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Journal Article

Analysis of Transient Cavitating Flows in Diesel Injectors Using Diesel and Biodiesel Fuels

The aim of the paper is the comparison of the injection process with different fuels, i.e. a standard diesel fuel and a pure biodiesel. Multiphase cavitating flows inside diesel nozzles are analyzed by means of unsteady CFD simulations using a two-fluid approach with consideration of bubble dynamics, on moving grids from needle opening to closure. Two five-hole nozzles with cylindrical and conical holes are studied and their behaviors are discussed taking into account the different properties of the two fuels. Extent of cavitation regions is not much affected by the fuel type. Biodiesel leads to significantly higher mass flow only if the nozzle design induces significant cavitation which extends up to the outlet section and if the injector needle is at high lift. If the internal hole shaping is able to suppress cavitation, the stabilized mass flows are very similar with both fuels.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Port Water Injection Strategies to Control Knock in a GDI Engine through Multi-Cycle CFD Simulations

Water injection in highly boosted gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines has become an attractive area over the last few years as a way of increasing efficiency, enhancing performance and reducing emissions. The technology and its effects are not new, but current gasoline engine trends for passenger vehicles have several motivations for adopting this technology today. Water injection enables higher compression ratios, optimal spark timing and elimination of fuel enrichment at high load, and possibly replacement of EGR. Physically, water reduces charge temperature by evaporation, dilutes combustion, and varies the specific heat ratio of the working fluid, with complex effects. Several of these mutually intertwined aspects are investigated in this paper through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, focusing on a turbo-charged GDI engine with port water injection (PWI). Different strategies for water injection timing, pressure and spray targeting are investigated.
Technical Paper

CFD Investigation of the Effects of Gas’ Methane Number on the Performance of a Heavy-Duty Natural-Gas Spark-Ignition Engine

Natural gas (NG) is an alternative fuel for spark-ignition engines. In addition to its cleaner combustion, recent breakthroughs in drilling technologies increased its availability and lowered its cost. NG consists of mostly methane, but it also contains heavier hydrocarbons and inert diluents, the levels of which vary substantially with geographical source, time of the year and treatments applied during production or transportation. To investigate the effects of NG composition on engine performance and emissions, a 3D CFD model of a heavy-duty diesel engine retrofitted to NG spark ignition simulated lean-combustion engine operation at low speed and medium load conditions. The work investigated three NG blends with similar lower heating value (i.e., similar energy density) but different Methane Number (MN). The results indicated that a lower MN increased flame propagation speed and thus increased in-cylinder pressure and indicated mean effective pressure.
Technical Paper

Common Rail HSDI Diesel Engine Combustion and Emissions with Fossil / Bio-Derived Fuel Blends

In order to evaluate the potentialities of bioderived diesel fuels, the effect of fueling a 1.9 l displacement HSDI automotive Diesel engine with biodiesel and fossil/biodiesel blend on its emission and combustion characteristics has been investigated. The fuels tested were a typical European diesel, a 50% biodiesel blend in the reference diesel, and a 100% biodiesel, obtained by mixing rape seed methyl ester (RME) and recycled cooking oil (CME). Steady state tests were performed at two different engine speeds (2500 and 4000 rpm), and for a wide range of loads, in order to evaluate the behavior of the fuels under a large number of operating conditions. Engine performance and exhaust emissions were analyzed, along with the combustion process in terms of heat release analysis. Experimental evidences showed appreciably lower CO and HC specific emissions and a substantial increase in NOx levels. A significant reduction of smoke emissions was also obtained.
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.
Technical Paper

Development of an Urea Supply System for the SCR Catalyst

The increase in the fuel price and more stringent regulations on greenhouse gases (CO2) make the engine compression ignition technology even more attractive in the context of internal combustion engines. This is because the modern turbocharged direct injection engines, with the common rail fuel system, are characterized by high combustion efficiency and power density, that make them particularly suitable both for applications on and off road. On the other hand, the compression ignition engines are subject to a heavy technological developments to meet the more stringent regulations on emissions of exhaust pollutants, especially PM and NOx. The adopted technologies have two main approaches, on the combustion and on the exhaust gas aftertreatment. The measures applied for combustion can reduce emissions, but with the risk of penalizing the other engine performances, such as noise, power output and fuel consumption.
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.
Journal Article

Eulerian CFD Modeling of Coupled Nozzle Flow and Spray with Validation Against X-Ray Radiography Data

This paper implements a coupled approach to integrate the internal nozzle flow and the ensuing fuel spray using a Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) method in the CONVERGE CFD software. A VOF method was used to model the internal nozzle two-phase flow with a cavitation description closed by the homogeneous relaxation model of Bilicki and Kestin [1]. An Eulerian single velocity field approach by Vallet et al. [2] was implemented for near-nozzle spray modeling. This Eulerian approach considers the liquid and gas phases as a complex mixture with a highly variable density to describe near nozzle dense sprays. The mean density is obtained from the Favreaveraged liquid mass fraction. The liquid mass fraction is transported with a model for the turbulent liquid diffusion flux into the gas.
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.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of a Port Fuel Injected Spark Ignition Engine Fuelled with Variable Mixtures of Hydrogen and Methane

The paper describes an experimental research which addressed the study of a 4-cylinder, spark-ignited, port-fuel-injected, production engine modified for hydrogen-methane blend fueling. The original engine was a 2.8-liter, naturally aspirated, methane-fuelled engine. The engine modifications included two fuel injectors per port and ECU replacement for controlling lean burn combustion and enabling real-time variation of the fuel blend, based on an alpha-N mapping approach. Since hydrogen infrastructures are an issue and its production costs are still today very high, pure hydrogen usage is not a viable solution for near future vehicles. In view of this, in the present paper, the maximum volumetric concentration of hydrogen in methane has been set to 35% (which on a mass basis corresponds to 6.3%). The variability of the fuel mixture has been achieved by installing two separate fuel lines connected to two fuel rails: a total of 8 injectors are installed.
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

Heavy-Duty Compression-Ignition Engines Retrofitted to Spark-Ignition Operation Fueled with Natural Gas

Natural gas is a promising alternative gaseous fuel due to its availability, economic, and environmental benefits. A solution to increase its use in the heavy-duty transportation sector is to convert existing heavy-duty compression ignition engines to spark-ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug and injecting the natural gas inside the intake manifold. The use of numerical simulations to design and optimize the natural gas combustion in such retrofitted engines can benefit both engine efficiency and emission. However, experimental data of natural gas combustion inside a bowl-in-piston chamber is limited. Consequently, the goal of this study was to provide high-quality experimental data from such a converted engine fueled with methane and operated at steady-state conditions, exploring variations in spark timing, engine speed and equivalence ratio.
Technical Paper

Injection Strategies Tuning for the Use of Bio-Derived Fuels in a Common Rail HSDI Diesel Engine

The potentialities in terms of engine performance and emissions reduction of pure biodiesel were examined on a Common Rail HSDI Diesel engine, trying to define a proper tuning of the injection strategies to bio-fuel characteristics. An experimental investigation was therefore carried out on a typical European passenger car Diesel engine, fuelled with a soybean oil derived biodiesel. A standard European diesel fuel was also used as a reference. In particular, the effects of an equal relative air/fuel ratio at full load condition were analysed; further, a sensitivity study on the outcome of the pilot injection timing and duration at part load on engine emissions was performed. Potentialities in recovering the performance gap between fossil fuel and biodiesel and in reducing NOx specific emissions, affecting only to a limited extent the biodiesel emission benefit in terms of CO, HC and FSN, were highlighted.
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.