Computation and Analysis of EGR Mixing in Internal Combustion Engine Manifolds

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This thesis deals with turbulent mixing processes occurring in internal combustion engines, when applying exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). EGR is a very efficient way to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in internal combustion engines. Exhaust gases are recirculated and mixed with the fresh intake air, reducing the oxygen con- centration of the combustion gas and thus the peak combustion temperatures. This temperature decrease results in a reduction of NOx emissions. When applying EGR, one is often faced with non-uniform distribution of exhaust among and inside the cylinders, deteriorating the emission performance. The mixing of exhaust gases and air is governed by the flow in the engine intake manifold, which is characterized by unsteadiness due to turbulence and engine pulsations. Moreover, the density cannot be assumed to be constant due to the presence of large temperature variations.Different flow cases having these characteristics are computed by compressible Large Eddy Simulations (LES). First, the stationary flows in two T-junction type geometries are investigated. The method is validated by comparison with experimental data and the accuracy of the simulations is confirmed by grid sensitivity studies. The flow structures and the unsteady flow modes are described for a range of mass flow ratios between the main and the branch inlet. A comparison to RANS computations showed qualitatively different flow fields.Thereafter, pulsating inflow conditions are prescribed on the branch inlet in or- der to mimic the large pulsations occurring in the EGR loop. The flow modes are investigated using Dynamical Mode Decomposition (DMD).After having established the simulation tool, the flow in a six-cylinder engine is simulated. The flow is studied by Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) and DMD. The mixing quality is studied in terms of cylinder-to-cylinder non-uniformity and temporal and spatial variances. It was found that cycle-averaging of the concentration may give misleading results. A sensitivity study with respect to changes in the boundary conditions showed that the EGR pulsations, have large influence on the results. This could also be shown by POD of the concentration field showing the significance of the pulses for the maldistribution of exhaust gases.Finally, the flow in an intake manifold of a four-cylinder engine is investigated in terms of EGR distribution. For this geometry, pipe bends upstream of the EGR inlet were found to be responsible for the maldistribution.