Improvement and validation of a thermodynamic S.I. engine simulation code
This study was concerned with improvement and validation of a thermodynamic spark ignition engine simulation code developed in Leeds. Experimental validation data were generated using a central ignition, disc-shaped combustion chamber variant of a ported single-cylinder research engine with full-bore overhead optical access. These data included simultaneous measurement of cylinder pressure and flame position at different operating conditions. The engine was skip fired (fired once every five cycles), to remove residuals and ensure well defined in-cylinder fuel-air mixture for simulation. Flames were imaged using a digital camera capturing the light emitted from the flame ("natural light"). New methods were developed to process the pressure and film data. Flame pictures were processed to determine enflamed area, mean flame radius and flame centroid. Parameters were also developed to describe flame "circularity" ("shape factor") and to describe asymmetry of flame approach to the cylinder walls ("active perimeter fraction", APF). Time-base crank angle records allowed evaluation of engine speed variation within a cycle and mean engine speed for a cycle. Although generated principally for model validation, the experimental results proved interesting in their own right. Middle, slow and fast cycles were defined for each condition. Analysis of these cycles suggested that there was no correlation between the initial flame centroid displacement, its locus over the flame propagation period or the flame "shape factor" and the speed of combustion and pressure development. As the flame approached the wall, the active perimeter fraction fell in a similar manner for all the middle cycles. Substantial modifications were made to a pre-existing thermodynamic engine cycle code. Deficiencies in the blowby, heat transfer and thermodynamic aspects were corrected. An additional ("Zimont") turbulent burning velocity sub-model and a new routine for the influence of engine speed variation within a cycle were incorporated into the code. The active perimeter fraction parameter function determined in the experiments was encoded to allow for the effects of flame-wall contact on entrainment rate during the late flame propagation. A radial stratified charge model was also developed. Burned gas expansion over the flame propagation period was shown to significantly change the unburned gas charge stratification from the initial variation. Two types of initial stratification (linear and parabolic distributions, rich of the centre and lean close to the wall) were imposed. Faster combustion development was observed in both cases, c. f that for equivalent homogeneous charge. Good agreement was observed between experimental results and "Zimont model" predictions at different equivalence ratios and engine speeds. Other computations using the pre-existing Leeds K and KLe correlations gave reasonable predictions at the various engine speeds and at rich conditions; however, they yielded slower results than experimentally observed for lean conditions.