The role of multiple injections on combustion in a light-duty PPC engine
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This paper presents a numerical investigation of the ignition and combustion process of a primary reference fuel in a partially premixed light-duty internal combustion (PPC) engine. Partially pre-mixed combustion is achieved by employing a multiple injection strategy with three short injection events of fuel pulses. The timing of the first two fuel pulses, 48 and 22 crank angle degrees before top dead center, are chosen with the purpose to stratify the fuel and air charge, whereas the third injection, at five crank angle degrees before top dead center, serves as an actuator of the main heat release. In addition to this baseline injection, three alternative injection strategies are studied, including a split-fuel two-injection strategy and modified triple-injection strategies. Large eddy simulations are employed utilizing a skeletal chemical kinetic mechanism for primary reference fuel capable of capturing the low-temperature ignition and the high temperature combustion. The large eddy simulation (LES) results are compared with experiments in an optical accessible engine. The results indicate that the first ignition sites are in the bowl region where the temperature is relatively higher, and the reaction fronts thereafter propagate in the swirl direction and towards the centerline of the cylinder. The charge from the first two injections initially undergoes low-temperature reactions and thereafter high-temperature reservoirs are formed in the bowl region. The main heat-release is initiated in the engine when the fuel from the third injection reaches the high-temperature reservoirs. Finally, the remaining fuel in the lean mixtures from the first two injections is oxidized. By variation of the injection strategy, two trends are identified: (1) by removing the second injection a higher intake temperature is required to enable the ignition of the charge, and (2) by retarding second injection, a longer ignition delay is identified. Both can be explained by the stratification of fuel and air mixture, and the resulting reactivity in various equivalence ratio and temperature ranges. The LES results reveal the details of the charge stratification and the subsequent heat release process. The present results indicate a rather high sensitivity of partially premixed combustion process to the injection strategies.