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Numerical Computations of Internal Combustion Engine related Transonic and Unsteady Flows
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics.
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vehicles with internal combustion (IC) engines fueled by hydrocarbon compounds have been used for more than 100 years for ground transportation. During the years and in particular in the last decade, the environmental aspects of IC engines have become a major political and research topic. Following this interest, the emissions of pollutants such as NOx, CO2 and unburned hydrocarbons (UHC) from IC engines have been reduced considerably. Yet, there is still a clear need and possibility to improve engine efficiency while further reducing emissions of pollutants. The maximum efficiency of IC engines used in passenger cars is no more than $40\%$ and considerably less than that under part load conditions. One way to improve engine efficiency is to utilize the energy of the exhaust gases to turbocharge the engine. While turbocharging is by no means a new concept, its design and integration into the gas exchange system has been of low priority in the power train design process. One expects that the rapidly increasing interest in efficient passenger car engines would mean that the use of turbo technology will become more widespread. The flow in the IC-engine intake manifold determines the flow in the cylinder prior and during the combustion. Similarly, the flow in the exhaust manifold determines the flow into the turbine, and thereby the efficiency of the turbocharging system. In order to reduce NOx emissions, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is used. As this process transport exhaust gases into the cylinder, its efficiency is dependent on the gas exchange system in general. The losses in the gas exchange system are also an issue related to engine efficiency. These aspects have been addressed up to now rather superficially. One has been interested in global aspects (e.g. pressure drop, turbine efficiency) under steady state conditions.In this thesis, we focus on the flow in the exhaust port and close to the valve. Since the flow in the port can be transonic, we study first the numerical modeling of such a flow in a more simple geometry, namely a bump placed in a wind tunnel. Large-Eddy Simulations of internal transonic flow have been carried out. The results show that transonic flow in general is very sensitive to small disturbances in the boundary conditions. Flow in the wind tunnel case is always highly unsteady in the transonic flow regime with self excited shock oscillations and associated with that also unsteady boundary-layer separation. To investigate sensitivity to periodic disturbances the outlet pressure in the wind tunnel case  was varied periodically at rather low amplitude. These low amplitude oscillations caused hysteretic behavior in the mean shock position and appearance of shocks of widely different patterns. The study of a model exhaust port shows that at realistic pressure ratios, the flow is transonic in the exhaust port. Furthermore, two pairs of vortex structures are created downstream of the valve plate by the wake behind the valve stem and by inertial forces and the pressure gradient in the port. These structures dissipate rather quickly. The impact of these structures and the choking effect caused by the shock on realistic IC engine performance remains to be studied in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , 40 p.
Trita-MEK, ISSN 0348-467X ; 2009:02
Keyword [en]
LES, Transonic flow, Hysteresis, Shock/boundary-layer interaction, Exhaust valve
National Category
Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9945ISBN: 987-91-7415-235-7OAI: diva2:160394
2009-03-02, E31, Lindstedtsvägen 3, Valhallavägen 79, KTH, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2009-02-20 Created: 2009-02-13 Last updated: 2010-11-03Bibliographically approved

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