Numerical investigation to the dual-fuel spray combustion process in an ethanol direct injection plus gasoline port injection (EDI+GPI) engine

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Journal Article
Energy Conversion and Management, 2015, 92 pp. 275 - 286 (12)
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Ethanol direct injection plus gasoline port injection (EDI + GPI) is a new technology to make the use of ethanol fuel more effective and efficient in spark ignition engines. Multi-dimensional computational fluid dynamics modelling was conducted on an EDI + GPI engine in both single and dual fuelled conditions. The in-cylinder flow field was solved in the realizable k−ε turbulence model with detailed engine geometry. The temporal and spatial distributions of the liquid and vapour fuels were simulated with the spray breakup and evaporation models. The combustion process was modelled with the partially premixed combustion concept in which both mixture fraction and progress variable were solved. The three-dimensional and five-dimensional presumed Probability Density Function (PDF) look-up tables were used to model the single-fraction-mixture and two-fraction-mixture turbulence–chemistry interactions respectively. The model was verified by comparing the numerical and experimental results of spray pattern and cylinder pressure. The simulation results showed that the combustion process of EDI + GPI dual-fuelled condition was partially premixed combustion because of the low evaporation rate of ethanol spray in low temperature environment before combustion. Compared with GPI only, the higher flame speed of ethanol fuel contributed to the greater pressure rise rate and maximum cylinder pressure in EDI + GPI condition, which consequently resulted in higher power output and thermal efficiency. The lower adiabatic flame temperature of ethanol, partially premixed combustion mode and stronger cooling effect of ethanol direct injection in EDI + GPI led to the reduced combustion temperature which contributed to the decrease of NO emission. Among these three factors, the lower adiabatic flame temperature and partially premixed combustion mode were the dominating factors that resulted in the low combustion temperature of EDI + GPI. On the other hand, CO and HC emissions increased because of the ethanol’s low evaporation rate in low temperature environment before combustion, which caused incomplete combustion.
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