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Technical Paper

Analysis of RF Corona Ignition in Lean Operating Conditions Using an Optical Access Engine

Radio Frequency Corona ignition systems represent an interesting solution among innovative ignition strategies for their ability to stabilize the combustion and to extend the engine operating range. The corona discharge, generated by a strong electric field at a frequency of about 1 MHz, produces the ignition of the air-fuel mixture in multiple spots, characterized by a large volume when compared to a conventional spark, increasing the early flame growth speed. The transient plasma generated by the discharge, by means of thermal, kinetic and transport effects, allows a robust initialization of the combustion even in critical conditions, such as using diluted or lean mixtures. In this work the effects of Corona ignition have been analyzed on a single cylinder optical engine fueled with gasoline, comparing the results with those of a traditional single spark ignition.
Technical Paper

Artificial Intelligence Methodologies for Oxygen Virtual Sensing at Diesel Engine Intake

In the last decades, worldwide automotive regulations induced the industry to dramatically increase the application of electronics in the control of the engine and of the pollutant emissions reduction systems. Besides the need of engine control, suitable fault diagnosis tools had also to be developed, in order to fulfil OBD-II and E-OBD requirements. At present, one of the problems in the development of Diesel engines is represented by the achievement of an ever more sharp control on the systems used for the pollutant emission reduction. In particular, as far as NOx gas is concerned, EGR systems are mature and widely used, but an ever higher efficiency in terms of emissions abatement, requires to determine as better as possible the actual oxygen content in the charge at the engine intake manifold, also in dynamic conditions, i.e. in transient engine operation.
Technical Paper

Combustion Behavior of an RF Corona Ignition System with Different Control Strategies

It has been proved that Radio Frequency Corona, among other innovative ignition systems, is able to stabilize combustion and to extend the engine operating range in lean conditions, with respect to conventional spark igniters. This paper reports on a sensitivity analysis on the combustion behavior for different values of Corona electric control parameters (supply voltage and discharge duration). Combustion analysis has been carried out on a single cylinder PFI gasoline-fueled optical engine, by means of both indicating measurements and imaging. A high-speed camera has been used to record the natural luminosity of premixed flames and the obtained images have been synchronized with corresponding indicating acquisition data. Imaging tools allowed to observe and measure the early flame development, providing information which are not obtainable by a pressure-based indicating system.
Technical Paper

Coupled Simulation of Nozzle Flow and Spray Formation Using Diesel and Biodiesel for CI Engine Applications

A two-step simulation methodology was applied for the computation of the injector nozzle internal flow and the spray evolution in diesel engine-like conditions. In the first step, the multiphase cavitating flow inside injector nozzle is calculated by means of unsteady CFD simulation on moving grids from needle opening to closure. A non-homogeneous Eulerian multi-fluid approach - with three phases i.e. liquid, vapor and air - has been applied. Afterward, in the second step, transient data of spatial distributions of velocity, turbulent kinetic energy, dissipation rate, void fraction and many other relevant properties at the nozzle exit were extracted and used for the subsequent Lagrangian spray calculation. A primary break-up model, which makes use of the transferred data, is used to initialize droplet properties within the hole area.
Journal Article

Effect of Off-Axis Needle Motion on Internal Nozzle and Near Exit Flow in a Multi-Hole Diesel Injector

The internal structure of Diesel fuel injectors is known to have a significant impact on the nozzle flow and the resulting spray emerging from each hole. In this paper the three-dimensional transient flow structures inside a Diesel injector is studied under nominal (in-axis) and realistic (including off-axis lateral motion) operating conditions of the needle. Numerical simulations are performed in the commercial CFD code CONVERGE, using a two-phase flow representation based on a mixture model with Volume of Fluid (VOF) method. Moving boundaries are easily handled in the code, which uses a cut-cell Cartesian method for grid generation at run time. First, a grid sensitivity study has been performed and mesh requirements are discussed. Then the results of moving needle calculations are discussed. Realistic radial perturbations (wobbles) of the needle motion have been applied to analyze their impact on the nozzle flow characteristics.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Diesel Spray Momentum Flux in Transient Flow Conditions

