Critical aspects on the use of thermal wall functions in CFD in-cylinder simulations of spark-ignition engines

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0569

  • 2017-03-28
CFD and FE tools are intensively adopted by engine manufacturers in order to prevent thermo-mechanical failures reducing time- and cost- to market. Their capability of predict correctly such damages is hence essential for their application in the industrial practice. This is even more important for last generation SI engines, where the more and more stringent need to low fuel consumption and pollutant emissions is pushing designers to reduce engine displacement in favor of a higher specific power, usually obtained by means of turbocharging. This brings to a new generation of S.I. engines characterized by higher and higher adiabatic efficiency and thermos-mechanical loads. A recent research highlighted the different behavior of the thermal boundary layer of such engines operated at high revving speeds and high loads if compared to the same engines operated at low loads and revving speeds or even engines with a lower specific power. This means that CFD models (as thermal wall functions), validated on these last, may not be predictive anymore when applied to high specific power engines. This is why an alternative formulation was proposed in a previous work for the estimation of the heat transfer in CFD in-cylinder combustion simulations of high performance turbocharged S.I. engines. Nevertheless, for both the alternative wall function and the other ones available in literature there are essential limitations due to the non-dimensional distance y+. In fact, even if they provide a formulation for low y+ (viscous sub-layer), industrial practice seldom makes use of turbulence models enabling the integration up to the wall and low Reynolds approaches are even less used for computational costs. Therefore in the present paper the authors aim to analyze critically the use of thermal wall functions along with high Reynolds turbulence models for the prediction of heat transfer in CFD in-cylinder simulations for different values of y+.
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