A New Simple Function for Combustion and Cyclic Variation Modeling in Supercharged Spark Ignition Engines
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3796; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103796 (registering DOI) - 21 May 2022
Research in the field of Internal Combustion (IC) engines focuses on the drastic reduction of both pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. A promising alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel is represented by the use of gaseous fuels, above all green hydrogen but also
[...] Read more.
Research in the field of Internal Combustion (IC) engines focuses on the drastic reduction of both pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. A promising alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel is represented by the use of gaseous fuels, above all green hydrogen but also Natural Gas (NG). In previous works, the authors investigated the performance, efficiency, and emissions of a supercharged Spark Ignition (SI) engine fueled with mixtures of gasoline and natural gas; a detailed research involving the combustion process of this kind of fuel mixture has been previously performed and a lot of experimental data have been collected. Combustion modeling is a fundamental tool in the design and optimization process of an IC engine. A simple way to simulate the combustion evolution is to implement a mathematical function that reproduces the mass fraction burned (MFB) profile; the most used for this purpose is the Wiebe function. In a previous work, the authors proposed an innovative mathematical model, the Hill function, that allowed a better interpolation of experimental MFB profiles when compared to the Wiebe function. In the research work presented here, both the traditional Wiebe and the innovative Hill function have been calibrated using experimental MFB profiles obtained from a supercharged SI engine fueled with mixtures of gasoline and natural gas in different proportions; the two calibrated functions have been implemented in a zero-dimensional (0-D) SI engine model and compared in terms of both Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) and cyclic pressure variation prediction reliability. It was found that the Hill function allows a better IMEP prediction for all the operating conditions tested (several engine speeds, supercharging pressures, and fuel mixtures), with a maximum prediction error of 2.7% compared to 4.3% of the Wiebe function. A further analysis was also performed regarding the cyclic pressure variation that affects all the IC engines during combustion and may lead to irregular engine operation; in this case, the Hill function proved to better predict the cyclic pressure variation with respect to the Wiebe function.