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Journal Article

A Parametric Optimization Study of a Hydraulic Valve Actuation System

A new camless system (referred to as Hydraulic Valve Control - HVC - system) is in an advanced state of prototyping and development. The present paper aims to support the new incoming activities concerning the possible modifications to the geometrical and mechanical characteristics of the system. The optimization of the new HVC system prototype is done using a multi-objective tool that integrates the hydraulic/mechanical simulator reproducing the physical model, with an optimization software. The latter tool can be used choosing a specific approach among different probabilistic mathematical models; the Genetic Algorithm approach was chosen to achieve the goal of the present study. The paper describes design optimization of the pilot stage of the actuator for given characteristics of the power stage and of the poppet valve.
Journal Article

An Enhanced Σ-Y Spray Atomization Model Accounting for Diffusion due to Drift-Flux Velocities

Spray modeling techniques have evolved from the classic DDM (Discrete Drops Method) approach, where the continuous liquid jet is discretized into “drops” or “parcels” till advanced spray models often based on Eulerian approaches. The former technique, although computationally efficient, is essentially inadequate in highly dense jets, as in the near nozzle region of compression ignition engines, while the latter could lead to extreme levels of computational effort when resolved interface capturing methods, such as VoF (Volume of Fluids) and LS (Level-Set) types, are used. However, in a typical engineering calculation, the mesh resolution is considerably coarser than in these high fidelity computations. If one presumes that these interfacial details are far smaller than the mesh size, smoothing features over at least one cell ultimately results in a diffuse-interface treatment in a Eulerian framework.
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

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 a CFD Solver for Primary Diesel Jet Atomization in FOAM-Extend

Ongoing development of a CFD framework for the simulation of primary atomization of a high pressure diesel jet is presented in this work. The numerical model is based on a second order accurate, polyhedral Finite Volume (FV) method implemented in foam-extend-4.1, a community driven fork of the OpenFOAM software. A geometric Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) method isoAdvector is used for interface advection, while the Ghost Fluid Method (GFM) is used to handle the discontinuity of the pressure and the pressure gradient at the interface between the two phases: n-dodecane and air in the combustion chamber. In order to obtain highly resolved interface while minimizing computational time, an Adaptive Grid Refinement (AGR) strategy for arbitrary polyhedral cells is employed in order to refine the parts of the grid near the interface. Dynamic Load Balancing (DLB) is used in order to preserve parallel efficiency during AGR.
Technical Paper

Development of a Model for the Simulation of a Reed Valve Based Secondary Air Injection System for SI Engines

This paper describes a research activity, carried out at the University of Perugia, focused on the modelling of an automatic reed valve in a coupled fluid-structure approach. The application here concerned is a reed device used to control a Secondary Air Injection (SAI) system which allows ambient air to enter the exhaust pipe upstream of the catalyst (useful for the reduction of emissions in rich mixture engine operating conditions). Since currently no commercial codes are still available for simulating in a comprehensive way the non-linear dynamics of a reed valve device with position constraints, the main objective of the work is the calculation of the air mass flow rate admitted to the exhaust system through the reed, by means of a slim and easy software tool. The task is accomplished by integrating two different codes, developed by the authors.
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.
Journal Article

Experimental and Computational Investigation of Subcritical Near-Nozzle Spray Structure and Primary Atomization in the Engine Combustion Network Spray D

In order to improve understanding of the primary atomization process for diesel-like sprays, a collaborative experimental and computational study was focused on the near-nozzle spray structure for the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) Spray D single-hole injector. These results were presented at the 5th Workshop of the ECN in Detroit, Michigan. Application of x-ray diagnostics to the Spray D standard cold condition enabled quantification of distributions of mass, phase interfacial area, and droplet size in the near-nozzle region from 0.1 to 14 mm from the nozzle exit. Using these data, several modeling frameworks, from Lagrangian-Eulerian to Eulerian-Eulerian and from Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) to Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS), were assessed in their ability to capture and explain experimentally observed spray details. Due to its computational efficiency, the Lagrangian-Eulerian approach was able to provide spray predictions across a broad range of conditions.
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

Fluid Dynamic 1D Modeling for the Design Optimization of Reed Valve Devices in Secondary Air Injection Applications

Modeling and studies on reed valve devices are topics often dealt with when designing internal combustion engine intake and exhaust systems. This paper describes an activity about the modeling and the optimization potentiality of an engine equipped with a secondary air injection system by means of a reed valve device. The first step of the work dealt with the development and tuning of a non-linear Finite Element model of reed valve and with the integration of this model into a one-dimensional fluid-dynamics simulation code. In particular during this phase the potentialities of the method were tested by implementing the FE model both in a 1D University code and in a 1D commercial code (by means of a provided interface for User Defined Elements). In the second step of the work the simulation results were analyzed for different engine operating points.
Journal Article

Influence of Turbulence and Thermophysical Fluid Properties on Cavitation Erosion Predictions in Channel Flow Geometries

Cavitation and cavitation-induced erosion have been observed in fuel injectors in regions of high acceleration and low pressure. Although these phenomena can have a large influence on the performance and lifetime of injector hardware, questions still remain on how these physics should be accurately and efficiently represented within a computational fluid dynamics model. While several studies have focused on the validation of cavitation predictions within canonical and realistic injector geometries, it is not well documented what influence the numerical and physical parameters selected to represent turbulence and phase change will have on the predictions for cavitation erosion propensity and severity. In this work, a range of numerical and physical parameters are evaluated within the mixture modeling approach in CONVERGE to understand their influence on predictions of cavitation, condensation and erosion.
Technical Paper

Large Eddy Simulation of Ignition and Combustion Stability in a Lean SI Optical Access Engine

Large-Eddy simulations (LES) are becoming an engineering tool for studying internal combustion engines (ICE) thanks to their ability to capture cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) resolving most of the turbulent flow structures. ICEs can operate under lean combustion conditions to maximize efficiency. However, instabilities associated with lean combustion may cause problems, such as excessive levels of CCV or even misfires. In this context, the energy released by the spark during the ignition and its interaction with the flow field are fundamental parameters that affect ignition stability and how combustion takes place and develops. The aim of this paper is the characterization of the combustion stability in a SI optical access engine, by means of multicycle LES simulations, using CONVERGE software. Sub-grid-scale turbulence is modeled with a viscous one-equation model.
Technical Paper

Large Eddy Simulations of Supercritical and Transcritical Jet Flows Using Real Fluid Thermophysical Properties

In order to understand supercritical jet flows further, well resolved large eddy simulations (LES) of a n-dodecane jet mixing with surrounding nitrogen are conducted. A real fluid thermodynamic model is used to account for the fuel compressibility and variable thermophysical properties due to the solubility of ambient gas and liquid jet using the cubic Peng-Robinson equation of state (PR-EOS). A molar averaged homogeneous mixing rule is used to calculate the mixing properties. The thermodynamic model is coupled with a pressure-based solver to simulate multispecies reacting flows. The numerical model is based on a second order accurate method implemented in the open source OpenFOAM-6 software. First, to evaluate the present numerical model for sprays, 1D advection and shock tube benchmark problems at supercritical conditions are shown.
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.