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Disruptive Solutions for Innovative Internal Combustion Engines and Advanced Combustion

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "I2: Energy and Combustion Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 4943

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento Energia DENERG, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: IC engines modeling; CFD simulation of energy systems; combustion modeling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ever-more stringent emissions regulations, together with the increasing concern for environmental issues, have driven the industry to largely invest in R&D to establish innovative solutions for internal combustion engines for automotive, marine, and off-road applications.

The roadmap to decarbonization is, in fact, drawing attention to the use and exploitation of alternative fuels for the attainment of green vehicles characterized by low CO2 and pollutant emissions.

The use of biodiesel retains the potential to reduce the net carbon footprint while still complying with the existing technical solutions and introducing the need for minor modifications to the engine chamber and control solutions. Hydrogen can potentially be enlisted among the renewable sources of fuel depending on its production, and it can be conveniently exploited as a fuel in the internal combustion engine field, leading to virtually no CO2 and HC emissions. Notwithstanding its great advantages in terms of pollutant emissions, hydrogen requires significant modifications both to the engine design as well as to the control system. More specifically, different solutions are to be found in the literature both for the mixing process as well as for combustion ignition.  It is worth recalling that most of the solutions adopted for hydrogen are derived from those that had been developed for natural gas engines in previous decades. Finally, the high adiabatic flame temperature of hydrogen potentially generates issues in terms of thermal management and pollutant (NOx) emissions abatement. Lean-burn concepts and innovative ATS solutions should hence be considered. Last but not least, ammonia represents a sound alternative to hydrogen, mainly due to the possibility of storing it in a liquid form and its very low stoichiometric A/F ratio.

Regardless of the considered fuel, the refinement of fuels in the spray and mixture formation process, together with an accurate control of the combustion process, are mandatory to comply with the CO2 net zero goal. As a matter of fact, spray modelling holds great relevance when different fuel characteristics and parameters are accounted for. Detailed and fuel-flexible CFD injector and combustion models, together with the data collected from transparent optical analyses, are hence required to attain a satisfactory level of readiness of engine technologies.

Finally, attention should also be devoted to refining the current state-of-the-art in after-treatment systems to further reduce engine tail-pipe emissions. Once more, advanced solutions are needed to comply with the working conditions produced by innovative combustion concepts and by different fuels, e.g., highly diluted spark ignition combustion.

This Special Issue encourages researchers working in this field to share their latest developments in the field of internal combustion engines. Specific topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Biodiesel, ammonia, and hydrogen combustion;
  • Spray analysis and mixture formation;
  • Advanced combustion concepts (e.g., pre-chamber);
  • CFD approaches to engine modelling;
  • Data-driven engine models;
  • Innovative design for consumption and emissions reduction;
  • Innovative solutions for combustion control;
  • Advanced ATS architectures and control systems.