In the present paper, a detailed numerical and experimental analysis of a spray momentum flux measurement device capability is presented. Particular attention is devoted to transient, engine-like injection events in terms of spray momentum flux measurement. The measurement of spray momentum flux in steady flow conditions, coupled with knowledge of the injection rate, is steadily used to estimate the flow mean velocity at the nozzle exit and the extent of flow cavitation inside the nozzle in terms of a velocity reduction coefficient and a flow section reduction coefficient. In the present study, the problem of analyzing spray evolution in short injection events by means of jet momentum flux measurement was approached. The present research was based on CFD-3D analysis of the spray-target interaction in a momentum measurement device.
Journal Article

Experimental and Numerical Evaluation of Diesel Spray Momentum Flux

In the present work, an experimental and numerical analysis of high pressure Diesel spray evolution is carried out in terms of spray momentum flux time history and instantaneous injection rate. The final goal of spray momentum and of injection rate analyses is the evaluation of the nozzle outlet flow characteristics and of the nozzle internal geometry possible influences on cavitation phenomena, which are of primary importance for the spray evolution. Further, the evaluation of the flow characteristics at the nozzle exit is fundamental in order to obtain reliable boundary conditions for injection process 3D simulation. In this paper, spray momentum data obtained in ambient temperature, high counter-pressure conditions at the Perugia University Spray Laboratory are presented and compared with the results of 3D simulations of the momentum rig itself.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Early Flame Development Produced by a Corona Igniter

In order to reduce engine emissions and fuel consumption, extensive research efforts are being devoted to develop innovative ignition devices, able to extend the stable engine operating range towards increasing lean conditions. Among these, radio frequency corona ignition systems, which produce a strong electric field at a frequency of about 1 MHz, can create discharges characterized by simultaneous thermal and kinetic effects. These devices can considerably increase the early flame growth speed, initiating the combustion process in a wide region, as opposed to the local ignition generated by traditional sparks. To explore the corona ignition behavior, experimental campaigns were carried out to investigate different operating conditions, in a constant volume calorimeter designed to measure the deposited thermal energy. The present work compares the combustion development generated by a traditional spark and the corona igniter through computational fluid dynamics simulations.
Technical Paper

Numerical Analysis of a New Concept Variable Valve Actuation System

The present work concerns the analysis of a concept for a new variable valve actuation system for internal combustion engines, denoted HVC (Hydraulic Valve Control system). The system is an electro-hydraulic device which aims at minimizing the power consumption required for the valve actuation. Unlike lost motion devices, where the excess pumped oil is wasted in order to control the lift profile, the HVC system uses a reduced quantity of energy to ensure the actual lift profile. For that reason interesting potentialities to increase the global fuel conversion efficiency of the engine are expected, in addition to the benefits deriving from the control flexibility. The HVC system has been modeled by means of an hydraulic simulation tool, useful for the dynamic analysis of mechanical and hydraulic systems. In this work the main elements of the device will be described and their relevant modeling parameters will be discussed.
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.
Technical Paper

Steady and Transient Fluid Dynamic Analysis of the Tumble and Swirl Evolution on a 4V Engine with Independent Intake Valves Actuation

This work aims at analyzing the fluid dynamic characteristics of a Ducati 4 valves SI engine, for racing motorcycle, during the intake and compression strokes, focusing on the correlation between steady state flow test data (experiments and simulations) and transient CFD simulation results, including the effect of variable valve actuation strategies with independent intake valve actuation. Several steady state flow test data were available in terms of maps of the discharge, tumble and swirl coefficients, at any combination of asymmetric lifts of the two intake valves. From these steady state data it can be argued that asymmetric strategies could enhance engine full load and part load operation characteristics, by exploiting favourable trade off occurring between the opposing needs for high mass flow rate and high charge motion intensity.