical properties spanning a wide range of values. Changing the ratio between the mixture component molar fractions, it is possible to fulfill different requirements. One of the main properties that can be strongly affected by mixture composition is the volatility that represents the fuel tendency to vaporize. For example, changing the mixture ratio between alcohols and hydrocarbons, it is possible to vary the mixture saturation pressure, therefore the fuel vaporization ratio during the injection process. This paper presents a 1D numerical model to simulate the superheated injection process of a gasoline-ethanol mixture through real nozzle geometries. In order to test the influence of the mixture properties on flash atomization and flash evaporation, the simulation is repeated for different mixtures characterized by different gasoline-ethanol ratio.
Technical Paper

A RANS CFD 3D Methodology for the Evaluation of the Effects of Cycle By Cycle Variation on Knock Tendency of a High Performance Spark Ignition Engine

Knocking combustions heavily limits the efficiency of Spark Ignition engines. The compression ratio is limited in the design stage of the engine development, letting to Spark Advance control the task of reducing the odds of abnormal combustions. A detailed analysis of knocking events can help improving engine performance and diagnosis strategies. An effective way is to use advanced 3D CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation for the analysis and prediction of combustion performance. Standard 3D CFD approach is based on RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes) equations and allows the analysis of the mean engine cycle. However knocking phenomenon is not deterministic and it is heavily affected by the cycle to cycle variation of engine combustions. A methodology for the evaluation of the effects of CCV (Cycle by Cycle Variability) on knocking combustions is here presented, based on both the use of Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools and experimental information.
Technical Paper

Analysis of the Mixture Formation at Partial Load Operating Condition: The Effect of the Throttle Valve Rotational Direction

In the next incoming future the necessity of reducing the raw emissions leads to the challenge of an increment of the thermal engine efficiency. In particular it is necessary to increase the engine efficiency not only at full load but also at partial load conditions. In the open literature very few technical papers are available on the partial load conditions analysis. In the present paper the analysis of the effect of the throttle valve rotational direction on the mixture formation is analyzed. The engine was a PFI 4-valves motorcycle engine. The throttle valve opening angle was 17.2°, which lays between the very partial load and the partial load condition. The CFD code adopted for the analysis was the FIRE AVL code v. 2013.2. The exhaust, intake and compression phases till TDC were simulated: inlet/outlet boundary conditions from 1D simulations were imposed.
Journal Article

Assessment of Advanced SGS Models for LES Analysis of ICE Wall-Bounded Flows - Part I: Basic Test Case

Large Eddy Simulation (LES) represents nowadays one of the most promising techniques for the evaluation of the dynamics and evolution of turbulent structures characterizing internal combustion engines (ICE). In the present paper, subdivided into two parts, the capabilities of the open-source CFD code OpenFOAM® v2.3.0 are assessed in order to evaluate its suitability for engine cold flow LES analyses. Firstly, the code dissipative attitude is evaluated through an inviscid vortex convection test to ensure that the levels of numerical dissipation are compatible with LES needs. Quality and completeness estimators for LES simulations are then proposed. In particular the Pope M parameter is used as a LES completeness indicator while the LSR parameter provides useful insights far calibrating the grid density. Other parameters such as the two-grid LESIQk index are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Assessment of a Numerical Methodology for Large Eddy Simulation of ICE Wall Bounded Non-Reactive Flows

The increasing of the overall engine performance requires the investigation of the unsteady engine phenomena affecting intake air flow and the air-fuel mixing process. The “standard” RANS methodology often doesn't allow one to achieve a qualitative and quantitative accurate prediction of these phenomena. The aim of this paper is to show the potential and the limits of LES numerical technique in the simulation of actual IC engine flows and to assess the influence of some basic parameters on the LES simulation results. The paper introduces the use of a merit parameter suggested by Pope for evaluating the quality of the LES solution. The CFD code used is Fluent v6.2 and two basic test cases have been simulated. The first one is the flow over a backward facing step in order to perform a preliminary parametric numerical analysis. A one-equation dynamic subgrid-scales turbulence model is used.
Journal Article

Assessment of the Influence of GDI Injection System Parameters on Soot Emission and Combustion Stability through a Numerical and Experimental Approach

The next steps of the current European and US legislation, EURO 6c and LEV III, and the incoming new test cycles will impose more severe restrictions on pollutant emissions for Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines. In particular, soot emission limits will represent a challenge for the development of this kind of engine concept, if injection and after-treatment systems costs are to be minimized at the same time. The paper illustrates the results obtained by means of a numerical and experimental approach, in terms of soot emissions and combustion stability assessment and control, especially during catalyst-heating conditions, where the main soot quantity in the test cycle is produced. A number of injector configurations has been designed by means of a CAD geometrical analysis, considering the main effects of the spray target on wall impingement.
Technical Paper

