Research Topic

Design and Application of Novel Combustion Systems for Internal Combustion Engines

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About this Research Topic

In internal combustion engines, combustion-system design strongly influences in-cylinder flow, spray-wall interactions, fuel/air mixing, combustion, and ultimately the engine’s performance and emissions characteristics. Thus, the engine combustion system, including cylinder head design, fuel injector ...

In internal combustion engines, combustion-system design strongly influences in-cylinder flow, spray-wall interactions, fuel/air mixing, combustion, and ultimately the engine’s performance and emissions characteristics. Thus, the engine combustion system, including cylinder head design, fuel injector parameters, pre-chamber configurations and piston bowl shape, must be optimized to maximize efficiency and minimize pollutant emissions.
The development and optimization of combustion systems relies on system-level simulations to establish boundary conditions; it involves both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and engine testing. For a given set of combustion system design parameters, and for a given operating condition, a CFD simulation predicts aspects of the working cycle such as efficiency or pollutant emissions. Increasingly powerful computer clusters and even supercomputers can evaluate many design parameter combinations under any number of operating conditions. Optimization techniques include, but are not limited to, design of experiments, genetic algorithms, and general machine learning methods. The most promising designs are developed further with engine experiments to realize the anticipated efficiency potential.

While CFD simulations are an invaluable tool and have successfully contributed to the development of clean, efficient engines, it is unclear how the continuation of current practices can lead to further improvements in combustion system design. For example, multiple aspects of combustion system design can influence in-cylinder flow, and often an optimum is reached without an understanding of whether geometry or other design features were responsible for beneficial improvements in flow. In a broader sense, the physical mechanisms that distinguish a successful set of geometric parameters from an unsuccessful set are not well understood, and the very large amounts of CFD simulation results are seldomly used to provide this insight. In addition, advanced combustion strategies such as gasoline compression ignition and pre-chamber combustion have shown potential for clean, efficient combustion. The development of piston geometries for such engine concepts is in its infancy, so the potential for improvement may be relatively large. The current research topic is focused on improved combustion system designs and novel approaches to develop and optimize them to reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions for various engine combustion concepts.

Contributions to this Research Topic include manuscripts describing advancements in combustion system design for both conventional and advanced modes of combustion on both conventional and alternative engine architectures. These include:
• Novel approaches or algorithms to designing and optimizing port geometry, fuel injector nozzle parameters, pre-chamber configurations, and piston bowl shape
• Experimental and/or numerical studies of novel combustion system designs and their impact on efficiency and emissions

Cover image credits: Dr. Anqi Zhang at Aramco Americas, Aramco Research Center – Detroit.

Topic Editor Yuanjiang Pei is employed by company Aramco Americas. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Internal Combustion Engines, Combustion System, Design Optimization, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Air Motion


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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