Dr. Mirko Baratta
Dr. Daniela Anna Misul
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • internal combustion engines
  • biofuels and bioliquids
  • hydrogen
  • CFD analysis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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26 pages, 38646 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Efficiency of Rotary Thermal Propulsion Systems
by Xuankun Shen and Aaron W. Costall
Energies 2024, 17(9), 2112; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17092112 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Transport electrification is essential for reducing CO2 emissions, and technologies such as hybrid and range-extended electric vehicles will play a crucial transitional role. Such vehicles employ an internal combustion engine for on-board chemical energy conversion. The Wankel rotary engine should be an [...] Read more.
Transport electrification is essential for reducing CO2 emissions, and technologies such as hybrid and range-extended electric vehicles will play a crucial transitional role. Such vehicles employ an internal combustion engine for on-board chemical energy conversion. The Wankel rotary engine should be an excellent candidate for this purpose, offering a high power-to-weight ratio, simplicity, compactness, perfect balance, and low cost. Until recently, however, it has not been in production in the automotive market, due, in part, to relatively low combustion efficiency and high fuel consumption and unburnt hydrocarbon emissions, which can be traced to constraints on flame speed, an elongated combustion chamber, and relatively low compression ratios. This work used large eddy simulations to study the in-chamber flow in a peripherally ported 225cc Wankel rotary engine, providing insight into these limitations. Flow structures created during the intake phase play a key role in turbulence production but the presence of the pinch point inherent to Wankel engine combustion chambers inhibits flame propagation. Two efficiency-enhancement technologies are introduced as disruptive solutions: (i) pre-chamber jet ignition and (ii) a two-stage rotary engine. These concepts overcome the traditional efficiency limitations and show that the Wankel rotary engine design can be further enhanced for its role as a range extender in electrified vehicles. Full article
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17 pages, 7487 KiB  
Article
Optimal Design for New Rotary Engine with Geometric Shape Functions on Combustion Chamber and Ports
by Young-Jic Kim, Tae-Joon Park, Ji-Hyuck Yang and Chang-Eon Lee
Energies 2024, 17(7), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17071754 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 512
Abstract
This study presents an optimal design for a new rotary engine. Instantaneous shape functions were applied to the combustion chamber, and intake and exhaust ports were derived based on the rotor and housing design functions; then optimized design parameters were derived for a [...] Read more.
This study presents an optimal design for a new rotary engine. Instantaneous shape functions were applied to the combustion chamber, and intake and exhaust ports were derived based on the rotor and housing design functions; then optimized design parameters were derived for a rotary engine. The three main parameters were shape distance, eccentric distance and rotor thickness. The design process for the optimized internal shape was subsequently defined considering target specifications for the rotary engine, and a prototype engine was designed and fabricated with a 336 cm3 intake volume. The compression pressure for the prototype engine was compared with the motoring test and calculated. These outcomes confirmed the new engine’s feasibility, and the derived geometric shape functions will be helpful to ensure optimal design for rotary engines using one- or three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics. Full article
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20 pages, 5114 KiB  
Article
High-Performance Hydrogen-Fueled Internal Combustion Engines: Feasibility Study and Optimization via 1D-CFD Modeling
by Daniela A. Misul, Alex Scopelliti and Mirko Baratta
Energies 2024, 17(7), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17071593 - 26 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Hydrogen-powered mobility is believed to be crucial in the future, as hydrogen constitutes a promising solution to make up for the non-programmable character of the renewable energy sources. In this context, the hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine represents one of the suitable technical solutions [...] Read more.
Hydrogen-powered mobility is believed to be crucial in the future, as hydrogen constitutes a promising solution to make up for the non-programmable character of the renewable energy sources. In this context, the hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine represents one of the suitable technical solutions for the future of sustainable mobility. As a matter of fact, hydrogen engines suffer from limitations in volumetric efficiency due to the very low density of the fuel. Consequently, hydrogen-fueled ICEs can reach sufficient torque and power density only if suitable supercharging solutions are developed. Moreover, gaseous-engine performance can be improved to a great extent if direct injection is applied. In this perspective, a remarkable know-how has been developed in the last two decades on NG engines, which can be successfully exploited in this context. The objective of this paper is twofold. In the first part, a feasibility study has been carried out with reference to a typical 2000cc SI engine by means of 1D simulations. This study was aimed at characterizing the performance on the full load curve with respect to a baseline PFI engine fueled by NG. In this phase, the turbocharging/supercharging device has not been included in the model in order to quantify the attainable benefits in the absence of any limitation coming from the turbocharger. In the second part of this paper, the conversion of a prototype 1400cc direct injection NG engine, running with stoichiometric mixture, to run on a lean hydrogen combustion mode has been investigated via 1D simulations. The matching between engine and turbocharger has been included in the model, and the effects of two different turbomatching choices have been presented and discussed. Full article
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16 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
A CFD Modelling Approach of Fuel Spray under Initial Non-Reactive Conditions in an Optical Engine
by Lis Corral-Gómez, Francisco J. Martos, Pablo Fernández-Yáñez and Octavio Armas
Energies 2023, 16(18), 6537; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16186537 - 11 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
A better understanding of why and how pollutant emissions from compression ignition engines are produced is one of the strategies to reduce them, and to achieve this it is important to understand what happens in the fuel injection inside the combustion chamber and [...] Read more.
A better understanding of why and how pollutant emissions from compression ignition engines are produced is one of the strategies to reduce them, and to achieve this it is important to understand what happens in the fuel injection inside the combustion chamber and in the combustion process. Experimentally, it is difficult to analyse the fuel spray right at the initial moments when it enters the combustion chamber due to its high velocity. These initial moments of the fuel spray affect its complete development and, consequently, the combustion process inside the chamber. This fact has motivated the approach of this work, in which a parametric study of the spray penetration as a function of variables that can be measured has been proposed. The purpose of this model is to understand which variables of the injection system significantly affect the spray penetration in the initial instants and how they affect it. This study was carried out using diesel and serves as a reference framework for similar studies using pure or blended sustainable advanced fuels. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model that determines the spray penetration at initial instants under different injection pressures and nozzle hole diameters is presented in this work. To tune the model, experiments were carried out on an optical engine. The modelled and experimental results exceed 94.8% agreement in all cases studied. Full article
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Review

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28 pages, 4451 KiB  
Review
Scaling Performance Parameters of Reciprocating Engines for Sustainable Energy System Optimization Modelling
by Ward Suijs and Sebastian Verhelst
Energies 2023, 16(22), 7497; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16227497 - 8 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1062
Abstract
The increased share of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power poses constraints on the stability of the grid and the security of supply due to the imbalance between electricity production and demand. Chemical storage or power-to-X technologies can provide [...] Read more.
The increased share of variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power poses constraints on the stability of the grid and the security of supply due to the imbalance between electricity production and demand. Chemical storage or power-to-X technologies can provide the flexibility that is needed to overcome this issue. To quantify the needs of such storage systems, energy system optimization models (ESOMs) are used, guiding policy makers in nationwide energy planning. The key input parameters for such models are the capacity and efficiency values of the conversion devices. Gas turbines, reciprocating engines, fuel cells and Rankine engines are often mentioned here as cogeneration technologies. Their performance parameters will however need to be revised when switching from fossil to renewable fuels. This study therefore investigates the possibility of using size-based scaling laws to predict the efficiency and power values of one type of conversion technology: the reciprocating engine. The most straightforward scaling laws are the ones based on the fundamental engine performance parameters and are constructed by fitting an arithmetic function for a large set of representative engine data. Their accuracy was tested with a case study, consisting of thirty large-bore, spark-ignited gas engines. Two alternative methods were also investigated: scaling laws based on the Willans line method and scaling laws based on the similarity theory. Their use is deemed impractical for the current research problem. Full article
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