Assessment of the Influence of Intake Duct Geometrical Parameters on the Tumble Motion Generation in a Small Gasoline Engine

During the last years the deep re-examination of the engine design for lowering engine emissions involved two-wheel vehicles too. The IC engine overall efficiency plays a fundamental role in determining final raw emissions. From this point of view, the optimization of the in-cylinder flow organization is mandatory. In detail, in SI engines the generation of a coherent tumble vortex having dimensions comparable to the engine stroke could be of primary importance to extend the engines' ignition limits toward the field of the dilute/lean mixtures. For motorbike and motor scooter applications, the optimization of the tumble generation is considered an effective way to improve the combustion system efficiency and to lower emissions, considering also that the two-wheels layout represents an obstacle in adopting the advanced post-treatment concepts designed for automotive applications.
Journal Article

Combination of In-Cylinder Pressure Signal Analysis and CFD Simulation for Knock Detection Purposes

A detailed analysis of knocking events can help improving engine performance and diagnosis strategies. The paper aim is a better understanding of the phenomena involved in knocking combustions through the combination of CFD and signals analysis tools. CFD simulations have been used in order to reproduce knock effect on the in-cylinder pressure trace. In fact, the in-cylinder pressure signal holds information about waves propagation and heat losses: for the sake of the diagnosis it is important to relate knock severity to knock indexes values. For this purpose, a CFD model has been implemented, able to predict the combustion evolution with respect to Spark Advance, from non-knocking up to heavy knocking conditions. The CFD model validation phase is crucial for a correct representation of both regular and knocking combustions: the operation has been carried out by means of an accurate statistical analysis of experimental in-cylinder pressure data.
Technical Paper

Comparison of the Homogeneous Relaxation Model and a Rayleigh Plesset Cavitation Model in Predicting the Cavitating Flow Through Various Injector Hole Shapes

Two cavitation models are evaluated based on their ability to reproduce the development of cavitation experimentally observed by Winklhofer et al. inside injector hole geometries. The first is Singhal's model, derived from a reduced form of the Rayleigh-Plesset equation, implemented in the commercial CFD package Fluent. The second is the homogeneous relaxation model, a continuum model that uses an empirical timescale to reproduce a range of vaporization mechanisms, implemented in the OpenFOAM framework. Previous work by Neroorkar et al. validated the homogeneous relaxation model for one of the nozzle geometries tested by Winklhofer et al. The present work extends that validation to all the three geometries considered by Winklhofer et al in order to compare the models' ability to capture the effects of nozzle convergence.
Technical Paper

Correlation of a CAE Hood Deflection Prediction Method

As we continue to create ever-lighter road vehicles, the challenge of balancing weight reduction and structural performance also continues. One of the key parts this occurs on is the hood, where lighter materials (e.g. aluminum) have been used. However, the aerodynamic loads, such as hood lift, are essentially unchanged and are driven by the front fascia and front grille size and styling shape. This paper outlines a combination CFD/FEA prediction method for hood deflection performance at high speeds, by using the surface pressures as boundary conditions for a FEA linear static deflection analysis. Additionally, custom post-processing methods were developed to enhance flow analysis and understanding. This enabled the modification of existing test methods to further improve accuracy to real world conditions. The application of these analytical methods and their correlation with experimental results are discussed in this paper.
Journal Article

Coupling Between 1D-3D Simulation Results to Predict Cavitation in Motorcycle Forks

Fork system is a primary component for motorcycles because it assures the contact between tires and road, therefore the safety and the driving feeling. Usually fork optimization and tuning are experimentally made involving the generation of a high large number of prototypes and an expensive experimental campaign. To reduce the design and the tuning phases of a generic damper system, the numerical simulation should be considered. In this paper, a one-dimensional (1D) model of fore-carriage forks for road applications is presented. The model was built-up in AMESim code. In particular, the authors’ attention was focused on the detection and analysis of cavitation phenomenon inside the fork. As well known, the cavitation is a complex three-dimensional (3D) phenomenon that implies the phase transition.
Journal Article

Design of Catalytic Devices by Means of Genetic Algorithm: Comparison Between Open-Cell Foam and Honeycomb Type Substrates

