High-fidelity Simulations of Flow and Heat Transfer during Motored Operation of an Internal Combustion Engine

PI Paul Fischer, Argonne National Laboratory
Project Description

Accurate, science-based simulations using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can shed light on the complex phenomena within an internal combustion engine (ICE) by improving fundamental understanding that will help to establish and characterize the physical causes of stochastic events. This project will shed light on the complex phenomena and strongly-coupled processes inside an ICE by performing large-scale numerical simulations of a prototypical engine configuration. The approach will redefine the capability limits of high-fidelity simulations and will pave the way for detailed investigations of more complex phenomena in the future as computational power becomes increasingly available. Using Argonne’s massively parallel computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, Nek5000, this project will simulate the gas-exchange process over multiple cycles in the Transparent Combustion Chamber (TCC-III) engine for which extensive validation data are available from the University of Michigan.

The project focus will be to investigate (a) the turbulent flow dynamics as the fluid passes through the moving intake valve during the intake stroke, (b) the evolution of the momentum and thermal boundary layers close to the cylinder walls, and (c) the impact of the turbulent flow motion on thermal stratification and local wall heat transfer. The simulations will be performed at the experimentally studied engine operating point of 800 revolutions per minute at full and part-load conditions. The results obtained with these highly accurate simulations will help clarify ambiguities in the interpretation of experimental measurements and will complement commercial codes for ICE simulation by providing best-in-class benchmark-type simulations.