Improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines can result in lower operating costs and enable reduced total cost of vehicle ownership. On the other hand, it is of utmost importance that the development of engine technologies is also directed toward curbing climate-altering and harmful emissions. One such technology is gasoline compression ignition, which can offer increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and criteria pollutants. By means of modal analysis methods, this study focuses on characterizing the internal flow behavior of a production, eight-hole, medium-duty diesel injector operating with gasoline-like fuels under typical diesel injection conditions. High-resolution tomographic reconstructions of the injector tip geometry, along with needle motion measurements, were obtained via X-ray measurements. This information was combined with a previously validated computational setup to perform a series of in-nozzle flow computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The CFD results were analyzed to identify the connection between the injector’s global behavior and relevant flowfields such as velocity and vorticity. The results obtained with the X-ray geometry were then compared against those obtained with a nominal geometry to investigate the effect of the injector’s geometric features on its behavior. Variations to the K-factor and inlet ellipticity of the orifices were explored, and these parameters’ ability to reduce in-orifice cavitation was assessed by analyzing the predicted in-orifice fuel vapor volume fraction. Relatively large and persistent flow structures arising within the injector sac were identified as the main driver for orifice-to-orifice variability, as their location and size impacted the amount of fuel delivered by each orifice. Assessing the extent to which these energetic structures impact the injector performance is of interest; thus, it is desirable to investigate the most energetically significant flowfield structures as a function of modifications to specific features of the injector geometry. Modal decomposition tools, such as space-only proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and spectral proper orthogonal decomposition (SPOD) were applied to gain insight into dominant coherent structures that persist over the early phase of the needle opening event. It was found that the geometrical modifications applied resulted in variations of the modal energy content, as well as in the leading dominant spatial mode features. Additionally, it was found that the dominant frequency associated with the most significant energetic content was largely invariant to the geometrical modifications, with the difference between realistic and modified geometries being mostly found in the modal energy content.

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