Metallic foams or sponges are materials with a cell structure suitable for many industrial applications, such as reformers, heat catalytic converters, etc. The success of these materials is due to the combination of various characteristics such as mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange properties, low flow resistance and sound absorption. Different materials and manufacturing processes produce different type of structure and properties for various applications. In this work a genetic algorithm has been developed and applied to support the design of catalytic devices. In particular, two substrates were considered, namely the traditional honeycomb and an alternative open-cell foam type. CFD simulations of pressure losses and literature based correlations for the heat and mass transfer were used to support the genetic algorithm in finding the best compromise between flow resistance and pollutant abatement.
Technical Paper

Development of a 0D Model Starting from Different RANS CFD Tumble Flow Fields in Order to Predict the Turbulence Evolution at Ignition Timing

Faster combustion and lower cycle-to-cycle variability are mandatory tasks for naturally aspirated engines to reduce emission levels and to increase engine efficiency. The promotion of a stable and coherent tumble structure is considered as one of the best way to promote the in-cylinder turbulence and therefore the combustion velocity. During the compression stroke the tumble vortex is deformed, accelerated and its breakdown in smaller eddies leads to the turbulence enhancement process. The prediction of the final level of turbulence for a particular engine operating point is crucial during the engine design process because it represents a practical comparative means for different engine solutions. The tumble ratio parameter value represents a first step toward the evaluation of the turbulence level at ignition time, but it has an intrinsic limit.
Technical Paper

Effects of Initial Conditions in Multidimensional Combustion Simulations of HSDI Diesel Engines

The effects of numerical methodology in defining the initial conditions and simulating the compression stroke in D.I. diesel engine CFD computations are studied. Lumped and pointwise approaches were adopted in assigning the initial conditions at IVC. The lumped approach was coupled with a two-dimensional calculation of the compression stroke. The pointwise methodology was based on the results of an unsteady calculation of the intake stroke performed by using the STAR-CD code in the realistic engine and port geometry. Full engine and 60 deg. sector meshes were used in the compression stroke calculations in order to check the accuracy of the commonly applied axi-symmetric fluid dynamics assumption. Analysis of the evolution of the main fluid dynamics parameters revealed that local conditions at the time of injection strongly depend on the numerical procedure adopted.
Journal Article

Experimental Characterization of the Geometrical Shape of ks-hole and Comparison of its Fluid Dynamic Performance Respect to Cylindrical and k-hole Layouts

Diesel engine performances are strictly correlated to the fluid dynamic characteristics of the injection system. Actual Diesel engines employ injector characterized by micro-orifices operating at injection pressure till 20MPa. These main injection characteristics resulted in the critical relation between engine performance and injector hole shape. In the present study, the authors' attention was focused on the hole geometry influence on the main injector fluid dynamic characteristics. At this purpose, three different nozzle hole shapes were considered: cylindrical, k, and ks nozzle shapes. Because of the lack of information available about ks-hole real geometry, firstly it was completely characterized by the combined use of two non-destructive techniques. Secondly, all the three nozzle layouts were characterized from the fluid dynamic point of view by a fully transient CFD multiphase simulation methodology previously validated by the authors against experimental results.
Technical Paper

Fast Prototyping of a Racing Diesel Engine Control System

This paper shows how Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques have been applied to design and implement an engine control system for a common rail diesel engine. The project aim is to setup a high performance engine in order to participate to the Italian Tractor Pulling Championship (Prostock category). The original engine is a John Deere 6081 Tier2 model, already equipped with a common rail system. Engine performance is substantially determined by the control system, which is in charge of limiting engine speed, boost pressure and Air to Fuel Ratio (AFR). Given that typically the information and equipment needed to change control parameters are not accessible to customers, the first step of the project has been to replace the original control system, while maintaining injectors and pumps. This solution can guarantee the best performance, but it requires time to design the new control system, both in terms of hardware and software.
Technical Paper

Flow-Acoustic Coupling in Quarter-Wave Resonators Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Quarter-wave resonators are commonly used as acoustic silencers in automotive air induction systems. Similar closed side branches can also be formed in the idle air bypass, exhaust gas recirculation, and positive crankcase ventilation systems of engines. The presence of a mean flow across these side branches can lead to an interaction between the mean flow and the acoustic resonances of the side branch. At discrete flow conditions, this coupling between the flow and acoustic fields may produce high amplitude acoustic pressure pulsations. For the quarter-wave resonator, this interaction can turn the silencer into a noise generator, while for systems where a valve is located at the closed end of the side branch the large pressure pulsations can cause the valve to fail. This phenomenon is not limited to automotive applications, and also occurs in natural gas pipelines, aircraft, and numerous other internal and external flows.