Apart from electric vehicles, most internal combustion (IC) engines are powered while burning petroleum-based fossil or alternative fuels after mixing with inducted air. Thereby the operations of mixing and combustion evolve in a turbulent flow environment created during the intake phase and then intensified by the piston motion and influenced by the shape of combustion chamber. In particular, the swirl and turbulence levels existing immediately before and during combustion affect the evolution of these processes and determine engine performance, noise and pollutant emissions. Both the turbulence characteristics and the bulk flow pattern in the cylinder are strongly affected by the inlet port and valve design. In the present paper, large eddy simulation (LES) is appraised and applied to studying the turbulent fluid flow around the intake valve of a single cylinder IC-engine as represented by the so called magnetic resonance velocimetry (MRV) flow bench configuration with a relatively large Reynolds number of 45,000. To avoid an intense mesh refinement near the wall, various subgrid scale models for LES; namely the Smagorinsky, wall adapting local eddy (WALE) model, SIGMA, and dynamic one equation models, are employed in combination with an appropriate wall function. For comparison purposes, the standard RANS (Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes) k
model is also used. In terms of a global mean error index for the velocity results obtained from all the models, at first it turns out that all the subgrid models show similar predictive capability except the Smagorinsky model, while the standard k
model experiences a higher normalized mean absolute error (nMAE) of velocity once compared with MRV data. Secondly, based on the cost-accuracy criteria, the WALE model is used with a fine mesh of ≈39 millions control volumes, the averaged velocity results showed excellent agreement between LES and MRV measurements, revealing the high prediction capability of the suggested LES tool for valve flows. Thirdly, the turbulent flow across the valve curtain clearly featured a back flow resulting in a high speed intake jet in the middle. Comprehensive LES data are generated to carry out statistical analysis in terms of (1) evolution of the turbulent morphology across the valve passage relying on the flow anisotropy map, (2) integral turbulent scales along the intake-charge stream, (3) turbulent flow properties such as turbulent kinetic energy, turbulent velocity and its intensity within the most critical zone in intake-port and along the port length, it further transpires that the most turbulence are generated across the valve passage and these are responsible for the in-cylinder turbulence.
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