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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: David B. Kittelson

One-dimensional and Three-dimensional Modeling of Dynamic Fluid Flows in a Four-stroke Multi-cylinder Spark-ignition Engine

This project’s focus is high-performance engine design for the Formula SEA collegiate design competitions. Computer models are developed to simulate the complex fluid flows found within air-restricted, high-performance combustion engines. These simulation results are used in component design studies to optimize engine volumetric efficiency. Engine fluid flows are simulated with Ricardo Software’s WAVE 1D and VECTIS 3D engine flow modeling programs.

Current work focuses on optimization of intake manifold shape and physical dimensions based the group's previous published results. Intake models will be constructed and cylinder-to-cylinder volumetric efficiencies will be compared with the use of an engine dynamometer. Dynamometer performance data will also be compared to software performance predictions.

Future work includes studies in optimal camshaft lift and duration profiles, and improvement of WAVE 1D software predictions by implementing model corrections derived from VECTIS 3D computations. Losses from friction, separation, and shocks are functions of RPM, and result in pressure losses in the engine. VECTIS simulation results can be used to generate pressure loss coefficients that can be implemented into 1D WAVE models to improve their accuracy and make better use of VECTIS CPU time.

Group Members

Mark Claywell, Research Associate
Jesse Dinh, Undergraduate Student
Donald Horkheimer, Research Associate
Nathan Kochie, Undergraduate Student