The research group Transport Technology of the Department of Flow, Heat and Combustion Mechanics at Ghent University is specialized in internal combustion engines. The group’s research is focused on the in-cylinder processes (spray formation, combustion, heat transfer and emission formation). The goal is to develop simulation tools for fast engine optimization. Currently, following topics are being investigated:
- Alternative fuels for spark ignition engines, such as hydrogen and (m)ethanol. Today, studies include the in-cylinder heat transfer for hydrogen engines and the combustion of light alcohols in engines
- Alternative fuels for compression ignition engines, such as pure vegetable oils and animal fats
- Optimization of medium high speed marine engines through in-cylinder measures
This research is done on three levels:
All the fundamental properties which are necessary to model the combustion process are characterized.
For the fuel, this includes determination of chemical, physical (e.g. viscosity) and combustion properties (e.g. visualisation of flame propagation, spray formation or auto-ignition processes). For the characterisation of the combustion properties, a constant-volume combustion chamber, the GUCCI setup (for Ghent University Combustion Chamber I), is currently being completed.
For the engines, this includes the determination of flow coefficients with a flow-bench.
Measurement of engine characteristics on engine test benches and optimization in terms of power output, efficiency and emissions. Four engine test benches are currently used for the experimental work:
- 2 single cylinder (Audi and CFR) flex-fuel engines (both liquid and gaseous fuels)
- 1 four-cylinder Volvo flex-fuel engine (both liquid and gaseous fuels)
- 1 six-cylinder diesel truck engine with fuel preheating capabilities (to run on pure vegetable oils and animal fats)
All engines are fully instrumented in terms of pressure, temperature and emissions measurements (except for PM).
Development of simulation tools for engine optimization. For SI-engines, the group has developed a multi-zone thermodynamic engine model in-house, the GUEST code (for Ghent University Engine Simulation Tool), which is coupled to GT-Power to simulate gas dynamics in the intake and exhaust stroke. For CI-engines, the numerical work focuses on the spray formation.
More information about the group: