Main content area

Combustion chamber design for a high-performance natural gas engine: CFD modeling and experimental investigation

Baratta, Mirko, Misul, Daniela, Viglione, Ludovico, Xu, Jiajie
Energy conversion and management 2019 v.192 pp. 221-231
combustion, energy use and consumption, gas engines, geometry, models, natural gas, spark ignition engines, turbulent flow
The present paper is focused on the development of a high-performance, monofuel, spark ignition engine running on natural gas, featuring a high volumetric compression ratio and a variable valve actuation system. More specifically, the cylinder head geometry effect has been analyzed and the compression ratio has been optimized by means of steady-state and transient simulation activity, as well as of an extensive experimental campaign. The compression ratio effect was mainly investigated by means of experimental tests but a few 3D simulations were also run in order to quantify its impact on the in-cylinder tumble and turbulence. The main novelty of the paper are, first, the adoption of very high engine compression ratio values, second, the combined optimization of the cylinder head design and compression ratio. The main results can be summarized as follows. The engine configuration with mask showed a decrease in the average discharge coefficient by 20–30% and an increase in the tumble ratio by around 200% at partial load. Moreover, the simulation of the engine cycle indicated that the presence of the piston modifies the tumble structure with respect to the steady-state simulation case. An increase in the tumble number and turbulence intensity by around 90% and 10%, respectively, are obtained for the case with mask at 2000 rpm and 4 bar. With reference to the combustion duration, on an average, the presence of the masking surface led to a reduction of the combustion duration (from 1% to 50% of mass fraction burned) between 2 and 6 degrees. As far as the engine compression ratio is concerned, the value of 13 was finally selected as the best compromise between combustion variability, engine performance at full load and fuel consumption at partial load.