Skip to main content

Three-Dimensional CFD Investigation of Pre-Spark Heat Release in a Boosted SI Engine...

by Hengjie Guo, Roberto Torelli, James P Szybist, Sibendu Som
Publication Type
Journal Name
SAE Technical Paper Series
Publication Date
Page Number

Low-temperature heat release (LTHR) in spark-ignited internal combustion engines is a critical step toward the occurrence of auto-ignition, which can lead to an undesirable phenomenon known as engine knock. Hence, correct predictions of LTHR are of utmost importance to improve the understanding of knock and enable techniques aimed at controlling it. While LTHR is typically obscured by the deflagration following the spark ignition, extremely late ignition timings can lead to LTHR occurrence prior to the spark, i.e., pre-spark heat release (PSHR). In this research, PSHR in a boosted direct-injection SI engine was numerically investigated using three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A hybrid approach was used, based on the G-equation model for representing the turbulent flame front and the multi-zone well-stirred reactor model for tracking the chemical reactions within the unburnt region. A recently developed best practice was also employed which keeps the well-stirred reactor model active throughout the entire simulation. This allowed for correct predictions of the previous cycle trapped residuals which have a considerable effect on the onset of LTHR. Multi-cycle simulations were conducted using Co-Optima alkylate and E30 fuels. The predicted in-cylinder pressure and heat release rate agreed well with the experimental data and served as validation for the CFD model. Following the initial validation, the dynamics of PSHR was discussed and a series of parameters of interest were assessed. First, the effect of exhaust valve temperature was investigated, qualitatively highlighting the importance of boundary conditions uncertainty. Further analyses were carried out on the effects of fuel properties, including laminar flame speed (LFS) and heat of vaporization (HOV). The results indicate that PSHR phasing is slightly advanced with lower LFS as more trapped unburnt fuel is made available for the next cycle. A similar trend was observed with lower HOV as less intense spray cooling led to higher mixture temperatures, i.e., higher mixture reactivity. Finally, a comparison of Co-Optima alkylate and E30 fuels was made using the pressure-temperature trajectory framework. It was shown that the differences between Co-Optima alkylate and E30 in PSHR tendency are correlated with both HOV and chemical effects.