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Caterpillar and Argonne’s VERIFI undertake cooperative virtual engine design, control project; first VERIFI CRADA

3 July 2014

Low-temperature combustion regimes show great efficiency and emissions potential, but they present optimization and control challenges that must be addressed before they enter the engine mainstream.

Caterpillar Inc. has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Argonne National Laboratory and its recently formed Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative (VERIFI), where experts are developing new engine combustion models that incorporate accurate descriptions of two-phase flows, chemistry, transport phenomena and device geometries to provide predictive simulations of engine and fuel performance.

VERIFI applies advanced tools in high-performance computing, combustion chemistry, CFD, and experimental validation techniques to develop high-fidelity, three-dimensional, end-to-end, combustion engine simulation/visualization and simultaneous powertrain and fuel simulation, with uncertainty quantification.

This video shows the multi-dimensional flow inside the fuel injector sac and orifice of a five-hole diesel fuel injector, accounting for injector needle lift and wobbling. VERIFI believes that these are the first-ever simulations of the effects of injector needle-wobble in a multi-hole diesel fuel injector nozzle.

Advances in high-performance computing enable VERIFI researchers to run engine simulations in parallel on thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of processors. While efficient scaling of engine simulations to such massively parallel machines remains a significant challenge, such calculations will ultimately allow not only the rapid engineering of specific engine designs, fuels and operation conditions, but also allow their optimization.

This video shows what VERIFI believes is the largest diesel engine combustion simulation ever performed. The 50-million peak cell count simulation was performed on the high-performance computing clusters at Argonne National Laboratory, on a massively parallel architecture using 512 computational cores for a wall-clock time of more than 2 weeks.

Caterpillar and Argonne, along with Convergent Science, Inc. will explore ways to predict how things work in diesel engine performance and emissions before any experimental work is conducted. This is the first such CRADA undertaken by VERIFI since its inception this spring.

In this video, VERIFI simulated the fuel flow inside the sac and orifice of a five-hole diesel fuel injector. This simulation accounts for both injector needle lift and needle off-axis motion or wobble. VERIFI believes these are the first-ever simulations of multi-hole fuel injector nozzle performance that account for needle-wobble.

Cat anticipates that simulations developed by VERIFI’s researchers will reduce the time and cost of the design cycle for new engines, allow the rapid adaptation of fuels from new sources and lead to substantial increases in fuel economy while meeting future emissions standards.

Working with Argonne researchers will provide us access to their high-performance computing facilities and expertise in spray and combustion modeling that will improve our simulation practices at Caterpillar.

—Marcus Weber, team leader at Caterpillar

Convergent Science is a world leader in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software development. The company’s flagship product, CONVERGE, is used for CFD simulations in many industries. The staff at Convergent Science are experts in CFD simulations, numerical methods, model development and implementation and were instrumental in adapting high-performance computing practices in the CONVERGE code.

July 3, 2014 in Diesel, Emissions, Engines, Fuel Efficiency, Low Temperature Combustion, Simulation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


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